Posts Tagged ‘Obama’
November 30th, 2015 at 3:56 pm
“Contained?” ISIS Captures First City Beyond Iraq or Syria
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Just hours prior to the terrorist massacre in Paris, Barack Obama foolishly claimed that ISIS was “contained.”  This morning, we awoke to more bad news, and additional refutation of Obama’s assertion.  Namely, ISIS has now captured Sirte, Libya, meaning that it now controls its first city beyond Syria or Iraq:

Even as foreign powers step up pressure against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, the militant group has expanded in Libya and established a new base close to Europe where it can generate oil revenue and plot terror attacks.  Since announcing its presence in February in Sirte, the city on Libya’s Mediterranean coast has become the first that the militant group governs outside of Syria and Iraq.”

So much for “containment.” What has become undeniably clear is that Obama’s foreign policy generally, and anti-terrorism leadership specifically, are failures.  Fortunately, there will be a new Commander in Chief in just a few months.  But unfortunately, there’s a lot more damage that he can do before then.  The key for the American electorate is to choose a replacement who will bring improvement.

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November 20th, 2015 at 9:55 am
In Other News, ObamaCare Is Now a Slow-Motion Disaster
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

As ObamaCare enters the real world and departs Barack Obama’s “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” fantasy world, it is already proving a slow-motion disaster for Americans.  This week, The Wall Street Journal featured a front-page article entitled “Rising Rates Pose Challenge for Health Law,” and the news is grim:

Insurers have raised premiums steeply for the most popular plans at the same time they have boosted out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles, copays and coinsurance in many of their offerings.  The companies attribute the moves in part to the high cost of some customers they are gaining under the law, which doesn’t allow them to bar clients with existing health conditions.  The result is that many people can’t avoid paying more for insurance in 2016 simply by shopping around – and those who try risk landing in a plan with fewer doctors and skimpier coverage.”

The report proceeds to describe the magnitude with greater specificity, and it is astonishing:

Premiums for individual plans offered by the dominant local insurers are rising almost everywhere for 2016, typically by double-digit percentage increases, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of plan data in 34 states where the site sells insurance.  More than half of the midrange ’silver’ plans are boosting the out-of-pocket costs enrollees must pay, while more than 80% of the less-expensive ‘bronze’ plans are doing so.”

Meanwhile, a new Gallup survey released this week shows that the percentage of Americans rating their healthcare quality as excellent or good has plummeted from 62% in 2010 when ObamaCare was enacted to 53% now.  The survey also reveals that the percentage who are satisfied with healthcare costs has actually declined from 26% in 2009 to 21% today.

As experience with ObamaCare increases with implementation, the situation promises to get worse by the day.  Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi passed, now we’re staring at the reality of what was in it.

November 16th, 2015 at 2:31 pm
Obama Shows More Anger Over Alleged Anti-Muslim Discrimination by Republicans Than Toward ISIS
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Barack Obama, the man who once dismissed ISIS “junior varsity” and labeled it “contained” mere hours before Friday’s deadly attacks in Paris, held a press conference this morning while attending the G-20 summit in Turkey.

It is worth watching in its entirety, if for no other reason than that he was forced to confront reporters challenging him about his pronouncements regarding ISIS and his anti-terrorism policies.  Most notable, however, is the fact that Obama, as usual, maintains a listless, detached, dispassionate, cold demeanor when discussing radical Islamic terrorism and the acts it undertakes.  But note his sudden change in tone, how animated and forceful he becomes when he shifts his focus toward fellow American political figures whom he accuses of anti-Islamic bigotry.  Would that Obama demonstrated the same hostility toward America’s overseas enemies as he does fellow Americans who happen to hold different political points of view.

It’s increasingly difficult for anyone to deny that Obama directs his disgust more toward fellow Americans than he does foreign terrorism.

November 13th, 2015 at 9:38 am
NY Times: Obama Years Have Devastated His Own Party
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Throughout Barack Obama’s tenure, we’ve understandably delighted in highlighting the “Reverse Midas” touch of this man who openly aspired to become a transformative president on the level of Ronald Reagan.  In a number of ways, he has actually accomplished that, although not in the way he had hoped.  From driving down trust in government to record lows to helping elect Republicans at the national and state levels with his unpopular behavior, Obama has indeed been transformative.

Today, The New York Times details the degree to which Obama has devastated his own party from within:

“While Mr. Obama’s 2008 election helped usher in a political resurgence for Democrats, the president today presides over a shrinking party whose control of elected offices at the state and local levels has declined precipitously.  In January, Republicans will occupy 32 of the nation’s governorships, 10 more than they did in 2009.  Democratic losses in state legislatures under Mr. Obama rank among the worst in the last 115 years, with 816 Democratic lawmakers losing their jobs and Republican control of legislatures doubling since the president took office – more seats lost than under any president since Dwight D. Eisenhower.  ’Republicans have more chambers today than they have ever had in the history of our party,’ said Tim Storey, an analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures.”

That devastation extends beyond the state level, as the report explains:

It has also meant a hollowing out of the roster of potential Democratic candidates for major races…  The absence of up-and-coming Democrats is evident in Washington, where the party leadership in Congress consists largely of aging veterans.  The average age of the three top Democratic leaders in the House is 75, while the three most senior Republican leaders – with the new Speaker of the House, Paul D. Ryan – average 48 years old.  There are a handful of young, ambitious members of the Democratic caucus, especially in the House, but it may be years before they are ready to play a bigger role on the national stage.”

So Barack:  mission accomplished?

November 9th, 2015 at 10:11 am
TechNotes: Latest Evidence Surrendering U.S. Oversight of Internet Is a Dangerous Prospect
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

CFIF opposes the Obama Administration’s effort to surrender longstanding U.S. oversight over the Internet to the so-called “global community” for many of the same reasons that surrendering any form of U.S. authority to international groups like the United Nations is a dangerous idea.

L. Gordon Crovitz, The Wall Street Journal’s weekly “Information Age” columnist, also opposes the prospective transfer of authority, and has emphasized the particular threat of Internet censorship by nations like China and Russia as a primary reason.  In today’s column entitled “China’s ‘Soft’ Power Exposed,” Crovitz highlights just the latest evidence justifying such fears.  Namely, witness the covert effort by the state-controlled China Radio International to control American radio stations:

Last week it came to light that Beijing’s state-run China Radio International secretly owns 60% of a U.S. company, G&E Studio, which leases stations and airtime in Washington, Philadelphia, Boston and San Francisco, among other cities.  Beijing uses similar subterfuges in Europe and Australia.  China went to great lengths to hide its role.  Reuters broke the story after deploying 39 reporters to investigate in 26 countries, including the review of ’scores of regulatory, zoning, property, tax, immigration and corporate records, including radio station purchase contracts and lease agreements.”

So why does that matter?  Because it parallels other ongoing efforts to censor content from the global Internet, including control of .xyz domain addresses and words like “freedom” or “democracy” or even “1989,” which was the year in which the Tiananmen massacre occurred.  Fortunately, as we have highlighted, there’s something Congress can do.  And as Crovitz concludes, “Congress should ask the U.S. Commerce Department to explain why it would allow Icann – which it oversees for now via a contract intended to protect the open Internet – to become the global enforcer of the Chinese regime’s censorship against Chinese citizens.  China’s plan to censor Web addresses highlights the folly of the Obama Administration’s plan to end U.S. protection for the Internet.”

Good advice, and we agree.

October 13th, 2015 at 4:25 pm
Congress Stands Up Against Obama’s Attempt to Surrender Global Internet Oversight
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

In March of 2014, the Obama Administration foolishly announced its intent to relinquish oversight of Internet domain name functions to the so-called “global stakeholder community.”

That is a dangerous idea for innumerable reasons, as observers like L. Gordon Crovitz of The Wall Street Journal have chronicled well.  Among other risks, consider the piracy threat that surrendering U.S. oversight poses to critical American artistic industries like music and film.  Online piracy already constitutes an enormous problem to those world-leading industries, and allowing Internet governance to drift into a Hobbesian global abyss would only exacerbate that.  Or consider the censorship threat, as Crovitz recently referenced:

Since the launch of the commercial Internet, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or Icann, has operated under a contract from the U.S. Commerce Department.  American oversight freed engineers and developers to run the networks without political pressure from other governments.  China and Russia can censor the Internet in their own countries, but not globally because Washington would block tampering with the “root zone” of Web addresses.”

Fortunately, some in Congress aren’t sitting passively as the Obama Administration attempt yet another international capitulation.  In a recent letter to U.S. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro, Senators Charles Grassley (R – Iowa) and Ted Cruz (R – Texas) and Congressmen Bob Goodlatte (R -Virginia) and Darrell Issa (R – California) remind the Administration that it cannot dispose of U.S. property without Congressional consent:

The Internet as we know it has evolved from a network infrastructure first created by Department of Defense researchers.  One key component of that infrastructure is the root zone file, which the federal government currently designates as ‘a national IT asset.’  Creation of the root zone file was funded by the American taxpayer and coordinated by the Department of Defense, and the file has remained under United States control ever since.  Under Article IV, Section 3 of the Constitution, Congress has the exclusive power ‘to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States.’”

Surrender of Internet oversight to a “global community” increasingly dominated by the likes of China, Russia, Iran and other rogues poses a terrible risk.  Fortunately, our Constitution presents a roadblock to the Obama Administration’s latest folly.  Even more fortunately, we have people like Senator Grassley, Senator Cruz, Congressman Goodlatte and Congressman Issa ready and willing to defend it.

October 9th, 2015 at 10:28 am
New Poll: Americans Who Say Federal Gov’t Has “Too Much Power” Matches Record High
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

So it turns out that Barack Obama is succeeding in his effort to become a transformative president in the manner of Ronald Reagan after all.  Unfortunately for him, that’s because his presidency has reinforced rather than reversed Reagan’s axiom that “government isn’t the solution to our problem, government is the problem.”  Think of him as a Midas in reverse.

This morning, Gallup released a new survey on the question that it has asked Americans every year since 2002:  ”Do you think the federal government has too much power, has about the right amount of power or has too little power?”  Hardened by almost seven years under Obama, the number who say that it has too much power maintains its record high:

The 60% recorded in this survey ties the previous high from 2013 for the question, which Gallup has asked annually since 2002.  The solid majorities in 2013, 2014 and this year saying the federal government is too powerful differ significantly from the 51% Gallup measured in 2012.  That poll was conducted in the days after the Democratic National Convention that helped propel Barack Obama to a re-election win that year.  During President Obama’s first year in office in 2009, the percentage of Americans concerned with the power of the federal government was 51%.  By his second year in office, 2010, that percentage climbed to 59%, after the federal government passed the Affordable Care Act.”

Perhaps the worst news of all for Obama, his apologists and dead-end leftists is that the groups accounting for the record high are Democrats, moderates and liberals.  Conservatives, libertarians and Republicans have regularly responded that the federal government possesses too much power.  ”But now,” Gallup reports, “a majority of moderates (57%), as well as independents (64%), share that view.”

To the extent that Bill Clinton’s presidency was successful, it was because of his famous admission after electoral defeats that “The era of big government is over.”  Obama attempted a more hardened course, but that has only made his own presidency less successful and proved the wisdom of Clinton’s reluctant observation.

September 8th, 2015 at 4:56 pm
The Obama Legacy, Cont’d: Poverty Rate, Child Poverty, Business Closures Exceed Startups for First Time Ever
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Amid an excellent piece detailing the perils of minimum wage increases in today’s Wall Street Journal entitled “A Post-Labor Day, Minimum-Wage Hangover,” CKE Restaurants CEO Andy Puzder provides yet another depressing snapshot of the emerging legacy of Barack Obama:

The real problem is that more than six years of progressive economic policies – higher taxes, more regulation, ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank and more – have eliminated opportunities.  The poverty rate remains at levels generally observed during recessions.  Child poverty is at its highest point in 20 years.  The U.S. Census Bureau reports that for the first time since it began compiling the data, business closures each year have been exceeding new business startups.  This is the result of an economy limping along at a 2.2% growth rate.”

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September 1st, 2015 at 9:16 am
Apocalypse Not, Cont’d: In 2008, ABC News Aired Some Amusing Climate Catastrophe Visions for 2015
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

In our latest Liberty Update we highlighted in “10 Years After Katrina, Failed Global Warming Prophecies Accumulate” how global warming alarmists continue to rely on predictions of imminent doom, despite the fact that their record of prediction is one of failure after failure.

Add another glaring and amusing example to that list.  In 2008, ABC News ran a “news” feature entitled “Earth 2100.”  It’s worth watching the 9-minute clip, which suggests such possibilities as milk at $12.00 per gallon and gas at $9.00 per gallon, as recalled by The Daily Caller:

Newsbusters notes that then GMA anchor Chris Cuomo, who teased the special at the time, said to [Bob] Woodruff of the predictions, ‘I think we’re familiar with some of these issues, but boy, 2015?  That’s seven years from now.  Could it really be that bad?’

Woodruff replies, ‘It’s very soon, you know.  But all you have to do is look at the world today.  You know, you’ve got gas prices going up.  You’ve got food prices going up.  You’ve got extreme weather.  The scientists have studied this for decades.  They say if you connect the dots, you can actually see that we’re approaching maybe even a perfect storm.  Or you have got shrinking resources, population growth, climate change.  So the idea now is to look at it, wake up about it and then try to do something to fix it.”

In related news, gas recently dipped below $2.00 per gallon in many parts of the country.  So much for that.

As Barack Obama plays the role of broken record again on his boondoggle to Alaska, it’s imperative to keep in mind how a global warming alarm movement that constantly relies upon predictions of doom maintains a 25-year record of failed predictions.

August 25th, 2015 at 11:35 am
Barone: Even Clinton and Obama Military Appointees Widely Oppose Iran Nuclear Capitulation
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

In recent days we’ve noted how the American public now opposes Obama’s Iran nuclear weapons agreement by 2-to-1 margins, and how opposition in both the Senate and House of Representatives is approaching 2/3 veto-proof majorities.

Apparently, opposition within military and intelligence communities is similarly broad.

In a new piece this week, Michael Barone lists a number of military and intelligence figures appointed during the Clinton and Obama administrations who voice sharp opposition to the proposed deal.  From well-known names like General Michael Hayden to General Barry McCaffrey and several others, it’s an impressive list.  As Barone concludes, “These are all highly respected retired military officers whose judgment should command respect, and their criticisms of the Iran deal are certainly withering.”

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August 21st, 2015 at 9:47 am
Iran Deal: House and Senate Approaching Veto-Proof Majorities
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

As we recently noted, we’ve reached a strange state of political affairs when the definition of “success” in the Obama Era is reduced to scraping together a 1/3 minority of either chamber of Congress to salvage an executive accord with the terrorist state of Iran.

With clear majorities in both the House and the Senate already opposed to the accord, and an overwhelming majority of Americans also opposed, Obama’s remaining hope is that he can convince 1/3 of either house to stick with him.  Should that occur, expect another one of his tawdry “victory” dances afterward.

According to the latest tally from The Washington Post, however, even achieving that 1/3 minority level of support is in jeopardy.  In the House, 290 votes are required to override an Obama veto of a resolution rejecting the accord.  The Post confirms that “all 246 House Republicans are expected to vote against the deal,”  with 18 Democrats either already against the deal or leaning against the deal, for a total of 264.  With 82 Democrats either for the deal or leaning toward favoring it, that means only 26 of 88 undeclared Democrats are needed to reach the veto override threshold.

In the Senate, meanwhile, 67 votes are required to override an Obama veto.  The Post calculates that “56 Senators – including all Republicans plus two Democrats (Sens. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and Bob Menendez (N.J.)) – are either overtly against the pact or presumed foes.”  According to its estimate, 31 Democrats are either on record supporting the agreement or leaning that way, leaving 13 undecided.

Persuading 11 of that remaining 13 to do the right thing rather than march in lockstep with a president who will be out of office in little more than one year will be an uphill climb.  Each day, however, brings new disturbing revelations regarding the mechanics of the accord, including this week’s news that Iran will essentially be allowed to self-report on its nuclear activities.  That drip, drip, drip only makes support for Obama’s deal less defensible, and increases the justification for rejecting this dangerous capitulation.

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August 14th, 2015 at 11:07 am
Gallup: Obama’s Iran Sales Job Failing with Americans
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

It says a lot about how far the Obama years have defined “success” downward that he will claim victory if he can manage to convince just 1/3 of either house of Congress to approve his much-maligned Iran nuclear capitulation.  That’s all he’ll need to overcome a near-certain veto, but leave it to him to claim that 33% amounts to some sort of mandate and justification for yet another tawdry victory lap.

Judging from public opinion, however, he may not even reach that minimal degree of support.  According to a new Gallup survey, only one in three Americans support his dealings with Iran.  In fact, Obama is under 50% approval on every single one of eight surveyed issues – race relations, the economy, terrorism, immigration, foreign affairs, education, climate change and Iran:

Only one in three Americans approve of President Barack Obama’s handling of the situation in Iran – his lowest rating of eight issues measured in a new Gallup survey.  The president’s policy toward Iran has been a major focus as he tries to drum up support for the multi-national agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear capabilities that Secretary of State John Kerry helped broker.  Obama earns his highest marks on race relations, education and climate change, though he does not receive majority approval on any.”

A president typically retains greater latitude and approval from Americans when it comes to foreign affairs, but the fact that the public rejects Obama’s Iran accord by such a wide margin is encouraging.  Now if only enough members of Congress can demonstrate similar sobriety and reject this dangerous deal with such disastrous potential long-term consequences for the nation, the region and the globe.

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August 3rd, 2015 at 9:56 am
New Poll: Americans Oppose Obama-Iran Accord By Over 2-to-1
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

There’s good news to begin the week from the public opinion front.

Despite – or perhaps because of – the Obama Administration’s desperate effort to sell a skeptical Congress and American electorate on its dangerous nuclear accord with Iran, a new Quinnipiac poll shows that the public opposes the deal by more than a two-to-one margin:

American voters oppose 57-28 percent, with only lukewarm support from Democrats and overwhelming opposition from Republicans and independent voters, the nuclear pact negotiated with Iran, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today.  Voters say 58-30 percent the nuclear pact will make the world less safe, the independent Quinnipiac University poll finds.”

That skepticism is matched by some in Congress, including Senator Tom Cotton (R – Arkansas) and Representative Mike Pompeo (R – Kansas).  In a Wall Street Journal commentary this morning, they highlight how secret side deals between Iran and third parties offer an additional reason to withhold support:

The response from the administration to questions about the side deals has brought little reassurance.  At first the administration refrained from acknowledging their existence.  Unable to sustain that position, National Security Adviser Susan Rice said on July 22 during a White House press briefing that the administration ‘knows’ the ‘content’ of the arrangements and would brief Congress on it.  Yet the same day Secretary of State John Kerry, in a closed-door briefing with members of Congress, said he had not read the side deals.  And on July 29 when pressed in a Senate hearing, Mr. Kerry admitted that a member of his negotiating team ‘may’ have read the arrangements but he was not sure.

That person, Undersecretary of State and lead negotiator Wendy Sherman, on July 30 said in an interview on MSNBC, ‘I saw the pieces of paper but wasn’t allowed to keep them.  All of the members of the P5+1 did in Vienna, and so did some of my experts who certainly understand this even better than I do.’

A game of nuclear telephone and hearsay is simply not good enough, not for a decision as grave as this one.  The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act says Congress must have full access to all nuclear agreement documents – not unverifiable accounts from Ms. Sherman or others of what may or may not be in the secret side deals.  How else can Congress, in good conscience, vote on the overall deal?”

The simple answer is that it cannot.  The Obama Administration’s disastrous Iran proposal must be rejected, and we urge our supporters and activists to contact their elected representatives in both the Senate and House to demand opposition.

June 17th, 2015 at 9:19 am
Ramirez Cartoon: ISIS Policy
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

June 11th, 2015 at 12:32 pm
Ramirez Cartoon: How the World Sees Obama
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

May 21st, 2015 at 11:40 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Mission Accomplished Redux
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

April 3rd, 2015 at 10:10 am
Jobs Report: Worst “Recovery” in U.S. History Continues Under Obama
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

As we’ve noted on multiple occasions, the cyclical economic recovery under Barack Obama is objectively the worst in recorded U.S. history.  Recessions and recoveries come and go, but never have we suffered one with declining median incomes, such low economic growth or this level of employment sluggishness.

Unfortunately, today’s unemployment report brought additional bad news and only serves to further cement Obama’s disastrous legacy.  Economists expected 250,000 new jobs for the month of March, but we only saw 126,000, the lowest since 2013:

The 126,000 increase was weaker than the most pessimistic forecast in a Bloomberg survey, and followed a 264,000 gain a month earlier that was smaller than initially reported, the Labor Department in Washington said.  The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 245,000 advance.

‘There’s really no way to sugarcoat this.  This is a soft print all the way around, no matter how you slice it,’ said Omair Sharif, rate sales strategist at Newedge USA LLC in New York.  ’It seems that it’s corroborating that the U.S. definitely hit a soft patch in the first quarter.’”

Making matters even worse, the labor participation rate continued it’s decline to 62.7%, the lowest since 1978, before women fully entered the U.S. workforce.

The unprecedented weakness of the economy under Obama establishes the backwardness of his policies.  Although he and his supporters remain unwilling to internalize the obvious lesson that lower taxes and less federal regulation lead to a stronger economy, the American electorate fortunately maintains the opportunity to do so as 2016 brings the opportunity to select new leadership.

March 25th, 2015 at 3:30 pm
Ramirez Cartoon: White House Response to ISIS
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

February 19th, 2015 at 10:26 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Obama on Executive Amnesty
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

January 30th, 2015 at 10:00 am
The Obama “Recovery”: Home Ownership Fell Again in 2014
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

In our Liberty Update this week, we highlight two panoramic measures of the Obama Administration’s failed presidency:  the long-term plummet in U.S. economic freedom compared to the rest of the world, and the fact that more Americans today than in January 2009 consider the U.S. a nation in decline.  That wasn’t supposed to happen under Obama’s magical leadership.

Today, the Commerce Department released a more particularized measure of the Obama Administration’s failure:

The U.S. home ownership rate fell to its lowest level in 20 years at the end of 2014 – a level last seen when national leaders embarked on a broad push to expand home ownership in the mid-1990s.  Estimates published Thursday show that, after adjusting for seasonal factors, 63.9% of U.S. households owned their homes in the fourth quarter, a rate last recorded in 1994, according to the Commerce Department.  Home ownership hasn’t fallen below that level since 1988.  The rate stood at 65.1% at the end of 2013.”

Accordingly, ownership isn’t just down since the government-inflated housing bubble burst almost ten years ago, or even since the recession officially ended all the way back in June 2009.  It’s down over the past year, despite the supposed Obama economic recovery.  Home ownership obviously rose too high during the bubble, as the result of government-imposed mandates and too easy credit, but the fact that it declined since even last January 1 offers a reminder of the sluggishness of the economy under Obama.