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Obama: America Stronger Today Than 8 Years Ago


FILE - President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the briefing room of the White House in Washington, Dec. 16, 2016.

In his last weekly radio address of 2016, U.S. President Barack Obama reflected on achievements, not only from the past year, but the whole of his two terms in office.

"At a time when we turn the page on one year and look ahead to the future, I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for everything you've done to make America stronger these past eight years," he said.

He cited the recession, consistent job losses and nearly 180,000 troops in Iraq and Afghanistan as challenges faced when he took office in 2009, but said that now, eight years later, America tells "a different story."

The president said that during his administration, the economic recession had turned into a recovery, millions of jobs were created, al-Qaida terrorist leader Osama bin Laden was taken out by American forces, and 165,000 troops had come back home from operations in the Middle East.

The president said the average American household income has risen by $2,800 just last year - the single biggest increase on record, according to the White House.

Among the list of achievements Obama cited in his address was his move to pass the Affordable Care Act, which the White House says has allowed 20 million more Americans to "know the financial security of health insurance."

"And here's the thing: none of it was inevitable," Obama said of his list of accomplishments. "It was the result of tough choices we made, and the result of your hard work and resilience."

Obama has less than a month left in office, and noted in his address his transition to "the more important role of citizen", but stated his commitment to his country.

"Know that I will be there with you every step of the way to ensure that this country forever strives to live up to the incredible promise of our founding," he said.

"And from the Obama family to yours, have a happy and blessed 2017."