Yes We Can or Maybe We Won’t
The Upcoming Midterm Elections and a Misinformed Electorate
That was fast. The hope and optimism that swelled around the country during the campaign and election of President Barack Obama is giving way to harsh realities.
Today, a majority of Americans are back to thinking that the country is headed in the wrong direction after a short-lived period where most thought it was on the right track.
Although Obama’s approval rating is still 3 times stronger than his predecessor, there are growing doubts about whether he can succeed at some of the biggest items on his to-do list. And there is a growing sense that he is trying to tackle too much too soon.
Is President Obama just one in a long line of skilled politicians that inspire the masses during a campaign season? Did he rail against the promise breakers in the White House only to follow the same script once he got elected? Or is there more to his recent shortcomings than meets the eye?
If you watch cable news, specifically Foxnews, President Barack Obama’s popularity and policies are hurting from self-inflicted wounds as well as circumstances. His once secure base of support has turned against him due to the watered-down, compromised-away health care legislation he finally got passed. His highly touted Copenhagen World Summit on climate change ended with no deal or treaty. His suspect handling of the H1N1 or swine flu was a debacle laced with errors. In fact, per cable news, the only accomplishments he has are winning an undeserved Noble Peace Prize and the 2009 “cash for clunkers” auto program.
Is this true? Is this all he has to show for his year and a half in office?
Look again….deeper and harder than before. Turn off the background noise of cable news and review the facts.
First, in order to accurately understand the impact of President Obama, one must go back to January 2009. Try to remember the shear devastation the last republican administration handed over to the new president. The economy had loss over 7.2 million jobs and 10 Trillion dollars of the nation’s wealth. At the moment of his inauguration, President Obama inherited the worst recession since the 1920s. Instead of using it as an excuse to do nothing, he immediately took 3 critical steps to stabilize the economy:
These programs were the Trouble Assets Relief program (TARP), American Recovery & Reinvestment Act and the Auto Bailouts.
Today, many economists credit President Obama’s 3 key economic initiatives for saving the US financial system and stabilizing the economy. The success of TARP cannot be denied. With three major banks repaying TARP money to the Government, this chapter is finally coming to a close. The government has gotten back nearly all the money it injected into the banks. The same is true of the auto bailouts. General Motors and the Ford Motor company have repaid the government for the loans they received. To date, the US taxpayer has seen a 14 billion dollar profit from these programs. However, these weren’t the only successes of President Obama.
There have been many meaningful policy successes in the last year and a half. I have been able to identify 87 accomplishments. However, here are the top 20 as I see them:
1. Expanding the State Children’s Health Insurance Program
2. Passing Health Care Reform
3. Setting a Time Table to Shut Down Guantanamo
4. Closing the Secret CIA Prisons
5. Ending Waterboarding and Other Illegal Acts
6. Setting a Trial for Saleh Kahlah al-Marri
7. Releasing Interrogation Memos
8. Reversing the Stem Cell Ban
9. Increased Funds For College Education
10. Increased Funding for Public Education
11. Expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit
12. Increasing the First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit
13. Foreclosure Prevention
14. Serve America Act
15. Largest Investment in Renewable Energy
16. Electric Grid Infrastructure Package
17. Completion of Iraq Withdrawal Plans
18. Implementation of New Afghanistan and Pakistan Strategy
19. Lifting Restrictions To Cuba
20. Standing Up To Piracy
Given all of the challenges President Obama has faced in his first 16 months, he has amassed an impressive list of accomplishments. He has done this with no Republican Party support. Yet the Republican Party is poised to make huge Congressional gains in this year’s midterm election due to the bias voices in the media.
If you’re a progressive citizen that wants bigger bolder action from this President, then make your voices heard in the upcoming mid-term election in November. The administration needs more congressional support. Vote for more like minded Senators and members of the House of Representatives in your district and state. If you sit idly by as the Tea Party and GOP remake the Congress, you further limit the effectiveness of President Obama. If you voted for “Yes we can” in 2008 then stand up for him once more. You believed once….So continue believing. Don’t let cable news and bias pundits form your opinion. Look at the facts for yourselves. Change has come to America. But change is a journey not a destination. We possess the power to ensure the change we elected becomes the norm for our country or relegate it to a fleeting moment in history.
The choice is yours…..
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