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Obama Says 2014 Was a Great Year. Here Are Three Ways He's Not Telling the Whole Story.


"Pick any metric you want."

Image via YouTube

The president is pretty happy with the way 2014 has gone — though some of his conclusions could use some clarification.

In his weekly address Saturday morning, President Barack Obama wished the country, "Merry Christmas," and looked back on the previous year.

His verdict: 2014 was a year of great accomplishments.

Image via YouTube Image via YouTube

"As 2014 comes to an end, we can enter the New Year with new confidence that America is making significant strides where it counts," Obama said.

But were Obama's conclusions warranted? Here are some of the questionable achievements he cited.

1. The jobs picture is rosy — or is it?

"The steps we took nearly six years ago to rescue our economy and rebuild it on a new foundation helped make 2014 the strongest year for job growth since the 1990s," Obama said. "Over the past 57 months, our businesses have created nearly 11 million new jobs."

Jobs have indeed been created at a healthy clip in 2014, but the country's labor force participation rate — the percentage of Americans 16 years old and up who actually have a job or are looking for work — is below 63 percent.

Analysts have characterized recent jobs reports as "pure fraud" because so many workers have given up on finding jobs — and new jobs growth hasn't been enough to provide them with work.

2. Americans can take credit for low gas price — and can we?

"America is now the number one producer of oil and gas, saving drivers about 70 cents a gallon at the pump over last Christmas," Obama said.

The U.S. nabbed the No. 1 global oil producing spot this year, thanks in large part to the fracking of shale plays — fracking that Democrats frequently block.

But while U.S. production helped get the ball rolling on the global decline in oil prices, the fact that gas prices are down has a lot more to do with Saudi Arabia than it does with the U.S.

If the Saudis decide to slash their production, oil prices could rise in a hurry — or the Saudis could just wait for low prices to kill off American profitability before moving in and reclaiming their market share.

In his weekly address, Obama didn't address the complicated nature of global oil markets and gas prices, nor did he mention his opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline.

3. The war in Afghanistan is over — or is it?

The president also touted the end of "combat missions" in Afghanistan, saying that after 13 years, "our war there will come to a responsible end."

Obama did not mention the recent decision to keep more American soldiers in the country than had been initially planned — more than 10,000 U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan for the beginning of 2015 as NATO struggles to come up with the needed forces to keep the country secure.

"Sure, we’ll disagree on some things," Obama told the nation in his weekly address. "We’ll have to compromise on others.  I’ll act on my own when it’s necessary."

Act on his own the president surely has, taking executive action in November to block the deportation of some 5 million illegal immigrants.

Obama also praised the U.S. for offering global leadership on such issues as the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the rise of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

"Pick any metric you want," Obama challenged. "America’s resurgence is real."

He said he looks forward to working with the new Republican-dominated Congress in the twilight years of his presidency.

Watch Obama's weekly address below:

Obama touched down in Hawaii Saturday morning for his annual family vacation.

Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

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