Commentary: Obama for president, an endorsement editorial
By Chelsea Kearney
In 2008 when Barack Obama was elected president, the odds for success were not in his favor. America faced the worst recession since the Great Depression. We were a country entangled in two different wars. The automotive industry was floundering to survive. Needless to say, Obama inherited a seemingly insurmountable predicament analogous to the underdog story of “David verse Goliath.”
Now, four years later, overcoming that insurmountable hurtle is a reality. Obama reduced unemployment to its lowest point in four years, put an end to the Iraqi war and implemented an exit strategy for Afghanistan. He took down known terrorist Osama bin Laden, saved the automotive industry and even pushed policies promoting health care for all Americans.
Mitt Romney, ex-governor of Massachusetts, threatens to undo the progress this country has undergone since Obama took office.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 enacted when unemployment was steadily increasing, allotted $787 billion in tax cuts and benefits and funded entitlement programs, federal contracts, grants and loans. This resulted in creating 2.5 million jobs, 31 months of positive job growth and helped the economy grow by 3.8 percent.
Romney’s campaign platform vows to protect the middle class. If elected his plan to fix the economy involves eliminating certain tax breaks. But in reality, cutting tax breaks only harms the middle class because they profit the most from these breaks.
Obama extended rescue loans to prevent the American auto industry from collapsing, saving more than 1 million jobs and preventing the loss of more than $96 billion. As fuel prices rose because of the worldwide energy crisis, automotive manufacturing began to falter. The loss of major car manufactures would have been catastrophic for states like Michigan or Ohio whose economy relies heavily on the auto industry.
In 2008 Romney wrote an opinion piece titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,” in which he said the only way to save the auto industry was to force it into bankruptcy and eventually secure government backing. Economists were hesitant to back this plan because the companies could have remained bankrupt for months, years or even failed completely.
But the fact remains because of Obama’s policies, Chrysler, GM, and Ford are once again profitable car manufacturers and the unemployment rate continues to decline.
Critics view Obama’s policies as a blatant failure because they did not “literally drop kick us out of the recession” like Vice President Joe Biden believed would happen back in 2009.
What some critics don’t account for is it that overcoming the immense economic disaster former President George W. Bush left Obama does not have a quick fix. It takes time to restore the dire situation our country was left in after Wall Street’s meltdown and getting involved in two wars without having the financial backing to support them. It takes time to fix a downtrodden, broken automotive industry that greatly contributes to our profitable economy. And it needs more time under Obama’s leadership to turn America back to being the greatest country in the world.
In December 2011, the eight-year war in Iraq ended. More than 4,500 U.S. service members died and about 30,000 were wounded. Some believed this exit was too premature, but Obama left the country as a sovereign nation having free elections, holding true to his promise made before taking office.
Besides ending the war in Iraq, Obama sanctioned the operation that killed known al-Qaeda terrorist, Osama bin Laden. This event ignited pride and camaraderie throughout the country. After the news broke, students from Penn State University in State College, Pa., took to the streets waving flags and singing patriotic songs during a peaceful rally to show their support for America.
The end of the Iraq War and the elimination of bin Laden adds credibility to Obama’s military strategy and helps to gain American’s trust to follow through on removing our soldiers in Afghanistan by 2014.
Through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” Obama offers affordable healthcare for all Americans who can’t afford private insurance. The main objective is to provide preventive care for everyone in order to prevent future medical complications like emergency visits, which account for a huge medical expenditure burden.
Obamacare grants more access to health care for low-income families. It provides college students with guaranteed health insurance until the age of 26. It requires health insurance companies to provide insurance to people with preexisting conditions. Overall, it increases the opportunity for all Americans to receive health care.
Under Romney’s proposed health care plan, “Romneycare” fewer people will have access to healthcare.
Romneycare will not grant more access to health care for low-income families because funding for Medicaid programs would be cut. It would not provide college students with guaranteed health insurance until the age of 26. It does not require health insurance companies to provide insurance to people with preexisting conditions. Overall, it ensures some people won’t be insured.
Over the last decade, America has faced tumultuous times. Terrorist attacks, wars, recessions, and distrust of financial industry have impacted the lives of millions and detracted from the great nation it once was.
But finally America is emerging from these dark times. Glimpses of what was once the greatest nation ever can be seen again. Obama has been the leader of this crusade and through him this nation is starting to prosper. He has proven that even when the odds are against him, he still can make a better America. We owe it to our country to elect this valiant leader for another four years. Let Obama, the contemporary David, finish what he started and finally slay Goliath once and for all.