‘US stronger, more prosperous than eight years ago’

The US is stronger and more prosperous than it was eight years ago, US President Barack Obama has said, attributing it to a series of steps taken by him during his two four-year terms.

"Almost every country on Earth sees America as stronger and more respected today than they did eight years ago. In other words, by so many measures our country is stronger and more prosperous than it was when we started. It is a situation that I'm proud to leave for my successor," Obama told White House reporters during his last year-ender press conference.

On foreign policy, Obama said when he came into office the US was in the midst of two wars.

"Now nearly 180,000 troops are down to 15,000. Bin Laden, rather than being at large, has been taken off the battlefield, along with thousands of other terrorists," he said.

"Over the past eight years no foreign terrorist organization has successfully executed an attack on our homeland that was directed from overseas. Through diplomacy, we have ensured Iran cannot obtain a nuclear weapon without going to war with Iran," Obama said.

"We opened up a new chapter with the people of Cuba. And we have brought nearly 200 nations together around a climate agreement that could very well save this planet for our kids," he added.

Recollecting January 2009 when he became the 44th President of the United States, Obama said unemployment rate was on its way to 10 percent. Today it is at 4.6 percent, the lowest in nearly a decade, Obama stated.

"We've seen the longest streak of job growth on record, and wages have grown faster over the past few years than at any time in the past 40," he said.

"When I came into office, 44 million people were uninsured. Today we have covered more than 20 million of them.

For the first time in our history, more than 90 percent of Americans are insured. In fact, yesterday was the biggest day ever for healthcare, more than 670,000 Americans signed up to get covered, and more are signing up by the day," Obama said.

Source: Philippines News Agency