A Disaster, GOP? Why Obama has been a Smashing Success.

President Barack Obama has done a great job averting disaster, not becoming one.

President Barack Obama has done a great job averting disaster, not becoming one.

Matt Brownsword

President Barack Obama has done a great job averting disaster, not becoming one.


In Mesa, Arizona, four leading members of the Republican party gathered, emulating a family discussion at dinner—they sat at a table, talking about the issues and positives of the day and bickered like children. The arguing, agreeing, and accusing of Congressman Ron Paul, Governor Mitt Romney, Speaker Newt Gingrich, and Governor Rick Santorum has been the substance in all the debates, this one being no different.

The topics included birth control, immigration, health care, faith, liberty, the Constitution, and the staple of all Republican speeches or debates—President Barack Obama. Two times Gingrich defined an Obama speech as ‘demagogic,’ Romney called the Obama administration as waging the biggest attack on the Catholic Church in American history, and Gingrich also said, “the current government is a disaster.”

A disaster. To reiterate, Newt Gingrich called the current government a disaster. Disaster is defined by the merriam-webster.com website as “a sudden calamitous event bringing great damage, loss, or destruction.” Gingrich called the Obama administration as a disaster; however, the reverse is true. The Obama administration has been anything but a disaster; in fact, according to the same dictionary website, Obama’s presidency has been an antonym of disaster—a success.

Firstly, the Obama administration’s production of jobs has been tremendous. Although Fox News wouldn’t recognize it (number 35, if you click on the link), Obama inherited a 7.8 percent unemployment rate, a growth rate that was stunted at around 9.0 percent and brought down to 8.3 percent in the last jobs report in January.

When President Bush entered the presidential office in 2001, the unemployment rate was at a paltry 4.3 percent, which climbed to 6.3 percent in two years. Bush left office when the unemployment rate was at 7.8 percent—the highest in15 years.

The Obama administration not only was able to stop the rapid growth of unemployment during what has been called the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, but also brought down that unemployment steadily over the last half year. So Gingrich, that ‘disaster’ you were talking about? It’s not in the jobs.

How about the economy? Right now, the DOW Jones Industrial is scratching the surface of 13,000—a number not reached since December 2007. When Obama became the president, in January 2009, the DOW Jones was at 8,000.86. In two months the trend started pointing upward, which has been sustained, attributing to the economic growth and lower unemployment. The market looks pretty good, too.

So then there’s foreign policy. During the debate, three of the candidates—Ron Paul excluded—chastised Obama on shrinking the size of America’s military and navy. America, as of 2012, had roughly 14.5 trillion dollars of GDP—4.79 percent of which was used for military spending. For all of the viewers who don’t have a calculator handy (or get weariness in their eyes after reading so many zeroes), that adds up to about 694,550,000,000 dollars in military spending.

Comparatively, Bush, in 2007, had a 13.995 trillion dollar GDP while in office—3.98 of which was spent in the military. Again, that calculates to about 557,001,000,000 dollars spent on the military.

What do these numbers tell us? First of all, the Republican candidates are flat out wrong. While the military spending may gradually decline, as well as some troops are being pulled out of the Middle East, the spending has not gone down, but up. If you point to the GDP being higher in Obama’s administration than Bush’s, you must look at the growth rate: The GDP was 10.2339 trillion dollars in 2001 when Bush inherited the office, and 14.2969 trillion dollars when he exited. Obama’s GDP shrunk from 2008 to 2009 and only increased by 3 billion dollars to 2010—a meager number considering the amount of zeroes he started with. Osama Bin Laden, dead after two years of an Obama administration, yet still alive after eight years of Bush’s.

This is just assuming that increasing the size of the military is a good thing. Republicans are constantly complaining about the fact that the government is too big; Rick Santorum said this on education: “The government has convinced parents that at some point it’s no longer their responsibility. And in fact, they force them, in many respects, to turn their children over to the public education system and wrest control from them and block them out of participation of that,” denouncing how much the government should play a role in the lives of Americans.

Ok, Rick, well if we should stop intruding on the lives of Americans, does that give us the right to intrude on the lives of foreign countries? Paul used the same argument—as well as the economic cost of the military—to denounce Santorum and the other two candidate’s policies. America does not even have to remove all of its troops from all around the world, just the ones that Romney sarcastically put it, “[are programs] so critical that it’s worth borrowing money from China to pay for it.”

Anything else, candidates. Is there any more complaining about the Obama administration? Oh yes, the conservative-proclaimed ‘War on Religion,’ instituted by Obama, liberals, and a Gingrich favorite, the ‘elite liberal media.’

The Republicans protest the constitutionality of Obama’s health care, which requires the Christian church to pay for an abortion or the ‘morning-after pill’ for rape victims. First of all, the morality here is ludicrous: Republicans advocate for woman, who are raped, to be probihited from abortion because of the rules of the religion. That is rediculous. Woman who are raped should be able to have an abortion, and the churches should man up and ignore their rules for these extenuating circumstances.

The religious freedom outlined by the Constitution has already been stretched—churches are exempt from paying taxes and are more or less allowed to do whatever they want, free from government intervention. If Republicans argue that the government should have absolutely no involvement in religion, then should Mormons be allowed to practice polygamy? Morals, GOP, kind of win voters.

So Newt, is the “current government a disaster?” Is President Obama really turning America into, according to Mitt Romney, the “worst of what Europe has become?” Obama’s administration has been a smash (another Merriam-Webster antonym to disaster) in a time where America was, in fact a disaster. A fun fact: the last time that Republicans used the debate setting that was used in Mesa, it was January 2008. I think we know what happened in that election.