Over the last few weeks, I have heard many people talk about what President Obama has not been able to do.
Given, there are a lot of things the president has not done very well. Most recently, the victory of a Republican in the Massachusetts Senate race and, a few weeks prior, the two Republican victories have provided roadblocks. Certainly, the president has not fared very well in his message campaign on health care reform. Also, the economy has not recovered as fast as he would’ve liked.
But there is a very large list of successes President Obama did have last year. One of the first things the president did when he walked into office was sign an executive order lifting the ban on stem cell research. Due to this, scientists may be able to find new ways to treat some debilitating conditions such as Lou Gehrig’s disease and cancer.
One of the main criticisms of the president regards the many bailouts, handed out as a result of the economy collapsing. We should remember, President Obama inherited a large budget deficit and an economy on the verge of spinning out of control. So the steps the president decided to take were to stabilize the economy, through pumping federal cash into a number of banks.
The president was forced to give companies like GM federal dollars to stay alive, and as a result GM is still around, and in January they were profitable. Tuesday the Detroit News reported GM saw a 14 percent increase in its sales from the same time last year. Late last month Ford Motor Company reported a net income of 1.3 billion dollars in 2009. So the president did succeed in helping the auto industry, even though many Republicans were saying let it fail.
Another controversial move the president made last year was the stimulus package he designed to keep the economy from collapsing. The stimulus package did not do everything the president hoped it would do, admittedly. For one, the administration was hoping unemployment would stop at 8 percent, when it actually stopped at 10 percent.
However, the stimulus package did provide funding for many road projects in Michigan that helped to create jobs. It increased Pell Grants to help needy students have the money to continue their education. It provided money to many school districts around the country to help modernize their education facilities.
Many of theses reforms, the president promised to do on the campaign trail. But these are not all. The president signed legislation to make sure women are paid equally to men. He also signed legislation last year that made it harder for credit card companies to hide what they’re charging. This legislation helped ban unfair rate hikes and excessive fees. Obama also signed into law legislation protecting our kids from advertisements of tobacco and cigarettes.
Also last year, the president signed into law much-needed reforms in the way we hand out military contracts. This is going to help possibly save billions of dollars in taxpayer money. So while some people don’t talk about it, the president has had a very productive year. Many of these pieces of legislation passed were ones blocked by the Bush administration.
We are starting to see the economy turn around because of the president’s work. The Commerce Department recently reported the fastest economic growth since 2003. This is one of many clear signs of economic turnaround. So the GOP has tried to accuse the president of not listening to its ideas and not focusing on the economy. I think the GOP is full of hot air.