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Obama fundamentally transformed America. Trump’s transforming it back

Written By | Jan 10, 2020
fundamentally transformed, Presidential, President Trump

President Donald J. Trump waves as he disembarks Air Force One Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2019, at Pittsburgh International Airport in Pittsburgh. (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)

WASHINGTON — Remember when Barack Obama fundamentally transformed America? He was quite up front in telling us all what he intended to do. Except for what he really meant. Just days before the 2008 presidential election, Obama said:

“Now, Mizzou, I just have two words for you tonight: five days. Five days. After decades of broken politics in Washington, and eight years of failed policies from George W. Bush, and 21 months of a campaign that’s taken us from the rocky coast of Maine to the sunshine of California, we are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.

“In five days, you can turn the page on policies that put greed and irresponsibility on Wall Street before the hard work and sacrifice of folks on Main Street. In five days, you can choose policies that invest in our middle class, and create new jobs, and grow this economy, so that everyone has a chance to succeed, not just the CEO, but the secretary and janitor, not just the factory owner, but the men and women on the factory floor.”

How Obama fundamentally transformed America. For the worse…

After the election, President Obama’s actions began to transform America. To achieve this transformation he implemented some historically un-American policies that resulted in an economy that did not reach any of his stated goals. Obama transformed American in a way that stagnated the economy, reduced opportunities for the middle class, forced millions to become dependent on government and doused the flame that is normally ignited by the American spirit.

Obama did not keep his promises. In the quote, he promised to expand the middle class, create jobs and grow the economy.  Obama had the worst record on the economy of any president in recorded history. In fact, he was the only president to serve a term in office without having at least one year where GDP growth was at least 3%. Growth averaged 1.5% annually during the Obama administration.

That meant there weren’t nearly enough good jobs created. That led to vast increases in underemployment and forced millions of able-bodied Americans to leave the workforce. The middle class shrank and the number of Americans living below the poverty line hit record highs.

Obamacare: Its issues continue to linger

Because he passed Obamacare, every employer had to offer health insurance to any employee working at least 30 hours per week. That resulted in employers higher many part-time workers instead of full-time workers. That meant low skilled Americans had to work two or more jobs to make ends meet.

But the fundamental transformation was a reversal of the basic principles that allowed the US to go from the birth of a nation to the largest most prosperous economy in the world in about 150 years. There were four basic principles that allowed that to happen.

Four American principles…

Our country encouraged individual freedom, so Americans were free to pursue their self-interest. We encouraged individual responsibility so everyone took care of themselves when possible. Thirdly we had low rates of taxation so that a worker could always keep most of what was earned. And fourthly we had a very limited role for government so that beyond the obvious public goods, the government stayed out of Americans’ lives.

And how to violate them

Obama’s transformation was exactly opposite to each of those principles. His new, fundamentally transformed America would have vast government intervention into the economy and even further into private lives. This reduces individual freedom. He encouraged social responsibility, not individual responsibility because Obama wanted the government to take care of all Americans’ basic needs. These needs, of course, were paid for through higher rates of taxation.

Obama’s transformed America would have less individual freedom, more social responsibility (and less individual responsibility), higher rates of taxation and a larger role for government, exactly opposite to what made America great.

Trump continues to transform America back to its Constitutional intent

Fortunately, President Trump is transforming America back. The results, so far, have been astonishing.

He has eliminated burdensome and counter-productive regulations, which encourages more individual freedom, more individual responsibility and less role for government. He reduced tax rates for all Americans. And he fell just one vote short in the Senate to pass a new health care system which would have led to more individual freedom and more individual responsibility.

Trump has made promises and kept promises. He has invested in the middle class, created millions of higher-paying jobs and grown the economy, which is what Obama promised, yet failed to achieve.

As long as the four principles are present Americans will end up achieving exceptionalism. President Trump is transforming America back to the basics that made the country great.

That’s good for America.

— Headline image: President Donald J. Trump waves as he disembarks Air Force One Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2019, at Pittsburgh International Airport in Pittsburgh. (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)

Michael Busler

Michael Busler, Ph.D. is a public policy analyst and a Professor of Finance at Stockton University where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Finance and Economics. He has written Op-ed columns in major newspapers for more than 35 years.