Robert Lacombe gave President Barack Obama an “F” in his Nov. 16 letter. As a former teacher, I prefer grading on a curve, to wit:

• President George W. Bush left office with an economy hemorrhaging 700,000 jobs a month.

Since then, the unemployment rate has fallen from 9.3 percent to 5.8 percent.

• Dubya got the deficit ball rolling at breakneck speed as the Great Recession cost hundreds of billions in tax revenue and added hundreds of billions to the budget in social safety net costs, such as food stamps and Temporary Aid to Needy Families.

• He bogged the U.S.A. down in two wars, one a conflict of choice that ignored the painful lessons of Vietnam, used cherry-picked and often misleading intelligence to justify interventionism, ignited sectarian violence in Iraq, and gave birth to al Qaida in Iraq, which in turn spawned ISIS.

• Oh, and don’t forget how puppeteer Dick Cheney made sure that neither war nor the Medicare prescription benefit — the latter a sure vote-getter in 2004 in a key state like Florida — would be paid for with a tax hike. It was politically smart, but fiscally irresponsible.

• Obama’s favorability ratings have averaged in the low 40s. In his second term, Bush was mired in Nixon territory, the mid-30s.

So, on a curve, let’s start with an “F” for one of American’s worst presidents. On that basis, and with remaining uncertainty about ACA, I’d give Obama a “C+.”

Dave Griffiths, Mechanic Falls


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