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Old 06-09-2014, 10:10 AM  
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Obama Promised to Do 4 Big Things As President. Now He’s Done Them All.

Pretty interesting take on the Obama agenda as it stands after last week's announcements of the new EPA guidelines going forward. With those announcements, Obama has made significant strides in all four of his major policy planks from his Inaugural address:

1. Economic recovery measures.
2. Health care reform.
3. A response to climate change.
4. Education reform.

It's now more of a question of the quality of these advances compared to whether he was effective in getting anything done.

I think the article does neglect two other less-central-but-still-incredibly-important policy platforms, as well. The President wanted to end both wars and he wanted to pass immigration reform. The two wars will have concluded by 2017, and Obama's preferred immigration reform is either (a.) a few executive actions away, or (b.) will be passed within a decade in almost its entirety.

Of course, this is not to paint his administration as an unqualified success, as no doubt dozens of conservatives on the forum will willfully pretend I'm claiming. But the President has worked his bucket list down very effectively.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer...-promises.html

Obama Promised to Do 4 Big Things As President. Now He’s Done Them All.
By Jonathan Chait
June 8, 2014 9:20 p.m.

The conservative view of President Obama has straddled two difficult-to-reconcile portraits. One indicts him as a “Reagan of the left,” fundamentally (and, in their view, disastrously) altering the shape of the state. The other casts him as a hapless mediocrity, a Jimmy Carter redux. At the moment, the latter view is more in evidence — just in the last week, columns have appeared with headlines like “Is It Too Late for Obama to Rescue His Legacy?” and “The Failed Presidency of Barack Obama.”

On January 20, 2009, when Obama delivered his inaugural address as president, he outlined his coming domestic agenda in two sentences summarizing the challenges he identified: “Homes have been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly, our schools fail too many, and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.” Those were the four major areas of domestic reform: economic recovery measures, health-care reform, a response to climate change, and education reform. (To the justifiable dismay of immigration advocates, Obama did not call for immigration reform at the time, and immigration reform is now the only possible remaining area for significant domestic reform.) With the announcement of the largest piece of his environmental program last Monday, Obama has now accomplished major policy responses on all these things. There is enormous room left to debate whether Obama’s agenda in all these areas qualifies as good or bad, but “ineffectual” seems as though it should be ruled out at this point.

Certainly, when Obama unveiled his domestic ambitions, few thought to accuse him of setting the bar too low. In a speech before a joint session of Congress a month after his inauguration, which was the incoming president’s version of a State of the Union Address, Obama identified those same four priorities in more detail. This was about the time conservatives began to completely freak out; Charles Krauthammer, a voice of relative sobriety, called his speech “the boldest social democratic manifesto ever issued by a U.S. president.”

It was not that, but Obama did call for quite a lot to get done. The response to the great recession included an $800 billion stimulus, a bank reorganization, the Dodd-Frank financial regulations, and the auto bailout. None of these measures completely satisfied anybody, but the failure of any of them might well have triggered a deep, Great Depression–like meltdown. Obama’s education reforms, while significant, have had a more modest effect. His race-to-the-top grants, tucked into the stimulus, unleashed a wave of standards-based reform nationally. He has made more modest progress in bringing accountability and broader access to pre-Kindergarten and college education; I predict Hillary Clinton will pick up the call for universal pre-K as a centerpiece of her 2016 domestic platform.

I’ve written quite a bit recently about Obama’s environmental agenda. One can question whether it will survive a legal challenge or successfully culminate in international cooperation, but there’s no doubt that it has fulfilled his original goal. In 2009, Obama promised to “double this nation's supply of renewable energy in the next three years.” Since then, wind capacity has tripled and solar capacity increased 16-fold. He likewise called for “a market-based cap on carbon pollution,” which is exactly what the new power-plant regulations would create.

Health-care reform has been the most controversial initiative of Obama’s presidency. Conservative opponents of national health insurance, and left-wing critics who object to government subsidy of private insurance, can still object philosophically to Obamacare’s objectives, but there is no doubt that he is achieving them. Obama time and again defined two major goals for health-care reform: tamping down rising medical costs, and expanding access for those who couldn’t afford it. The uninsured rate is dropping:



And medical inflation has fallen to its lowest rate in half a century:



More insurers are planning to enter the markets, and the widespread price hikes conservatives confidently predicted appear unlikely. Republicans have slowly begun reconciling themselves to the law’s irreversibility. Republican pollsters are advising their candidates to soften their anti-Obamacare rhetoric; even as implacable a critic as Mitch McConnell has obscured his position on repealing the law.

All of Obama’s domestic reforms involved compromises and imperfections, a quality they have in common with every major accomplishment in history. Also like the major accomplishments of the past, Obama’s will undergo future revision. All will continue to generate some level of conservative recrimination — one can still find conservatives here and there determined to phase out Social Security or outlaw the U.S. income tax. Most of them will recede into the backdrop of the policy landscape and eventually serve as the baseline against which to portray future liberals as the true radicals, just as Republicans now embrace Medicare. It is also possible that the remaining two and a half years will envelop Obama in some kind of disaster, like Iran-Contra, Vietnam, or Watergate. What’s no longer possible is to imagine that historians will look back at Obama’s presidency and conclude not much got done.
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Old 06-19-2014, 12:20 PM   #76
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xanathol View Post
Bush pissed off a lot of conservatives thus is an easy target, but you still managed to identify yourself as a retarded dumbass by targeting almost all the wrong shit.
Par for the course, for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xanathol View Post
1, Tax cuts - those cuts keep most American families functioning. Want to decrease the deficit? Then cut spending. Tax cuts for families are MUCH better options than handouts.
The deficit spiked with the Bush tax cuts. That's the facts. Those tax cuts didn't do anything to help the economy, and it just so happened the economy cratered on Bush's watch with those tax cuts 100% in place.

They were also ridiculously slanted to the wealthy. They weren't keeping the wealthy "families functioning," they were providing the wealthy families more savings. Which is why they didn't help the economy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xanathol View Post
2. Clinton had a chance to kill that SOB and didn't - start there.
I would, if we were discussing the Clinton administration. Since we're discussing the Bush administration, my point stands. The largest terrorist attack on American soil ever occurred on Bush's watch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xanathol View Post
3. Undermanned in Afghan war? Interesting take, given that the death tolls rose drastically since Obama took office.
I have no idea what point this is supposed to make.

We sent fewer troops into Afghanistan than we have cops in New York City. That was good for blowing shit up and killing people. It was lousy for occupation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xanathol View Post
4. WTF is so hard to understand about Iraq breaking sanctions? Or that we were the only ones with the balls to hold them accountable? Or that all reports showed they had WMDs that they intended to use and moved to Syria during the "we're warning you" phase? Every time a libtard labels the Iraqi war as a 'Bush mistake', the country loses an IQ point.
Even allowing that the Iraq War was somehow justified (and I'll give you all the rope you want to hang yourself on that point), the reality remains that Bush initiated a war of choice with one of the dumbest war plans in military history.
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Old 06-19-2014, 12:27 PM   #77
patteeu patteeu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
The deficit spiked with the Bush tax cuts. That's the facts. Those tax cuts didn't do anything to help the economy, and it just so happened the economy cratered on Bush's watch with those tax cuts 100% in place.
Not that's not "the facts". The deficit spiked with the downturn of the economy.

The existence of the tax cuts had no more to do with the economic downturn than the election of a democrat majority in Congress, and probably less.
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Old 06-19-2014, 12:33 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
Not that's not "the facts". The deficit spiked with the downturn of the economy.

The existence of the tax cuts had no more to do with the economic downturn than the election of a democrat majority in Congress, and probably less.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...n-four-charts/

The legacy of the Bush tax cuts, in four charts
By Neil Irwin
January 2, 2013

With Tuesday’s House vote, the George W. Bush tax cuts, born in 2001, reach a new milestone. Originally scheduled to expire at the end of 2010, they are now permanent (or most of them, anyway). Congress voted to extend the income tax cuts for most families earning under $450,000 a year, while taxing capital gains, dividends and tax breaks at higher rates for upper-income earners.

Here’s the legacy of the Bush tax cuts, in four charts.

1. Drove the deficit : This chart from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows how the Bush tax cuts are likely to continue be a major driver of federal budget deficits 20 years after they were first passed. With Congress raising taxes on the wealthy on Tuesday, the effect on deficits will be somewhat less -- about $600 billion less than shown in this chart. Still, they will remain the largest component of deficits for the foreseeable future.



2. Fueled income inequality: This chart from the Congressional Research Service suggests that the Bush tax cuts, which significantly reduce top marginal tax rates and capital gains rates, helped widen income inequality in the 2000s. As the report says, “as the top tax rates are reduced, the share of income accruing to the top of the income distribution increases — that is, income disparities increase.” This chart shows how the percentage of income flowing to the top 0.1 percent of earners increases as top tax rates decrease.



3. Benefited the wealthy: By any measure, the Bush tax cuts have benefited the wealthy more than the middle class. Here’s a chart, based on data from the Tax Policy Center, showing the distributional breakdown of the Bush tax cuts before they were amended on Tuesday. Going forward, the top 1 percent of earners will benefit much less -- though still quite a bit.



4. Increased take-home pay for middle-class workers: While much of the perks from the Bush tax cuts flowed to the top, they also helped middle-class earners, who kept more of their earnings because of reduced tax rates. This was especially important in the last decade, since median wages stagnated, and it may be one reason why Democrats so readily pushed to extend most of the Bush tax cuts. This chart is based on data from the Congressional Budget Office. The red line shows the pre-tax average income of the middle quintile of income earners. As you can see, it is pretty flat in the 2000s. (Median income -- as opposed to average -- actually declined.) The blue line shows, however, that taxes were taking less money out of middle-class paychecks after the Bush tax cuts were put in place, offsetting some of the slow wage growth.

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Old 06-19-2014, 12:35 PM   #79
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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It's also pretty well established the economy suffered a lost decade under the Bush tax cuts were passed.
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