President Barack Obama presented his year-in-review list on Saturday of the top things that happened in 2015 "that should make every American optimistic about 2016." Obama presented the list during his weekly radio address.
Citing the U.S. economy, the President said, "Over the past 12 months, our businesses have created 2.5 million new jobs. In all, they have added 13.7 million new jobs over a 69-month streak of job growth. And the unemployment rate has fallen to 5 percent, the lowest it has been in almost eight years."
More Americans are getting health coverage, he said. The rate of the uninsured in America dropped below 10 percent for the first time ever, he said. "In all, 17.6 million people and climbing have gained coverage as the Affordable Care Act has taken effect," he said.
On climate change, Obama noted that last week in Paris, nearly 200 countries came together to set the course for a low-carbon future, "and it was only possible because America led with clean energy here at home and strong diplomacy around the world." Turning to foreign policy, Obama said, "We turned the page on an outdated, half-century old policy by re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba and reopening embassies in both our countries, allowing us to build greater ties between Americans and Cubans."
"We succeeded in forging a strong deal to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon," he said. "In fact, Iran has already dismantled thousands of centrifuges that enrich uranium." On terrorism, the President said, "Even as we continue to grieve over the attack in San Bernardino, we are leading a global coalition and hitting ISIL harder than ever. In Syria and Iraq, ISIL is losing territory, and we are not going to stop until we destroy this terrorist organization." Citing "a 21st century trade deal that makes sure our businesses can sell goods," Obama said the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which must be ratified by the U.S. Congress before it can take effect, "is the strongest, most pro-worker, pro-environment trade agreement in our history. And it means that America -- not China, not anyone else -- will write the rules of the global economy for the century ahead."
This week, Obama noted, the U.S. Congress passed a bipartisan budget "that invests in middle-class priorities, keeps our military the strongest in the world and takes the threat of shutdowns and manufactured crises off the table for 2016."