Since President Barack Obama first took office:
- The U.S. trade deficit has shrunk by 24 percent; exports have grown faster than imports.
- The number of immigrants in the U.S. illegally has gone down — by 3.4 percent according to one independent estimate and by 9 percent according to another.
- The economy has added 9.7 million jobs.
- The unemployment rate has dropped below the historical norm.
- The buying power of the average worker’s weekly paycheck is up 4.2 percent.
- Corporate profits are running 144 percent higher and stock prices have soared.
- Federal debt has more than doubled, and annual deficits, after shrinking, are again on the rise.
- The number of people lacking health insurance has gone down by nearly 15 million
The U.S. government’s debt owed to the public has more than doubled. As of April 1, it was $13.6 trillion, an increase of 116 percent since Obama first took office.
Total debt, counting money the government owes to itself, currently stands at nearly $18.9 trillion, up nearly 78 percent under Obama. Federal spending, however, has increased much less. Total federal outlays totaled just under $3.69 trillion. That’s just 4.8 percent above the total outlays for fiscal 2009.
U.S. crude oil production has nearly doubled under Obama. In the fourth quarter of last year, the U.S. produced 87 percent more crude oil than it did in the three months before Obama began his presidency.
Electricity generated by large-scale wind and solar power was 273 percent higher than the total for 2008. The U.S. generated 29 times more electricity from solar power than it did in the year before Obama took office.
Corporate profits have soared under Obama. After-tax profits were running at an annual rate of just under $1.8 trillion in the July-October quarter of last year, 166 percent higher than in the quarter just before Obama entered office. Compared with the best quarter prior to his taking office, after-tax profits are up 27 percent.
Stockholders have done quite well under Obama. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index was 139 percent higher at the close on Jan. 11 than it was the day Obama took office. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has also more than doubled, rising 106 percent during Obama’s tenure, and the NASDAQ Composite index has tripled, rising 222 percent.
During Obama’s time in office, the number of people living in the U.S. illegally has actually declined. The Pew Research Center estimated the number at 11.7 million in 2008, and most recently at 11.3 million in 2014, a decline of roughly 400,000, or 3.4 percent.
And the Center for Migration Studies estimated that the drop has been even more pronounced, going from 12 million in 2008 to 10.9 million in 2014. That would be a decrease of 1.1 million, or 9 percent.
The Department of Homeland Security hasn’t published an estimate since 2013, but said then that the population “likely peaked around 2007″ at 11.8 million or 12 million. DHS estimated the number at 11.4 million as of 2012.
Overall inflation during Obama’s first seven years in office has been half the historical average, and has actually turned negative since our last report.
The average yearly rise in the Consumer Price Index under Obama has been just 1.7 percent, measured from December to December. That’s well under half the post-World War II average, according to BLS figures. From 1946 to 2008, the average December-to-December rise in the CPI was a bit more than 4 percent.
In the entire history of the CPI, which began in 1913, the average December-to-December increase was just under 3.4 percent up until the time Obama took office — and double the average rate since then.
Furthermore, inflation has slowed as the economy has warmed up. During the 12 months ending in December 2015, the rise was 0.7 percent. And during the 12 months ending in February (the most recent figures yet released), the rise was below 1 percent. The CPI has actually declined one-quarter of 1 percent since our last report three months ago.
For all of Obama’s time in office, the CPI has gone up by only 12.2 percent. In the eight years of the Bush administration, the CPI went up 20.7 percent.
In 2015, the number of criminal background checks of potential gun buyers hit more than 14.2 million. That was 58 percent higher than in 2008. The number hit a record of nearly 14.8 million in 2013 — which was an increase of 65 percent over 2008.
There were 2,216 fewer murders and deaths from nonnegligent manslaughter in the U.S. during 2014 than in 2008. That’s a 13 percent reduction in the number of homicides. The drop in all violent crime — including homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault — is even greater. There were 229,078 fewer violent crimes in the U.S. in 2014 than in 2008, a drop of 16 percent. In 2014, the homicide rate was 4.5 per 100,000 inhabitants, down from 5.4 in 2008.
In 2015, the U.S. imported $540 billion more in goods and services than it exported, compared with a deficit of $709 billion in 2008, and with the record deficit of $762 billion of 2006.
Total military fatalities since Obama took office are 1,751 in the Afghan war and 274 in the Iraq conflict. A total of 4,491 U.S. service members were killed in Iraq between 2003 and 2014. As of October 1, 2015, there have been 2,326 U.S. military deaths in the War in Afghanistan.
The president who added a historical 20.7% to the debt has one unique aspect of his presidency – President G. W. Bush had a GOP majority House and Senate.
- Since 1978-2011, spending has gone up 9.9% under Democrats versus 12.1% under Republicans.
- From 1978-2011 debt went up 4.2% under Democrats versus 36.4% under Republicans.
- From 1960 to 2005 the gross domestic product measured in year-2000 dollars rose an average of $165 billion a year under Republican presidents and $212 billion a year under Democrats.
- Democrats have raised spending by $40 billion a year and Republicans by $55 billion.
- Under Republican presidents since 1960, the federal deficit has averaged $131 billion a year. Under Democrats, that figure is $30 billion.
- The national debt has gone up more than $200 billion a year under Republican presidents and less than $100 billion a year under Democrats.
- Democratic presidents have a better record on inflation (averaging 3.13 percent compared with 3.89 percent for Republicans) and on unemployment (5.33 percent versus 6.38 percent).