Grading Obama’s Presidency

By Emmanuel Atufu

It has been seven years since President Barack Obama was sworn into office. So how good or bad of a job as president has Obama been? To answer that, we must look back at his promises during his 2008 campaign for presidency.

Obama advocated for universal health care, immigration reform, an end to the war in Iraq and the closure of Guantanamo Bay.

Not only that, he wanted to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, a military policy that bans homosexuals from openly serving in the armed forces. He also endorsed the repeal of the Bush-era tax cuts for wealthy Americans making over $250,000.

Obama made a lot of promises to the American people back then, but has he kept any of them? Let us fact check his record.

In 2010, Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) also known as Obamacare. It certainly was not what he had in mind.

He promised to create one national health insurance care exchange, but settled for a state-based exchange. Nonetheless, he got something done and because of that, nearly 15 million fewer people lack health insurance coverage now.

During a speech in 2008, Obama addressed the League of United Latin American Citizens and told them that he would enact a comprehensive immigration reform by his first year in office. That never happened. Fast forward to 2015 and Obama still has not delivered on his promise.

Obama kept his promise on Iraq war by putting an end to it. However, the Afghanistan war is still going on even though he promised to end it by 2014.

It has been seven years and Guantanamo Bay still has not been closed, however, a plan is in the works. Although, he kept his promise on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and repealed it.

When it came to the Bush-era tax cuts, Obama once again, failed. Not only did he not repeal it, he made them permanent. Even Bush could not do that. However, he did extend child tax credits and marriage-penalty fixes.

As you can see, Obama did not deliver on most of his promises and according to Politifact, Obama kept seven out of his 25 top promises.

However, according to Politifact’s Obameter, Obama has kept 45 percent of his promises, compromised on 25 percent and broke his promise on 22 percent.

Those numbers makes Obama looks as if he kept a majority of his promises, but most of those promises were small promises with no huge impact on individuals and their families.

When it came to the issues that impacted people such as the creation of a foreclosure prevention fund for homeowners, being tougher on lobbyists and special interests, the creation of cap and trade to slow global warming or cutting family health insurance premiums by $2,500 a year, Obama fell flat.

As Obama enters his lame duck session, his legacy will be on his mind. The Iran deal and the re-establishment of relations with Cuba as well as numerous executive orders is evident of that.

While the outlook of the economy is strong and unemployment is down from its 2009 highs, Obama did not deliver on his top promises and has failed to strengthen the middle class.

Obama could have done better, and had a lot of opportunities to do so, but for some reason did not. Thanks Obama.

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