Conservatives and critics of President Obama have slammed the administration’s handling of almost every major issue confronting our nation. Many of these critics are prematurely making judgments, and in most cases, failing to look at the facts.
GOP leaders claim the president has “neglected” to focus on job creation. In their opinions, the most effective way to create jobs is through tax cuts for the wealthy. The Obama administration, however, has focused on stimulus and spending to create jobs. This approach proves to be a more sustainable solution.
When Obama took office in January 2009, over 700,000 Americans lost their jobs (a direct result of the previous administration’s failures; and the biggest rate of job loss since Obama took over). To provide immediate relief and jump start our economy, he passed a $787 billion stimulus package that allocated much needed spending to improve our infrastructure, which creates better long-term employment; gave tax cuts and lending approvals to small businesses, which employ half of America's working population; and has now proved to have saved or created about 3 million jobs.
In addition, Obama has extended unemployment benefits for the 9.5% unemployment rate we currently face (which is down from a 10% rate just a few months ago). Just as a tax cut puts more money in the pockets of the wealthy, unemployment insurance puts more money in an unemployed person's pocket. The difference is that the unemployed person is likelier to spend that money, which will generate more taxable economic activity than if that money is saved.
Conservatives also argue that unemployment payments are a disincentive to taking a new job, as many will become lazy and unmotivated to find a job. But let me ask you this: Could you live on less than $300 a week? If the average unemployment check in the U.S. is $293, how could any person make their mortgage payments, their car payments, and feed their family? If a majority of your unemployment insurance check is paying for the rising costs of healthcare, is it realistic to expect you will still have money left for food and rent and utilities and other necessities? The answer is you cannot.
It seems as if many on the right are either insensitive to this fact or they are simply out of touch with reality. It seems as if they are only making political calculations, and not considering the human calculations.
Third, and more recently, Obama has decided to tackle Wall Street and end an era of irresponsibility that led to the “loss of 8 million jobs and trillions of dollars of wealth. This reform is good for families; it's good for businesses; it's good for the entire economy." With more accountability and transparency for the financial sector, the measure will only help us in the future.
Unlike President Bush, who inherited a $230 billion surplus when he took office, President Obama inherited a $1.4 trillion deficit, along with 2 wars and a failing economy. Taking this into major consideration, Obama has done extraordinary to prevent another Great Depression. Although our situation is bad, it would have been much worse if the administration had not taken such actions. The only way he can do more is if he stops trying to reach over the isle to find bipartisan support and focuses strictly on his liberal base, an argument that many Democrats have been proposing.
Yes we need to hold our leaders at a higher standard, and yes opposition is always needed to improve any solution. Republicans have tried their solutions for the last 8years and could not meet the situation. GOP leaders now need to focus on constructive criticism rather than being a party that out-rightly rejects any solution Obama offers, promotes unprofessional conduct, allows racism to flourish, and advocates that our leader fails at every possible turn.
We need real debate, not political games. That is how we, as a country, can progress.