Barack Obama After Six Years In The Presidency: On Way To Top Ten Of Our 43 Presidents!

As 2014 ends, Barack Obama is finishing his sixth year in the Presidency, and will officially mark that milestone on January 20, when he delivers the State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress, controlled by the Republican Party, which has stood in his way, has been a constant barrier to anything Obama proposes, and hates the ground he walks on. Conservative talk radio and Fox News Channel, and conservative think tanks, would not be happy no matter what Barack Obama does or says. And there is a strong level of venal hate, very dangerous, that puts the President in the cross hairs of a potential threat to his life on a daily basis.

But despite all that, President Barack Obama has a record in office to be proud of, not perfect in any sense, but still outstanding enough to have a chance to end up in the top ten of our Presidents, if not immediately after leaving the White House, over a generation or more as time passes, and passions calm down, and particularly after Obama has passed away, an opportune time to reconsider the legacy of any President, particularly one so much maligned in his time!

The list of Obama accomplishments is endless, but key points include:

The adoption of ObamaCare, which will be seen as transformative over time, as much as Social Security and Medicare.

The successful tracking down and elimination of Osama Bin Laden, the perpetrator of September 11, 2001.

The ending of US military engagement in both Iraq and Afghanistan, two wars that were unwise to conduct in the first place.

The revival of the American economy, with 11 million jobs created; the unemployment rate below six percent; the greatest economic expansion since the Bill Clinton Presidency; the smallest increase in the deficit for the past decade; the 150 percent increase in the stock market; the lowest gas prices in five years; and the revival of the domestic auto industry.

The appointment of two Supreme Court Justices–Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, and some exceptional cabinet appointments, plus the best Vice President in American history, Joe Biden.

The promotion of gay rights and gay marriage, insuring the end of discrimination based upon sexual orientation.

The advancement of environmental concerns, including dealing with global warming and climate change.

The promotion of a tolerant attitude toward immigration reform.

The establishment of a new relationship with Cuba after 50 years of a failed policy.

The promotion of labor rights in a time when labor has been under attack.

The protection of women’s rights against right wing attempts to undermine the advancement of women in all spheres of American life.

The avoidance of engagement in new wars, which the right wing is always itching for.

The courage of Obama to go after terrorists in a way that limits US military involvement, but effectively has killed more terrorists than George W. Bush.

President Barack Obama was the the right person for his time, and will be seen as that in history. He has met racist attacks by refusing to show anger, but instead class and dignity! He has admitted failure, but also has confidence in the morality of his cause. Considering the extreme opposition he has faced, what he has accomplished is miraculous beyond belief.

Despite having presided over the rapid decline of Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress by vicious attacks and massive spending by right wing billionaires, he has made it clear that he will use executive orders to do what he feels must be done in the last two years of his Presidency. The right wing Supreme Court, with its Citizens United Case in 2010, and the lackadaisical attitude on voting of many Democratic constituent groups, has contributed to this decline in Democratic Party strength, but Obama has reacted by making clear that it will not deter his plans to make the nation a place better for the middle class and the poor.

President Barack Obama will NOT allow the prevention of further improvement of the New Deal and Great Society, and he is much to be admired, as a credit to the office he holds!

The Advancement Of The Progressive Agenda In 2013

With the renewal and expansion of the coverage of the Violence Against Women Act, other important ideas are coming to the forefront of the progressive agenda:

Raising of the minimum wage, which 71 percent of the American people endorse, with a minimum of $9 an hour, although bills to raise it to $10 an hour have been introduced by some members of Congress. Realize that if one was to keep up with the cost of living since 1938, when the Fair Labor Standards Act was passed with a 25 cents an hour wage, the minimum wage would have to be at $13 an hour now to be the equivalent of 75 years ago.

Universal Background Checks for all gun purchases, which 88 percent of those polled want, including 85 percent of gun owning households.

More tax increases to reduce the deficit, a balanced approach with spending cuts that are fair and just, and do not hurt those on the bottom more than those on the top of the economic scale, with 76 percent agreeing with this.

Infrastructure Investments to repair and replace our deteriorating physical plant, and creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs. This is the best job creation policy, and is important for the nation’s economic growth and national security.

A pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, particularly for children brought to America and knowing nowhere else, and 70 percent agreeing with this in polls, and 60 percent of Republicans. This is the right thing to do, and is a way for Republicans to improve their image electorally.

Expansion of the Medicaid program, so that all Americans will be able to have accessible health care, a basic goal of human decency and compassion for those less fortunate.

Marriage equality, so that gay Americans no longer face discrimination legally in any aspect of their lives, including the right to have their marriages seen as legitimate.

Providing of Early Childhood Education, including universal Pre Kindergarten coverage, as a way to assist in the goal of early educational intervention, which will reap benefits in the future.

If all eight of these goals can be achieved, we will have major progressive victories in 2013!

The Lack Of Reality Of The American People As Shown In Public Opinion Polls

It is becoming very clear that the American people, based on public opinion polls, at least, are living in a dream world, avoiding reality!

Polls indicate that the people do not want entitlement cuts to deal with the debt problems the nation faces.

At the same time, they do not want to see the debt limit raised next month!

The lack of economic knowledge and understanding is pitiful, as indeed many Americans lack the ability to balance their own checkbook or take care of their own finances, and yet, somehow, magically, they seem to think that the only thing that matters is do not touch anything, and refuse to recognize that entitlements must be paid for, and that the good faith and credit of the United States government is at stake if the debt limit is not raised!

While it is clear that most Americans want the corporations and the rich to pay more taxes, it is also clear that even doing so cannot resolve the debt or deficit crisis!

The fact is that all of us will have to pay MORE taxes in order to sustain the entitlements that most Americans do not want to be cut back! There is no free lunch, as the saying goes, and praying for divine guidance will also not be enough to deal with reality!

So the answer is to make sure that corporations and the top two percent of the people pay a higher tax rate as they paid under Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton.

Secondly, all of the rest of us will also have to pay higher taxes and stop complaining about it, since we want the various entitlement programs to be sustained.

Third, there is an essential requirement to start cutting back on overseas defense bases and military commitments, which are having a horrible effect on our budget deficits.

Fourth, there is a dire need to reform the Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security system long term, so as to sustain them. Anyone who suggests no changes is being totally irresponsible!

Fifth, the debt limit MUST be raised next month, as not to do so would be totally reckless, dangerous, and detrimental to the economic welfare of the nation, as well as the world at large!

Finally, the spirit of compromise somehow must be promoted, or else the nation will at some point be in as dangerous a situation internally as it was 150 years ago, with economic class warfare, age warfare, racial warfare in the offing, a horrific thought!

A spirit of nationalism, and bipartisanship, is sorely needed, and right now, to resolve the nation’s ills!

What The Republican Party Refuses To Recognize! :(

The Republican Party refuses to understand that even if ALL discretionary non defense spending is eliminated, it does not come anywhere near the problem of resolving the deficit.

The only way is to RAISE taxes on the wealthy and corporations, back to the level under Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower during the 1950s, a level over 70 percent, rather than the 36.5 percent that the wealthy now pay. Plus corporations must not be allowed to have an effective tax rate of 10 percent after all the loopholes and accounting tricks that cut most of their tax responsibility!

What kind of country cuts educational opportunity, allows poor people to freeze in the winter, makes lawlessness easier in urban neighborhoods by cutting police forces down, lets states destroy labor rights hard earned over 80 and more years, shows no concern for the welfare of children, cuts back on promotion of clean water and air, etc? 🙁

We are trying to balance the budget on the backs of the poorest in our society, and making the middle class slip into poverty, all because of the greed and selfishness of the wealthy and multinational corporations who do not give a damn about anyone but themselves! 🙁

But the national debt and deficit will never be resolved until the upper class follow John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural statement: “Ask not what your country can for you, ask what you can do for your country!”

If the elite rich and corporations do not wake up, they will face the threat of social and economic turmoil which could lead to violence and bloodshed, a horrible thought!

We are all in this together, and it is time that the elite paid their fair share of the burden of making this country work, and return to a stable economy!

Unemployment Compensation, Tax Cuts For The Wealthy, And The Problem Of The Deficit!

Republican Senators and Congressmen are actively involved in condemning an extension of unemployment compensation as wasteful, not paid for, adding to the deficit, and promoting laziness and shiftlessness in those people who need to have the “work ethic”!

But, at the same time, they claim it is essential to continue to promote massive tax cuts to the wealthy, even if it adds to the deficit!

If one is to back the idea of the deficit as a major crisis, which it is rapidly becoming, then it makes no sense to assert that tax cuts are acceptable, when these wealthy people have had major increases in income in the past ten years, while the average American either pays more in taxes, or has only had a small decrease in taxes!

When people who are unemployed receive unemployment compensation, it keeps them “above water” and gives them purchasing power, which helps to promote a revival of the economy! It is NOT the same as working, and to say that people who receive part of their salary as unemployment compensation, are living “high off the hog” is an outrageous, uncaring, despicable fabrication! 🙁

But still, Senators Jim Bunning of Kentucky, Jon Kyl of Arizona, and Orrin Hatch of Utah, along with numerous Congressmen and radio talk show hosts and Fox News Channel, continue to spread the word that the rich need more tax cuts, and the poor unemployed be damned! 🙁

What kind of country that calls itself advanced and civilized would allow such a circumstance to continue to exist? If the top one percent already have 17 percent of all income in the country AFTER taxes, is not that enough? 🙁