Friday, December 30, 2016

The Accomplishments of the Obama Presidency

As the year is closing out and with it, the Obama presidency, it is time to look back and list the accomplishments of the 44th president. In doing so, it is important to understand this is a list of what the president did, whether you think it was good or bad, whether you like him or you don’t like him; controversy will not be allowed about the list. Opinions have been shared widely and freely over the eight years Barack Obama has led the nation. If you have more to say, go elsewhere. All I’m trying to do is to list what he accomplished during his two terms. In that spirit, please feel free to offer suggestions as to what I have missed.

1.       Affordable Care Act. Perhaps his signature accomplishment.
2.       Withdrawal of ground forces from Iraq and Afghanistan.
3.       Authorizing the raid in Pakistan that resulted in the killing of Osama Bin Laden.
4.       Authorizing navy snipers to kill the pirates that held an American merchant marine captain hostage.
5.       2009 Public Works spending on ‘shovel ready’ projects.
6.       Race to the Top and NCLB waivers in education.
7.       Opening to Cuba, reestablishment of diplomatic ties with the Cuban government.
8.       Engineered the treaty with Iran about their nuclear program.
9.       Led NATO (prodded by HRC) to conduct air strikes on behalf of Libyan rebels fighting the Qaddafi regime.
10.   Continued the program of using drones to assassinate Al Qaeda, Taliban, Daesh (you hear them reported as ISIS or ISIL), and other Middle Eastern terrorist leaders.
11.   Allowed the regulatory agencies to publish numerous new rules regarding fuels used by power plants, for-profit colleges, practices of the financial sector, &c.
12.   Prevented leasing of off-shore Atlantic parcels for oil & gas exploration.
13.   Created the Consumer Finance Protection Agency through the Dodd-Frank Bill.
14.   Ended the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy and allowed openly same-sex oriented persons to serve in the Armed Forces without threat of sanction or discharge.
15.   Student loans for college now come from the federal government rather than having the federal government guarantee loan repayments for private lenders.
16.   Signed the Paris Accord on climate change.

That’s all I can think of, but I am sure you will want to add others. The only rule is that it must be a direct action of the president. For example, to say he created a million new jobs does not qualify unless he hired a million people for new White House staff positions. Perhaps you think something on the list should be deleted? Explain why. This is a retrospective of what the man did regardless of how we feel about it.