Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Reflective Look Back

During a recent news conference, President Obama said, "I think it's fair to say that this has been the most productive post-election period we've had in decades, and it comes on the heels of the most productive two years that we've had in generations."

As we wrap up 2010, it is important to take a reflective look back and see the progress that we have made thus far.

When Obama took office back in 2008, the economy was in a freefall. We were suffering from a trillion dollar deficit, losing over 700,000 jobs a month, and a more than 10% unemployment rate. Without any government action, the U.S. Labor Department predicts we would have lost more than 11 million jobs. Instead, the stimulus package was passed, focusing on long term job creation, preventing another Great Depression, and lowering the unemployment rate to 9.5%.

According to Bloomberg News, the S&P 500 Index has gained almost 39 percent since Congress convened in January 2009, the biggest increase for a two-year congressional session since 1997. With a 10.4% market rise during Obama's first 100 days in office, compared with Reagan’s 4% gain during his first 100 days, and George W. Bush’s 2.3% loss for the equivalent period, we are showing solid signs of economic improvement.

Thanks to comprehensive healthcare reform, 32 million Americans are now insured, and millions more, like me, will no longer be denied or rationed care due to a pre-existing condition; Medicare funds will last longer than expected; students can stay on their parents’ insurance plan until the age of 26; and taxpayers, patients, businesses, and hospitals pay less in insurance fees.

The Obama administration has also succeeded in passing:
the Financial Regulation bill (instituting greater financial regulation that has put
Main Street, not Wall Street, back in charge);
the Small Business Lending bill (providing small businesses with tax cuts and lending
assistance, creating American jobs and spurring domestic investment);
the Credit Card Reform bill (making credit card companies become more transparent and
less aggressive);
the Student Loan Reform bill (improving the Pell Grant system, making it easier to pay
off student loans);
the Homeowner Loan Program (helping troubled homeowners avoid foreclosures and giving
tax credits for home buyers, increasing investment in new homes);
the Emergency Jobs bill (preventing states from laying off over 300,000 teachers and
public workers);
• and the Auto-Industry Bailout (saving the entire U.S. auto industry).

Not to mention, he also ended the Iraq War; made larger investments in cleaner energy programs; nominated two females to the Supreme Court, one of which is the first Latina justice; increased transparency in our government (this is the first time the White House guests list is online); and inspired our youth to engage more frequently in community service programs.

All this progress was achieved before the Democrats lost control of the House and narrowed their margins in the Senate. Even so, this has proven to be the most productive lame-duck Congress in decades.

In just a few weeks after the midterm election, Obama has succeeded in ratifying the START treaty, reducing the payroll tax for 150 million Americans, providing tax cuts for 100 million middle-class families, extending unemployment benefits to over 2 million jobless, working with BOTH parties, and overturning Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

However, while Obama has made significant strides to reach across the political aisle, many on the right have simply proven themselves a party of “No”. With 2010 behind us, and a new Congress taking over in just a few short weeks, I hope we can continue making progress and working together on behalf of the American people.

For more information on the progress we have made, please checkout this article from Bloomberg News:

Happy New Year!


  1. It is surprising how much has come out of what was supposed to be a "lame duck session" of congress. But this is the beginning of what can be an amicable relationship between republicans and democrats, starting with the extension of Bush's tax cuts.

  2. It is fair to say that the Obama administration has been extraordinarily successful in its first two years. However, despite all the progress, the economy is still a serious problem. An unemployment rate of 9.5% is too high. Obviously, the economic progress is not good enough. The recovery needs to continue to speed up over the next few months and years. The Obama Administration has taken significant steps on the economy from the stimulus bill, the small business bill, to the recent tax compromise, and the unemployment benefit extension. The new year demands further action. Creative bipartisan stimulus opportunities should be the administration's top priority.

    In addition, while clean energy investment has been substantial, the administration needs to make further progress on climate change. Even if the Obama administration continues its success on nearly all of its priorities, future generations will remember the opportunity this administration had to initiate a clean energy revolution and avert a climate crisis. Given the recent successes, and the extraordinary resolve of the President and his supporters, I have no doubt that in the next few years our country will continue to improve economically and take further action on climate change.

  3. Would you ever admit Obama has done something wrong?

  4. We have made progress,but there is still much work to be done.College grads are still facing over 4% unemployment rate, while those without college degrees face 10%. Those without even high school degrees face 15%. Hopefully,we will see these numbers shrink further.

  5. All these "successes" that you claim Obama has made have only moved our country backward, not forward! He is spending our economy to shackles and has nothing to show for it.

  6. I, of course, aknowledge that there is still much work that needs to be done. I simply believe that, as the year is ending, we need to reflect upon the successes this administration has had, and understand that things could have been much worse.

    This has been one of the most productive and progressive legislative sessions since LBJ's Great Society, and credit must be given when credit is due.

  7. I agree that the lame-duck session was incredibly successful! However, I fear that politicians on both sides felt less pressure to please constituents AFTER the election and that as soon as the new session of congress convenes, we'll return to a partisan grid-lock merely augmented by the Republican's newly-increased power. I'd love to know your thoughts on how Obama and the Democrats might work to prevent this from happening.

  8. Checkout this video about Obama!

  9. I think a blog entry highlighting how you (or others) think the Obama administration should and can improve would help to round out this discussion.

  10. Yeah, I agree with the above post. It would be great to sort of hear both sides because in my opinion, Obama still fell short of many of his promises.


Do You Agree or Disagree? Why? Please leave comments.