Opposing Viewpoints: Obama deserves more credit for deeds
The Tea Party threw their temper tantrum over President Obama’s “socialist plot to take over the world,” and a liberal backlash accompanied. Everything our government has accomplished over the past two years fell into oblivion with this unproductive discourse.
Obama’s achievements have been drowned by the repulsive partisanship in our nation’s capital. This partisanship has taken the attention of the national media, implying that this fighting is the only event occurring in Washington.
Contrary to this portrayal, thus far, Obama’s presidency has been nothing but active.
On Feb. 17, 2009, Obama signed the Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This act took billions of federal money and reinvested it into America’s domestic front. Its intention was to create jobs, increase consumer spending, and promote investment.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the recovery bill “raised the level of real gross domestic product (GDP) by between 1.7 percent and 4.2 percent.” Not only did this act increase GDP, but decreased unemployment by .7 percent to 1.5 percentage points. The bill employed somewhere between 1.2 million and 2.8 million Americans.
This bill cost $787 billion. Obama has been criticized on his immaculate spending and the inevitable deficit that followed. However, if we dismiss the bickering of unrestrained politicians, we see that Obama has made forceful cuts into our budget as well.
According to the Washington Post, “President Obama notched substantial successes in spending cuts last year, winning 60 percent of his proposed cuts and managing to get Congress to axe several programs that had bedeviled President George W. Bush for years.” Obama convinced Congress to slash 24 programs, saving nearly $7 billion.
On May 21, 2009, Obama signed a bill enacting the U.S.’s most stringent credit card reform in history. During the ceremony, Obama stated, “We’re not going to be giving people a free pass and we expect consumers to live within their means and pay what they owe. But we also expect financial institutions to act with the same sense of responsibility that the American people aspire to in their own lives.”
According to USA Today, this legislation would curb increasing interest rates, eliminate certain penalty fees and stop banks from selling cards to those under 21 without parental permission.
Aside from new financial regulations, Obama has brought newfound transparency to Washington unmatched by any administration.
The Washington Post reports, “Steps have included a ban on lobbyist gifts; restrictions on the hiring of lobbyists; publication of White House visitor logs and other records; and a move to bar lobbyists from serving on advisory boards.”
The Washington Post also claim the Obama administration has begun “the strongest and most comprehensive lobbying, ethics and transparency rules” that Washington has seen.
Health care reform was signed on March 23, 2010. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act prohibits insurance companies from denying a person coverage based on pre-existing conditions. It expands Medicare eligibility, creates health insurance exchanges, and subsidizes insurance premiums.
This act will “save Medicare an estimated $8 billion in the next two years and almost $418 billion by 2019,” according to whitehouse.gov.
As Jon Stewart said, “I disagree with you, but I don’t think you’re Hitler.” This attitude is largely absent from Washington. This discussion dominates the media, and covers up what has occurred in the last two years. Some people claim Obama’s presidency has been uneventful—a claim that is simply not true.