A List of Presidential Accomplishments
I can't see why Democrats are running from the Congress and Presidential accomplishments of the last eighteen months. Perhaps if we look at those accomplishments, we can see exactly how effective the Obama legislative agenda has been.
Consider the conditions under which President Obama took office. The banks and mortgage companies were failing underneath a pile of bad debt and even worse business decisions. The automotive industry was going under for the last time. Wall Street had devised such complicated investment instruments that even the brokers who traded and sold these instruments had no clear understanding of their worth. We were heavily involved in two wars, one of which upon we never should have embarked. The President promised change and a new direction, he delivered. Just consider the following (partial) list of political accomplishments:
- TARP - This program was created by the outgoing Bush administration and supported by Republicans. It was (largely) managed by the Obama administration. And, to date, the banks and AIG have paid back most of the money loaned to them. There may even be a profit for the taxpayers in the near future.
- Automotive Bailout - This program was proposed by the Bush administration and enacted by the (mainly) democratic congress allied with the Obama administration. This initiative directly saved 100s of thousands of jobs for the big three automakers plus indirectly saved millions of jobs for at the auto industry suppliers. As a result of this program, only 18 months after its inception, GM has paid back the American public and Chrysler is on its way to a payback. More importantly, the restructuring of both GM and Chrysler under the guidance of the Obama administration has seen both companies thriving in the highly competitive international auto market space.
- Iraq War - Troop levels in Iraq have been drawn down to 1/3 of 2009 levels and the US mission in-country has been recast to concentrate on: Iraq troop training; providing logistics and support for the Iraq army; combating anti-terrorism operations.
- The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – During Q1/2009, the Obama and the democratic congress crafter this (Stimulus) plan to save and/or create 3.5 million jobs. As of October 1, 2010, the Congressional Office of Management and Budget reported that the Stimulus plan is close to meeting this objective by saving and/or creating 3.2 million jobs.
- Health Care – The (mainly) democratic party members of congress and the President worked ceaselessly, all through 2009, to deliver healthcare reform legislation to the American public. The final bill wasn’t perfect, but it did close down the most blatant abuses practiced by the health insurance industry. The reform legislation also set in place national pricing evaluation rules that will bring healthcare costs under control in the future.
The same bill enabled parents to keep their children on their health insurance policy until the age of twenty six. It also forced insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, lifted the ceiling for lifetime expense for an illness and provided incentives for small businesses to provide health coverage for their employees. The legislation also moved to gradually decrease the “donut hole” in prescription coverage for seniors.
· Wall Street Reform -- This legislation provided existing regulatory agencies with a set of laws that will foster a much healthier and more effective regulatory environment for Wall Street’s investment banking community.
· Consumer Protection Legislation – As part of the Wall Street Reform act, congress created an independent consumer protection agency. This agency will ensure that the design of financial products don’t threaten the well being of the consumers they are sold to. This covers consumer loans (personal, mortgage, etc.), credit cards, bank accounts, etc.
· Student Loan Reform – Congress passed legislation that revamped the system for distributing and managing student loans and Pell grants. Prior to this legislation, these services were handled by banks making huge profits for not much effort on their part. This legislative action will free up more than $60 billion over the next 10 years to be folded back into more student loans and Pell grants.
· As part of managing the effects of the BP oil spill, the President negotiated with British Petroleum for a more than $20 billion settlement for the people of the Gulf Coast who lost income and property from the horrendous oil spill.
These and many other achievements benefited the American public despite the Republican Party's opposition and use of the Senate filibuster against each and every piece of proposed legislation. I wonder what could be accomplished without the Republican threat to halt every piece of Progressive Legislation.