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Barack Obama, 2012, for sure!
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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