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President Obama’s Accomplishments in Office Since January 2009

Even more suprising than Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize is the rabid partisan right’s blindness to the accomplishments of Obama’s still-young presidency.  Apparently, they need reminders.  Let’s begin here:

Domestic Policy

Much of this starts with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  Part of this act is 5 billion for Head Start and other child care initiatives and existing programs, and 1.4 billion to strengthen the Department of Veteran Affairs.

He wisely signed a number of important initiatives-turned-law originating in the Democratic run congress, including one that extends health insurance coverage to low-income children, and, to allow more people to afford college, a tax credit to offset tuition costs:

$2,500 tax credit to help offset the cost of tuition (among other expenses) for those seeking a college education. Nearly five million families are expected to save $9 billion, according to Treasury officials.

Obama created a White House Urban Affairs office to strengthen U.S. cities.  In addition to listening to and acting on the concerns of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and securing for the DOJ 2 billion in Byrne Grants targeting anti-gang and illegal gun control:

The Administration also included an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant – conceived by The U.S. Conference of Mayors and the top priority in the mayors’ Ten Point Plan — in the Recovery Bill.  This Grant positions cities to receive an unprecedented $2.8 billion, and supports mayoral efforts to meet the goals of the Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement, which commits cities to meet Kyoto Protocol Standards by 2012.  Nearly 950 mayors have already signed the agreement and are working to make their cities energy efficient.

The so-called “Cash for Clunkers” program kept many people in the automotive industry employed and managed to rid the roads of overly-polluting vehicles.

By Executive Order, Obama revoked the stem-cell research limitations imposed by the Bush administration.

Obama secured 15 billion to help start and grow small businesses, and the Making Homes Affordable Act, designed to help thousands of families avoid foreclosure.  He also wisely signed the CARD act to protect Americans from the insane credit card company rules and regulations.

The economy is improving, though slowly.  But no one in their right mind reasonably expectys the economy to turn sharply around after its disastrous fall in 2008.  The Recovery Act takes time, and so far, it seems to be working.  Time will tell.

Foreign Policy

It is too early yet to see whether Obama’s foreign policy will work.  Obama’s speeches in Turkey and Cairo wer landmark speeches, but have yet to lead to anything tangible.  So, far Iraq seems to go forward with elections, but the stability of the country remains a major question mark.  The Afghanistan policy is not clearly formulated, and that’s to Obama’s — and the U.S.’s — detriment.  So, far public opinion polls show that international opinion of Americans is heading toward the favorbaility range, which is good for U.S. tourism and cross-national educational linkages.  What presidents can and can’t take credit for internationally is not well established.  Can Obama take credit for appointing Hillary Clinton who finally got Armenia and Turkey to sign a diplomatic accord?  Hard to say, but as this is a young presidency, one can’t expect the entire world to change at once.  Unless you disliked Obama from the get-go, in which case such unrealistic expectations can be tranlsated into equally unrealistic criticisms.

11 comments to President Obama’s Accomplishments in Office Since January 2009

  • It’s absolutely astonishing what’s called an accomplishment these days, and unbelievable the blindness to one’s own partisanship one can get in order to shore up a tissue-thin resume.

  • Joshua

    What’s equally unbelievable is that people expect miracles from a guy who has spent all of 10 months in office. Perhaps a history lesson will help put Obama in perspective: Until 9/11/01, President Bush had very few accomplishments. The biggest was No Child Left Behind; his smallest was his meek apology to the Chinese for the U.S. Air Force pilot who was captured over their skies. Bush’s ability to expand executive power, push through anti-terror legislation, and secure funding for foreign and domestic anti-terror efforts were a result of the social, political and economic magnitude that was 9/11. It remains unclear what, exactly, the dogged radical right wants from Obama who is attempting to fulfill an ambitious agenda within his first year but, as anyone with common political sense knows, faces extreme partisan opposition. This charge that Obama hasn’t accomplished anything comes straight from the Republican machine that openly admits they want Obama to fail.

  • I understand that criticism of the Obamessiah is really just partisan bickering instead of actual concern about things like taxes and not being murdered by militant Islamists, but try to follow along.

    It’s not just that he hasn’t done anything. It’s that he claimed he would make many sweeping changes, was lauded and helped into office by the Obamedia for making those promises, and hasn’t made good on any of them. There’s been a lot of talk by his socialist supporters that he’s got a mandate, that his election is a repudiation of Bush’s policies, that hope and change will improve the world.

    It’s all bullshit. He was elected on the basis of a lot of hot air and empty promises, (which isn’t unusual for a president), and no matter how little success he’s had in implementing them, he is still lionized for just being who he is. With majorities in the House and Senate, this Nobel Prize-worthy president has achieved extremely little and spoken a great deal, most of it uncomplimentary about the previous administration (classy stuff, that. I assume that’s another thumbs-up).

    All the whining about how little Bush did in his two terms, or that the Republican machine wants Obama to fail, won’t change that. In my mind, it’s beyond unbelievable that anyone could complain bitterly about Obama’s treatment by the opposition party when all Obama and his party did for the last eight years was pray that Bush failed in everything he did. They did everything but cheer when American servicemen died in Iraq. They compared him to Hitler many times, they made movies about his notional assassination, they made anyone who supported him out to be stupid and evil and greedy. Their allies in the media undermined every policy Bush hoped to put into place. I don’t know if your memory is faulty or you’re deliberately forgetting, but feel free to look through the archives to find the evidence of these stories.

    When it comes to a president who chides Israel for building settlements but refuses to take a hard line on the Palestinians who try to murder their children; a president who has done everything within his power to socialize the economy; a president whose social spending initiatives will place an unbelievable debt on the country for decades; and a president who is working very hard to not only undo the very policies that have kept America from terrorist attack since 9/11, but also is seeking to prosecute the people who put those policies in place, I want him to fail.

    And the extremely meager accomplishments listed in this post don’t change any of that, either. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it: having to defend isn’t as much fun as being on the attack. And there’s a great deal so far to defend with President Obamessiah.

  • melissa

    Use your brain. Bush was only interested in helping the already rich. Obama wants to help everyone, even those who hate him. THAT is what a president is supposed to do.

  • Thank you for that incisive, trenchant analysis of Bush’s presidency and Obama’s intentions. If only everyone was as smart as you, melissa.

  • Joshua

    Apparently 51% of the country was as smart as melissa (and I am deliberately using the lowercase m in melissa because that’s how I respect melissa). Obama was elected in part because of his promises, but then again, Bush promised no nation-building, and here we are in Iraq. I need no reminders of how some a-holes called the president Hitler. I never called him Hitler, and if YOUR memory on that is faulty you can check the archives. And you missed the point, mon frere, w/r/t Bush’s accomplishments during his first 9 months in office: it is similar to Obama’s first 9 months, and it has nothing to do with alleged Messiah complexes or any of the fictional socialist spum thrown Obama’s way. It’s a young presidency at this point and to make claims that he has done nothing is just as wrongly-sweeping as saying Bush’s first 9 months was empty. Ergo the history lesson. ER-GO.

  • I’m not sure if you’re deliberately misunderstanding or you just don’t get it.

    Obama did very little during his career before the presidency, yet he was elected president. His accomplishments were meager and his election was helped by people blinded by his charisma, white guilt, or Christ knows what.

    Now, with 10 months in office, he’s been given unstinting praise for his performance by the Obamedia; the Nobel Prize committee; and people, like yourself, who either can’t stand to see criticism of the Obamessiah, or simply need to justify throwing their votes away. There’s not enough record to call him a good president. There aren’t enough visible accomplishments. He’s done nothing to deserve his praise and accolades.

    Nobody in his right mind would think that the sweeping, disturbing changes he has in mind for this once-great country could be accomplished in his 10 months in office. That’s not the point. The point is that the Obalove for the Obamessiah is patently ludicrous when weighed against what he’s done so far.

  • Joshua

    I believe me and melissa are in our right minds. Believe me, with the arguments presented here (and elsewhere), I am not sure if the anti-Obama mob are deliberately misunderstanding the issues of the day or are too into Obama-bashing to poke their heads out of the sand.

  • I wouldn’t throw my lot in with melissa (sic) if I were you.

  • Carolyn

    If you’ll notice, the majority of accomplishments have been simply to give away our money. And I voted for him.

    I’m a former Republican turned Independent.

  • Sonji

    I agree Joshua people are not being realistic about the time it takes to implement sanctions, laws, plans etc. It takes time. I remember the president Obama distinctly saying on more than one occassion while running for President that it would take some time to achieve the changes that America needs. It is very clear that a lot of officials and closed minded people want to fight against him instead of trying to help him. Why not come together in a dignified way with out the hate and drama of name calling. That is so childish and ignorant. I thought the majority of America was past that but obviously not. The media preys on any drama they can build their ratings with and its obvious in some folks that the media has accomplished it thru the Republican party by trying to find a problem with everything the cabinet tries to implement instead of trying to work with them to find a solution. The president made it clear when he 1st got in office that he would welcome ways to fix our economy, healthcare, and war efforts with no regard on what party they were from. Since then Republicans and others have done nothing but feed the media all the dirt they could cre-ate which gave birth to all the negativity geared to the president right now. Our economy, healthcare, foreign affairs was blown up when President Obama got there and if you think he can fix it that fast or any one else with all the red tape involved. You live in a fairy land and you need to come back earth and pray to heavenly God for the president and stop bashing every effort. Thank You Get real!