Obama on American politics and economy: the extended Vox conversation

Obama on American politics and economy: the extended Vox conversation

Ezra Klein: So let’s begin with the economy.
We’re in a point where the economy is growing. We have very high corporate profits. We have
a record stock market, and yet for decades now we’ve not been seeing significant wage
increases for the American people. How have we gotten to a point where we can have high
corporate profits, and businesses can be doing so well, but the workers don’t necessarily
share in that prosperity? Barack Obama: Well, this has been at least
a three-decade-long trend. And this was a major topic in my State of the Union address.
We obviously came in at a time of enormous crisis, and the first task was making sure
we didn’t have a complete global economic meltdown. The steps we took, whether making
sure the financial system was functioning — saving the auto industry, encouraging
state and local spending. All those things made a difference in buoying the economy,
and then it’s been a hard but steady slog to the point where now we’re growing at a
robust pace and unemployment has come down faster than any time in the last 30 years.
In some ways we’re now back to the position where we can focus on what is this longer-term
trend, and that is a larger and larger share of wealth and income going to the very top,
and the middle class or folks trying to get into the middle class, feeling increasingly
squeezed because their wages have stagnated. Now, there are a whole bunch of reasons for
that. Some of it has to do with technology and entire job sectors being eliminated: travel
agents, bank tellers, a lot of middle management, because of efficiencies with the internet
and a paperless office. A lot of it has to do with globalization and the rest of the
world catching up. Post-World War II, we just had some enormous structural advantages because
our competitors had been devastated by war, and we had also made investments that put
us ahead of the curve, whether in education or infrastructure or research and development. And around the ‘70s and ‘80s and then
accelerating beyond that, those advantages went away at the same time as, because of
technologies, companies are getting a lot more efficient and one last component of this
is that workers increasingly had less leverage because of changes in labor laws and the ability
for capital to move and labor not to move.  You combine all that stuff and it’s put
workers in a tougher position. So our job now is to create additional tools that, number
one, make sure that everybody’s got a baseline of support to be able to succeed in a constantly
moving economy. Whether it’s healthcare that survives job loss, whether it is making
sure we have child care that allows a two-working-household-family to prosper while still caring for their kids.
Having a certain baseline in terms of wages, through the minimum wage. So that’s one set
of issues. A second set of issues then becomes: how do
we make sure that everybody has the tools to succeed in an economy where they constantly
have to adapt? And how do they move up the value chain, essentially because they can
work in higher-wage, higher-skill professions, and were able to compete for those jobs internationally? Then the third thing is making sure that we
have an economy that’s productive. Now if we do all those things, then what I’m confident
about is that we can continue to lower the unemployment rate, increase the participation
rate, and continue to grow and increase productivity. We’re still going to have a broader, longer
term, global question and that is: how do we make sure that the folks at the very top
are doing enough of their fair share? The winner-take-all aspect of this modern economy
means that you’ve got some people who just control enormous amounts of wealth. We don’t
really resent their success, on the other hand just as a practical matter, if we’re
going to pay for schools, roads, et cetera, and you’ve got you know, fifty people or eighty
people having as much wealth as three billion, you know you’re going to have problems making
sure that we’re investing enough in the common good to be able to move forward.  So that’s
a long term question.  But right now, there’s some very specific things we can do that can
makes a difference and help middle class families. And that’s why I called it middle-class economics.
  Ezra: To focus a bit on that long term question,
does that put us in a place long term where redistribution becomes, in a sense, a positive
good in and of itself, that you have an economy or potentially you have the government playing
the role not of powering the growth engine which is what a lot of what had to be done
after the financial crisis, but of making sure that while that growth engine is running,
that it is ensuring that enough of the gains and prosperity is shared that the political
support for that fundamental economic model to remain strong? Obama: That’s always been the case. I don’t
think that’s entirely new. The fact of the matter is that relative to our post-war history,
taxes now are not particularly high or particularly progressive compared to what they were, say,
in the late ‘50s or the ‘60s. And there’s always been this notion that for a country
to thrive, there are some things, as Lincoln says, that we can do better together than
we can do for ourselves. And whether that’s building roads, or setting up effective power
grids, or making sure that we’ve got high quality public education, that teachers are
paid enough, the market will not cover those things. And we’ve got to do them together.
Basic research falls in that category. So that’s always been true. I think that part of what’s changed is that
a lot of that burden for making sure that the pie was broadly shared took place before
government even got involved. If you had stronger unions, you had higher wages. If you had a
corporate culture that felt a sense of place and commitment so that the CEO was in Pittsburgh
or was in Detroit and felt obliged, partly because of social pressure but partly because
they felt a real affinity toward the community, to re-invest in that community and to be seen
as a good corporate citizen.  Today what you have is quarterly earning reports, compensation
levels for CEOs that are tied directly to those quarterly earnings, you’ve got international
capital that is demanding maximizing short term profits. And so what happens is that
a lot of the distributional questions that used to be handled in the marketplace through
decent wages or health care or defined benefit pension plans, those things all are eliminated.
And the average employee, the average worker, doesn’t feel any benefit. So part of our job is what can government
do directly through tax policy? What we’ve proposed, for example, in terms of capital
gains. That would make a big difference in our capacity to give a tax break to a working
mom for child care. And that’s smart policy, and there’s no evidence that would hurt the
incentives of folks at Google or Microsoft or Uber not to invent what they invent or
not to provide services they provide. It just means that instead of 20 billion dollars,
maybe they’ve got 18. Right?  But it does mean that mom can go to work without worrying
that her kid’s not in a safe place.   We also still have to focus on the front end.
Which is even before taxes are paid, are there ways that we can increase the bargaining power
and the — making sure that an employee has some … measurable increases in their incomes
and their wealth and their security as a consequence of an economy that’s improving.  And that’s
where issues like labor laws make a difference, that’s where, say in shareholder meetings,and
trying to change the culture in terms of compensation at the corporate level. Those things could
make a difference. And there’s been some interesting conversations globally around issues like
inclusive capitalism and how we can make it work for everybody. Ezra: When you drill into that pretax portion,
one thing you can find in wages is health care costs. Obama: Yeah. Ezra: And when you drill deeper into the health
care costs, one thing you find is that a major piece of why Americans pay so much more is
that when we go to a hospital, an MRI, or an appendectomy, or even a bottle of cholesterol
drugs, just costs much more for an American to buy than it does in Germany, in Japan,
in Canada, in Great Britain. Why do you think Americans pay so much higher health care prices
than folks in other countries? Obama: Well, you know there are a lot of theories
about this. But I think the evidence points to a couple of key factors. One is that we’ve
got a third-party system. Mostly we’ve got a system where everybody gets their health
insurance through their employers. Obviously the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, helps
to cover the gap for those who aren’t in that system. But for those of us who have an insurer,
we don’t track it. And the market then becomes really opaque and really hard to penetrate.
Health providers are able to, I think, charge without much fear that somebody’s looking
over their shoulders and asking well why does this cost that much? So that’s part of it.
That’s one of the reasons the Affordable Care Act, a lot of the attention’s been on making
sure that the uninsured have peace of mind, and people who currently have insurance but
at some point might lose it or have pre-existing conditions are going to have it, that’s obviously
the moral basis for what we did. But people haven’t been paying as much attention to the
delivery system reforms that we’re trying to institute through the Affordable Care Act
as well. I can’t take credit for all four years of the lowest health care inflation
in the last fifty, that we’ve seen since the Affordable Care Act passed. Some of the trends
I think were already on their way. But we are accelerating a lot of reforms, for example. What do we do to make sure that instead of
paying a doctor of a hospital for just providing a service, let’s make sure that they’re
being rewarded for a good outcome? Which may mean in some cases fewer tests or a less expensive
generic drug, or just making sure that all your employees are washing your hands so that
you’re cutting the infection rate, or making sure that hospitals are reimbursed when there’s
a lower readmissions rate, as opposed to when they’re doing more stuff. And using Medicare
as a lever, I think, is creating an environment in the health care field where we can start
getting better outcomes and lower costs at the same time. There are still going to be
those who argue that unless you get a single-payer system, you’re never going to get all the
efficiencies. There’s certain areas like drugs where the fact that Congress has not been,
and the Republican Party in particular, has been resistant to letting drug makers and
Medicare negotiate for the lowest price. It results in us paying a lot more than we should.
 But if we’re paying four, five, six, eight percent more than other countries for the
same outcomes, I’d be pretty happy where we’re only paying two or three percent more. Because
that represents hundreds of billions of dollars and means we can do a lot with that money. Ezra: When you talk about Medicare as a lever,
Medicare tends to pay a lot less per service than private insurers by a margin. Before
single payer there’s also this idea you hear occasionally of letting private insurers band
together with Medicare, with Medicaid, to jointly negotiate prices. Do you think that’s
a good idea? Obama: You know, I think that moving in the
direction where consumers and others can have more power in the marketplace, particularly
when it comes to drugs, makes a lot of sense.  Now you’ll hear from the drug companies
that part of the reasons other countries pay less for drugs is they don’t innovate. We
essentially through our system, subsidize the innovation and other countries are free
riders. There’s probably a little bit of truth to that but when you look at the number of
breakthrough drugs and the amount of money that drug companies now are putting into research
and where they’re putting it, a whole lot of it is actually in redesigning, modestly,
existing drugs so they can renew patents and maintain higher prices and higher profits.
That’s not entirely true… but there’s some of that. So there is a lot of savings that
could be achieved while still making sure that our drug industry is the best in the
world, and will still be making a healthy profit. Ezra: To turn a bit towards politics, at this
point according to the polls, you are the most polarizing president really since we
began polling, but before you the record was set by George W. Bush, and before George W.
Bush the record was set by Bill Clinton. It seems that there’s something structural happening
there in terms party polarization and the way it affects approval ratings and cooperation
with presidents. In your State of the Union you struck back at critics who say that the
idea of healing some of these divisions is naïve or impossible. So when you welcome
your successor into office, what would you tell them there is worth trying to that you
think that can still work, that would reduce the polarization? Obama: Well, there are a couple of things
that in my mind, at least, contribute to our politics being more polarized than people
actually are. And I think most people just sense this in their daily lives. Everybody’s
got a family member or a really good friend from high school who is on the complete opposite
side of the political spectrum. And yet, we still love them, right?  Everybody goes to
a soccer game, or watching their kids, coaching, and they see parents who they think are wonderful
people and then if they made a comment about politics suddenly they’d go, ‘I can’t believe
you think that!’  But a lot of it has to do with the fact that a) the balkanization
of the media means that we just don’t have a common place where we get common facts and
a common world view the way we did twenty, thirty years ago. And that just keeps on accelerating,
you know, and I’m not the first to observe this but you’ve got the Fox News Rush Limbaugh
folks and then you’ve got the MSNBC folks and the — I dunno where Vox falls into that,
but you guys are I guess for the brainiac nerd types. But the point is that technology
which brings the world to us also allows us to narrow our point of view. That’s contributed
to it. Gerrymandering contributes to it. There’s
no incentive for most members of congress, on the House side at least, in congressional
districts, to even bother trying to appeal. And a lot of it has to do with just unlimited
money. So people are absorbing an entirely different reality when it comes to politics,
even though the way they’re living their lives and interacting with each other isn’t that
polarizing. So my advice to a future president is increasingly try to bypass the traditional
venues that create divisions and try to find new venues within this new media that are
quirkier, less predictable. You know yesterday I did three interviews with YouTube stars
that generally don’t spend a lot of time talking about politics. And the reason we did it is
because they’re reaching viewers who don’t want to be put in some particular camp, on
the other hand when you talk to them very specifically about college costs or about
health care or about any of the other things that touch on their individual lives, it turns
out that you can probably build a pretty good consensus. Now that doesn’t ignore the fact
that I would love to see some constitutional process that would allow us to actually regulate
campaign spending the way we used to, and maybe even improve it. I’d love to see changes
at the state level that reduce political gerrymandering. So there’s all kinds of structural things
that I’d like to see that I think would improve this, but, you know there’ve been periods
in the past where we’ve been pretty polarized. I think, there just wasn’t polling around.
As I recall there was a whole civil war, that was a good example of polarization that took
place. Ezra: Do you think if we don’t get some of
those structural reforms, and more to the point if we continue along this path, in terms
of where the parties are in Congress, are there ways to govern with polarization? It
occurs to me that your argument when you came to office, but before you, Bush was a “uniter
not a divider” and before him Clinton who was going to moderate and change the Democratic
party with his sort of Third Way approach, the last couple of presidents have come to
office promising the way they would get things done is to reduce polarization. Is there an
argument or an approach that can be made to govern amidst polarization? Obama: A couple observations.  Number one
is that in American history, even during the so-called golden age where, you know, you
had liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats and there was deal cutting going on in Congress.
Generally speaking, big stuff didn’t get done unless there was a major crisis or you had
— and/or you had big majorities of one party controlling the Congress and a president of
the same party. I mean that’s just been the history. There have been exceptions, but that’s
often been the case in terms of big muscle movements in the political system. And you
know, my first two years in office when I had a Democratic majority and Democratic house
and Democratic Senate, we were as productive as any time since Lyndon Johnson. And when
the majority went away stuff got blocked. Probably the one thing that we could change
without a constitutional amendment that would make a difference here would be the elimination
of the routine use of the filibuster in the Senate. Because I think that does, in an era
in which the parties are more polarized, it almost ensures greater gridlock and less clarity
in terms of the positions of the parties. There’s nothing in the constitution that requires
it. The framers were pretty good about designing a house, a senate, two years versus six year
terms, every state getting two senators. There were a whole bunch of things in there to assure
that a majority didn’t just run rampant. The filibuster in this modern age probably just
torques it too far in the direction of a majority party not being able to govern effectively
and move forward its platform. And i think that’s an area where we can make some improvement. Ezra: One of the powerful things that’s happened
as polarization has increased politically is it’s begun structuring people’s other identities.
The one I’m particularly interested in here is race. If you look back at polling around
the OJ Simpson verdict or the Bernhard Goetz shooting in New York, Republicans and Democrats
you basically couldn’t tell them apart. Now you look at the Zimmerman verdict or you look
at what’s going on in Ferguson and opinion on racial issues is very sharply split by
party.  Do you worry about the merging of sort of racial and partisan identity? Obama: I don’t worry about that because I
don’t think that’s going to last. I worry very much about the immediate consequences
of mistrust between police and minority communities. I think there are things we can do to train
our police force and make sure that everybody is being treated fairly. And the task force
that I assigned after the Ferguson and New York cases is intended to produce very specific
tools for us to deal with it. But over the long term, I’m pretty optimistic
and the reason is because this country just becomes more and more of a hodge-podge of
folks. Again, this is an example where things seem very polarized at the national level
and media spotlight, but you go into communities — you know one of the great things about
being president is you travel through the entire country and you go to Tennessee and
it turns out that you’ve got this huge Kurdish community. And you go to some little town
in Iowa and you see some hasidic Jewish community, and then you see a bunch of interracial black
and white couples running around with their kids. And this is in these little farm communities
and you’ve got Latinos in the classroom when you visit the schools there.  So people are
getting more and more comfortable with the diversity of this country, much more sophisticated
about both the cultural differences but more importantly the basic commonality that we
have. And you know the key is to make sure that our politics and our politicians are
tapping into that better set of impulses rather than our baser fears. And my gut tells me, and I’ve seen it in my
own career and you see it generally, a politician who plays on those fears in America, I don’t
think is gonna over time get a lot of traction. Even, you know, it’s not a perfect analogy
but if you think about how rapidly the whole issue of the LGBT community and discrimination
against gays and lesbians has shifted. The Republican party, even the most conservative,
they have much less ability I think to express discriminatory views than they did even 10
years ago. And that’s a source of optimism. It makes me hopeful. Ezra: On Obamacare, something that members
of your administration have always said, and I think you may have said, there’s been a
lot of language about it being a good start, a platform to begin building. It’s full of
experiments, the idea is that there will be learning, and there will be change. It’s been
going — now we’re in the second year of open enrollment — what would you like to see,
if Congress were able to take up a bill, to tweak, to improve, to change, to build on
that platform. What specifically from what you wanted in there originally or what we’ve
learned since it’s actually been in operation. How would you like to see it improved? Obama: Well, I’m not sure, Ezra, that we’ve
got enough years of it being in place to know perfectly what needs to be improved, where
there’s still gaps.  It’s been a year. So far the verdict is that this thing’s working
for a lot of people.  You’ve got 10 million people who’ve been enrolled, you’ve got more
folks who’ve been signed up for the expanded Medicaid coverage, you’ve seen health care
inflation stay low or actually be significantly lower than before the ACA was passed, satisfaction
with the insurance seems to be high. We haven’t seen major disruptions to the medical system
that a lot of people had predicted. So, there’s a lot of stuff that’s working. Over time, I think seeing if we can do more
on delivery system reform, making sure that we fill the gaps in those states that haven’t
expanded Medicaid. The big problem we have right now with Obamacare is that it was designed
to make sure that some subset of people qualified for Medicaid and that’s how that’s how they
were going to get coverage, and others were going to go into the exchanges because they
had slightly higher incomes. And because of the decision of the Roberts court that we
couldn’t incentivize states to expand Medicaid the way we had originally intended, you’ve
got a lot of really big states, you’ve got tens of millions of people who aren’t able
to get their Medicaid coverage. And so there’s this gap. And that’s probably the biggest
challenge for us. The good news is in dribs and drabs, much
as was true with the original Medicaid program, you’re starting to see Republican Governor
and Republican State Legislatures realize that we’re cutting off our nose to spite our
face. We’ve got an ideological objection to us helping our own constituencies and our
own health care systems. And to their credit, you’ve got folks like John Kasich in Ohio
and Snyder in Michigan and now, most recently the governor up in Alaska and others who are
saying ‘You know what this is the right thing to do. Let’s go ahead and expand it.’
So until that kind of settles, I don’t think we’ll fully know where there’s still gaps
in coverage, what more we still need to do. But I think that so far, at least, the performance
of the plans itself, not the website in the first three months but the performance of
the actual plans, you know has at least met and perhaps exceeded a lot of people’s expectations.
The website, by the way, works great now. Ezra: I’m going to tag out and let Matt in.
Thank you very much for taking the time, sir. Obama: Thank you, really enjoyed it.


  1. Obama Campaign Fined Big for Hiding Donors, Keeping Illegal Donations
    The FEC levied one of its largest fines ever against Obama's campaign committee, new documents show.
    Barack Obama's presidential campaign has been fined $375,000 by the Federal Election Commission for violating federal disclosure laws, Politico reports.
    An FEC audit of Obama for America's 2008 records found the committee failed to disclose millions of dollars in contributions and dragged its feet in refunding millions more in excess contributions.
    The resulting fine, one of the largest ever handed down by the FEC, is the result of a failure to disclose or improperly disclosing thousands of contributions to Obama for America during the then-senator's 2008 presidential run, documents show.

  2. Note that just because the speed of which unemployment is falling has risen, doesn't make the unemployment rate alright.

  3. Appears hand twist loves objectionable countries ??) Already directly in the forehead, handsome, do not hesitate to … how does the owner of the Nobel Peace Prize))) You're proclaim himself to be God))) And it is not even bad for the great srameriku surrounding countries, and worst of all is for citizens living there. Attempt to monopolize the right to excellence in everything: in laws, morals, the so-called democracy and freedom will inevitably lead to the decomposition of the United States and weakening. This country is far from withered Obama absolutism superiority … Looking for a real totalitarianism, militarism and global terror ?? look at the US … Dear American capitalists and economic US corporations, perhaps you merge their country so that their capital and then take out of the company rot america ??))
    How does the United States is the only country in the world, cynically using nuclear weapons against civilians, children and women in Japan .. with it twice .. once was not enough))) island state at the time the enemy on the other side of the camp is well suited for testing the US weapons))), this line is still going on, only the form and content is a little different, but the essence remains the same ..

  4.  The reason for income inequality is because corporations don't want to pay an appropriate amount of money to their workers, and not because of technology or that other countries got devastated by WW2 what a laughable lie.

  5. in my view Obama is living in a Dream World where he thinks there is nothing wrong but there is something very wrong with the World and in this country as well the Blockhead Fool Jerk  just won,t believe it  he is to blame for all of the problems we face today as a matter of fact i think he is a Coward and has this yellow line running down his back side and i would tell it right  to his Fool face,

  6. Remember to vote in the primaries for Bernie Sanders. He's the only real candidate that is promising any real momentum on Obama's strides forward.

  7. Actually…
    — > I do resent that the lassie-fare economic practices of the GOP that violated and repealed financial regulations and destroyed IRA retirement funds of the working class. A few rich people got some satisfaction in the Madoff scam, but for the majority, especially in the working class, those losses will never be recovered… and for those who were at or near retirement, they cannot be rebuilt.
    — > I do resent that tax breaks to the rich and corporations (which were added to the national debt) were not used to create jobs but were put into private investment accounts to create more personal wealth… and that then the capital gains tax was reduced.
    — > I do resent that the Senior Prescription Drug Plan, by GW Bush, decimated Medicare in order to give business incentive to big pharmaceuticals and garner money for their campaign funds.
    — > I do resent that the government shutdown of 2013 caused a loss of 24 billion dollars to the economy /GDP, and caused some start up businesses to fail.
    — > I do resent politicians who continue to say that Social Security Insurance and Medicare is charity and that their "free market /small government" ideology is anything other than a crooked bubble and bust economic plan to feed their greed.

    They are supposed to be public servants.

  8. Reading some of the comments, i am astonished at how much many Americans hate this guy whom clearly has a good understanding of how it should be, but you can also tell that he has to hold back on what  says to avoid pissing of the disgustingly  wealthy people in his country, many of you act like socialism is evil. Most of the countries that have the best living standards are mostly socialist countries, none are pure socialist. The thing that needs to happen is a huge wealth tax need to be in place, and a top class tax of 50% when you are getting into the millions. Well obviously alot more has to happen, but something drastic has to happen to restore balance, It might just be a Revolution of the lower and middle class vs the top class, and there will be blood

  9. Often when I see interviews or press conferences with President Obama, I generally lose interest after a few minutes, either because of the President's slow, mediated parlance, the narrow focus of the conversation or the abrasiveness of the interviewer/reporters. However, this interview was one of the most engrossing I've ever seen with the President; the interviewer put forward challenging yet non confrontational, important yet accessible questions to a man who is at his best when he is given space to ruminate deeply on such matters. I also think the fact that he is in the autumn of his Presidency, freed from political constraints and with his legacy in mind, he is freer to express his musings on the big issues facing us today. Kudos, Mr President, from Ireland, where our Prime Minister has the charisma of a potato and whose mental ability doesn't extend much beyond one either.

  10. No significant wage increases for workers because none of the presidents including Obama cared to solve this issue. Obama gave some speeches but he wasn't willing to go to the mat to even raise the minimum wage just a couple dollars. But he will have an all out political war against his own party to do the bidding of Corporate America to get their trade deals through.

  11. I'm no libtard and I have carefully scrutinized the guy. I think he is doing the best he can within what our system and culture will allow. I'm comfortable saying he's the best we've had in a long time. You have to look at the big picture of what he has to deal with. The hardest job in the world is to make everyone happy but that is what everyone expects him to do.

  12. The biggest bank in the western world has just come out and declared that the global economy is “already in a recession”. According to British banking giant HSBC, global trade is down 8.4 percent so far this year, and global GDP expressed in U.S. dollars is down 3.4 percent. So those that are waiting for the next worldwide economic recession to begin can stop waiting. It is officially here.

  13. Concerning health care in America?

    New ways of moving forward, comes about, through venturing into uncharted territory?!

    One idea, would be to set up a system of universities, designed specifically for the task of producing qualified doctors and nurses, free of charge.

    hear me out here America ~

    If educating qualified doctor's for free.On the condition, that, they do five Years of service in the American hospitals at a minimum wage could be achieved. Then in twelve years, America would have a country full of qualified doctors all working for a minimum wage, permanently!

    This could drastically reduce medical costs for the people in the USA, hurray!

  14. You guys talk politics but I am more astounded that he said we are "the brainiac, nerd types." Thought i liked Obama but I guess not.

  15. look this is politics. you might like him or not. but he is talking politics and not blaming other politicians for mistakes that happened. if you get every politician on this line your country will be fine. stop blaming other for mistakes. just try to fix mistakes.

  16. 0:03 Voice cracks within first five seconds of interview with U.S. president. By the way, I loved the video, just thought that was hilarious.

  17. Gerrymandering is a very stupid concept. please get rid of it and set your district boundaries once in a fair way and don't change it anymore like forever.

  18. this president has been one of the worst of all time. he's pushed even further from reaganomics which has increased the wage gap

  19. Worst economic growth rate of any modern president and the economy bottomed out "before" he took office.

  20. Greenhouse gas emissions are down because coal fired powerplants are switching to natural gas which burns cleaner and cheaper.

    Natural gas is abundant because of fracking.

    Obamas regulations and cap and trade did nothing to curb green house gas emissions.


  21. The largest transfer of wealth in human history is happening now from the west to the east.

    West is becoming more socialistic and the east is becoming more free market.

    Any correlation?

  22. Look, I don't agree with some of Obamas policies but he really is a president ahead of his time. Obama is just too progressive for his time.

  23. He is a warmonger also with the EU in Ukraine,by getting rid of the president and destroyed our relations with Russia of the Ukraine.Killaries policies He is a stooge of NWO

  24. you have turned out the explosion and America is in conflict in Syria and Turkey. but did send aid to Israel . Israel tor the organization. you know. Why did you send e . the biggest liar there . state. Do you work LO state bus

  25. i cant say im agree with Obama regarding how the company handles social equality. he fails to point out that it is greed that causes workers to suffer inequality in social justice and equity parameter. globalization causes inequality for all working classes.

  26. What is the narrative that would get you what you want and would work for Trump?
    So far he chose best responding narratives. So media has ALL the power frame narrative so that the goal you want wins despite the narrative. Now your President has the most power he can use that. It does not matter he does not believe facts he cares about image and perception that is your house! Get to narrative framing NOW! Cuz other people are doing it now and they do not wait for facts to come in GO!

  27. What is this guy saying at 4:47– 5:05
    does it start with "Folks put on doubt long term question…" ???
    Please articulate his question!

  28. Trump: ‘Obamacare Has Been Repealed In This Bill’

    Pres. Trump on repeal of individual mandate in tax bill: "When the individual
    mandate is being repealed, that means Obamacare is being repealed…Obamacare has been repealed in this bill."

    — ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) December 20, 2017
     by Pam Key 20 Dec 2017
    Wednesday 20 December 2017 during a cabinet meeting, President Donald Trump
    discussed the Republican’s tax bill and said the repeal of individual
    mandate in the bill meant Obamacare has “essentially” been repealed.
    Trump said, “The individual mandate is being repealed. When the
    individual mandate is being repealed that means Obamacare is being
    repealed because they get their money from the individual mandate. So
    the individual mandate is being repealed. So in this bill not only do we
    have massive tax cuts and tax reform, we have essentially repealed
    Obamacare. And we’ll come up with something that will be much better.
    Whether it’s block grants or whether it’s taking what we have and doing
    something terrific. But Obamacare has been repealed in this bill.”
    He added, “We didn’t want to bring it up. I tell people specifically,
    be quiet with media because I don’t want them talking too much about
    it, because I didn’t know how people — but now that it’s approved, I can
    say the individual mandate on health care where you had to pay not to
    have insurance — okay, think of that one. You pay not to have insurance.
    The individual mandate has been repealed.”
    Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

  29. Wow, nice breath of fresh air. I wish I had taken Obama for granted less. He is truly the most articulate and historically educated in regards to our political system. Kudos to Vox for an incredible interview.

  30. Competitors catching up or Liberals dragging America down with low IQ ILLEGALS and a desire to make other countries live as well as America. They whine about carbon emissions AFTER encouraging
    other countries to go to personal cars like America?
    America couldn't burn coal for power yet we had to compete with countries who were building a NEW COAL PLANT every month.
    There was no need to raise the standard of living in other countries when anyone but a fool had to know it was going to hurt Americans.
    The same as encouraging ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION forcing down American wages and adding more costs to American taxpayers.
    Mexico has a $5 A DAY minimum wage, how can American companies compete paying 2 or more times that AN HOUR?
    American workers pay more in taxes and benefits than a Mexican company has to pay their employee in a day.
    NO I am not suggesting you have to be Asian or white but anyone who hasn't even got a high school education, can't speak English and is prepared to pop out an American born child to get American benefits will be one more person holding America back. How many Hispanics have been here for years ILLEGALLY can't speak English and have no desire to? They want to make America Hispanic.
    They leave sh hole countries that are dangerous yet try to CHANGE AMERICA to be like the country they fled.
    When Trump wanted to bring in CANADA STYLE immigration he was branded a racist.
    Canada is praised for it;s MERIT BASED IMMIGRATION, then these same people who praise Canada, attack Trump.

  31. WOW! What difference 3 years makes. If you study the numbers, you will see the economy had only marginally gotten better (sorry Vox) by the time of this interview and when Trump was elected, it shot up like a rocket. As of third quarter 2018, quarterly numbers are consistently positive. This is something Obama never enjoyed. His numbers were like a roller coaster and that is never good. Again, sorry Vox but this is horseshit. President Obama was no economist and his numbers bare that out.

  32. If you are tired of the Global drama, that makes us out to be the bad guys.. If you are want to be part of that CHANGE that kicks these Internationalists out of Our Government, and Out of Our Country, now's your chance… I'm running for the 2020, anyone wants to know what I'm about, Google Harold McBroom In Reverence to Thee click on obvious link, when page loads, click on Candidate Harold J. McBroom

  33. He mentions the lack of collective bargaining power, but WHAT did he do for collective bargaining rights?? The share of unionized workers was left to plummet under his watch. Even with a GOP congress he could have used his bully pulpit to actually organize workers

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