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Obama's Record

Updated on September 17, 2012

Republicans have run, often and loudly, with the message that President Obama has no record to his time in office. The implication here is that, in hie four years in office, Obama has done nothing except twiddle his thumbs, allow the deficit to explode on his watch, and pass a marginally useless and, one would think after seeing some critiques of the policy, criminal health care bill. That, the critics say, is no example of leadership, or of how a President should behave while in office. Being a Democrat, the argument made little sense to me. After all, while Obama may not have accomplished all of the things he said he would, he does have a record.

But then I took a second look at these arguments. I have not changed my initial views about them. They still reside somewhere out in the ozone layer in terms of credibility and accuracy. However, after much deliberation, examination and brow-beating on my part, I have come to this conclusion; The "Obama has no record" argument makes little sense if you look at his record, but it does raise a fair and interesting point. Obama can not run on his record.

Here is a small list of Obama's accomplishments during his first four years;

1. He signed a stimulus bill that ultimately put 4.1 million people back to work, and led to 28 consecutive months of job creation.

2. He bailed out Chrysler and General Motors, basically saving the auto industry as we know it. Minnesota, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and other rust belt states have much to thank him for. The Auto bailout saved a crucial part of their economy.

3. Obama signed the Lily Ledbetter Act, which put an end to years of unequal pay for women.

4. Obama signed an executive order requiring law enforcement to overlook all undocumented immigrants under the age of sixteen who had been brought into the country by their parents.

5. Obama passed the Affordable Care Act ( also known as The Health Care Bill, or Obama-care).

These are some mighty accomplishments, from a President who had to work with an obstructionist Congress for the last two years. However, their remains a big problem facing Obama going into November. It's still the economy, stupid. And Obama still has an 8.3 percent unemployment rate on his watch. Obama can say that his policies have the economy moving in the right direction. He cannot say that the economy has been saved by his policies. Not yet, and, if he loses in November, not ever.

When the economy is just crawling out of a terrible recession, 23 million people remain without jobs, and a large number of people have simply stopped looking for work, it is inadvisable to boast of other achievements. Obama has a hefty list to his name, but, as Republicans say, he cannot run on them. Obama must face the economic headwinds, and convince voters that his economic policies merit a second term. In order to win, Obama has to answer two questions; How have his policies helped Americans? How will we be better off four years from now, if he is reelected?

So far, Obama has gotten a pass from answering these questions, mainly because Mitt Romney seems determined to lose his election bid. Romney recently took the focus off of the economy, yet again, by wading into a foreign policy issue. This comes as a shock, because Romney has just given Obama a chance to press his advantage with foreign policy. Obama will probably continue to emphasize that this election is all about a choice. That choice is this; Do we want Mitt Romney, who has no experience in foreign policy, and has an economic plan that would take us eight years backward, or do we want Obama to continue guiding our nations economy in the right direction?

Just my two cents, but the debates should be very interesting.


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    • Nathan Orf profile image

      Nathan Orf 5 years ago

      William Young,

      Sorry my reply was so long in coming. I had to unplug my computer due to bad weather, and have been busy since.

      To counter your first point, I must reiterate what I have said before; the Stimulus did save the economy from another Great Depression. It even added 4 million jobs to the economy, and led to 28 consecutive months of job creation. All of this, I learned from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

      Unemployment has certainly been a constant problem in the last four years. The economy has been moving forward at the pace of a snail. After he passed the Stimulus package, Obama tried to pass the American Jobs Act, which would have helped speed up the recovery. Republicans blocked the bill.

      This after Republicans nearly allowed the United States to go into default by letting the debt ceiling collapse. This irresponsible action had consequences, namely, that Standard and Poors' downgraded the U.S's credit rating from AAA to AA+.

      2. Obama did indeed bail out GM. And Chrysler. To my knowledge, it is still an American company in the hands of American citizens. In fact, all Big Three Auto Giants are now getting better business in the United States than they are in Europe or Asia. As for Ford, you are right. It never needed to be bailed out, so it wasn't. Nowadays, all three companies are doing fine, and everyone, union and nonunion workers alike, are doing better in the automotive industry.

      The Auto Bailout only applied to American Companies, the Big Three. Ford, as we have agreed, did not need a bailout, and Toyota and Hyundai are foreign companies, and so were subject to the laws of Japan and South Korea.

      3. Until 2009, most women were paid less than their male counter parts for the same jobs, and the same amount of work-time. And there was nothing particularly partisan about it, except for the fact that many Republicans voted against the bill. The Lily Ledbetter Act was signed before the "Republican War on Women" even started. Although, from the way many Republican legislatures have been behaving, one would certainly think that being a women is basis enough for invasive ultrasounds...

      4. Yes, it is a crime, but not if you have been dragged into it by your parents, when you were too young to even understand what was going on.

      And the action that Obama took allows law enforcement to do their jobs more effectively, by singling out those who qualify to stay in the country (i.e, those people who were under the age of five when brought over, have served in the military, gone to college, etc). That leaves the rest of the illegal immigrants, who, for various reasons, do not qualify. They have two choices, apply for citizenship, or be deported.

      5. The Affordable Care Act has been defined mostly by the individual mandate, which, I admit, is not a very delicate approach to the crises in healthcare. We have the health insurance lobby to thank for that part of the bill.

      Here are some of the provisions in the law;

      The Guaranteed issue requires that all policies be issued, regardless of pre-existing medical conditions.

      Health Insurance exchanges will operate in every state, creating a market place, where any person or small business can compare policies or buy insurance.

      Small businesses that provide their employers with health insurance will be given subsidies to make up for the cost.

      All health Insurance companies must inform the public when and if they want to raise insurance rates.

      Also, the CBO has estimated that instead of adding to the deficit, the law will lower both deficits and cut back the cost of Medicare.

      Finally, with regard to the turbulence overseas, that is a poor argument, I think, because the Middle East became far more complicated and hard to predict during the Arab Spring. No Administration could have hoped to control events there.

      The "disorganized mob" you mentioned seems to have been anything but disorganized. I think it was an attack, with extremists simply using the video as an excuse for their actions. You must notice, by the way, that this occurred on September 11th. That was probably no coincidence.

      So I must say, I am correct. Obama's policies have done much good, but they are not popular, so he must use another case.

    • William Young profile image

      William Young 5 years ago from Eaglle Grove, Iowa


      I would love to debate this with you...Don't worry, I'm going to be nice. I don't agree with those who say that Obama has no record to run on. However the record that he is running on is not impressive. Now, to be honest, I haven't seen the actual numbers on the job creation by the stimulus, but I can tell you this---Obama and the Democrat controlled Congress sold Americans on the Stimulus on the proposition that it if they passed it, unemployment wouldn't rise above 8%. Unemployment has been above 8% for 42 straight months. Not only that, but the GAO estimated that the interest on the stimulus will ultimately add 9 trillion dollars to the national debt. There are still 23 million Americans without full time work.

      2. Obama bailed out General Motors. Chrysler was sold to a company overseas, Fiat. He did not save the auto industry-- Ford, Toyota, Hyundai and scores of other auto brands never took a bailout and they are doing fine today. With regard to the GM bailout, GM still owes the tax payers about 40 billion dollars. The non-union employees of Delphi auto (GM's parts division) watched their pensions that they had been saving for decades for their retirement wiped out by a bankruptcy judge while Obama worked out a deal allowing union employees to keep their pensions.

      3. The effect of the Lily Ledbetter act is just another chapter in the Democrats phony narrative in the supposed Republican war on women. There are MILLIONS and MILLIONS of women out there who make more money than their male counter parts. In the city that I work for, the City clerk, who is basically a secretary, makes about $3000 per year more than the police chief.

      4. Being in the United States illegally is a federal crime. That's not a policy, that's not the political opinion of one side or the other, that is a Federal law that was passed on a bi-partisan basis. President Obama has no authority to order that the law not be enforced. His job as President is to order his Attorney General to enforce the laws as they are written. He is NOT an emperor, he has no authority to pass laws on his own and just slap the title "Executive Order" on it, which is exactly what he did. The United States Supreme Court is going to rule that Obama has no authority to do that. And it is a further demonstration that Obama has no respect for the Constitutionally mandated separation of powers of the co-equal branches.

      5. Now, about the affordable care act...There are things about the law that are good, like the coverage of pre-existing conditions. But Obamacare is an overreach, it goes too far, doctors hate it, it WILL in fact, lead to health care rationing, putting government in between a patient and their doctor, and Obama's claim that the law is deficit neutral is just simply absurd. The law will add trillions to the national debt. And let's face it, most Americans do not like it in its current form.

      And as we have seen this week, Obama's foreign policy in the Middle East is a total and complete catastrophe. His insistence that a U.S. Ambassador and his security detail were assassinated by a disorganized angry mob that was offended over a Youtube video is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard from an American president.

      But you are correct---Obama does have a record to run on. But it's not a good one.