Instigator / Pro

Barack Obama was, on balance, a good President


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

Winner & statistics
Better arguments
Better sources
Better legibility
Better conduct

After 7 votes and with 49 points ahead, the winner is...

Publication date
Last updated date
Number of rounds
Time for argument
Two weeks
Max argument characters
Voting period
One month
Point system
Multiple criterions
Voting system
Contender / Con

This is a debate on the legacy of Barack Obama. I contend that on balance, Obama was a good president.


On Balance: All things considered

R1: Opening
R2: Rebuttals
R3: Defense
R4: Close

Round 1
I shall waive this round to not get a unfair advantage or if Virt FF if my opponent wishes to continue we will go under this format

R4:Defense and conclusion

I think that is fair, of course this structure could be subject to change via PM

Round 2

Virt has forfeited another round...I shall make my argument this round and see if my opponent would like to continue this debate.He automatically loses the conduct point unless I forfeit or otherwise portray bad conduct.

Hopefully Virt can return with his argument next round.Then I will rebuttal and then Virt will rebuttal and defend and I will defend last round


If we were to divide the 45 Presidents of the United States into three categories evenly-Good, Mediocre, and Bad- We would have 15 presidents for each category. I will be arguing that Barack Obama was a Mediocre president while Virt will argue that Barack Obama was a top 15 good president.

Mediocre is defined as-of only moderate quality; not very good. Basically an ordinary president

Bad is defined as-of poor quality or a low standard.

Good-of a high quality standard.

Premise 1:Foreign Policy-Bad

Barack Obama’s foreign policy was bad compared to the mediocre and good presidents. 

A.His intervention in the Libyan 2011 Revolution and Civil War ended in disaster.Barack Obama himself even admitted it was his worst mistake{1}In 2011, Nato led by Obama toppled the dictator Muammar Gaddafi. While this is fine, the failure was in helping to establish a new democratic Libya. Libya became a hub for militias and government corruption to form all under the noses of Nato. Benghazi was attacked which resulted in 4 dead Americans and many more were evacuated{2}To a good president with a good foreign policy, this should have been a wakeup call of something bad to happen In Libya and since it was Obama who started the war and in the first place lead to the toppling of the Gaddafi regime,he is held responsible. And it got worse, in 2014, a civil war started between The Libyan House of Representatives and Government of National Accord established after failed coups. Now 6 years later, the war is still going on and even ISIS joined to war leading to around 9,000 killed and 20,000 injured with no end in sight.{3}it has gotten so bad Libyans want gaddafi back.{4}Additionally, Obama and the UN supported the Government of National Accord who have committed numerous war crimes throughout the war and is made up of dozens of militias.{5}{6}{7}

B.Syria-Barack Obama's failure in Syria led to the refugee crisis where more than 6 million refugees and a crisis in Europe and additionally is the motive for Turkish intervention in Syria and the invasion of Kurdish Syria leaving thousands dead and hundreds of thousands displaced with and war crimes with no progress in sight.{8} However, Obama directly funded rebel groups in Syria that are radical jihadists. Moderate rebels in Syria fight side by side with Al-Qaeda in Syria.So even if the rebels Obama funded were moderate, they were still fighting with Al-Qaeda in Syria. According to NPR, 60% of the rebels in Syria are jihadists or Islamic Extremists.{10}One reason why the US funded these groups was because of a myth. In 2013, chemical attacks happened in East Ghouta, Syria. The US and other nations rushed to the conclusion that Assad used the chemical weapons without a proper investigation and later evidence came out that the rebels might have done the attacks in East Ghouta.{9} Obama armed these groups to overthrow Assad for a long time and started in 2012:

“ {A report in 2012} revealed that the shipment in late August 2012 had included 500 sniper rifles, 100 RPG (rocket propelled grenade launchers) along with 300 RPG rounds and 400 howitzers. Each arms shipment encompassed as many as ten shipping containers, it reported, each of which held about 48,000 pounds of cargo. That suggests a total payload of up to 250 tons of weapons per shipment. Even if the CIA had organized only one shipment per month, the arms shipments would have totaled 2,750 tons of arms bound ultimately for Syria from October 2011 through August 2012. More likely it was a multiple of that figure.”{11}

C.Yemen-Barack Obama aided war crimes in Yemen by giving Saudi Arabia over 100 billion dollars of weapons including 180 tanks approved by the Obama Administration for combat in the Yemen Civil War. Of course this was hypocritical as Obama seemed to have a distaste of regional proxies even though this war is a proxy between Saudi Arabia and Iran.{12} Saudi Arabia with billions of dollars in supplies used to commit terrible war crimes. According to the UN, over 2,200 civilians have been killed and multiple hospitals, schools and bridges have been destroyed by the Obama funded,Saudi led coalition in Yemen. However, Barack Obama stayed silent, continuing the coalition in Yemen and not holding Saudi Arabia accountable for there crimes.{13}

The conclusion is clear- from overthrowing a foreign leader and then not supporting the new government leading to a civil war, to funding rebels in Syria that fight alongside terrorists and which faction is made up of 60% Radical Islamic Extremists, and funding a disastrous bombing campaign that teared a nation apart and many more examples-Obama’s Foreign Policy was a complete failure.

Premise 2:Economy-Mediocre

Obama’s economy was mediocre for several reasons.

A.Recession recovery-Obama had the slowest post-war recession recovery. The average GDP of the 7 year recovery growth was barely above 2.1 percent. While, the average recovery growth over 10 recessions in Modern America(post 1949) is well above 4%. In 2016, American wealth finally equaled those of 2007. However, historically in 2016, Obama’s economy should have put the Average American wealth more than 20% higher than what was recorded in 2016. Forbes attributes this slow growth to the increase in taxes as they explain:

“The most harmful were the increase in the capital gains tax from 15 to 20 percent, the increase in top bracket income from 35 to 39.6 percent, and the new tax of 3.8 percent on investment income in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The massive increase in regulatory burden through the ACA and Dodd-Frank bills are also crushing, but unfortunately are harder to measure.The 13.4 percentage point tax increases mentioned above (plus higher state and local taxes) directly lower expected returns on all investments by the same amount. Our government grabs the fruits of investment, and then is puzzled that businesses do not invest. This causes billions of dollars of investment projects to come off the table. That is precisely what happens.”{14}
B.Other Economic Facts-Food Stamps went up from 34 million Americans needing it to 44 million Americans needing it in 2016.Granted, The recession increased the number a lot, but 8 years after the recession,food stamps were still increased by 10 million more Americans on the program.{15}The National Debt under Obama increased by roughly ten trillion dollars.The labor Force Participation rate under Obama was the worst since 1977. Last, Obama was the first President ever to not hit a year where GDP grew 3% or more.

However, Obama did create jobs and the economy did grow so while it was not a bad economic performance like both Bush the second, Hoover, and Nixon so his economic performance is mediocre

Premise 3:Health Care(ObamaCare)-Bad

Obamacare was a bad failure for the Obama Administration. This is a huge effect of the legacy of Obama as it is still in effect today so arguments post dating the Obama administration are in effect as Obamacare is still active.

A.Negative monetary effects-In May 2017, it was proven by the Department of Health and Human Services that average health insurance premiums doubled between 2013 and 2018. In 2018 under Obamacare,costs rose by 19%. Projected budgetary spending from 2018 to 2027 are projected to be 4.8 trillion dollars for Entitlement Spending and furthermore, The Congressional Budget Office estimates that Obamacare and it’s MedicAid expansion are responsible for 44% of the projected future entitlement spending.{16}

B Uniserance-30 million Americans were uninsured in 2018.but Obama in 2014 stated everyone would be insured leaving it to be a false promise and a failure. What is even a bigger disaster is that in 2012, the congressional budget office concluded that enrollment in the program would increase by 9 million by 2016, instead an incredibly underwhelming increase of 400,000 Americans happened. Promises Made.Promises Broken.{17}

C.Harmful Regulations-Currently you can not buy coverage out of state under Obamacare.If people are allowed to buy in-state coverage, there would be more competition which is good for every healthy market.Hence, there is no national market for coverage and why it is beneficial as Townhall explains:

Licensing rules in virtually every state effectively prevent individual residents from shopping for health plans in any other state. Consequently, there is no national market for health insurance. There are only autonomous state markets, many dominated by near-monopolies that can get away with offering lower quality insurance at ever-higher premiums.As Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute points out, it isn't only insurance companies that are sheltered from the rigors of competition. Insurance regulators are insulated too. State governments, inveigled by special interests, can burden health insurance policies with more and more mandatory benefits, driving up premiums to cover services that many consumers would never willingly choose.In Massachusetts, for instance, health insurance policies must cover at least 49 specified treatments and types of providers, among them midwives, infertility treatments, hair prosthesis, and chiropractors. But what if all you want is a plain-vanilla health plan akin to those sold by insurers in New Hampshire (only 38 state-required health-care mandates) or, better yet, in Michigan (24) or Idaho (13)? Tough luck. That's what it means when interstate commerce in health insurance is blocked.{18}
over to pro



Round 3
Round 4
FF vote for me