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Letter to the editor: Good, bad of Obama's presidency

To the editor:

The Obama Presidency is over. What will his legacy be? When Obama started his presidency the economy was in freefall, losing 800,0000 jobs each month. Many folks with retirement accounts took a huge hit. America is absorbing the retirements of 10,000 Baby Boomers every day for the next 20 years. Obama quickly assembled the American Recovery and Reinvest Act (ARRA) which is a collection of infrastructure projects, tax breaks, and structured bailouts. Obama also bailed out the U.S. auto industry. Obama spent most of his political capital to pass the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. Republicans did not support the ARRA or ACA. Obama also ramped up our pursuit of Al Qaeda and Bin Laden. His first presidential act was to begin closing Gitmo prison in Cuba—only a few prisoners remain now.

Some of the good: The country has seen 75 straight months of job growth, a sustained and durable recovery—but not as fast as past recoveries. This is a consequence of globalisation, automation, and technological change. The U.S. continues to be the envy of the world. U.S. unemployment is at 4.7 percent, down from 9.9 percent when he started. When Romney and Obama ran in 2012, Romney's goal was 6 percent unemployment.

The stock market has had an amazing recovery. Under Obama, abortion rates are at a historic low. And, at great risk to his presidency, he ordered the U.S. Navy Seals into a sovereign country (Pakistan) to kill Bin Laden.

Obamacare/ACA was one of the biggest pieces of social justice legislation in the past 50 years as it outlawed discrimination because of a pre-existing condition, whether cancer or colitis.

Today, the U.S. auto industry has recovered, paid back its government loans, and is making record profits. Obama bet on American workers and saved more than 1.5 million American jobs.

Early on, Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, an obvious bet on his sweeping rhetoric to end U.S. wars in the Middle East.

The world looked to him to lead on climate change, too. He did both. And, he helped create a multi-national agreement for Iran to stop its nuclear development. We did not have any major attacks on American soil during his presidency. And, his presidency was scandal free. Obama was a model of civility and statesmanship.

Some of the bad and ugly: When civilians were being killed in Libya, even Obama couldn't help but try a little foreign adventurism, leading to the killing of Muammar Gaddafi and leaving Libya a failed state. America should have learned its lesson: Don't break something imperfect to make it more imperfect. Obama set new records in prosecuting whistleblowers who were revealing information about government spying and more. Obama has also been our deporter-in-chief—responsible for deporting at least 2.5 million people, more than any president in our history. And, Obama will also be known for his deployment of drones to kill with more than 500 sorties flown during his tenure. And, as a parting shot, 22 shells were almost impossible to find but I expect that to change now.

Troy Goodnough