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Four More Years…Of This?

- June 7, 2016

As Clinton Tries To Sell Voters On Four More Years Of Obama's Failed Policies, The Real Question Is Why Would The American People Want That?

TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • President Obama officially endorsed Hillary Clinton today, making clear this election will also be a referendum on his failed record at home and abroad.
  • Clinton has praised Obama's time in office, giving his administration an "A" and is effectively running for president to continue his policies for a third term.
  • But under Obama's economic policies, workers are seeing lower incomes and wages, Americans are dropping out of the labor force, and poverty is on the rise, resulting in a disappearing middle class.
  • Obama's economic policies have led to the "slowest" economic recovery since World War II, leaving him with one of the worst legacies of economic growth for any U.S. president in history.
  • Obama's failed foreign policy that Clinton backed as his secretary of state has led to the rise of ISIS, chaos in the Middle East, the continuing threat of a nuclear Iran, and high tensions with Russia.
  • ObamaCare's taxes and mandates are leading to skyrocketing premiums and deductibles for Americans, but Clinton wants to double down on the failed law.
  • Ignoring Congress, Obama unilaterally rewrote the nation's immigration laws to grant legal status to millions, an abuse of power that Clinton admires and says she would expand on.

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Today, Obama Endorsed Clinton For President, Saying He "Cannot Wait To Get Out There And Campaign For Hillary." OBAMA: "So I want those of you who've been with me from the beginning of this incredible journey, to be the first to know that I'm with her. I am fired up and I cannot wait to get out there and campaign for Hillary." ("President Barack Obama Endorses Hillary Clinton For President," Hillary For America, 6/9/16)

Clinton Has Praised Obama's Presidency And Wants To Continue His Administration's Policies, Amounting To A Third Obama Term In Office

In October 2015, Clinton Gave The Obama Administration An "A" For Its Overall Performance, Saying "I Don't Think He Gets The Credit He Deserves." QUESTIONER: "As for President Obama himself, what letter grade would you give his administration?" CLINTON: "I'd give him an 'A.' I don't think he gets the credit he deserves for saving our economy from falling into a great depression, for saving the auto industry which represents millions of jobs up and down the supply chain, for beginning the crackdown on Wall Street abuses with Dodd-Frank, for getting the Affordable Care Act passed, for really being as responsive as he could possibly be given the obstructionism that he faced with the Republicans in Congress." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks In An Interview With The Boston Globe, Keene, NH, 10/17/15)

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On The Campaign Trail, Clinton Is "Embracing [Obama] And His Legacy With Fervor," Moving "To Portray Herself As An Heir To Obama's Policies." "Hillary Clinton has distanced herself from President Barack Obama on a number of high-profile issues since starting her bid for the White House. Now, under pressure from left-leaning challenger Bernie Sanders, she is embracing him and his legacy with fervor. That strategy could pose problems for Clinton in the long run as Republicans look for fodder to portray her as representing Obama's third term should she win the Democratic nomination. As she faces an unexpected challenge from Sanders in the early voting states, Clinton's move to portray herself as an heir to Obama's policies is aimed at courting young voters and progressives who are part of the president's political base." (Jeff Mason and Steve Holland, "Clinton's Embrace Of Obama Holds Risks For General Election Matchup," Reuters, 1/18/16)

"It's Been Clear That Obama And His West Wing" Sees Clinton As "The Best Bet To Safeguard His Achievements." "But over the years, after working closely with Clinton when she was his secretary of state and as his prickly relationship with Bill Clinton eased during the former president's important embrace of his 2012 re-election campaign, it's been clear that Obama and his West Wing see the rival he slayed in 2008 as the best bet to safeguard his achievements." (Stephen Collinson, "Obama Hopes To Pave Way For Clinton With Farewell State Of The Union," CNN, 1/12/16)

Salon's Sean Illing: "It's Clear What Hillary Clinton's Closing Message Is: 'Vote For Me If You Want A Third Obama Term.'" "After Thursday's debate it's clear what Hillary Clinton's closing message is: 'Vote for me if you want a third Obama term.' Clinton mentioned Obama 21 times during the debate, and almost every time it was to imply that she's a stronger supporter of the president and, more important, better prepared to continue his legacy." (Sean Illing, "Hillary Clinton's Strategy Shift: Why She's Wise To Run For A 'Third Obama Term,'" Salon, 2/15/16)

UNDER OBAMA'S ECONOMIC POLICIES, AMERICAN WORKERS AND FAMILIES ARE STRUGGLING TO MAKE ENDS MEET AND STAY IN THE MIDDLE CLASS

Clinton Has Proudly Stated That She Believes Obama Doesn't "Get The Credit He Deserves" For The State Of The U.S. Economy. CLINTON: "And, getting the economy to work better, getting our government to be more effective and productive in producing results, building on the progress that President Obama made it -- remember, he inherited the worst financial crisis since the Great Recession, and then he had to make sure it didn't fall into a depression. I don't think he gets the credit he deserves for making sure that did not happen. We are going to make that case. We are going to make that case throughout the country. I hope, effectively. I'm counting on that." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks At Townhall, Portsmouth, NH, 12/29/15)

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The Result Of Obama's Economic Policies: A Disappearing Middle-Class

A December 2015 Pew Study Found That For The First Time In Four Decades, The Middle Class Is No Longer The Majority. "After more than four decades of serving as the nation's economic majority, the American middle class is now matched in number by those in the economic tiers above and below it. In early 2015, 120.8 million adults were in middle-income households, compared with 121.3 million in lower- and upper-income households combined, a demographic shift that could signal a tipping point, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of government data." ("The American Middle Class Is Losing Ground," Pew Research Center, 12/9/15)

Middle-Class Jobs, That "Provided A Stable Living For Those With Less Education," Have "Been Replaced With Low-Wage Work." "But middle-skilled jobs, which once provided a stable living for those with less education, have been replaced with low-wage work. Occupations at the growing bottom earn less than $32,000 on average. Only one-third have health insurance and only one-quarter have retirement benefits." (Josh Zumbrun, "Post Recession Job Growth Coming In High-Wage Positions,"The Wall Street Journal, 8/17/15)

A Gallup Survey Found That Only 51 Percent Of U.S. Adults Identify As Middle-Class, Down From 63 Percent Of Those Polled In 2008. "A Gallup survey this spring showed that just 51% of U.S. adults considered themselves middle or upper middle class, with 48% saying they are part of the lower or working class. As recently as 2008, 63% of those polled by Gallup said they were middle class." (Don Lee, "Middle-Class Families, Pillar Of The American Dream, Are No Longer In The Majority, Study Finds," Los Angeles Times, 12/9/15)

The "Slow Recovery" Of The Clinton-Obama Economy Has "Shaken" The Tradition That Americans Have Of Self-Identifying As Middle-Class. "Most Americans have traditionally identified themselves as middle class, even those at the top and bottom, reflecting a kind of cultural heritage tied to the American dream of self-reliance. But the Great Recession and subsequent slow recovery have shaken that image." (Don Lee, "Middle-Class Families, Pillar Of The American Dream, Are No Longer In The Majority, Study Finds," Los Angeles Times, 12/9/15)

The Most Recent Jobs Report Was The Weakest Since 2010, A Continued Sign Of The American Economy's Struggles Under Obama

The U.S. Economy Added Just 38,000 Jobs In May, "The Weakest Performance Since September 2010." "Nonfarm payrolls rose by a seasonally adjusted 38,000 in May, the weakest performance since September 2010, the Labor Department said Friday." (Harriet Tory and Jeffrey Sparshott, "U.S. Added Only 38,000 Jobs in May," The Wall Street Journal, 6/3/16)

  • The Addition Of Just 38,000 Jobs In May Is "The Fewest In More Than 5 Years And A Sign Of Concern After The Economy Barely Grew In The First Three Months Of The Year." "U.S. employers drastically slowed their hiring in May, adding just 38,000, the fewest in more than 5 years and a sign of concern after the economy barely grew in the first three months of the year." (Christopher S. Rugaber, "US Gains Just 38K Jobs, Fewest In 5 years; Rate At 4.7 Pct." Associated Press , 6/3/16)

"Revisions Of Earlier Reports Reduce The Number Of Jobs Added In March And April By 59,000." (WSJ Staff, "May Jobs Report: Everything You Need To Know," The Wall Street Journal's Money Beat, 6/3/16)

In May, The Real Unemployment Rate, Including Those That Are Working Part-Time Due To Economic Reasons, Stood At 9.7 Percent. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 6/3/16)

American Incomes Are Falling And Wages Are Stagnating

During The Obama Administration, Median Household Income Has Fallen $1,656, From $55,313 In 2008 To $53,657 In 2014. (U.S. Census Bureau, Accessed 6/1/16)

The Median Individual Income In The U.S. Has Decreased $161 Under Obama, From $36,463 In 2008 To $36,302 In 2014. (U.S. Census Bureau, Accessed 6/1/16)

Middle-Income American Families "Make Substantially Less Money" In Inflation Adjusted Terms Than Years Ago And "There Is No Evidence That Is Reversing." "A middle-income American family, in other words, makes substantially less money in inflation-adjusted terms than it did 15 years ago. And there is no evidence that is reversing." (Neil Irwin, "Why Americans Still Think The Economy Is Terrible," The New York Times, 9/16/15)

Last Year, Workers' Salaries And Benefits Rose Just 2 Percent. "The Labor Department says the employment cost index, which tracks wages and benefits, rose 0.6 percent in the October-December quarter. That's the same as the previous three months. In the past year, salaries and benefits have risen just 2 percent, again marking the same annual pace as the previous two quarters. That's below the roughly 3.5 percent rate consistent with a healthy economy." ("Americans'' Wage Gains Remain Muted In 2015," The Associated Press, 1/29/16)

  • Wage Inflation Has Been "Stuck At" 2 Percent Throughout The Entire "Recovery." "It's not anymore, though. Wage inflation is stuck at the same 2 percent it's been the whole recovery, well below the 3.5 to 4 percent it would be in a normal economy-the implication being that this is not one." (Matt O' Brien, "Excited About An Upcoming Raise? Don't Be." The Washington Post, 8/4/15)
  • In A "Normal Economy" Wage Inflation Would Be Around 3.5 To 4 Percent. "Wage inflation is stuck at the same 2 percent it's been the whole recovery, well below the 3.5 to 4 percent it would be in a normal economy-the implication being that this is not one." (Matt O' Brien, "Excited About An Upcoming Raise? Don't Be."The Washington Post, 8/4/15)

The Workforce Force Participation Rate Is At Low Levels Not Seen Since The Carter Administration

In May, The Labor Force Participation Rate Was 62.6 Percent, A Level Last Seen In February 1978. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 6/3/16)

Americans Are Dropping "Out Of The Labor Force In Droves ." "The U.S. economy added the fewest number of jobs in seven months in April and Americans dropped out of the labor force in droves, signs of weakness that cast doubts on whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates before the end of the year." (Lucia Mutikani, "U.S. Employment Gains Hit Seven-Month Low, Labor Force Shrinks," Reuters, 5/6/16)

The Current Economic Cycle "Seems To Have Broken" With The Theory That A Lower Unemployment Rate Results In Higher Wages. "Unemployment peaked at 10% in October 2010, its worst level in a quarter century. Now it's 5.1%. Many experts said once unemployment fell to 5.5% -- as it did in February -- wages would pick up within months. But the current economic cycle seems to have broken with that theory, even though some economists and the Fed don't want to acknowledge it." (Heather Long, "Will We Ever Get Higher Wages?" CNN, 9/21/15)

The U.S. Homeownership Rate Has Dropped By Nearly Four Percent

Since Obama Took Office, The U.S. Homeownership Rate Has Dropped By Nearly Four Percent, From 67.3 Percent In The First Quarter Of 2009 To 63.5 Percent In The First Quarter Of 2016. (U.S. Census Bureau, Accessed 6/1/16)

  • During The 2nd Quarter Of 2015, The U.S. Homeownership Rate Hit A 48-Year Low Dropping To 63.4 Percent. "The homeownership rate hit a 48-year low, according to estimates published Tuesday by the Commerce Department, declining to 63.4% in the second quarter from 64.7% in the year-earlier period." (Jeffrey Sparshott, "Rising Rents Outpace Wages In Wide Swaths Of The U.S.," The Wall Street Journal, 7/28/15)

As U.S. Renters Dedicate More Of Their Incomes To Rent, The Housing Sector Is "Struggling To Produce Profitable Housing That Is Affordable To Lower- And Moderate-Income Families." "The situation could have significant policy implications. Renters who are severely cost-burdened-meaning they pay more than 50% of their incomes in rent-often require federal subsidies to find an affordable place to live. The private sector is struggling to produce profitable housing that is affordable to lower- and moderate-income families, while many federal housing subsidies have been cut in recent years." (Laura Kusisto, "Renters Will Continue To Struggle For The Next Decade, Harvard Study Sayas," The Wall Street Journal , 9/21/15)

The Number Of Americans Living In Poverty Has Increased By Nearly 7 Million During Obama's Time In Office, And The Number On Food Stamps Has Jumped 40 Percent

Under Obama, The Number Of Americans In Poverty Has Increased By More Than 6.8 Million To 46.7 Million, Up From 39.8 Million In 2008. (U.S. Census Bureau, Accessed 6/1/16)

The Poverty Rate Has Increased By 1.6 Percentage Points Under Obama, From 13.2 Percent In 2008 To 14.8 Percent In 2014. (U.S. Census Bureau, Accessed 6/1/16)

The Number Of Americans On Food Stamps During Obama's Time In Office Has Increased By More Than 12.4 Million. ("Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program," U.S. Department Of Agriculture Food And Nutrition Service, Accessed 6/1/16)

Obama Is On Track To Be One Of The Worst Presidents Ever For U.S. Economic Growth, But One Of The Best For Growth Of the Debt

Obama Is On Track To "Be The Only U.S. President In History That Did Not Deliver A Single Year Of 3.0% + Economic Growth." "Right now, the nation is probably already in a recession. The BEA's first estimate of 4Q2015 RGDP growth was only 0.69%, and there is mounting evidence that this will later be revised downward. However, making the wildly optimistic assumption that 2016 RGDP growth will come in at the CBO's current forecast (2.67%), Obama will be the only U.S. president in history that did not deliver a single year of 3.0%+ economic growth." (Louis Woodhill, "Barack Obama's Sad Record On Economic Growth," RealClear Markets, 2/1/16)

Obama Could Leave Office With An Average Economic Growth In The Bottom Four Of All Presidents. "This would place his presidency fourth from the bottom of the list of 39*, above only those of Herbert Hoover (-5.65%), Andrew Johnson (-0.70%) and Theodore Roosevelt (1.41%)." (Louis Woodhill, "Barack Obama's Sad Record On Economic Growth," RealClear Markets, 2/1/16)

  • Obama May Leave Office Having Only Produced An Average Of 1.55% Economic Growth. "Again, assuming 2.67% RGDP growth for 2016, Obama will leave office having produced an average of 1.55% growth. This would place his presidency fourth from the bottom of the list of 39*, above only those of Herbert Hoover (-5.65%), Andrew Johnson (-0.70%) and Theodore Roosevelt (1.41%)." (Louis Woodhill, "Barack Obama's Sad Record On Economic Growth," RealClear Markets, 2/1/16)

Since The End Of The Recession, The Economy Has Advanced At A 2.2 Percent Annual Rate, Which Is "More Than A Half-Percentage Point Worse Than The Next-Weakest Expansion Of The Past 70 Years." "Since the recession ended in June 2009, the economy has advanced at a 2.2% annual pace through the end of last year. That's more than a half-percentage point worse than the next-weakest expansion of the past 70 years, the one from 2001 through 2007. While there have been highs and lows in individual quarters, overall the economy has failed to break out of its roughly 2% pattern for six years." (Eric Morath, "The Worst Expansion Since World War II Was Even Weaker," The Wall Street Journal , 7/30/15)

Under The Obama Administration, The Debt Has Increased By 80 Percent Or A Total Of $8.6 Trillion, From $10.627 Trillion In 2009 To $ 19.226 Trillion As Of May 27, 2016. ("Daily History Of The Debt," U.S. Department Of Treasury, Accessed 6/1/16)

In Obama's Eighth Year In Office, The U.S. Economy Has The Dubious Distinction Of Undergoing The "Slowest" Economic Recovery Since World War II

The National Association Of Counties Found That Under The Clinton-Obama Economy, 93 Percent Of Counties In The United States "Have Failed To Fully Recover" From The Recession. "More than six years after the economic expansion began, 93% of counties in the U.S. have failed to fully recover from the blow they suffered during the recession. Nationwide, 214 counties, or 7% of 3,069, had recovered last year to prerecession levels on four indicators: total employment, the unemployment rate, size of the economy and home values, a study from the National Association of Counties released Tuesday found." (Eric Morath, "Six Years Later, 93% Of U.S. Counties Haven't Recovered From Recession, Study Finds," The Wall Street Journal , 1/12/16)

The U.S. Economy Grew At Just 0.8 Percent During The 1st Quarter Of 2016, "The Second Lackluster Quarter In A Row." "The gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic output, grew at an annual rate of 0.8 percent in the first quarter, the Commerce Department said Friday. That's slightly better than the initial estimate of 0.5 percent but is still the weakest pace in a year. It was the second lackluster quarter in a row, following a modest 1.4 percent gain in the fourth quarter." (Martin Crutsinger, "US Economy Showing Signs Of Life After Slow Start To Year," The Associated Press, 5/27/16)

The Weak Growth Shown By The Economy Is Falling Short Of Workers Would Expect To See In The Seventh Year Of A Recovery. "But the overall gains are still likely to fall short of what many experts - not to mention ordinary workers - would hope to see as the recovery nears the end of its seventh year." (Nelson, D. Schwartz, "U.S. Economy Better Than Thought, But Still Weak," The New York Times, 5/27/16)

This Was Just The Latest Weak Report In The "Slowest" Economic Recovery Since World War II, With Average Annual Growth Of Only 2.1 Percent. "The U.S. economic expansion will celebrate its seventh birthday next month, making it the fourth longest recovery since World War II. But it has also been the slowest, averaging modest annual growth of 2.1 percent." (Martin Crutsinger, "US Economy Showing Signs Of Life After Slow Start To Year," The Associated Press, 5/27/16)

OBAMA'S FOREIGN POLICY HAS LED TO AN CHAOTIC, DANGEROUS WORLD FOR AMERICA

Obama's Administration Ignored The Rise Of ISIS And Is Now Failing To Destroy The Terrorist Group

"Obama Initially Dismissed The Islamic State As A 'JV Team' That Could Be 'Managed'… " "President Obama initially dismissed the Islamic State as a 'JV team' that could be 'managed,' and more recently called ISIS a threat to the United States that must be eradicated." (Ron Fournier, "When Doves Cry," National Journal, 9/14/14)

Former Obama Defense Secretary Robert Gates: Obama And His Advisors "Have Underestimated ISIS All Along." GATES: "So I think this is a very long term problem. I think that the President and his advisors have underestimated ISIS all along." (Interview With Robert Gates, Yahoo! News, 1/19/16)

A December 2015 U.S. Intelligence Report On ISIS "Predict[ed] That The Self-Proclaimed Islamic State Will Spread Worldwide And Grow In Numbers." "A new U.S. intelligence report on ISIS, commissioned by the White House, predicts that the self-proclaimed Islamic State will spread worldwide and grow in numbers, unless it suffers a significant loss of territory on the battlefield in Iraq and Syria, U.S. officials told The Daily Beast." (Kimberly Dozier, "U.S. Intel To Obama: ISIS Is Not Contained," The Daily Beast, 12/6/15)

  • National Security Adviser Susan Rice: Over The Past Year And A Half, ISIS Has Attempted Roughly 150 Attacks Outside Of Syria And Iraq. "Over the past year and a half, ISIL has attempted roughly 150 attacks outside of Syria and Iraq." (Susan Rice, Remarks At The U.S. Air Force Academy , Colorado Springs, CO, 4/14/16)

Despite The Administration's Failure, On The Campaign Trail Clinton Has Said That Her ISIS Strategy Closely Resembles Obama's, Calling The Administration's Strategy "Close To Mine." QUESTION: "Anything you would have said differently or disagreed with respect to President Obama's address [inaudible]?" CLINTON: "I was really happy that he made the address. I thought it was very important for him to address the nation. And you know, I think his take on what needs to be done is close to mine." (Hillary Clinton, Interview With The Concord Monitor Editorial Board, 12/8/15)

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The Clinton-Obama Syria Policy Drew Red Lines, And Then Did Nothing To Back Them Up

BBC's Katty Kay: The Obama Administration Has "No Plan" For Dealing With Syrian Dictator Bashar Al-Assad And "The U.S. Policy In Syria Is In Tatters." KAY: "There have been moments in the course of the last four years where the U.S. could have effectively intervened, where it could have imposed no-fly-zones, where it could have imposed buffer zones, where it could have used coercion and force to stop President Assad barrel bombing his own people, which has been a major recruiting tool for ISIS. It didn't do any of those things and now the Russians are taking that vacuum." (MSNBC's " Morning Joe," 9/29/15)

In December 2012, Clinton "Sternly" Reiterated The Obama Administration's Warning That Chemical Weapons In Syria "Would Be A 'Red Line' And Trigger Retaliatory Action From The United States." "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sternly warned Syria Monday that using chemical weapons against rebel forces would be a 'red line' and trigger retaliatory action from the United States. Along with a pledge from President Obama, Clinton's words were the second public warning from the U.S. government in response to reports that Syria's President Bashar al-Assad may be moving a chemical weapons stockpile." (Dana Hughes, "Clinton: Assad's 'Chemical Weapons' A 'Red Line' For US," ABC News, 12/4/12)

  • Council On Foreign Relations' Leslie Gelb On Failed Syria Policy: The Obama Administration "Drew Red Lines And Then Didn't Do Anything About Them." GELB: "We drew red lines and then didn't do anything about them, walked away from them. And now we're in a position where it seems we're just going to let this war drag on with terrible consequences that Fred Hof described and you know full well the horrors of it." (Leslie Gelb, Committee On Foreign Relations, U.S. Senate, Testimony, 10/31/13)

Despite The Obama Negotiated Agreement To Destroy Syria's Chemical Weapons Stockpile, In 2016 "Inspectors Are Still Finding Evidence Of Chlorine Gas Attacks." "The U.S. and Russia worked together to get UN inspectors to tally and destroy Syria's chemical weapons after a poison gas attack in August 2013, though the inspectors are still finding evidence of chlorine gas attacks. Russia has used its UN Security Council veto repeatedly to protect the regime and maintains its only military base outside the former Soviet Union at Syria's Mediterranean port of Tartus." (Glen Carey, "Syria's Civil War," Bloomberg, 2/3/16)

The Washington Post Editorial: In Syria, "The Obama Administration Has Been A Study In Passivity And Moral Confusion." "In the face of this onslaught, which promises to destroy any chance of an acceptable end to the Syrian civil war, the Obama administration has been a study in passivity and moral confusion. President Obama is silent. Secretary of State John F. Kerry has been reduced to reading the text of Resolution 2254 aloud, as if that would somehow compel a change in Russian behavior." (Editorial, "Mr. Obama Stands By Silently As Russia Continues Its Onslaught In Syria," The Washington Post , 2/9/16)

Libya Has Turned Into "A Textbook Example Of A Failed State"

The Obama Administration Has Been "Content To Look The Other Way As Libya [Has] Descended Into Violence And Anarchy." "The Islamic State announced its arrival in Libya in brutal fashion this week with the slaying of an American contractor in a suicide attack on a Tripoli hotel, an act that will make it harder for Washington to continue ignoring the conflict and chaos raging in this North African country. Until now the United States and the European Great Powers have been content to look the other way as Libya had descended into violence and anarchy." (Christopher Stephen, "ISIL's Rise In Libya," Politico, 1/29/15)

Libya Now Looks Like "A Textbook Example Of A Failed State" As The Nation Has "Descended Into Chaos." "For the past four years the rest of the world watched idly as Libya descended into chaos; now it looks less like a country inspired by the promise of democracy than a textbook example of a failed state." (Mohamed Eljarh, "The Smart Way To Intervene In Libya," Foreign Policy, 2/17/15)

ISIS "Has Exploited The Deep Divisions In Libya" And Achieved "A String Of Victories." "The group has exploited the deep divisions in Libya, which has two rival governments, to create this new stronghold of violent religious extremism just across the Mediterranean Sea from Italy. Along the way, they scored a string of victories-defeating one of the strongest fighting forces in the country and swiftly crushing a local popular revolt." (Tamer El-Ghobashy and Hassan Morajea, "Islamic State Tightens Grip On Libyan Stronghold Of Sirte," The Wall Street Journal, 11/29/15)

In 2011, "Then-Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton Was Among Those Who Pushed For Intervention" In Libya Without Planning For The Aftermath. "In 2011, as the United States considered intervention, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was among those who pushed for intervention-without resolving just how Libya would be governed after Gaddafi, according to a senior defense official who was part of the decision-making process." (Nancy A. Youssef, "Hillary's Libya Post-War Plan Was 'Play It By Ear,' Gates Says," The Daily Beast , 10/20/15)

Bloomberg's Albert Hunt: Clinton, "The Champion Of American Intervention In Libya," Thought Deposing Qaddafi "Would Be Her Signature Achievement As Secretary Of State." "On Libya, she gets a bum rap from Republicans who hold her responsible for the killing of Americans in Benghazi two years ago. But she was the champion of American intervention in Libya to overthrow Muammar Qaddafi. When he was toppled, she thought it would be her signature achievement as secretary of state. Yet as that country has disintegrated into chaos, it's no longer a point of emphasis." (Albert M. Hunt, Op-Ed, "Calculating Hillary Gets The Math Wrong," Bloomberg, 8/12/14)

The Clinton-Obama Reset With Russia "Now Lies In Tatters"

The Obama Administration's Russia Reset Policy "Now Lies In Tatters." "But most experts agree that the policy now lies in tatters, with Russian President Vladimir Putin openly fueling anti-American sentiment at home and pursuing confrontational policies abroad, such as the invasion of Ukraine and the annexation of its Crimea region." (Olivier Knox, "Russia 'Reset' Architect To Next President: Don't Try That Again," Yahoo! News, 5/27/15)

Putin Has Won "An Awful Lot Of Battles" And "The Obama Administration Seems Hard-Pressed To Stop Him." "Russian President Vladimir Putin may end up losing the current war, but right now, it sure looks like he's winning an awful lot of battles. And with very few good options, the Obama administration seems hard-pressed to stop him." (Aaron David Miller, "A Poor Chapter In The History Books," Foreign Policy, 5/22/14)

In January 2016, Putin Named The United States As A National Security Threat To Russia, "A Sign Of How Relations With The West Have Deteriorated In Recent Years." "A new appraisal names the United States as one of the threats to Russia's national security for the first time, a sign of how relations with the west have deteriorated in recent years. The document, 'About the Strategy of National Security of Russian Federation', was signed by President Vladimir Putin on New Year's Eve. It replaces a 2009 version, endorsed by then- President Dmitry Medvedev, the current prime minister, which mentioned neither the United States not NATO." (Vladimir Soldatkin, "Putin Names United States Among Threats In New Russian Security Strategy," Reuters, 1/2/16)

Publicly, Clinton Has Claimed That "The Reset Worked." NPR'S JOHN HARWOOD: "Let's talk about Russia for a second… And so I guess my question is, you say in the book that America can't solve everything but nothing can be solved without America; we're the indispensable nation. If neither approach, the Bush administration or the Obama administration, worked with Putin, what exactly are we indispensable for?" CLINTON: "Well, I would take issue with the way you characterize that, because what I think I demonstrate in the book is that the reset worked. It was an effort to try to obtain Russian cooperation on some key objectives while Medvedev was president, and of course Putin still pulled the strings but he gave Medvedev a certain amount of independence to negotiate, number one, a new arms control treaty, which was absolutely necessary." (NPR's "On Point," 7/24/14)

Obama's Nuclear Agreement With Iran Enables That Country To Enrich Uranium And Maintain A One-Year "Breakout Period"

Under The Nuclear Agreement, Iran Will Be Permitted To Enrich Uranium And Maintain A 3.67 Percent Uranium Level At Its Natanz Facility. "The deal reduces the number of Iranian centrifuges by two-thirds. It places bans on enrichment at key facilities, and limits uranium research and development to the Natanz facility. The deal caps uranium enrichment at 3.67 percent and limits the stockpile to 300 kg, all for 15 years." (Jethro Mullen and Nic Robertson, "Landmark Deal Reached On Iran Nuclear Program," CNN, 7/14/15)

Under The Agreement, Iran's Breakout Period, "The Time It Would Take To Enrich Enough Uranium For One Bomb," Is Only One Year. "In some recent remarks, Clinton has also hinted at a tougher view than the one that prevailed in Vienna, including her belief that Iran's 'breakout' period - the time it would take to enrich enough uranium for a bomb - should be longer than one year. Tuesday's agreement imposes a breakout time of only one year." (Michael Crowley, "Hillary Clinton Endorses Nuclear Deal," Politico, 7/14/15)

The Washington Post Editorial: "In Effect, Iran's Nuclear Infrastructure Will Remain Intact" And "When The Accord Lapses, The Islamic Republic Will Instantly Become A Threshold Nuclear State." "In effect, Iran's nuclear infrastructure will remain intact, though some of it will be mothballed for 10 years. When the accord lapses, the Islamic republic will instantly become a threshold nuclear state." (Editorial, "Obama's Iran Deal Falls Far Short Of His Own Goals," The Washington Post , 4/2/15)

Clinton Has Said She Is "Very Proud Of The Iran Nuclear Agreement," Saying, "I Was Responsible For Getting Those Sanctions Imposed Which Put The Pressure On Iran. It Brought Them To The Negotiating Table Which Resulted In This Agreement." CLINTON: "Well, I'm very proud of the Iran Nuclear Agreement. I was very pleased to be part of what the president put into action when he took office. I was responsible for getting those sanctions imposed which put the pressure on Iran. It brought them to the negotiating table which resulted in this agreement." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks At Democrat Primary Debate, Charleston, SC, 1/17/16)

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OBAMACARE IS MAKING HEALTH CARE MORE EXPENSIVE FOR MILLIONS OF AMERICANS AND RAISING TAXES BY HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS

Clinton Has "Gone All In" On Obamacare, Promising To Expand The President's Health Care Law

"Clinton Has Gone All In With Obamacare, Embracing The Controversial Health Law And Promising To Defend And Expand It." "Instead, Clinton has gone all in with Obamacare, embracing the controversial health law and promising to defend and expand it. 'I am a staunch supporter of President Obama's principal accomplishment, namely the Affordable Care Act,' she said in a debate in Milwaukee on Feb. 11. Her plan to expand Obamacare consists of a slew of wonky measures that together are intended to cut costs and improve coverage for patients." (Alison Kodjak, "Hillary Clinton Hitches Her Health Care Wagon To Obamacare," NPR, 2/23/16)

But Under Obamacare, Health Care Premiums And Deductibles Are On The Rise For Millions Of Americans

Since Obama Was Elected In 2008, Annual Health Care Premiums For Families Have Increased Almost $5,000, Or 38 Percent, From $12,680 To $17,545. ("2015 Employer Health Benefits Survey," Kaiser Family Foundation, 9/23/15)

The Kaiser Family Foundation Reported That The Average Annual Health Insurance Premium For Families In 2015 Was $17,545. ("2015 Employer Health Benefits Survey," Kaiser Family Foundation, 9/23/15)

  • This Is A 4 Percent Increase From The 2014 Average Annual Premium For Families. "The key findings from the survey, conducted from January through June 2015, include a modest increase (4%) in the average premiums for both single and family coverage in the past year. The average annual single coverage premium is $6,251 and the average family coverage premium is $17,545." ("2015 Employer Health Benefits Survey," Kaiser Family Foundation, 9/23/15)
  • "During The Same Period, Workers' Wages Increased 1.9% And Inflation Declined By 0.2%." ("2015 Employer Health Benefits Survey," Kaiser Family Foundation, 9/23/15)

The Associated Press Headline: "Significant Premium Hikes Expected Under Obama Health Law" For 2017. (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Tom Murphy, "Significant Premium Hikes Expected Under Obama Health Law," The Associated Press , 4/28/16)

According To A Review By The New York Times, "In Many States, More Than Half The Plans Offered For Sale" On The ObamaCare Exchange "Have A Deductible Of $3,000 Or More." "In many states, more than half the plans offered for sale through HealthCare.gov, the federal online marketplace, have a deductible of $3,000 or more, a New York Times review has found. Those deductibles are causing concern among Democrats - and some Republican detractors of the health law, who once pushed high-deductible health plans in the belief that consumers would be more cost-conscious if they had more of a financial stake or skin in the game." (Robert Pear, "Many Say High Deductibles Make Their Health Law Insurance All But Useless," The New York Times , 11/14/15)

  • Many Families Are Foregoing Needed Medical Care Due To High Deductibles. "Nearly 30 percent of people insured through the federal marketplace who had deductibles higher than $1,500 went without needed medical care in 2014 because they could not afford it, according to Families USA, a health care consumer group based in Washington. That includes diagnostic tests, treatments, and follow-up care as well as prescription drugs." (Tracy Jan, "Critics Say High Deductibles Make Insurance 'Unaffordable,'" The Boston Globe , 11/16/15)

Clinton's Advice To Americans Facing Higher Costs Under Obamacare: "Keep Shopping"

At A Town Hall, Clinton Told A Woman To Just "Keep Shopping" To Avoid Her High Premiums. CLINTON: "OK. Well, first of all, let me say I want very much to get the costs down, and that is going to be my mission, because I do think that for many, many people, but there are exceptions like what you are telling me, having the Affordable Care Act has reduced costs, has created a real guarantee of insurance, because if you'd had a pre-existing condition under the old system, you wouldn't have gotten affordable insurance. So it has done a lot of really good things, but, it has become increasingly clear that we are going to have to get the costs down. And what I would like to see happen for you and your family is that if we can get the co-pays down, the deductibles down, get the prescription drug costs under control, that you would find an affordable plan on your exchange. And one thing that I would like you to do, and I'm not saying it's going to make a difference, but I would like you to just go shopping on that exchange. As I understand it, Ohio has the federal exchange, is that right, Joyce? Because they did not set up a state exchange. So you have the federal exchange. And to go on and keep looking to see what the prices are, because we have to get more competition back into the insurance market. One thing that I want to work on with my friends from Congress who are here is we've got the get more non-profits that are capable of selling insurance back into the insurance market. You know, Blue Cross and Blue Shield used to be non-profits. And then they transferred themselves into for-profit companies. And there was some effort made under the Affordable Care Act to get some competition from non-profit institutions, some of them worked and a lot of them didn't. I want to know what we can do, because if you could get a range of insurers, some of who were not-for-profit companies, that would lower costs. So there is a number of things I am looking at. And what I want to assure you and your family of is I will do everything I can as president, working with members of Congress where necessary, to try to get the costs down. But I do want you to keep shopping, because what you are telling me is much higher than what I hear from other families, and so I want to be sure that if there is a better option out there for you, you're going to be able to take advantage of it. " ( Remarks At Democratic Presidential Primary Town Hall , Columbus, Ohio, 3/13/16)

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Obamacare Has Raised Taxes By Hundreds Of Billions And Will Lead To Millions Of Job Losses

ObamaCare Contains $859.7 Billion In Job-Killing Taxes On Small Businesses, Investments And Innovation. ("Estimated Revenue Effects Of A Proposal To Repeal Certain Tax Provisions Contained In The 'Affordable Care Act,'" Joint Committee On Taxation, 6/15/12; "Federal Subsidies For Health Insurance Coverage For People Under Age 65: 2016 To 2026," Congressional Budget Office, 3/24/16)

ObamaCare Contains $317.7 Billion In New Income Taxes Over 10 Years. ("Estimated Revenue Effects Of A Proposal To Repeal Certain Tax Provisions Contained In The 'Affordable Care Act,'" Joint Committee On Taxation, 6/15/12)

Over The Next 10 Years, ObamaCare Will Cause The Loss Of Over 2 Million Full Time Jobs Worth Of Hours According To The Congressional Budget Office. "The projected reduction in the labor supply would occur in several ways. Some people would choose to work fewer hours; others would leave the labor force entirely or remain unemployed for longer than they otherwise would. CBO did not split its estimate of the overall reduction into the reduction in the number of hours worked and the reduction in labor force participation, because in formulating its estimate, the agency generally relied on labor supply elasticities (which measure the change in the labor supply resulting from a change in tax rates) that combined those two decisions. CBO did, however, translate the reduction in the labor supply into an effect on full-time-equivalent employment. The labor force is projected to be about 2 million full-time-equivalent workers smaller in 2025 than it would have been otherwise." ("How CBO Estimates The Effects Of The Affordable Care Act On The Labor Market," Congressional Budget Office Report , December 2015)

Many Businesses Have Held Back On Hiring Or Reduced Hours For Workers Due To ObamaCare's Employer Mandate. "A number of businesses, including Regal Entertainment and SeaWorld, have reduced hours for part-time workers to fewer than 30 a week - the law's definition of full time - to avoid having to offer them health insurance. Other companies say they are holding back on hiring to avoid the insurance requirement. Seasonal employees and low-wage workers, such as adjunct professors and cafeteria staffers, have been hit especially hard." (Sandhya Somanhekhar, "As Health-Care Law's Employer Mandate Nears, Firms Cut Worker Hours, Struggle With Logistics," The Washington Post , 6/23/14)

  • Most Of Those Getting Their Hours Cut Are The "Most Vulnerable: Low-Wage, Part-Time Workers Who Likely Have Few Other Options." "Taken together, the evidence suggests that the health law has likely led a few hundred thousand workers to see their hours cut or capped. That's small in the context of an economy with 150 million workers. But it isn't a minor issue for those workers. Most of them are among the economy's most vulnerable: low-wage, part-time workers who likely have few other options." (Ben Casselman, "Yes, Some Companies Are Cutting Hours In Response To 'Obamacare,' FiveThirtyEight, 1/13/15)

ObamaCare's Employer Mandate Will Cost Businesses $167 Billion From 2016 To 2025 According To The Congressional Budget Office. ("Budgetary And Economic Effects Of Repealing The Affordable Care Act," Congressional Budget Office, 6/19/15)

OBAMA HAS UNILATERALLY USED EXECUTIVE POWERS TO BYPASS CONGRESS ON IMMIGRATION AND LEGALIZE MILLIONS

In May 2015, Clinton Said She Strongly Supported President Obama's Immigration-Related Executive Actions, Claiming "He Had To Act In The Face Of Inaction." CLINTON: "I want to reiterate my strong support for the President's executive actions, because he had to act in the face of inaction that was not on the merit, but politically motivated for partisan reasons which I think is not the way we should be solving our problems in our country, in our Congress or anywhere else." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks At Rancho High School, Las Vegas, NV, 5/5/15)

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Obama Has Ignored Congress On Immigration, Unilaterally Deferring Deportations For Illegal Immigrants

Since 2012, Obama Has Repeatedly Bypassed Congress And Used Executive Actions To Unilaterally Legalize Millions Of Illegal Immigrants. "Obama announced in November that up to 5 million illegal immigrants would be eligible to be shielded from deportation - including undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents - as long as they met certain criteria. One of the signature initiatives of his presidency, the plan also expands a 2012 program that has deferred the deportations of more than 600,000 immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children and has granted most of them work permits." (Jerry Markon, "Obama Administration Stops Work On Immigrant Programs," The Washington Post , 6/7/15)

Obama's Policies Have Been "Harshly Criticized" For Enacting Amnesty "Without Authorization From Congress." "[Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents] and the expansion of [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] have been harshly criticized, for enacting amnesty and for the way Obama enacted them through executive orders, without authorization from Congress." (Sarah Rumpf, "Rubio Affirms He'll End Obama's Executive Amnesty; Univision Interview Mistranslated," Breitbart , 4/18/15)

The Supreme Court Has Agreed To Hear A Challenge To Obama's Executive Actions On Immigration. "The Supreme Court said Tuesday that it would consider a legal challenge to President Obama's overhaul of the nation's immigration rules, agreeing to examine the reach of presidential power as it decides the fate of one of his most far-reaching executive actions." (Adam Liptak and Michael D. Shear, "Supreme Court To Hear Challenge To Obama Immigration Actions," The New York Times , 1/19/16)

  • The Lawsuit Is Being Led By A Coalition Of 26 States That Are Challenging Obama For "Ignoring Federal Procedures" And "Abusing The Power Of His Office By Sidestepping Congress." "A coalition of 26 states, led by Mr. Paxton, a Republican, quickly filed a lawsuit accusing the president of ignoring federal procedures for changing rules and of abusing the power of his office by sidestepping Congress." (Adam Liptak and Michael D. Shear, "Supreme Court To Hear Challenge To Obama Immigration Actions," The New York Times , 1/19/16)

A November 2014 Legal Opinion From Obama's Own Justice Department Found That He Did Not Have The Legal Authority To Unilaterally Give Legal Status To Parents Of DREAMers. "The most interesting aspect of the legal advice President Barack Obama got on the immigration executive action he announced Thursday night may be what lawyers told the president he could not or should not do. A 33-page Justice Department legal opinion made public just hours before Obama spoke concluded that he doesn't have the legal authority to offer broad deportation relief to parents of so-called Dreamers - people who came to the U.S. illegally as children and won a reprieve from deportation in a program known as DACA that Obama created in 2012." (Josh Gerstein, "Justice Department Questioned 2012 Obama DACA Immigration Action," Politico, 11/20/14)

Clinton Wants To Go Even Further Than Obama

Clinton Has Praised Obama's Immigration-Related Executive Actions And Said She Would "Do Everything Possible Under The Law To Go Even Further" Than Him. CLINTON: "I will fight to stop partisan attacks on the executive actions that would put DREAMers, including those with us today, at risk of deportation. And if Congress continues to refuse to act, as President, I will do everything possible under the law to go even further. There are more people, like many parents of DREAMers and others with deep ties and contributions to our communities, who deserve a chance to stay and I will fight for them. The law currently allows for sympathetic cases to be reviewed. Right now, most of these cases, have no way to get a real hearing. Therefore, we should put in place a simple, straightforward, accessible way for parents of DREAMers and others with a history of service and contribution to their communities to make their case, and to be eligible for the same deferred action as their children." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks At An Immigration Round Table, Las Vegas, NV, 5/5/15)

Clinton Has Promised "To Stop Deportations Of Almost Everyone, Aside From Violent Criminals Or Terrorists." "Clinton also has been mildly critical of Obama's deportation program, promising to stop deportations of almost everyone, aside from violent criminals or terrorists." (Anne Gearan and Paul Kane, "Clinton's Top Priorities: Gun Control And Immigration Reform. Could She Deliver On Either?" The Washington Post , 5/2/16)

Vanity Fair's T.A. Frank: Clinton's Policy Could Be Called "Open Borders, Except It's Messier. It's More Like A Free-For-All." "'I would not deport children,' she said at a debate in March, after proposing the exact opposite in late 2014. 'I do not want to deport family members, either.' In short, under Clinton's policy, if you manage to sneak across the border illegally and make it into a city, you won't be removed. You could call that open borders, except it's messier. It's more like a free-for-all." (T.A Frank, "The One Issue That Could Destroy Hillary Clinton," Vanity Fair , 5/17/16)


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