President Barack Obama Top 12 Accomplishments in 2010.
Source, The Atlanta Post. Originally posted on December 31, 2010.
What grade would you give President Obama for his performance this year? Like many conservatives and staunch liberals, would you give him a big red D or F and hope that somehow he will be impeached? Or, do you feel that he has done a decent job of keeping most of his campaign promises and should receive at least a B-minus? Obviously, there is a strong dichotomy that exists across the nation on President Obama’s performance during the first two years of his presidency, as objectively evidenced by numerous polls. Some individuals wholeheartedly believe that President Obama could have simply snapped his fingers by now to fix the economy and other enormous issues that evolved years prior to his presidency. Conversely, there are certain people that believe that his 200-plus accomplishments over two years are truly extraordinary and unprecedented.
Photo By Stephen Crowley/The New York Times
Certainly, politically-polarized cable chatter and frequent under-reporting of his accomplishments by the mainstream news media have led to a significant shortage in the amount of unbiased assessment of his performance. For individuals who are solely interested in the truth, it has become extremely important to research non-partisan media outlets and fact-checking organizations that consistently lay out the facts without unnecessary sensationalism and bias. Effective engagement in politics requires the truth about all aspects of public policies and an honest assessment of a president’s accomplishments and weaknesses.
In 2010, President Obama did have some major achievements that were unparalleled and very significant in nature. Although not an all-inclusive list, the following do represent twelve of the best legislative successes that President Obama, Congress and other key stakeholders were able to accomplish and to promulgate to the public:
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1. New START. The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) is a bilateral treaty between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) that is purposed to reduce the number of strategic nuclear missile launchers by half and to establish a new inspection and verification regime. The treaty was recently ratified by Congress after being signed earlier this year by President Obama and Russian President Dimitry Medvedev.
2. DADT Appeal. President Obama recently signed the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ (DADT) Repeal Bill into law, which will allow gays to serve openly in America’s military. For the first time in history, gays no longer have to hide their sexual orientation or face dismissal. According to objective statistics, more than 13,000 military personnel were released under the DADT since 1993.
3. Tax Cuts. President Obama recently signed an enormous tax cut bill that will extend the Bush era tax cuts for families at all income levels through 2012. The bill also consisted of a new payroll tax cut for wage earners, numerous tax breaks for businesses and extended jobless benefits to the long-term unemployed.
4. Fair Sentencing Act. Earlier this year, President Obama signed the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 to reduce racial inequity that has historically existed relative to the sentencing of people caught with crack cocaine versus powder cocaine. To be charged with a felony, crack users needed to possess only 5 grams of the drug to be sentenced with the same charge that powder cocaine users needed to be caught with (500 grams). Now, to be charged, crack users need to possess 28 grams of crack cocaine to 500 grams of powder cocaine.
5. Childhood Obesity Act. President Obama recently signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which was primarily spearheaded by First Lady Michelle Obama. This bill is purposed to subsidize free meals in low-income areas, to ensure that children receive well-balanced and nutritious school meals, to provide free or reduced-price meals to nearly 31 million low-income children and to ultimately reduce childhood obesity.
6. Health Care Reform. Although controversial in nature, President Obama’s historic signing of the health care reform bill (i.e., The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010) will result in health care coverage for over 30 million additional Americans, as well as lowered costs for most Americans. Additionally, the health care reform bill will preclude insurance companies from placing lifetime limits on benefits and from denying coverage to individuals and family members with pre-existing health conditions.
7. Improper Payments. President Obama signed the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act, which is purposed to prevent such payments sent by the government to the wrong person or for the wrong reasons or in the wrong amounts. President Obama also established a goal for his administration to reduce improper payments by $50 billion by 2012.
8. Iraq. One of the primary messages of his presidential campaign was the withdrawal of combat troops out of Iraq. President Obama and his National Defense personnel were able to implement this promise, as more than 90,000 combat troops were withdrawn out of Iraq by August 31, 2010.
9. Wall Street Reform. President Obama signed the historic Wall Street Reform Bill, which was established to put an end to taxpayer-funded bailouts, create a new watchdog agency within the Federal Reserve to protect consumers in financial transactions, give the government more power to break up failing companies and create greater congressional oversight over the central bank.
10. HIRE Act. President Obama signed the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act, which included $17.5 billion in tax cuts, business credits and subsidies for state and local construction bonds, and moved $20 billion into the highway trust fund for spending on highway and transit programs. The bill also exempts businesses that hire unemployed workers from paying the payroll security tax through December of 2010.
11. HBCU Funding. President Obama signed the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), which will include a $98 million funding increase for HBCUs. This Executive Order will also provide funding for the repair, renovation, and construction or acquisition of educational facilities, instructional equipment, research instrumentation, and physical infrastructure.
12. Appointment of Justice Elena Kagen. In addition to appointing Sonia Sotomayor as the first Hispanic to the Supreme Court in 2009, President Obama similarly appointed former Solicitor General Elena Kagen in 2010.
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Special Thanks to Anthony Jerrod’s of The Atlanta Post
President Obama’s Top 12 Accomplishements
May your 2011 be easier, better and greater, Mr. President.
Thank you, Lara Queen Black
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