In 2010, the largest accidental marine oil spill in history took place in the Gulf of Mexico. Tony Hayward, CEO of BP, was roundly criticized and President Obama declared that had Mr. Hayward been working for him he would have been fired.
BP had a long history of safety violations, many leading to injury and death. Hayward was the CEO for just over three years when the oil spill occurred. Certainly you couldn’t be expected to clean up many years’ worth of violations and problems in such a short time, could he?
According to President Obama, yes, he could. Clearly our president believes that just doing your best, when it leads to failure, simply isn’t enough. Hayward eventually did resign after public pressure was placed on him and on BP.
Flash forward to 2012.
The Middle East is on fire, our embassies are being attacked and the American flag burned, and our President has told us that all this chaos is the result of a video on YouTube. A senior retired CIA official, responding to the video comment, said, “I think this is a case of an administration saying what they wished to be true . . .”
It looks as though US officials had been warned regarding deteriorating security conditions in Benghazi up to three days before the attack that left four Americans dead, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared the attack an act of terror, and al-Qaeda has been linked to it.
Obama has repeatedly claimed that these deaths were the result of spontaneous mob outbursts, despite numerous requests for additional security in the months leading up to the attack; requests which had reportedly been denied by US officials and ultimately led to the death of four US citizens.
The unemployment rate was 8.1 percent in August, down from a high under Obama of 10 percent. President Obama promised that if the $800 billion stimulus were passed, unemployment would stay below 8 percent and would be around 6 percent by now. Since the passage of his stimulus, we’ve hardly seen “below 8 percent” again. In fact, the percentage of employed Americans has dropped since the recovery began, from 59.4 percent to 58.4 percent.
Of course, according to President Obama, these high rates of unemployment are still apparently due to President Bush, as well as “problems that were more than a decade in the making.”
President Obama promised that during his first term, he would make the “tough choices necessary to restore fiscal discipline, cut the deficit in half . . . and put our nation on sound fiscal footing.”
His deficits have exceeded $1 trillion every single year in office, adding more to the debt in four years than George Bush did in eight. Our debt rating was downgraded from AAA to AA for the first time in US history, and rating agency Egan-Jones just last month downgraded us yet again, to AA-, citing the Fed’s QE3 and its potential effects on the stock market and commodity prices.
GDP growth has also been sorely lacking these past four years. Certainly the recovery, which began in June 2009 and was touted by Obama as proof of his success, is the construct of his own policies.
It has given us real GDP growth at its lowest level in 65 years: 2.2 percent, or less than half the historical norm.
President Obama has begun claiming that this slow GDP growth is typical for recoveries associated with financial crises, but this has not historically been the case in the US. Further, his own projections called for GDP growth of 4.6 percent this year, ostensibly as a result of the failed policies he implemented.
In response to BP’s defense of their actions after the oil spill, Obama said, “We’ve heard time and time again throughout this crisis that BP has tried, and failed . . .”
Yep, Mr. President, you gave it your best, but time to step aside.