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Obama's First Term


Obama’s First Term

During the 2008 Presidential Campaign, Barack Obama received significant support from prominent Republicans, including former governors, members of congress and other high-ranking officials. On November 4, 2008, Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States, capturing 53% of the popular vote, including 9% of Republicans and 20% of self-described Conservatives.

President Obama’s cabinet has included both Republicans and conservatives, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Army Secretary John McHugh, and Jon Huntsman, the former Governor of Utah, who was chosen to be the U.S.’s Ambassador to China.

Domestic Policy

Tax Cuts

In February, 2009, Obama signed the American Recovery and Investment Act, which included $288 billion in tax cuts, arguably the largest tax cuts in American history. These cuts included a payroll tax credit of $400 per worker and $800 per married couple in 2009 and 2010, and an extension of revisions in the Alternative Minimum Tax, which saved middle-class Americans $70 billion. Additionally, the legislation included over $30 billion in tax cuts for American businesses.

In December, 2010, President Obama signed a $858 tax cut bill into law, after almost equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans voted in support of the legislation. The package extended tax cuts signed by President Bush, cut payroll taxes by 2% for a year, and extended unemployment benefits for 13 months. Of the tax cuts, Obama stated, “I know there are different aspects of this plan to which members of Congress, on both sides of the aisle, object. That's the nature of compromise. But we worked hard to negotiate an agreement that's a win for middle-class families and a win for our economy."

Bipartisan Budget Commission

In February, 2010, President Obama signed an executive order creating the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. The Commission’s purpose was to identify "…policies to improve the fiscal situation in the medium term and to achieve fiscal sustainability over the long run.” The Commission included both Republicans and Democrats, including former Republican Senator Alan Simpson, current Republican Senators Judd Gregg, Tom Coburn and Mike Crapo, and current Republican members of the house, including the Chair of the House Budget Committee, Paul Ryan.

After meeting for several months, the Commission released its final recommendations in December 2010.

Health Care Reform

Throughout the health care reform debates of 2009 and 2010, President Obama refused to commit to either a single-payer health care system, favored by liberal Democrats, or a government-sponsored public option-- the favored choice among other Democrats. Instead, the President focused on enacting legislation that would cover the vast majority of Americans and lower health care costs, even if it was not the first choice of liberal activists.

On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the law will cut the federal deficit by $138 billion over 10 years.

The Affordable Care Act has been compared to the health care law Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney enacted four years earlier when he served as the Governor of Massachusetts. Romney’s law created exchanges designed to increase competition in the purchase of health insurance and included a requirement that every individual purchase health insurance.

Early in Obama's first term, Mitt Romney urged the President to enact healthcare legislation similar to that which he signed into law in Massachusetts.

The Affordable Care Act has been compared to health care legislation co-sponsored by 19 Republican Senators in 1993, including current Republican Senators Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch and Richard Lugar. Mitt Romney supported this legislation.

The 1993 Republican bill called for government subsidies to low-income individuals and families to help them purchase their own health coverage, and included a requirement for individuals to purchase health insurance. Both of these provisions are supported by 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich

Said former Republican Senator from Minnesota David Durenberger soon after the Affordable Care Act passed, “the legislation which President Obama signed is the best we can do as a nation… right now. It is historic. The commitment to universal access to health care through universal insurance coverage is the law of the land.”

In the words of Norman Ornstein, of the conservative think tank The American Enterprise Institute (AEI):

“The Democrats' health-reform plan includes no public option and relies on managed competition through exchanges set up much like those for federal employees. The individual mandate in the plan sprang from a Heritage Foundation idea that was endorsed years ago by a range of conservatives and provided the backbone of the Massachusetts plan that was crafted and, until recently, heartily defended by Mitt Romney. It would be fair to describe the new act as Romneycare crossed with the managed-competition bill proposed in 1994 by Republican Sens. John Chafee, David Durenberger, Charles Grassley and Bob Dole -- in other words, as a moderate Republican plan.”

Included the in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 are provisions which:

  1. Eliminate lifetime limits on insurance coverage  
  2. Prevent health insurance companies from denying coverage because of a pre-existing condition
  3. Allow young adults to remain on parents' insurance until age 26.
  4. Provide subsidies for individuals and families and are not covered by an employer to purchase their own insurance.
  5. Creates healthcare exchanges for uninsured people to purchase coverage at competitive rates.
  6. Gives people on Medicare new access to free preventive services such as screenings for cancer and diabetes.
  7. Closes the "doughnut hole" gap in Medicare Part-D by 2020.
  8. Slows spending increases for Medicare beneficiaries to 2% per year, from the current rate of 4% a year.

Sources: CNN, CSM, NYT,

In June, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.

Other Domestic Policy Achievements

In January, 2010, President Obama accepted an invitation to speak at the GOP House Issues Conference in Baltimore, answering questions from the GOP leadership and offering to work across the aisle to help solve the nation’s most pressing problems.

In February, 2010, President Obama signed the “Pay-Go” rule into law, restoring a requirement that the federal government spend only what it can afford. That June, the President directed federal agencies to develop plans for disposing of unneeded real estate and eliminate unnecessary or non-economical lands and properties.

President Obama has called for the repeal of the capital gains tax for small businesses, has proposed a three-year freeze on federal discretionary spending beginning in 2011 and is in the process of cutting 120 federal programs identified as either wasteful or unnecessary.

In his 2011 State of the Union Address, President Obama called for investments in the nation’s infrastructure, a call that was applauded by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

During the first three years of the Obama Presidency, the number of government employees dropped 2.6%-- a record reduction, and a larger decrease than that overseen by President Reagan during his first three years in office.

In January of this year, President Barack Obama proposed consolidating six trade and commerce agencies within the federal government, a measure that would further reduce the number of federal employees and cut costs. 

Under President Obama, the private sector has added jobs every month since April, 2010.

Private Sector Jobs Growth Under Obama

Despite repeated claims by his Republican opponents, growth in federal spending under President Obama is slower than that under Reagan, Bush I, Clinton and Bush II. In fiscal 2013 — the final budget of Obama’s term — spending is scheduled to fall 1.3%, to $3.58 trillion.

Foreign Affairs

Iraq, Afghanistan and North Africa

President Obama has ended the American military presence in Iraq, as he pledged during the 2008 campaign.  

In a December 2009 address, President Obama committed 30,000 more U.S. troops to help fight the growing insurgency in Afghanistan. The surge was accompanied by a change in strategy, including a sixfold increase in the number of Special Operations raids, which has disrupted the operations of the Taliban and Taliban-linked groups.

In March 2011 testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, General David Petraeus, Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan, announced that much of the Taliban’s momentum since 2005 had been halted and reversed in a number of important areas.

Since the surge, Afghans have slowly assumed more responsibility for their own security. By early 2011, Afghan National Security Forces had grown to more than 270,000-- a 42% expansion-- and the Afghan National Army had grown to more than 152,000-- a 57% increase.

On May 1, 2011, President Obama ordered a military strike inside of Pakistan targeting Osama bin Laden. Later that evening, the President announced that the al-Qaida leader was killed during the operation.

Other Foreign Policy Achievements

During his first term, President Obama signed the New Start nuclear arms treaty with Russia, an extension of President Reagan’s START treaty of the 1980’s. The Obama agreement commits the U.S. and Russia to reduce their number of strategic nuclear warheads, long-range missiles and bombers over the next seven years.

Before the 2012 election, President Obama was endorsed by many prominent Republicans and former Republicans, including Colin Powell, Michael Bloomberg, Charlie Crist, Larry Pressler and Susan Eisenhower.

Wow our President has been really busy trying to lay foundational poliices in place so he can continue to build upon the promises he expressed to the American people during the campaign. I would like to see more manifestions of his policies in putting people back to work as soon as possible and deliverying the health care that so many Americans need! I hope he gets a second term; I know it is going to be a real tight race. I hope the American people step up to the plate and vote President Obama back in for a second term.

Obama 2012 Agree!

Dutto!

Would just like to say from what I have read here(I just found the website tonite)I am SO happy to see that indeed,there is still sanity to be found on both sides of the isle!I registered as a Republican many years ago from listening to my Grandmother who was actively engaged in politcs.We are in the South,&grew up with the"Dixie-crats"&so being a Republican then was a sign of wanting to move forward&away from policies that prevented all people from getting a chance to suceed&trying to ensurethat Life,Liberty&the Pursuit of happiness would apply to all citizens,not just a select few.The goals as stated by the GOP fit with what I was taught America was all about.Sadly,I was disillusioned quickly&have voted Democrat in every election since Bush Sr.

The hard turn the GOP has taken is quite literally,terrifying.I hope that you can get your message of real fiscal&social sanity out&I will now be happy to say I have finally found people in the GOP I can work with.Where I live The Tea Party is in total control&not in a good way.Here,they are of the severe right-turn Clyde into the wall that the word"fascism"is written in stone kind,&are seeking to undo even the most common sense policies while Our State&it's people continue on a horrific downward spiral.They have repeatedly tried to say that their tactics have made it better here,but when your State is now home to 33% of the Nations homeless&on average 100 more become that way everyday still,there's just no sane way you can believe the policies they've put into place are working.I want to everything I can to try&help make things better,not just for myself,but my children&grandchildren,and even the ones that come long after I'm gone.

I'm still a registered Republican(guess subconciously I held onto hope it would change eventually).Hopefully we can all find a way to work together by remembering first&foremost that we're all Americans,in this mess together&instead of enemies that need to keep lobbing hate-bombs at each other in order to get somewhere.Thanks again for the lift of a sagging political spirit.May we all come out the other side of this a better People&a stronger Nation.

Welcome, Kaelyn!  We're glad to have you!

Hello! Thank you for a very informative article about Obama. You have provided a detailed report on his policy during his first term. I think that Obama is a kind of president America needs right now. I admire him for he has stopped the military actions in Iraq, and, besides, he keeps his promises, which is something new in the eworld of politics.

Beryl Kipps, read more on mp4 to avi converter free

Really got sick of watching my Republican 'brethren' block Obama's initiatives and proposals in the name of the Party.  After perusing this site and reading its motto "America first, party second" I signed up without fear of reprisals; this is truly how I feel and am glad to see others agree. 

Welcome JT! You came to the right site!
I'm so glad to have found you all! I am a fiscal Republican, but a social Democrat. Kinda like being the bi- girl at the lesbian ball! The Republican leaders have gone way too far to the right, and they've lost me. I can't in good conscience vote for them with women's rights being attacked, and the rights of minority groups (LGBT) being denied them.
We certainly know where you are coming from. Lots of evolving going on out there : )

Being a Welsh Brit my opinions may carry no weight but they may still be of interest.

I truly believe that Barack Obama is the right person to lead America through the next four years... any other scenario is anathema to me.  He has proven to be a pragmatist at a time when whether the glass is half empty or half full is not important... when finding a way to allow the people to drink is the only thing that matters and it seems to me that that matter is and has been President Obama's only concern.

Europe, and I include the UK as an integral part of the European Community, has suffered the same financial restrictions as the US of A and most of us are looking to the US for guidance, prudence and the baby steps needed to get us moving forward again.  President Obama refuses to try and force the financial baby to walk beyond its innate capabilities, he knows that in the present situation of rough paths and bumpy roads we all need to create small smooth patches to allow fiscal progress... and the conservatives simply hate his conservative realism.

But beyond domestic concerns, which have been largely dictated by global issues, President Obama has reached out and touched the world.  Where some Americans refuse to see the bigger picture the citizens of the wider world realise that the most important nation of the western world is led by a President who reflects their concerns, leads as a world leader should, with all the attributes, personal and presidential that the world needs in a time of turmoil, troubles and uncertainty.

That President Barack Obama is the person to lead the world forward is an absolute certainty for me... and I truly and pasionately wish that we could all vote on that issue.

In the meantime I wish President Obama a successful campaign and the only result that offers hope to all the citizens of the world.

Dai.

Dai thank you!! what wonderful comments!!

 I am so tickle pink when I see the media showing President Obama’s days of pot partying lol---- I guess the media or “The Powers that be” have to attempt to devalue the President at any means necessary; I am so proud of this wonderful President!! ----I look for more “ah ha” moments about the president as this election heats up lol---- I don’t get the polls???----- one day President Obama is down in Florida and the next day he is up in Florida?? What is going on?? I know the polls will fluctuate as time goes on!! I have to admit, I just relocated to another part of the city where I live and I have gotten three calls from the polling place!! ----

My previous community was predominantly a minority community; now my current community is somewhat diverse with maybe 30% Hispanics 50 or 60% Caucasian and maybe 5 or 10% African Americans. This is the first time I have ever gotten a call from a polling place, so it must be associated with what community you live in. I am sure whoever does these polling knows the demographics of the communities they are targeting. Also, the questions are so skewed and bent in their presentation!---! It does not allow the recipient a neutral or optional answer; the questions are skewed against the President. 

I may be a little paranoid but I am beginning to think that the purpose of some these polling’s are to give the psychological impression or illusion that Romney is a strong contender and the American people favors him over the current President?? Lol---- I recall back in 2008 when the polls had President Obama down in Indiana and he won that State!!  Also, the polls had Obama and McCain kinda neck to neck but when it was all said and done the President won with a landslide!!! --- I know this is a volatile election and all the cards are going to be pulled out the deck to attack this president, so I don’t take anything for granted!!---- Oh what happen to the ExPAT??? are they still involved in this election??  I remember  a lot of  EXpats were really involved in this election and I hope they continue to be involved!!  we need every vote because voter suppression is BIG this time around!! I can't believe the twisted perception that many people have against President Obama. I believe this is a reality check for the Country to realize how far we have to go for human rights and equal rights. I know we have come far but we still have a longgggg way to go!!! lol

glad to see you guys are still around.  I must admit I did take a look at Mitt Romney but he doesnt's stand for anything and there's too much secrecy and evasiveness for me to get interested.   As a woman I've been appalled at the way the GOP is trying to restrict the rights of woman and thrust us back to the 50's.  

Thank God ...

I am a French lady and long supporter of Ronald Reagan. I also love Obama and think he is doing a great job. I see many similarities between Reagan and Obama on the stimulus, saving the auto industry and banks, tax cuts, strength in the miltary, healthcare, strengthening social security, etc. I truly hope and pray that Obama stays in their for another 4 years. He is amazing and a man of the world.  It took Bush 8 years and he never got Ossama Ben Laden, Obama got him in 2 years and never boasted. He did an organised covert operation and it worked. God bless Obama

I've been a Republican since 1968, when I turned 21 and registered to vote.  I've never agreed with their social agenda, but I never voted for a Democrat for President unil John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate. 

I don't recognize the Republican Party any more.  I remember reading that both Parties wanted Ike to run under their banner but he chose the Republicans.  I doubt he would do the same today. 

I despise the Republican attempts to supress the vote of groups they think won't vote for them.

I've gotten a few calls from Republicans asking for my support.  I told them that until they realize that Gay Marriage and abortion are not the biggest problem facing this country, they won't get another vote from me.

I worked for Fortune 500 companies for 34 years.  My ex and I graduated from college about the time the attacks on the middle class began.  We never could understand why we couldn't get ahead.  We thought we had chosen the wrong professions.  We weren't informed enough to realize that Congress was passing laws that hamstrung us. 

Over the past 12 to 15 years, I have watched 2 different IT companies make cuts to their workforces with no regard to the impact on their customers.  Multiple layoffs left me as the only person in my department.  I was, as the saying goes, a single point of failure because I had no backup.  In June they laid me off with no idea how my work would be done.  From what I hear, the work just keeps piling up with no one to do it.  And these people think that 'Corporations are People' is a good idea? 

How do people with common sense regain control of the Republican Party?  I may not be eligible for membership in this website after the election because I am seriously considering registering as a Democrat or Independent.

 

 

I am thoroughly disgusted with today's GOP. I remember when we respected and we were respected. Today's politicians are like angry children and who wants to vote for Children? I am not comfortable calling myself a "conservative" for that is truly a dirty word today. Woe unto those of us who are not in a lock-step with the once splinter group that has taken over the party. I am afraid of Mitt Romney and even more afraid of Paul Ryan. They look and act in the same manner as Bush and Cheney did. I think we would be electing Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney does not come across as being strong enough to keep Ryan in tow. I fear it will be the other way around. In my home town we had a neat political atmosphere. I don't remember who went first but one side would have a party with everyone invited and we cooked Manhattan Clam Chowder and Jersey Corn in caldrens. We ate, we talked, we drank. There was beer and soda pop. Every now and then a small disagreement came up but at the end of the day, we parted shaking hands with well wishes to each other. A few weeks later the other side did the same thing with the same caldrens of soup and corn and we repeated the same party again, parting in the same as before. We had the one thing that has gone from America today, respect. And that is the one thing we lack and will be the downfall of this country, I fear. I miss those times. I have voted across party lines but not for president and I won't be voting for this one either. Respect to all and God bless the good people in the United States of America.
I am so happy to find this site. Even though I am a registered Democrat (partly due to being raised by a very racist and misogynistic Republican father), I admire some of the Republican Party's principles and many Republican Presidents. I am beyond terrified at what the Republican Party has become and especially disgusted at the avowed and public intransigence of the Party in blocking every attempt the President made to move OUR nation forward. My Republican friends refer to President Obama as "your man" Please, please take back the party from the racist extremists and the religious fanatics.

I'm neither in love with the Democrats nor the Republicans.  As a matter of fact I believe that it is time for a viable 3rd party.  That being said, I hope you folks can rid your party of the vermin consisting of white racists, fascists and Bible-thumpers who have hijacked it.  Even Goldwater saw the need for compromise.  I hope so for our country's sake...

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