What Has Obama Done for America?
Back in 2012 we did a list of Obama’s Accomplishments, here in 2016 the list has grown. Here is some highlights of Obama Accomplishments so far, with citations.
The list comes (in part) from the family friendly in all but domain name, “THE LIST OF 358 OBAMA ACCOMPLISHMENTS SO FAR, WITH CITATIONS“.
Our list is going to focus on legit accomplishments that any conservative or liberal can appreciate, so premium tax credits and the mandate certainly don’t make the list, neither does bailing out the banks, or growth in airports, housing markets, stock markets, or auto industry, or trade agreements, or global finance measures. While these things are commendable for ensuring the local and global economy didn’t collapse, they don’t make our cut due to the wide-spread criticism of them being “a little too corporation friendly” and contributing to the wealth gap, for instance many argue the bank bailout should have came with a more strict ruleset and certain agencies and committees shouldn’t have been filled with “insiders” (see the mega list above for a broader list).What Has Obama Accomplished As President? Sometimes you’ll hear, “Obama hasn’t done anything”. That just means the person isn’t paying attention, or is paying attention to the wrong “news” sources. A little digging shows the President has done a good bit, and perhaps this is where some of the real anger on the right is coming from.
Highlights of President Obama’s Accomplishments (that anyone can get behind)
- Cracked down on lobbyists, in the true Democratic tradition of standing up against crony capitalism on the left and right. (here, and here)
- Fought for rights in regards to information and surveillance.
- Reduced drug sentencing and helped reform criminal justice.
- Signed the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act, to close the loopholes that allowed companies to send jobs overseas, and avoid paying US taxes by moving money offshore.
- Helped to protect consumers against some financial institution abuses by establishing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act which was also passed under the Obama administration.
- Kicked Banks Out of Federal Student Loan Program, Expanded Pell Grant Spending and helped make college more affordable.
- Improved access to education, and childcare.
Highlights of President Obama’s Accomplishments (that… almost anyone can get behind)
- Marriage equality became legal, LGBT rights were protected, and marijuana became less illegal (the reaction to states like CO and WA could have at least been much worse).
- Expanded healthcare, including Medicaid under the ACA to tens of millions working poor single adults (although the GOP refused expansion in 19 of the 20 states that still haven’t expanded). The uninsured rate is now at an all-time low and the longevity of Medicare ensured.
- Cut costs in healthcare, the ACA may spend on subsidies (although at the same rate it was spending on just Medicaid and Medicare in the past), but the other 900 pages have helped to decrease long-term spending, while coverage is up, inflation is at it’s lowest point in 50 years.
- Voter rights were improved and overly strict voter ID laws fought back against via a voting commission.
- Helped disenfranchised groups, especially back Americans who took a stand against discrimination by the criminal justice and police (in a civil way, with Obama’s guidance) and immigrants.
- Cut taxes on the working poor and the middle class, raised taxes on some earning more (although the truly rich still enjoy generous loopholes). The main problem is the Bush era progressive tax is still in full effect and that sets a really low bar for “top earners”. See flat versus progressive tax, and the history of the income tax.
- Included the Buffet Rule in his 2014 budget proposal, in order to fulfill a campaign promise to make sure tax rates are fair between the rich and the middle class. (This doesn’t make the list above, because, the right tends to dislike Buffet style progressivism, which is hint, hint, why Obama has had to compromise and why people likely underrate Obama and the Clintons).
- Cut taxes for small businesses, but middle sized businesses didn’t always fair as well.
- Improved schools in many ways not explicitly mentioned above, including through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the HealthCare and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 .
- Contraception is now free on all health plans.
- Repealed don’t ask don’t tell.
- Got troops out of the middle east, sent some robots in instead (good?). The middle east and our related involvement is a complex issue.
- Saved jobs and has seen steady job growth, although this issue is too complex to just be “a win”.
- Even though Union’s have taken a hit in the states, Obama has strongly supported workers rights on a Federal level. For example.
- Helped to restrict guns for those with mental health problems (other gun restrictions don’t make the list).
- Plus a lot more in regards to climate, jobs, military, corruption, science, equality, and ensure America remains a superpower.
A Final Word on President Obama
Obama’s willingness to work with corporations, powerful agencies and groups, and financial institutions (i.e. “the establishment”), may come under fire, but it is hard to deny the President has pretty much stuck to his word, made progress, and operated from the center. For more hope and change, we can’t just kick and scream, we have to follow Obama’s suggestions, get involved and support the change we want to see.
- No, Obama didn’t do everything he set out to, and no it wasn’t a perfect run.
- But, he did accomplish a lot, and there is still more work to be done.
- In other words, “Yes he did, and yes we still can!”