Commentary

President Obama: North Carolina’s Newsmaker of 2014

President ObamaMake sure you check out Policy Watch’s main page for the most recent article in the Fitzsimon File, which argues persuasively that President Obama made a bigger impact on North Carolina this year than anyone else, on either side of the political aisle.

On the Republican side, one name was brought up more during the hotly contested U.S. Senate race that dominated the year, than any other and it wasn’t Tillis or Hagan.

Think about it. The Republicans made the election more about Obama than anything happening in North Carolina or anything that Tillis was proposing. They distorted Obama’s record in ad after ad that blasted Democratic Senator Kay Hagan for supporting most of his initiatives. Tillis couldn’t seem to make a public appearance without reminding voters that Hagan voted with Obama “95 percent of the time.”

For progressives, there are so many things Obama did to positively impact the lives of North Carolinians this year.

The national unemployment rate is now below six percent, down significantly from its recession of high of 10 percent. Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney pledged on the campaign trail in 2012 to reduce the unemployment rate to below six percent by end of his first four-year-term

Gas prices have fallen rapidly recently and are now below $2.50 a gallon in North Carolina. The drop in gas prices equals at least a $75 billion tax cut for American families according to economists and that comes to about $1,100 in savings per household

And let’s not forget about Obamacare…

Not only has the rate of uninsured Americans dropped to 13.4 percent thanks to the much-maligned Affordable Care Act, health care spending grew just 3.1 percent in 2013, the smallest increase since 1960 when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services began keeping up with it.

Not to mention the millions of Americans with health conditions who can no longer be turned down for coverage.

Sure, sounds like somebody who has made a huge impact on the state this year.

Read the article in its entirety on the website’s main page here.

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