Barack Obama, 2012, for sure!

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Barack Obama, 2012, for sure! And here's why:

Osama Bin Laden is gone. Many al Qaeda and Taliban leaders are gone as well. Terrorist factions around the globe have been weakened. Our military men and women, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers are home from Iraq. More of our military men and women will be coming home soon from Afghanistan. The continuing health care, benefits, support and jobs for returning veterans have received increased attention. We are fighting necessary wars smarter. We have outlawed torture. The esteem of the United States and its citizens has risen higher in the world, making the U.S. a stronger global power and making it easier for us to do business with international trading partners.

Our health care system is on the mend. More Americans are now covered by health insurance, and for many more it has become more affordable. More children and young adults have access to affordable health care. Patient rights have been afforded greater protection. The trend toward universal health care coverage spreads America's substantial medical costs more fairly across our citizenry. Insurance companies and medical providers are being held more accountable. Basic preventive services are now covered for many of our citizens. Medicare and Medicaid have been shored up.

The stock market is on the rise, and with it, the retirement funds and savings of millions of Americans. There is now greater oversight of the nation's multivariate financial industry, making a repeat of the latest deep and long recession less likely. A recent settlement with major lending concerns will ease some of the negative pressures on the foreclosed, the financially underwater, and the real estate, housing and construction markets. General Motors and Chrysler are still today viable and strengthening companies — with many jobs preserved, many additional jobs already filled, and many more jobs for the future — due to the Federal government's intervention during the latest recession. Funds used to shore up the nation's financial markets have been repaid, in many cases with interest, and our financial infrastructure is on a more solid footing than it had been. The severe recession that threatened another Great Depression has ended, and economic recovery continues. Jobs are again being created in substantial numbers across the land. Consumer confidence is lifting, and the consumer spending that comprises a great part of the national GDP is on the rise. Consumers now have protection at the Federal level against unfair and deceptive financial practices.

The size of the Federal Government, and its impact on businesses both great and small, has been reduced. Many unnecessary and redundant regulations have been rolled back, and a number of superfluous agencies have been eliminated. The Federal Budget is being methodically pared down, as the nation moves closer to a balanced budget. Tax relief has been provided to millions of middle- and lower-income Americans. Unemployment benefits have been substantially extended for many, and employment incentives have been offered to businesses both large and small. Education benefits have been expanded, and student loan repayment schedules eased. Greater emphasis has shifted to the STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — fields, to make Americans more competitive, both globally and at home. We are at last seeing progress in educational reform: teacher pay linked to performance, innovative teaching methods, the growth in charter schools.

The country is becoming a more tolerant society. Our political process is increasingly open to all views on all topics. Gays may now rightfully and freely serve in our armed forces. States are beginning to recognize the right to same-sex marriage. The outbursts of Islamaphobia that sporadically followed 9/11 have diminished. We have begun the long and complex development of appropriate immigration regulation. The issue of income disparity in the United States has moved into the spotlight.

After years of diminished expectations and dashed hopes, Americans are now beginning to see opportunity and promise. The dream that the next generation may be able to do better and to live better than the current generation is again being rekindled.


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mio cid profile image

mio cid 4 years ago from Uruguay

And we'll be laughing all the way to the inauguration of Obama's second term.


Eric Prado profile image

Eric Prado 4 years ago from Webster, Texas

Great hub. I know I will be voting for Obama again. He did everything he said he was going to do and none of that was for HIS benefit, unlike some republicans who shall remain nameless. Voted WAY up! =)


EstellaGrace profile image

EstellaGrace 4 years ago from New York

If this is a serious hub, then it is scary. We aren't supposed to need the government, in order to see opportunity, that is the whole point. Go read something real, and then question yourself. The government does not HAVE money. You don't declare yourself a "government" and then instantly billions of dollars appear in your bank account. The government TAKES money from the citizens of this country, and then tells them what to spend the rest of it on. Does that feel like freedom to you?


Josak profile image

Josak 4 years ago from variable

So go be an anarchist Estella Somalia has no government, I hear it's lovely this time of year. Stop whining about taxes while using the roads our taxes built, sending your children to the schools we all pay for and relying on the protection of our police and military. Rick: good hub voted up and interesting.


marywanders profile image

marywanders 4 years ago from minnesota

I think you need to check your facts. I can tell you right now I have no insurance and I do NOT want to be forced to buy any, especially substandard over priced crap that will be forced upon me by a federal government.. sheeple its unfortune, I feel sorry for you.

Learn how to think for yourself and not just parrot the lies others are telling you... try looking at facts


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

Don't bother commenting, he deletes them if they do not agree with him. Can't take the heat.


rickzimmerman profile image

rickzimmerman 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio Author

Becky & Mary: Actually, I don't delete comments that disagree with me, just those that cross over into rabid and spiteful. There's been far too much of that fostered by the extreme right and the extreme left. We need thoughtful, reasoned debate in this country. We need more light and less heat.

And I'd suggest you follow your own advice, and learn to think for yourselves and check the facts: the Federal government's 'intrusion' into our lives has been less under the Obama administration than under the George W. Bush administration.

Those who argue that one shouldn't be required to buy health insurance should note that all American drivers have been required to buy auto insurance for years, not only to protect all other Americans, but also to earn the privilege to drive freely in our society, and for the overall lowering of all auto insurance costs for all drivers. As one who pays dearly for health insurance and pays substantial Federal, state and local taxes, I resent having to also subsidize the inflated emergency room costs of all those who cannot or do not pay for any health insurance at all. I also feel it is cruelly inhumane and greedy (as well as shortsighted) to deny access to healthcare for the very poor and the extremely disadvantaged. Greater (more universal) healthcare has been proven by many nations around the globe to reduce everyone's health care costs, while improving overall health, well-being and reducing adverse societal effects, like undiagnosed mental health problems, crime and drug addiction.

And, about that 'substandard overpriced crap', I'm sure you feel the same about the U.S. military that defends our homeland and citizens; or the Social Security checks that arrive regularly at your elder relatives' (or your) mailbox; or the Medicare or Medicaid payments that are supporting your ailing friends or relations; or the Federal disaster relief that is helping to rebuild tornado-ravaged cities; or the National Park System you enjoy; or the Federal highway system you use every day; or the Coast Guard that rescues the stray boaters, swimmers and hikers; or the FDA that keeps your prescription meds safe; or the student loans that may be assisting a college student you know; or the FAA that makes sure your plane takes off and lands safely; or the EPA that insures the quantity and quality of your local water supply.

Wake up to the fact that government isn't the problem — bad government is. And Obama has done more in 3-1/2 years to align the Federal government with good government than W. managed over 8 years. Barack Obama in 2012, for sure.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

"This is a joke right?" That is over the line? That was one of the comments you deleted. I do not believe you and I still believe that this is foolishness. If Obama wins, I actually have plans to move to another country and my family has been here since the Mayflower. My family made this country and would roll over in their graves at what he is doing.


marywanders profile image

marywanders 4 years ago from minnesota

I am sure you think you understand what all those programs do and where the money comes from, but I have to tell you, not all of what you think is correct.

I am former military, I do not use any of the programs I am entitled to because I don't need them.

I also pay my medical bills out of my own pocket.

This isn't meant to be insulting or any thing this is so you can look up a really old program that was put inplace many years ago, its called the dumbing down of America, what it is or was intended to do is destroy the educational system so that Americans can be led like sheep and fall for the tricks by many of the politicians, I kknow this has worked because many of the classes that were required when I was in school are not even offered until college now. The general population has not got a very good idea of what the government is doing or how it is supposed to operate as the constitution is now pretty much being ignored.


rickzimmerman profile image

rickzimmerman 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio Author

Becky: Perhaps if you are that pessimistic, it might make you happier to leave. For my part, I am very optimistic about the future of this country, and am proud and pleased and very thankful to be an American.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

I am thankful to be American, but I totally believe that if Obama becomes President for another term, we will no longer be free. I believe that he is trying to turn this into a Socialist country that we will not be free in. If you look at the techniques that he is using, they are extremely like were used in other countries to turn them into Socialict dictatorships. Check that out if you are not afraid to.

As far as me not wanting to be American, I do. My husband is a disabled veteran and we both love this country very much but not where it is going. I am an optimist by nature so that was not an easy decision for me. Why don't you go and leave the country to REAL patriots.


rickzimmerman profile image

rickzimmerman 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio Author

Estella: Regarding your point about the government not having any money except for what it takes from its citizens: You are right — that is any government's sole source of income, whether it 'takes' that money via income taxes or fees (such as road tolls, property taxes, admissions fees to National Parks, grazing fees on Federal lands, timber or mineral rights on Federal lands, patent application fees, fines, tariffs, etc.) So, be happy you don't reside in any of the many countries around the world that take a far bigger total bite out of your pocket than the U.S. does. Or, worse, never offers you the chance to make any money (or get an education, or vote, or be safe in your own home, or be free of discrimination, or have access to water or energy, etc.) to begin with.

So, a government must extract money from its citizens to fund worthwhile public efforts. That is a given, the world over. All the subsequent shouting is about how much a government might take, and how much it might spend on what.

I believe it is better to spend some on such things as national defense, safe drugs, early childhood education, preventive health care, clean water, clean air, safe foods, a better-preserved natural environment, help for the very poor and severely disadvantaged, aid to the arts, infrastructure improvements, and so on, rather than merely squandering it on tax cuts for the ultra-rich, subsidies to mega-corporations, graft, croneyism, corruption, and peeking into people's bedrooms and gynecological offices.


rickzimmerman profile image

rickzimmerman 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio Author

I believe real Americans welcome opinions of all sorts, pessimistic or optimistic or contrary or not, relying upon our cherished democratic process, free speech, voting, and consensus governing to arrive at what's right for the entire country. No single person can expect to be happy about everything, but real Americans trust that things generally will work out better in the long run for the vast majority, if we all just put our best efforts forward, without rancor or ill will. I am a real patriot; I'm just not going to sacrifice my free will and powers of analysis to anyone else, no matter how jingoistic or sanctimonious or condescending or misleading or virulent they might get.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

Considering that you have just told us that if we don't like it to leave, I do not see what good it does to even try discussing it with you. This country does not have the money to pay for all of these programs that they are trying to implement. And if they keep raising taxews on the rich, they will do like they do with England, whose taxes are higher for the rich and just move to another country taking their jobs with them. We would be better off letting them have some tax credits to provide jobs and let them get the economy moving, instead of just trickling along. And the government passing out money is not going to do that. It never has and never will. History repeats itself and if it keeps going the way it has been, this country will be a dictatorship and no one will have any money. Have you never studied economics or history?


rickzimmerman profile image

rickzimmerman 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio Author

I merely suggested you might be happier elsewhere since you seem so pessimistic. But, if not, I'm glad to have more American citizens who care passionately.

You should note, though, that the amount the Federal government has been paying for 'all of these programs' has been going down — squeezed out by the increases in such programs as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the military expenditures of several ill-conceived foreign wars. And that amount will likely continue trending downward, as those entitlement programs continue to grow.

As for taxing the rich, Great Britain once achieved a 95% tax rate on the very rich; America's very rich, by contrast, typically have not over the past decades paid any more than about 35%, and often quite less. So we're not yet in danger of the flight of the rich, as you suggest. We don't have to bribe rich folks to stick around. Believe me, they know just how good they've got it here.

As for creating jobs, the super-rich have a very poor track record there; the majority of new jobs are instead created by small businesses, whose owners typically fall in the 'well-off-to-only-slightly-rich' category (from $150K to $250K annual salaries). And, in most cases, the government doesn't simply 'pass out money'. Like most smart investors, it most often either gives money (or tax reductions) as incentives to bring about the public good for all of us (in infrastructure, cleaner air & water, equal rights, greater diversity, less discrimination, etc.)

And, yes, I have studied economics and history. There were those 70 years ago who called FDR a dictator, and claimed that he was making America Socialist, passing out money, taxing the rich, creating massive programs, and driving the country down the drain. Guess what? They were wrong. Just as those who feel that way today will be proved wrong.

Trust me. Obama will be relected, the country will do better, and we'll all be just fine. You will have no reason to feel so forlorn.


Mark Pitts profile image

Mark Pitts 4 years ago from United States

I so hope that you are disappointed and our country begins using a common sense approach under a much more conservative administration. Almost all of your points are not fact, but opinions of the left. Both England and Canada are trying to figure out how to privatize their own national healthcare systems. The leaders of the left care about control, not about the people. If Obama has his way, the US will go the way of the USSR, Greece, Spain, etc...


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

Social Security is not an entitlement, which you would know if you paid attention. Neither is Medicaid. They have been paid for out of our paychecks. It comes out every week. Medicare is an entitlement, and so is food stamps. Given to someone who does not work to receive it and does not pay for it. The entitlements are always said to include Social Security and that is wrong.


rickzimmerman profile image

rickzimmerman 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio Author

Sorry, Becky, but yes, Social Security is an entitlement, because those who have paid into the fund are entitled to benefits by law. The same is true of Medicare and Medicaid. Food stamps are entitlements granted by the states, and underwritten in part by the Federal government. To become entitled to them by law, you simply have to have an income sufficiently low to qualify.

Not everything one receives is 'paid for'. For example, I'm sure you enjoy clean water, paved roads, working sewers, an electric power grid, and police, fire and rescue services that you haven't specifically 'paid for', at least not on a dollar for dollar basis.

The basis of any civilization is that people trust that generally the needs of all are met in the most equitable fashion overall. I'm sure you must feel that there are still drastic inequities in the U.S.; I do too. But we must constantly monitor and adjust all of the payments and services to be as fair as we can as we move forward.

Unfairly demonizing one president, one administration or one group of people that may be receiving benefits or entitlements — despite the facts — does no one any good. We should all try instead to recognize each other's views and work toward equity, fairness and compromise.


rickzimmerman profile image

rickzimmerman 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio Author

Mark: I'm pretty confident of my facts. I regularly read not only local but regional newspapers, and scan a wide variety of magazine and media sources on a regular basis: Time, CNN, Rush Limbaugh (yes, even Rush!), Fox News, New Yorker, Newsweek, Huffington Post, the Drudge Report, Washington Post, NYTimes, Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Forbes, Discover, National Geographic, and some of the political blogs, both right and left. I don't believe I'm overly biased. And I don't believe I'll be disappointed. I hope you aren't, after the election, and will begin to see brighter days ahead, too.


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York

Thank you, Rick for a very positive and uplifting take on the upcoming election. I respect Mr. Obama, because he at least tried to remedy this great country's many ills, and if his success was not absolute, it was more for lack of cooperation from the creators of the economic mess Mr. Obama inherited. He brought us back from the brink of an unthinkable disaster. He did as good a job as anyone could have done under the extreme pressure of circumstances. If I were him, I wouldn't WANT the job--he is thanked so little for his monumental efforts on our behalf.


rickzimmerman profile image

rickzimmerman 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio Author

P7: You're welcome!


EstellaGrace profile image

EstellaGrace 4 years ago from New York

Josak, that's a little extreme, I believe we are both entitled to our own opinions. I love my country, and I believe there are things the government should be in charge of, such as roads and definitely military! My argument is that the numbers don't add up. We have borrowed trillions of dollars that we can't pay back. The powers that be are getting carried away, and it is in everyone's best interest to start thinking a little more clearly about the direction this country is headed in. Thanks for the personal attack though. That was very liberal of you.


rickzimmerman profile image

rickzimmerman 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio Author

Estella: You are absolutely right that we need to curtail spending and reduce the Federal deficit and the national debt. I also agree that it's in everyone's best interest to think clearly about what direction we are heading. I simply feel that there's a far greater chance that we'll be heading the right way with Obama than we would under the guidance of any of the present Republican rivals for the White House.


EstellaGrace profile image

EstellaGrace 4 years ago from New York

I appreciate that we all have the best interest of our country in mind here, and it's good to be making decisions based on what we think is best. The problem with Obama is his record spending. Bailing out big corporations is a big no-no. They took in millions of dollars for their products, and mis-managed their money. Then the government stepped in and said "Hey, you didn't do the right thing with the money you earned honestly, by providing your customers with a product they saw value in, and now you're failing, so we're gonna take money from those same customers who already paid you for your product, and we're gonna pay you again, only this time, you don't have to make/do/sell anything for it. Keep up the good work, try to be more responsible next time". Businesses that mis-manage their money FAIL, that's what business is. If you make it and do the right things with it, you make more of it. If you make it, and do the wrong things with it, you don't. Not to mention, there would have been plenty of ways for those companies to bail themselves out! Every tax paying citizen with their own house of financials has had to do the same thing. Nobody's perfect, and we have all accumulated debts in our lifetimes, but you figure out at way out of it. Sink or Swim. The government does not bail you out! Not to mention, if the bail out money had been put in the pockets of the consumers, rather than in the pockets of companies who make bad decisions, the consumers would have gone out and bought new cars, thus increasing revenues, and allowing the big corporations to fix themselves. I'm not looking for a democrat or a republican (they're no better!) to "give me the chance" to head in the right direction. I want them to get out of my way, so I can get there myself. I don't want the lesser of two evils anymore. I want what is right. What is right is abiding by the U.S. Constitution, and working for the tax payers. WE pay THEM. They are technically employed by us.

What if you had an employee in charge of a million dollar budget for your company, and gave him a list of things that needed to be accomplished that year. There was a list of 10 things, allowing for $100,000.00 per job. At the end of the year, two of them were accomplished, and all of the money was gone, but don't worry, that employee gave himself a raise with some of that million dollars. As for the rest....uh....we...don't....know where it went. But we're really sorry, and we won't do it again!

Democrats and Republicans can agree this is no good. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out something is wrong. This isn't a battle for office, it's a battle for life, and America is drowning.

Thanks for listening, thanks for the debate, and thanks for putting my original comment back up, that was very cool!


rickzimmerman profile image

rickzimmerman 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio Author

Estella: Thanks for your comment.

I agree with everything you've said, but with only this addition: I think that, in the case of both the nation's largest banks and GM and Chrysler, if we had all collectively said, "Tough. You screwed up, wasted money, were corrupt or inefficient, and performed badly, and we're therefore not going to bail you out. You can go down the drain," we would have all been plunged into a depression perhaps as bad or worse than The Great Depression of the early 1930s, and we'd likely still not be out of it. I think the alternate reality we are experiencing has been far, far better.

Also, remember: even though the 'bail-out/stimulus funds' were authorized up to some-$780 billion, only about 60% or so of that was ever actually disbursed or allocated, and all but about $150 billion has already been repaid, with interest. If all that Americans had to pay was $150 billion (or less) to avoid a Great Depression, it was probably worth it. Regretful, and wrong in a moral sense, and foisted on us by a bunch of scurrilous businessmen and politicians, but probably worth it.

Consider that Greece — a country and an economy that is smaller-than-pint-sized compared to America — may never be eventually salvaged, even after trillions and trillions of cash infusion and years of extreme hardships for all its citizens.

Check out the new posting on CNN that graphs job losses and gains from Bush through Obama, and I think you'll see we are finally on a good upward swing. It's incumbent on all of us to stay diligent and stay the course. If households can stay on budget, so too can our country. Let's just get there, together.


EstellaGrace profile image

EstellaGrace 4 years ago from New York

I'm a little more survival of the fittest than you, but at least that spending was based in our own country, if it had to happen. I'm now following you, even though at first I hated what I read! Hope you get a chance to read some of my stuff and put your spin on things!


rickzimmerman profile image

rickzimmerman 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio Author

Estella: Glad to!


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wwolfs 4 years ago

Interesting hub. I believe Obama is going to make it for second term.


rickzimmerman profile image

rickzimmerman 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio Author

Thanks, wwolfs. I believe his chances continue to improve as the economy mends, and as his rivals seem to continue alienating one constituency after another (women, Latinos, union members, those who believe SOME federal programs actually do some good, etc.)


mio cid profile image

mio cid 4 years ago from Uruguay

I think the republicans couldn't be more helpful for Obama to be reelected, now it's up to us, the democrat supporters to work hard to make it happen, and if either of the republican clowns get elected we will have no one to blame but ourselves for not voting in enough numbers . All we need to do is each voter get one voter to our side and there's no way we can lose. there are more of us than there are of them but they all vote.


rickzimmerman profile image

rickzimmerman 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio Author

Hear, hear, mio cid! Let's get out the vote!

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