Saturday, December 17, 2011

List of President Obama's Accomplishments

One of the most irritating things I hear these days is the idea that President Obama is really no different than Bush, or that he's a "disappointment." Both of those characterizations are flat ignorant. If you truly believe that, you're in serious denial, and you can't be paying very close attention. In fairness, perhaps you were in a coma for the eight Bush Years, and if so, I forgive you. But please join the real world. 

So far, this Barack-obamapresident has done most of what he said he would do if elected, and he's not even through his first term. Imagine what he could have done by now if we supported him, and gave him a Congress that doesn't look at him as if he's the demon seed. 

Not only is he NOT a "failure," he's pretty much the opposite. And no, I don't just say that because he took out Osama bin Laden and helped Libya determine their own destiny for the first time in a while. 

Is he perfect? No, he's human. Does he deserve some criticism? Sure. But criticism about certain specific problems is one thing; taking on an overall "Obama sucks" meme not only has the potential to put another Bush into power, but it's also a lie. Just because you wanted a president who would give you a unicorn that farts the Star Spangled Banner, doesn't mean he's not doing well at the job we hired him for. 

What follows is a PARTIAL list of Obama's accomplishments so far. Unlike many such lists, there is a link to a citation supporting every single one. Anytime someone, right OR left, tells you Obama sucks, or is a "disappointment," show them this list and tell them to kiss a part of your body not usually considered pleasant to kiss. The first section alone should make them sit down and shut up. 


President Obama along with Harry Reid defeated the Tea Party faction of House of Representatives. The president would not allow the country nor the economy to be held hostage by radical politicians! We avoided the default on our nations good credit, kept Obamacare intact and polling shows a strong chance to take back the House in 2016!

Legislative Prowess
Despite the characterizations of some, Obama’s success rate in winning congressional votes on issues was an unprecedented 96.7% for his first year in office.  Though he is often cited as superior to Obama, President Lyndon Johnson’s success rate in 1965 was only 93%. 

Fiscal Responsibility
Within days after taking office, he signed an Executive Order ordering an audit of government contracts, and combating waste and abuse.

Created the post of Chief Performance Officer, whose job it is to make operations more efficient to save the federal government money.

On his first full day, he froze White House salaries.

He appointed the first Federal Chief Information Officer to oversee federal IT spending.

He committed to phasing out unnecessary and outdated weapons systems, and also signed the Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act to stop waste, fraud and abuse in the defense procurement and contracting system.

Through an executive order, he created the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

Improving the Economy, Preventing Depression

He pushed through and signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, otherwise known as “the stimulus package,” despite the fact that not one Republican voted for that bill. In addition, he launched, so that taxpayers could track spending from the Act.

In his first year, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act created and sustained 2.1 million jobs and stimulated the economy 3.5%.

He completed the massive TARP financial and banking rescue plan, and recovered virtually all of its costs.

He created the Making Home Affordable home refinancing plan.

He oversaw the creation of more jobs in 2010 alone than Bush did in eight years.

He oversaw investment in updated and improved manufacturing processes.

He also doubled funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership which is designed to improve manufacturing efficiency. 

He signed the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act giving  the federal government more tools to investigate and prosecute fraud in every corner of the financial system. It also created a bipartisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to investigate the financial fraud that led to the economic meltdown.

He signed the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act, which was designed to to protect consumers from unfair and deceptive credit card practices.

He increased infrastructure spending after years of neglect.

He  signed the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act, expanding on the Making Home Affordable Program to help millions of Americans avoid preventable foreclosures. The bill also provided $2.2 billion to help combat homelessness, and to stabilize the housing market.

Through the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009, he and Congressional Democrats provided tax credits to first-time home buyers, which helped the U.S. housing market recovery.

He initiated a $15 billion plan designed to encourage increased lending to small businesses.

He created, which allows for online collaboration between small businesses and experts re managing a business. (The program has since merged with

He played a lead role in getting the G-20 Summit to commit to a $1.1 trillion deal to combat the global financial crisis. 

He took steps to improve minority access to capital.

He created a $60 billion bank to fund infrastructure improvements such as roads and bridges. 

He implemented an auto industry rescue plan, and saved as many as 1 million jobs. 

Many are of the opinion that he saved the entire auto industry, and even the economy of the entire Midwest.

Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, he saved at least 300,000 education jobs, such as teachers, principals, librarians, and counselors that would have otherwise been lost.

Provided funding to states and the Department of Homeland Security to save thousands of police and firefighter jobs from being cut during the recession.

He used recovered TARP money to fund programs at local housing finance agencies in California, Florida, Nevada, Arizona and Michigan.

Crafted an Executive order stablishing the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability to assist in financial education for all Americans.

Wall Street Reforms and Consumer Protection

Ordered 65 executives who took bailout money to cut their own pay until they paid back all bailout money.

He pushed through and got passed Dodd-Frank, one of the largest and most comprehensive Wall Street reforms since the Great Depression.

He made it so that banks could no longer use YOUR money to invest in high-risk financial instruments that work against their own customers' interests.

He supported the concept of allowing stockholders to vote on executive compensation.

He wholly endorsed and supported the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act of 2009 that would close offshore tax avoidance loopholes.

He made a deal with Swiss banks that permits the US government to gain access to the records of criminals and  tax evaders.

He established a Consumer Protection Financial Bureau designed to protect consumers from financial sector excesses. 

Civil Rights and Anti-Discrimination

He advocated for and signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which made it a federal crime to assault anyone based on his or her sexual orientation or gender identity.

He pushed through, signed and demanded the Pentagon enact a repeal of the discriminatory “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy that forced soldiers to lie to fight for their country, and put our troops at risk by disqualifying many qualified soldiers from helping.

He appointed Kareem Dale as the first ever Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy.

Helped Congress pass and signed the Civil Rights History Act.

He extended benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees.
He's appointed more openly gay officials than anyone in history. 

He issued a Presidential Memorandum reaffirming the rights of gay couples to make medical decisions for each other.

He established a White House Council on Women and Girls

He signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, restoring basic protections against pay discrimination for women and other workers. This was after the GOP blocked the bill in 2007. Only 5 Republican Senators voted for the bill.

Wrote and signed an Executive Order establishing a White House Council on Women and Girls to ensure that all Cabinet and Cabinet-level agencies evaluate the effect of their policies and programs on women and families.

He expanded funding for the Violence Against Women Act.
Under his watch, National Labor Relations Board has issued final rules that require all employers to prominently post employees' rights where all employees or prospective employees can see it, including websites and intranets, beginning November 2011.

Fighting Poverty

He provided  a $20 billion increase for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps).

He signed an Executive Order that established the White House Office of Urban Affairs.

Improved Foreign Relations and American Status Abroad

He visited more countries and met with more world leaders than any previous president during his first six months in office.

As he promised, he gave a speech at a major Islamic forum in Cairo early in his administration.  

He did much to restore America's reputation around the world as a global leader that does the "right thing" in world affairs, at least according to the rest of the world.

He re-established and reinforced our partnership with NATO and other allies on strategic international issues.

Closed a number of secret detention facilities.

He improved relations with Middle East countries by appointing special envoys.

Offered $400 billion to the people living in Gaza, called on both Israel and the Palestinians to stop inciting violence.

He worked to make donations to Haiti tax deductible in 2009.

He established a new U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue.

Issued Executive Order blocking interference and helping to stabilize Somalia.

He established new, more reasonable policies in our relations with Cuba, such as allowing Cuban-Americans to visit their families and send money to support them.

He ordered the closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay. It was Republicans (and a smattering of Democrats) who prevented him from following through.

Ordered a review of our detention and interrogation policy, and prohibited the use of torture, or what Bush called "enhanced interrogation." He ordered interrogators to limit their actions to the Army Field manual.
He ordered all secret detention facilities in Eastern Europe and elsewhere to be closed.

He released the Bush torture memos.

On his second day in office, he signed a detailed Executive Order that banned torture, reversed all  Bush torture policies, and put the United States in compliance with the Geneva Convention.

Better Approach to “Defense”

Created a comprehensive new strategy for dealing with the international nuclear threat.

He authorized a $1.4 billion reduction in Star Wars program in 2010.

He restarted nuclear nonproliferation talks and built up the nuclear inspection infrastructure/protocols to where they had been before Bush.

He signed and pushed to ratification a new SALT Treaty.

Negotiated and signed a new START Treaty that will lst until at least 2021.

Through the Defense Authorization Act, he reversed the Bush Administration and committed to no permanent military bases in Iraq.

He developed the first comprehensive strategy with regard to Afghanistan and Pakistan designed to facilitate the defeat of al Qaeda and the withdrawal of most troops, as well as the rebuilding of Afghanistan.  

He returned our focus to Afghanistan, stabilized the country, and began the process of withdrawing our troops from the country.

Fulfilled campaign promise and ended our involvement in Iraq, and will complete full troop withdrawal before Christmas 2011.

He took steps to severely weaken al Qaeda and limited their ability to terrorize the world.

He took decisive action to use NATO to limit the slaughter of innocents in Libya, so that the Libyan people could topple a despotic government and determine their own fate.

Treating  Soldiers and Veterans with Respect

He made sure that families of fallen soldiers could be on hand when the body arrives at Dover AFB, by providing funding for it.  He also ended the media blackout on coverage of the return of fallen soldiers. 

He funded Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with an extra $1.4 billion to improve veterans’ services.

He provided the troops with better body armor.

Created the Joint Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record program for military personnel, in order  to improve the quality of their medical care.

He put an end to the Bush-era stop-loss policy that kept soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan beyond their enlistment date. (personal note: my son will be in harm’s way for six fewer months with Obama as president, so you know I love this one.)

He supported and signed the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act, which made more money available to enable better medical care for veterans.

He ushered through the largest spending increase in 30 years for the Department of Veterans Affairs for improved medical facilities, and to assist states in acquiring or constructing state nursing homes and extended care facilities. 

He created the Green Vet Initiative, which provided special funding to the Labor Department to provide veterans with training in green jobs.

He oversaw a $4.6 billion expansion of the Veterans Administration budget to pay for more mental health professionals.

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