By now you’ve probably heard of polls that say Americans believe that “Donald Trump is the worst president in history” or that presidential scholars have ranked Trump “dead last.” I can tell you right now to ignore the polls and the so-called experts. While it may be too early to properly gauge presidential rankings for recent presidents, I am confident that history will ultimately judge Barack Obama as the worst president our nation has ever seen.
The mountain of evidence that condemns his presidency to the bottom of the barrel is overwhelming. In my just re-released book, The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama, I document 200 reasons why history will prove my belief correct in the years to come. Below, I present six abbreviated reasons, which, I can’t stress enough, are just the tip of the iceberg.
6. Weaponizing the government against his enemies
Perhaps the most well-known example of the Obama administration abusing its power to target Obama’s political enemies is the infamous IRS scandal. Over a two-year period leading up to the 2012 election, tea party groups and other conservatives were improperly scrutinized by the IRS. Twelve different IRS offices across the country were involved and the entire operation was orchestrated out of Washington, D.C., and there was also evidence of White House involvement. The IRS also targeted private individuals critical of Obama, GOP candidates, and Romney donors.
There are also examples of conservative individuals being targeted as the result of gross abuse of power by the Obama administration. Conservative author Dinesh D’Souza was indicted for campaign finance violations for a crime typically not prosecuted at all. James O’Keefe of Project Veritas was put on a terrorism watchlist after a video was released of him dressed as a terrorist crossing back and forth over the U.S./Mexico border to demonstrate the lack of border security.
Obama’s pièce de résistance when it came to abuse of power is perhaps his spying on the Trump campaign. The Steele dossier on Trump (a partisan opposition research document funded by the DNC and the Hillary campaign loaded with loads of bogus and salacious accusations) was used to secure a FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. Anti-Trump partisans were involved in the investigation, and based on text messages between investigators Peter Strzok and Lisa Page (who were having an affair) we know that Strzok saw the investigation as an “insurance policy” in case Trump won the election, and that Page, worried that Trump could win, was told by Strzok, “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.” Other text messages indicated that Obama wanted to be kept in the loop on their investigation. The independence and integrity of the FBI took a major blow during the Obama years, and we’re still learning just how bad it was.
5. Obama’s surveillance state
According to the ACLU there was a 64 percent growth in electronic spying by the United States government during Obama’s first term. The Obama administration argued in federal court in 2012 that the public has no “reasonable expectation of privacy” regarding their cell phone location data and that the government can obtain these records without a warrant. Further blemishing Obama’s record on civil liberties, his administration green-lighted a giant government database of information on millions of citizens who weren’t even suspected of terrorism or any crime at all.
In May 2017, we also found out that Obama’s National Security Agency had been conducting illegal searches on Americans for years and was rebuked by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). We didn’t hear about it sooner because the Obama administration covered it up.
4. Purging Gitmo
As a candidate in 2007, Obama promised he would close the terrorist detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba (Gitmo), as soon as he was elected. He signed an executive order on January 22, 2009, requiring Gitmo to close within one year. Congress refused to go along, so instead of closing it, he systematically purged the prison of its terrorist inmates, as a sort of end-run around congressional opposition to closure. In 2003, there were 680 prisoners. By early January 2015, there were fewer than 130, and he continued releasing prisoners through the remainder of his second term.
One retired CIA officer estimated that at least 50 percent of those released from Gitmo returned to battle against American troops, and Paul Lewis, Obama’s special envoy for Guantanamo closure, confirmed that Americans have been killed by released Gitmo detainees.
Despite his campaign promise to bring Democrats and Republicans together to reform healthcare, Obama signed a trillion-dollar government takeover of one-sixth of the United States economy with zero Republican votes in the Senate and only one Republican vote in the House. Despite a promise of transparency, Obama and then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made sure that the final negotiations were held behind closed doors.
And who can forget the disastrous Obamacare rollout? Aside from website problems, there was evidence that the Obama administration fudged enrollment numbers to make it appear more successful and popular than it really was. Basically, everything connected to Obamacare was plagued with failure. The 23 taxpayer-funded healthcare co-ops nationwide established by Obamacare to compete with private health insurance providers proved to be unsustainable, and by January 2018, only four Obamacare co-ops remained. The Obamacare co-ops were basically the health insurance version of the Solyndra boondoggle, but bigger.
The most insulting part of it all was that despite the high costs of Obamacare, health premiums went up and coverage got worse. Remember “if you like your plan you can keep it”? That was a lie. While the Obama administration often touted the increased numbers of people who had health insurance, the number of people who delayed seeking medical care because of costs did not improve. In fact, in November 2015, the percentage of people who reported delaying medical care over costs was higher than it was before Obama even took office. So, people were forced to buy insurance even if they didn’t want it, and they still couldn’t afford to seek medical care because of the higher premiums. Woo-hoo!
2. The worst economic recovery
There have been eleven recessions since World War II, each of which was followed by a recovery. Even Obama experienced an economic recovery… it just happens to be the worst one.
All jobs lost in post-World War II recessions were recovered after about twenty-five months on average. But, it took seventy-seven months for employment to return to pre-recession levels, making Obama’s recovery the slowest recovery of them all—and by a wide margin. Obama is also the only president in U.S. history to have never had a single year of 3.0 percent or greater GDP growth.
1. The largest deficits in history
When adjusted for inflation, Obama owns the seven highest deficits in history—surpassing the deficits incurred during World War II. Obama’s smallest deficit was still higher than the last deficit before he took office. While many try to argue that 2009’s spending should not count towards Obama’s spending record, 2009 was not actually constrained by the budget approved by President Bush. In fact, only three of FY2009’s 12 appropriations bills passed under Bush because the Democrats in Congress waited until Obama took office before going on a spending binge. So most of the spending that took place in 2009 was, in fact, approved by President Obama. This spending, which included Obama’s failed stimulus and bailouts, resulted in a 17.9 percent increase in spending over FY2008 compared to the 3 percent increase proposed by George W. Bush. This increase in spending was the highest annual spending increase since the Korean War.
There are a lot more where these came from. But the truth doesn’t mean much unless more people are aware of it. Liberals desperately want Obama to be remembered as a great president despite his horrible record. Don’t let them succeed.
Matt Margolis is the author of the book, The Scandalous Presidency of Barack Obama and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis