Obama Loves America

I am responding for several of my friends who were offended by the letter from Matthew Santis (Sept. 14). In his rant against President Obama’s lack of love for America, Santis lists no specific issues that support his claim. Without specific evidence, he leaves himself open for criticism that his letter is simply a rant against the first black U.S. president.

I can't decide whether Barack Obama will place third or fourth among the greatest American presidents. His major accomplishment is pulling this country away from the precipice of a second depression that Republicans had led us to. He started his administration with the largest budget deficit in history, more than $1.3 trillion. He reduced that deficit over the course of his presidency to $552 billion, the largest deficit reduction in U.S. history.

Obama also brought health insurance to 20 million Americans who had never had it before. He must have loved at least the poor of this country to have saved so many lives as Obamacare and his expansion of Medicaid are currently saving. President Trump, following this logic, must hate the American poor with his push to rescind Obamacare and eventually eliminate Medicaid.

Obama also created DACA by executive order, saving 778,000 Mexican-Americans and other Americans who had committed no breach of U.S. immigration law. Most of those in DACA have jobs or are in college, 25 percent have American children, a large percentage have American parents. They have lived here most of their lives and speak perfect English. They are de facto Americans, if not de jure.

Obama expanded the Clean Air and Clean Water acts by executive order, faced with an obstructionist House of Representatives that refused to even discuss any bill he supported. His 2012 budget proposed a corporate tax reduction from 35 percent to 28 percent, which to me indicates he loves rich U.S. businessmen. The Obama administration played a major role in structuring the Paris accord and the 6-nation Iranian agreement, in an attempt to protect this country from environmental catastrophe and from nuclear threat from one more country.

I agree with Mr. Santis on one thing: Obama and those around him are continuing to change America. The median income of all working Americans rose to $59,039 in 2016, the highest it has ever been, an 8.5 percent increase since 2014. The poverty rate has dropped to an all-time low of 9.8 percent (8.1 million families) from 10.4 percent (8.6 million families) in 2015. The unemployment rate is at historical lows, 4.5 percent.

Obama’s policies, including the creation of the Consumer Protection Bureau and Dodd-Frank Act, are still working for all Americans despite furious Republican attempts to undo them all.

He is currently building an Obama Center in South Chicago, one of the most troubled neighborhoods in America. The center will offer educational projects to American youth leading them to become national and regional leaders. He isn’t just saying, “Vote for me. What do you have to lose?” and doing nothing to help troubled communities. Obama is going to the heart of the problem and creating an avenue to success for American youth, especially black youth.

If President Obama hates America, why would he have fought tooth and nail to bring so many ongoing, strikingly positive changes to this country?

Sunbury Daily Item, October 2, 2017

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