I recently read letters to the editor by a Peter Robb and Michael Fontes, both which complained about President Obama’s supposed poor leadership, incompetence and failures during the first six years of his presidency. What amazed me in both letters is that neither writer was able to point to a single issue to illustrate or support their complaints. Mr. Robb in particular felt that he could speak for most of us when he wrote “the majority of Americans are unhappy with the direction Mr. Obama has taken the country.” (He could not bring himself to address our president properly.)
I for one am eternally grateful that President Obama has been our leader for these past six years, taking the country from war-weary recession to peace and prosperity. While even Mr. Robb and Mr. Fontes must be aware of President Obama’s achievements, lists of his accomplishments are easy to find just by going on the internet. I found capsule lists of the top 50 and comprehensive lists of over 200 significant accomplishments of our hard-working president. Let me point out that the Republicans in Congress have done little to help our president and even stated that their goal was to see him fail and not get a second term. They failed at this one task miserably because President Obama is devoted to helping every American improve his or her lot in life, whereas the obstructionists in Congress, and we all know who they are, had one primary goal: To improve their own lot in life at the expense of the American people and our president.
Here are a few highlights of what President Obama has accomplished so far: Saved the country from the Bush/Cheney great recession by signing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law which helped to add 3.7 million private sector jobs; he ended the needless war in Iraq that had killed thousands of U.S. troops and millions of Iraqis while enriching Halliburton and friends; he got Osama bin Laden after then President Bush said he wasn’t interested in doing so; he provided health insurance coverage to 32 million Americans with the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, which also stops insurance companies from using the pre-existing condition refusal trick; he expanded health coverage for children paid for by a tax on tobacco products; he passed Wall Street reform so that what the previous administration had allowed would not happen again; he turned around the U.S. auto industry, saving millions of good-paying jobs after most on the right wanted it to go bankrupt; he boosted fuel economy standards; he raised the international opinion of the USA in 10 of 15 countries by an average of 26 per cent per a Pew Global Attitudes Project survey; he expanded Pell Grants for students while stopping banks from profiting on the student loan program, thus saving millions for students and their families; he got rid of Gaddafi; he increased support for our veterans by 26 per cent and signed a new GI bill offering $78 billion in tuition assistance; he passed credit card reform; he achieved a new START treaty with Russia that reduces the number of warheads and strengthens monitoring; he expanded wilderness and watershed protection; he signed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act; he created Recovery.gov, an independent watchdog organization that roots out fraud and abuse in government; he reduced the federal budget deficit from $1.4 trillion in 2009 to a Congressional Budget Office projection of just $469 billion for 2015.
I could go on and on, but you get the picture. As a small businessman in Massachusetts, I am happy to report that my business has grown significantly over the past six years. Had the Bush/Cheney recession not been stopped by President Obama’s actions, I and many other entrepreneurs could have failed. As it is, the stock market has doubled since our president took office. Unemployment has gone from a high of 10 per cent in 2009 to just 6.2 per cent today. On August 18, The Washington Post reported that higher-paying jobs are now seeing a resurgence as well. So while others may hide their inability to accept President Obama as their president with unsupported rhetoric, I am grateful every day and salute his and our country’s great successes over the past four years.
While no man is perfect, I believe that President Obama has proven himself under fire and will go down in history as one of our greatest leaders along with Franklin D. Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy.
James A. Barisano