Obama's Accomplishments

T.A. Barnhart

This is not an original post. I'm copying a list from from a blog that is, in turn, the summation of a wiki site that details the accomplishments of Pres Barack Obama (with references). I like their approach because it lists the accomplishments, "targeted actions", funding and "broad policy" in each category. A useful way to look at policy.

Given the anger of many liberals in the past two weeks, you would think Obama is an utter failure. Yet even back in June, Rachel Maddow could document the historic successes of this president — in just 20 months. Saving the economy, health care reform, Matthew Shepherd & Lilly Ledbetter acts, START, CHIP, infrastructure, science & tech, student loans, children's health. And now we can add the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, done the Obama way: via legislation, to remove all doubt of its legitimacy (as a Presidential Order would have failed to do). This president who so many have given up on has done more good for the nation than any president since FDR. As Rachel said,

“In each of these achievements, and in the list of things he has yet to do — DADT, closing Guantanomo — in each of these things, there is room for liberal disappointment: I sing a bittersweet lullaby to the lost public option when I go to sleep at night. But presidential legacies are complex. Not even the Reagan Administration’s legacy is as pure as the conservative driven snow. But Taegan Goddard at CG Politicswas right today about nothing this big happening since FDR. The list of legislative accomplishments of this president in half a term … is, to quote the Vice-president, a big freaking deal.”

(Oops. Have to take DADT from the "list of things he has yet to do" category.)

If you want to remind yourself why you worked for Barack Obama's election (and the election of the Democrats who supported him by passing the necessary legislation), if you want to put down the Obama-is-a-failure koolaid, if you want to see what a true progressive agenda looks like, scroll down this list and realize: this was in 22 months and in the face of the most hostile Congress any president has faced in modern history. If you are still convinced Barack Obama is a failure and sellout, so be it. But if you think even a quarter of this list represents real progress for America, perhaps you'll also decide that supporting the President over the next two difficult years makes more sense than walking away and surrendering to the TPers and Just Say No Republicans.

This indeed does turn out to be the hope and change I voted for.

Arts and Culture

Increased funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to the highest level since 1992.
Created an artist corps for public schools.
Championed the importance of arts education.
Promoted cultural diplomacy.

Banking and Financial Reform

BROAD POLICY
Established the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and reform.
Established President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability to assist in financial education for all Americans.,
Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010.,
Dodd-Frank (DF) Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the biggest financial reform law since the Great Depression.
Managed the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP)
Assigned a Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program Act of 2009.
Pension relief Act of 2010.
Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act.,
Played a lead role in G-20 Summit re: financial crisis.
Reformed deferral rules to curb tax advantages for investing overseas.
Established new offshore investment policy that promotes in-sourcing.,
FUNDING
Cut salaries for 65 bailout executives (Pay Czar).
Banks have repaid 75% of TARP funds, bringing the cost down to $89B as of June 2010.
Closed offshore tax safe havens, tax credit loopholes. ,
TARGETED ACTIONS
Created the Financial Stability Oversight Council to monitor stability of the financial system and individual firms (DF).
New requirements for reporting financial data (DF).
Created self-funded Office of Financial Research (OFR) to collect information from financial firms (DF).
OFR employees must wait a year before working for certain financial firms.
Provided for orderly liquidation of financial companies (DF).
Limited trading activities of banks (Volcker Rule) beginning 2 yrs after passage (DF).
Swaps Pushout Rule prevented federal assistance to swaps (including derivatives) traders (DF).
Derivatives must be traded transparently through a clearing house (DF).
Defined the amount and nature of assets required to meet capital requirements (DF).
Originators of asset-backed securities must retain 5% ownership/risk (DF).
Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (DF).
Stronger client fiduciary duty for broker-dealers (DF).
Higher standards for securities advertising and disclosures (DF).
Expanded “insider loans” (DF).
Higher standards for sytemically important ($50 billion assets+) institutions, including annual stress tests and restrictions on bank acquisitions (DF).
Executive compensation must be determined by an independent committee (DF).
Issued compensation guidelines for bank executive salary and bonuses.
Financial agencies must establish Offices of Women and Minorities to promote more diverse hiring (DF).
Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act.,
Credit CARD Technical Corrections Act of 2009.
Established a credit card bill of rights.
Reformed credit card swipe fees.
Created new criminal penalties for mortgage fraud.
Congress pursued Goldman Sachs for securities violations.
Permanently extended Research and Experimentation Tax Credit for domestic investments.
RESULTS
(Treasury) Sold 1.5 billion shares of Citigroup at a profit.
G-20 summit produced a $1.1 trillion deal to combat the global financial crisis.
Negotiated deal with Swiss banks to permit US government to gain access to records of tax evaders and criminals.
Financial reform has ‘strongest consumer financial protections in history.’

Civil Rights

FUNDING
Provided $12.2 billion in new funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Act though the American Recovery and investment Act.
TARGETED ACTIONS
Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act; Instituted equal pay for women.
Presidential Memorandum extending benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees. ,
Presidential Memorandum protecting gay and lesbian partners’ visitation/healthcare decision-making rights (4/15/2010).
Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act to include gender, sexual orientation and disability.
Supported the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT).
Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act.
Established White House Council on Women and Girls (Executive Order 13506 ).
Financial agencies must establish Offices of Women and Minorities to promote more diverse hiring.
Increased minority access to capital.
Pushing through settlement in the black farmers lawsuit against USDA.,
Signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Increased Federal Employment of Individuals with Disabilities (Exec Order)(celebrating 20th anniversary of the ADA).,

Commerce, Trade and Technology

BROAD POLICY
Promoted internet freedom as part of U.S. foreign policy.,
Webcaster Settlement Act of 2009.
Satellite Television Extension Act of 2010.
FUNDING
Expanded loan programs for small businesses.
TARGETED ACTION:
Small Business Act.
Small Business Investment Act.
Proposed tougher meat industry antitrust rules.
Denied federal contracts to tax delinquents.
Appointed the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer.
Established Federal IT Dashboard.
Modernized the USA.gov portal to connect people to the services they require.
Launched the National Export Initiative, with the goal of doubling US exports by 2015.
Provided National Export Initiative/Progress report and named President’s Export Council.,
Launched piracy crackdown.

Conservation

BROAD POLICY
Morris K. Udall Scholarship and Excellence in National Environmental Policy Amendments Act of 2009.
Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009.
North American Wetlands Conservation Act.
Stewardship of the Ocean (established National Ocean Council ), our Coasts and the Great Lakes (Executive Order).
Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance (Executive Order).,
Established partnerships to share environmental technology with other countries.
FUNDING
Increased funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Increased funding for national parks and forests.
$175 million of ARRA allocated for water conservation, $135 million of that in the West.
TARGETED AREAS:
Reengaged in the treaties/agreements to protect the Antarctic.,
Expanded access to places to hunt and fish.
Chesapeake Bay Protection and Restoration (Executive Order).,
Led effort to phase out whaling.
Pursued a wildfire management plan.
Encouraged more controlled burns to reduce wildfires.
Ordered removal of more brush, small trees and vegetation that fuel wildfires.

Economy

BROAD POLICY
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA): a $789 billion economic stimulus plan.
US auto industry rescue plan.,
Start-Up activity now higher than it was during the dotcom boom.
Created task force to fight deficit.
Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009.
Temporary extension of programs under the Small Business Act and the Small Business Investment Act of 1958.
FUNDING
Increased minority access to capital.
$26 billion aid to states package (Aug 2010).
TARGETED ACTIONS
Raised the small business investment limit to $250,000 through the end of 2009.
Created an Advanced Manufacturing Fund to invest in peer-reviewed manufacturing processes.
Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act – establishes a Federal “Do Not Pay” list.
Extended and indexed the 2007 Alternative Minimum Tax patch.
Adopted Economic Substance tax doctrine.
Extended unemployment insurance benefits and temporarily suspend taxes on these benefits.
Economy grew 5.9% in 4th quarter.
U.S. Economy: Manufacturing grew by most since 2004.
U.S. GDP up 3.2% in first quarter.
Consumer spending showed biggest rise in 3 years.
Orders for most durable goods rose.
Wholesale inventories and sales rose in March.
$26 billion state aid bill triggered a surge of private municipal investment.
EXHIBITS – THE STIMULUS ONE YEAR LATER:
Success of the stimulus–how do you illustrate ‘could have been worse’?
Distribution of ARRA funds by year.
Need for financial education: Investors who act on their own do worse than T-bills; market timers earn negative returns.
Consumer debt patterns (revolving and non-revolving) through end of 2009.
Growth of the national debt from 2000-2009.
Bar chart showing increases in national debt by President (since Carter).
Pie chart: 2009 annual deficit contrasting large Bush tax cuts and relatively small ARRA.
THE LEGACY: AUGUST 2010
The Economy Has Been Growing – seasonally adjusted change in GDP by quarter 2007-2010.
The Private Sector Has Begun to Add Jobs – Monthly change in nonfarm employment 2008-2010.
GDP would have been lower without the Recovery Act (2007-2013 projection) (scroll down to Part III to see chart).
Unemployment would have been higher without ARRA (2008-2010).
The gap between actual and full-employment GDP would have been much larger without TARP and ARRA (2008-2010).
MISCELLANEOUS EXHIBITS:
Public Sector Lost 316,000 jobs October 09-July 10 (state aid negotiated out of ARRA by GOP).

Education: College

BROAD POLICY
Enacted largest reform of student aid in 40 years.,
Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010.
Established President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability to assist in financial education for all Americans.
FUNDING
Increased funding for land-grant college.
Provided means for students struggling to make college loan payments to refinance.
TARGETED ACTIONS
Expanded Pell grants for low-income students.
Expanded Pell grant pool by eliminating private lender subsidies for student loans.

Education: Health of Children

BROAD POLICY
Created the Race to the Top Fund ($4.35 billion) to reward States that create comprehensive education reform plans.
Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 .
FUNDING
Provided funding for high-speed, broadband Internet access to K-12 schools.
Established State Equalization Fund; new funds for school construction (ARRA).
Provided $77 Billion for reforms to to strengthen Elementary and Secondary education.
Fully funded the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).
Provided $12.2 billion in new funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Act through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
$26 billion state aid package saved 160,000 teacher jobs (Aug 2010)
Provided over $2.3 billion in additional funding to Head Start and Early Head Start programs in 2009.
Provided $5 billion dollars for Early Learning Programs under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Roughly doubled the amount available in Federal Child Care Block Grants.
Established “Promise Neighborhood” Grants (modeled after the Harlem Children’s Zone).
Eliminated abstinence-only funding in budget.,
TARGETED ACTIONS
Helped rebuild schools in New Orleans.
Established school programs to highlight space and science achievements.
Recruited math and science degree graduates to the teaching profession.
Expanded the Nurse-Family Partnership to all low-income, first-time mothers .
Provided affordable, high-quality child care.
Unveiled initiatives to help men be better fathers.

Employment: Jobs

BROAD POLICY
Jobs for Main Street Act (2010).
American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010.
National Export Initiative
FUNDING
(DOL) Dedicated $100 million in Energy Training Partnership green jobs training grants.
(DOL) Dedicated $150 million for Pathways Out of Poverty green jobs training grants.
$33 billion-dollar jobs package (March 2010).
$26 billion aid to states package (Aug 2010).
$5,000 tax credit for every new worker.
New Health IT Workforce Grants (ARRA).
TARGETED ACTIONS
Job training programs in clean technologies for displaced workers.
Green Vet Initiative to promote environmental jobs for veterans.
Financial agencies must establish Offices of Women and Minorities to promote more diverse hiring (DF).
Recruited math and science degree graduates to the teaching profession.
Initiated a new policy to promote federal hiring of military spouses.,
Required new hires to sign a form affirming their hiring was not due to political affiliations or contributions.,
RESULTS
CBO found 3.7 Million jobs created by stimulus (May 2010).
Job loss exploded under Bush, improves under Obama.
682,370 jobs created under the Recovery Act Between January 1 — March 31,2010.
New jobless claims tumble.
March payrolls surge by 162,000 US says .
March jobs data showed biggest growth in three years .ref
U.S. economy added 90000 jobs in April .
Jobless rates dropped in 34 states and DC (AP).

Energy: Green

BROAD POLICY
Established an Energy Partnership for the Americas.
Established the Biofuels Working Group to develop a comprehensive approach to alternative fuels.
Additional measures to advance clean energy/solar investments and job creation (ARRA).
Launched new Climate Service.
Worked toward deploying a global climate change research and monitoring system.
Implemented renewable fuels mandate of 36 billion gallons by 2022.
FUNDING
More than doubled federal spending for research on clean fuels.
$60 billion in spending and tax incentives for renewable and clean energy.
Invested in all types of alternative energy.
Increased funding for the Environmental Protection Agency.
Invested $2 billion in solar power, hailed new jobs.
Established consumer tax credit for plug-in hybrid cars.,
Provided grants to encourage energy-efficient building codes.
Doubled funding for bicycling, walking projects,
(DOL) Dedicated $100 million in Energy Training Partnership green jobs training grants.
(DOL) Dedicated $150 million for Pathways Out of Poverty green jobs training grants.
$8 billion combined public/pvt funding committed to develop Smart Power Grid (part of ARRA).
Incentivized farmers to use more renewable energy and be more energy efficient.
TARGETED ACTIONS
Purchased fuel efficient American-made fleet for the federal government.
Ordered 5,000 hybrids for federal fleet.
(NIST) Completed first release of Smart Grid framework.
Created job training programs in clean technologies for displaced workers.
Created Green Vet Initiative to promote environmental jobs for veterans.
Established program to convert manufacturing centers into clean technology leaders.
RESULTS
First President to create detailed vision for clean energy economy.
Wind power growth up 39% due to government stimulus.
Study: Almost 5 million charging stations by 2015.

Energy: Old

BROAD POLICY
Ended the previous policy of not regulating and labeling carbon dioxide emissions.
Created Interagency Task Force on Carbon Capture and Storage.
Set national standards for fuel economy and first ever greenhouse gas emission levels for passenger cars and light trucks.
Set smog limit: new strict proposal to replace Bush-era rule (EPA).
Regulated greenhouse gases for large industrial sources (EPA).
Raised fuel economy standards.
Required states to provide incentives for utilities to reduce energy consumption.
Allowed states to enact tougher fuel efficiency standards than federal standards.
Established Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future.
FUNDING
Pledged more than $8 billion for new nuclear reactors.
Tax breaks to promote public transit.
TARGETED ACTIONS
Dismantled the Minerals Management Service, cutting ties between industry and government.
Reengaged in global warming and greenhouse gas emissions talks.,
Offered 17% U.S. emissions cuts at climate summit.
Pledged 28% cut in federal greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.
Expanded greenhouse gas reduction targets for Federal operations -13% reduction from indirect sources by 2020.
(FTC) Toughened anti-greenwashing rules.
Instituted “Cash for Clunkers” to spur auto sales and promote fuel efficiency .,
Ordered inspections of mines with poor safety records.
Closed loophole that allowed drilling in Rockies without environmental review.
(EPA) Sharply limited mountaintop mining.
(EPA) Announced historic plans to regulate coal ash.
Required electric utilities to produce 20% of their electricity demand from renewable energy sources by 2020.
(EPA) Limited mercury emissions.

Energy: Oil

BROAD POLICY
Introduced Oil Spill Recovery Bill to remove oil company liability cap.
Created offshore drilling safety review board.
Created new drilling agency with investigative arm.
Ended previous practice of having White House aides rewrite scientific and environmental rules, regulations and reports.
FUNDING
Ordered $20 billion escrow fund by BP to reimburse lost incomes in Gulf.
Ordered $100 million to compensate those hurt by drilling moratorium.
TARGETED ACTIONS
Dismantled the Minerals Management Service, cutting ties between industry and government.
Mandated new safety rules for offshore drilling.
Opened civil and criminal investigations into Gulf oil spill.,
(Congress) Launched investigation into gas drilling practices.
Established the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.
Amended Oil Pollution Act of 1990 authorizing advances from Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Expanded oil rig workers’ families abilities to sue and recover.
Fined BP subsidiary $5.2 million for false reporting.
(EPA) Barred Texas’ authority to issue refinery operating permits.

Foreign Affairs and International Relations

BROAD POLICY
Re-established the United States standing in the world.
Poll: World’s opinion of U.S. has “improved sharply” under Obama.
47 nations rise to Obama’s challenge at US nuke summit and agree to four years of non-proliferation efforts.
Visited more countries and world leaders than any first year president.
G-20 Summit produced a $1.1 trillion deal to combat the global financial crisis.
Launched an international Add Value to Agriculture initiative (AVTA).
Created a rapid response fund for emerging democracies.
Bolstered the military’s ability to speak different languages.
BY REGION:
West Hem: Returned the rights of Americans to visit and assist their families in Cuba. ,
Middle East: Appointed envoys to the Middle East and AFPAK affirming the power of American diplomacy.
Middle East: Renewed loan guarantees for Israel.
Middle East: Pledged $400 million in aid to Gaza civillians.
Middle East: Pressured Israel to end Gaza blockade.
Middle East:used to give Israel a “green light” to strike Iran, augmenting Mid-East stability.
Middle East: Iran Sanctions Act.
Asia: Authorized President Bill Clinton’s mission to secure the release of two Americans held in North Korea.
Asia: Authorized discussions with Myanmar and mission by Sen. Jim Webb to secure the release of an American held captive.
Asia: Renewed import restrictions under Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003.
Asia: Nuclear arms agreements with India (5/4/2010).
Africa: Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009.
Africa: Helped stabilize Somalia (Exec Order).
Aus: Nuclear arms agreements with Australia (5/5/2010).
Europe: Nuclear arms agreement with Russia.
Europe: Agreed with Switzerland to bolster tax information exchange,

Government Efficiency

BROAD POLICY
Established the President’s Management Advisory Board.
Streamlined and modernized government to save taxpayer dollars.
Ended previous practice of having White House aides rewrite scientific and environmental rules, regulations and reports.
SPECIFIC CUTS:
Cut salaries of senior White House aides.
Made $20 Billion in budget cuts.
Provided that Members of Congress shall not receive a cost of living adjustment in pay during fiscal year 2011.
Eliminated F-22 fighter jet program after lobbying Senate vote to strip financing for more jets from a defense funding authorization bill.
Canceled contract for new Presidential helicopter fleet (28 helicopters, $11.2 billion).
OTHER TARGETED ACTIONS
Enhanced payment accuracy through a “Do Not Pay” list.
Cracked down on tax cheats (Exec Order).
Returned taxpayer monies for refurbishment of White House offices and living quarters.
Established the USA.gov portal connecting people to the services they require.

Health and Wellness

BROAD POLICY
Established HealthCare.gov, a web portal for determining and comparing all consumer health insurance and health care options,
Established an independent health institute to provide accurate and objective information.
Established the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council .,
Established President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.
Ended previous policy of cutting the FDA and circumventing FDA rules.
Implemented a National HIV/AIDS Strategy 7/13/10
FUNDING
Provided $20 billion increase for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Provided $500 million in expanded funding for Health Professions Training Programs.,
Provided funding to strengthen hospital preparedness and emergency response
Expanded funding to train primary care providers and public health practitioners.
Increased funding to expand community based prevention programs.
TARGETED ACTIONS
First Lady Michelle Obama kicked off anti-obesity effort.
Established a New Patient’s Bill of Rights.
Established Patient Safety and Medical Liability Demonstration Projects.
Questioned Prestigious Hospitals in Electronic Health Records Probe (DHHS).
Established Standards For Accessible Medical Diagnostic Equipment
Expanded vaccination programs.
Signed the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009.
Engaged global efforts on HIV/AIDS issues.
(FDA) Now regulating tobacco.,
Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.
(FDA) Ordered Tobacco Companies to Disclose Cigarette Ingredients. ,
Banned sale of “light” cigarettes.
Increased Federal Employment of Individuals with Disabilities (Exec Order)(celebrating 20th anniversary of the ADA).,
(FDA) to discuss stricter guidelines for tanning beds due to skin cancer.
(FDA) Issued new guidance limiting antibiotic use in cattle to preserve efficacy in humans (6/28/2010).
FDA) Reconsidered safety of Bisphenol A, initiates study.

Health Care Reform

(See also Taxes)

BROAD POLICY
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act // Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (March 2010).
Required large employers to contribute to a national health plan.
Required insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions.
Required health plans to disclose how much of the premium goes to patient care.
Established an independent health institute to provide accurate and objective information.
Provided minimum essential health care coverage by Veteran’s Affairs.
Expanded eligibility for State Children’s Health Insurance Fund (SCHIP).,
Prevented children from being refused health insurance coverage.
Established Early Retiree Reinsurance Program.
Increased regulation of drug manufacturers.,
Cut prescription drug costs for Medicare recipients by 50% and began eliminating the plan’s gap (“donut hole”) in coverage.
TRICARE Affirmation Act.
Extended COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) to provide for a continuation of health care.
Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act of 2009.

Housing

BROAD POLICY
Unveiled $275 billion dollar housing plan
Established “Opening Doors” – a federal strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness.
FUNDING
Provided $510 Million for the rehabilitation of Native American housing.
Provided $2 billion for Neighborhood Stabilization Program .
Provided $5 billion for Weatherization Assistance Program for low income families.
Provided grants to encourage energy-efficient building codes.
TARGETED ACTIONS
Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act.
Helping Families Save Their Homes Act, helping millions avoid foreclosure .,
Established the Making Home Affordable Plan, which will provide for the refinance or loan modification for 9 Million homeowners.
RESULTS
New-home sales saw biggest jump in 47 years.,
Foreclosures fall 2%.

Humanitarianism

BROAD POLICY
Supported the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT).
Civil Rights History Project Act of 2009.,
FUNDING
Accelerated tax benefits for charitable cash contributions for Haiti earthquake relief.
Made Haiti donations tax deductible for 2009.
$60 million for flood victims in Pakistan (8/19/10).
TARGETED ACTIONS
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act; instituted equal pay for women.
Presidential Memorandum extending benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees.,
Increased federal employment of individuals with disabilities (Exec Order)(celebrating 20th anniversary of the ADA).
Presidential Memorandum extending benefits to Same-Sex Partners of Federal Employees.,
Presidential Memorandum protecting gay and lesbian partners’ visitation/healthcare decision-making rights (4/15/2010).
The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act.
Awarded the Presidential Medal of freedom to Harvey Milk and Billie Jean King.
The Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act, advancing press freedom and safety for journalists.
The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act to include gender, sexual orientation and disability.
Established White House Council on Women and Girls (Executive Order 13506 ).
Awarded 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.
Signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The Native American Heritage Day Act of 2009.
Appointed an American Indian policy adviser.
(EPA) Reversed Controversial “Human Guinea Pig” Rule.

Immigration

Requested emergency funding of $600 million for Border Security.
Deployed more drones on Mexico border (Homeland Security).
Deported higher numbers of Illegal Immigrants.

Infrastructure

BROAD POLICY
Introduced plan to expand broadband Internet across U.S.,
FUNDING
$8 billion combined public/private funding committed to develop Smart Power Grid (ARRA.)
$800 million to fund rapid rollout of rural broadband expansion (7/2010).
Provided funding for high-speed, broadband Internet access to K-12 schools.
Increased infrastructure spending (roads, bridges, power plants) after years of neglect.
$290 million in funding for 53 grants to “fund new streetcars, buses, and transit facilities.”
Invested $13 Billion (ARRA: $8B + $1B 5-year federal budget) in high speed rail projects in 13 major corridors,,
Provided grants to encourage energy-efficient building codes.
Created a social investment fund network.
Funded a major expansion of AmeriCorps.
TARGETED ACTIONS
(NIST) Completed first release of Smart Grid framework.
Opened 500 MHz of wireless spectrum over next 10 years to expand wireless/mobile broadband use.
Commenced 10,000th road project, Columbus, OH (part of ARRA); June 2010.
Airport and Airway Extension Act.
Initiated modification to Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO) regulations.,
Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which expands the volunteer program.,
RESULTS
Study: Almost 5 million charging stations by 2015.
10,000th highway project (ARRA).

Labor

Established POWER Initiative – protects government workers, ensures reemployment, reduces worker’s comp claims and payments.
Restored funding to the EEOC and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.
Law and Justice

BROAD POLICY
Outlined new federal drug control policy.
Ordered review of mandatory minimum sentences.
FUNDING
Restored funding for the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne/JAG) program.
TARGETED ACTIONS
Appointment of first Latina to the Supreme Court.,
Appointed first black Attorney General, Eric Holder.
Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act to include gender, sexual orientation and disability.
Established crimes programs for the new Orleans area.
Brought greater alignment to sentencing guidelines for powdered versus crack cocaine.
Denounced SCOTUS ruling in Citizens United.
Pushing through settlement in the Black Farmers Lawsuit against USDA .,
DTV Delay Act.
Criminal History Background Checks Pilot Extension Act of 2009.
Tribal Law and Order Act.,
RESULTS
U.S. jail population declined for first time in decades.

Medicaid/Medicare/Social Security

BROAD POLICY
Established independent commission to make recommendations on slowing the costs of Medicare.
Social Security Disability Applicant Access to Professional Representation Act of 2010.
FUNDING
Eliminated higher subsidies to Medicare Advantage plans.
TARGETED ACTIONS
Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act of 2009.,
Cut prescription drug costs for Medicare recipients by 50% and began eliminating the plan’s gap (“donut hole”) in coverage.
Preserved access to care for Medicare beneficiaries
Expanded eligibility for Medicaid.

Military and National Security

BROAD POLICY
Began restructuring the military to reflect present day threats and technology.
Recommitted the U.S. to a policy of “no torture” and full compliance with the Geneva Conventions.
All servicepeople receive education in a region’s culture and language before deployment there (a soldier said this on Maddow).
Supported the Repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT).
Ended the previous stop-loss policy that kept soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan longer than their enlistment date.
Established new cyber security office.,
Defense Production Act Reauthorization of 2009.
Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act.
Nuclear Forensics and Attribution Act.
FUNDING
Cut the missile defense program by $1.4 billion in 2010.
Eliminated F-22 fighter jet program after lobbying Senate vote to strip financing for more jets from a defense funding authorization bill.
Canceled contract for new Presidential helicopter fleet (28 helicopters, $11.2 billion).
$1.1 Billion for improving airport security.
Increased pay and benefits for military personnel.
BY REGION/THEATER:
AF Changed the failing/status quo military command in Afghanistan.,
AF Set troop pullout in Afghanistan to begin in summer 2011.
AF Established Afghan War policy that limits aerial bombing, prioritizes aid
AF infrastructure, diplomacy, and good government practices.
AF Ordered military to withdraw fast food establishments from Afghan bases.
IQ Ended combat mission (remaining personnel are nonagressive) 8/18/10
SOM Increased US Navy patrols off Somali coast.
SOM Ordered SEAL operation that resulted in killing of three terrorists and the release of US captain held by Somali pirates.
Closed secret detention facilities in Eastern Europe and elsewhere.
Opened door to space arms treaty.,
Restarted the nuclear nonproliferation talks, building back up the nuclear inspection infrastructure/protocols.
Executive Order Optimizing the Security of Biological Select Agents and Toxins in the US.
Caught more Taliban Leaders in one month than Bush/Cheney did in six years.
Negotiated nuclear arms agreements with Australia (5/5/2010), India (5/4/2010), and Russia (5/10/2010).,
New START treaty and protocol with Medvedev.

Military Veterans and Families

BROAD POLICY
Initiated a new policy to promote federal hiring of military spouses.,
Improved benefits for veterans.,
Interagency Task Force on Veterans Small Business Development .
Worked to clear the backlog of veterans claims and streamline benefits to those who served.
FUNDING
Provided for the expenses of families of to be at Dover AFB when fallen soldiers arrive.ref
Donated 250K of Nobel prize money to Fisher House.
Veterans Health Care Budgetorm and Transparency Act of 2009.
Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2009.
TARGETED ACTIONS
Medal of Honor Commemorative Coin Act of 2009.
Promoted a bill to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the Women Air Force Service Pilots (“WASP”).
Ended media blackout on war casualties; reporting full information.,
Military Spouses Residency Relief Act.
Improved basic housing allowance for military personnel.
Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010.
Provided minimum essential health care coverage by Veteran’s Affairs.
Authorized construction/opening of additional health centers to care for veterans.
Korean War Veterans Recognition Act.
Blinded Veterans Association.
Major Charles R. Soltes, Jr., O.D. Department of Veterans Affairs Blind Rehabilitation Center.
Improved access for Veterans to receive PTSD treatment.
Green Vet Initiative to promote environmental jobs for veterans.

National Disasters and Emergencies

BROAD POLICY
Ordered an extensive review of hurricane and natural disaster preparedness.,
Memorandum on the Long-Term Gulf Coast Restoration Support Plan
FUNDING
Provided $210 Million for building and upgrading fire stations.
Ordered $20 billion escrow fund by BP to reimburse lost incomes in Gulf.
Ordered $100 million to compensate those hurt by drilling moratorium.
TARGETED ACTIONS
Haiti Economic Lift Program Act of 2010.
Haiti Debt Relief and Earthquake Recovery Act of 2010.
Emergency Aid to American Survivors of the Haiti Earthquake Act.
National Service

The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act — Expands the national volunteer program.,
Created a Social Investment Fund Network.

Scientific and Medical Research

BROAD POLICY
Removed restrictions and provided support for embryonic stem-cell research and new biomedical research.
Extended the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.,
Supported Landsat Data Continuity Mission to enhance earth mapping.
FUNDING
Provided new federal funding for science and research labs.
Provided grants to early-career researchers.
TARGETED ACTIONS
Appointed an assistant to the president for science and technology policy.
Optimized the Security of Biological Select Agents and Toxins in the United States

Space Exploration and Space Station

BROAD POLICY
Worked with international allies on International Space Station
Opened door to space arms treaty.,
Used the private sector to improve spaceflight
Supported commercial access to outer space
FUNDING
Increased spending to prepare for longer space missions
TARGETED ACTIONS
Added another Space Shuttle flight
Partnered to enhance the potential of the International Space Station
Used the International Space Station for fundamental biological and physical research
Determined whether International Space Station can operate after 2016
Conducted robust research and development on future space missions
DOD opened access to social media sites (Air Force News).
DOD will film all interrogations.
Cracked down on tax cheats (exec order).
Dismantled the Minerals Management Service, cutting ties between industry and government.
Established the USA.gov portal connecting people to the services they require
Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act.,
White House voluntary disclosure policy – visitor access records/450,000 records to date

Taxes

BROAD POLICY
Adopted Economic Substance tax doctrine.
Cracked down on tax cheats (Exec Order).
TARGETED ACTIONS TAX CREDITS/REDUCTIONS:
Temporarily suspended taxes on unemployment benefits.
Established consumer tax credit for plug-in hybrid cars.,
$60 billion in spending and tax incentives for renewable and clean energy.
Tax breaks to promote public transit.
Extended and indexed the 2007 Alternative Minimum Tax patch.
Small business teax credits for the cost of health insurance for employees beginning 1/1/10 (HCR).
2-year temporary tax credit up to $1 billion to encourage investment in new disease prevention and treatment therapies (HCR).
Income floor for medical expense deductions for individuals age 65 and older (and their spouses) remains at 7.5% through 2016; Raise 7.5% floor to 10% for all others (1/1/13) (HCR)
Health insurance premium tax credits and subsidies available for those with income up to 4x the federal poverty level (1/1/14) (HCR)
Accelerated tax benefits for charitable cash contributions for Haiti earthquake relief.
TARGETED ACTIONS TAX ASSESSMENTS/INCREASES:
Made Haiti donations tax deductible for 2009.
Increased penalty tax of 20% on nonequal distributions from HSA and MSA (1/1/11) (HCR)
Income tax rates for the highest earners will change from 35 to 39.6 percent. (1/1/11) (HCR)
Capital gains tax for the highest earners will change from 15 to 20 percent. (1/1/11) (HCR)
2.3% excise tax on manufacturers and importers of certain medical devices (1/1/13) (HCR)
For high earners the capital gains tax will rise from 20 to 23.8 percent. (1/1/13) (HCR)
A 2.35 percent Medicare payroll tax only on wages over the threshold (an increase of 0.9 percent) (1/1/13) (HCR)
Tax increase for corporations with assets of at least $1 billion (1/1/14) (HCR)
40% Excise tax on Cadillac health plans (2018) (HCR)
TARGETED ACTIONS TAX ENFORCEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION:
Closed offshore tax safe havens, tax credit loopholes . ,
Employers will report the value of health benefits on W-2s (1/1/11) (HCR)
RESULTS
Tax bills hit lowest level since 1950.
Tax refunds up 10 percent due to stimulus.

Transparency and Accountability

BROAD POLICY
Mandate to follow the standards of the Freedom of Information Act (exec order).
Instructed all federal agencies to promote openness and transparency as much as possible.
Unveiled “open government” plans.
Federal IT Dashboard, “a website enabling federal agencies & the public to view details of information technology”.
TARGETED ACTIONS
Released presidential records.
Imposed limits on lobbyists’ access to the White House.
Imposed limits on White House aides working for lobbyists after their tenure in the administration.
Closed lobbyist loopholes with respect to the Recovery Act
Banned lobbyist gifts to executive employees.
Provided more town halls and media access than previous administration.,
Required health plans to disclose how much of the premium goes to patient care.
Established an independent health institute to provide accurate and objective information.
Required new hires to sign a form affirming their hiring was not due to political affiliations or contributions.,
Established a uniform standard for declassifying, safeguarding and classifying national security information (12/29/2009).
Created a national declassification center.
DOD opened access to social media sites (Air Force News).
DOD will film all interrogations.
Cracked down on tax cheats (exec order).
Dismantled the Minerals Management Service, cutting ties between industry and government.
Established the USA.gov portal connecting people to the services they require
Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act.,
RESULTS
White House voluntary disclosure policy – visitor access records/450,000 records to date
Recovery, Progress and Change

Federal deficit shrank 8% year-on-year.
Financial reform has ‘strongest consumer financial protections in history.’
Wall Storm designed to end taxpayer bailouts.
Six-month report card: exports in the first four months of 2010 were 17 percent higher than in the first four months of 2009 .
Job loss exploded under Bush, improves under Obama.
682,370 jobs created under the Recovery Act Between January 1 — March 31,2010.
New jobless claims tumble.
March payrolls surge by 162,000.
March jobs data showed biggest growth in three years .ref
U.S. economy added 90,000 jobs in April .
Jobless rates dropped in 34 states and DC (AP).
New-home sales saw biggest jump in 47 years.,
Foreclosures fall 2%.
U.S. Economy: Manufacturing grew by most since 2004.
U.S. GDP up 3.2% in first quarter, consumer spending showed biggest rise in 3 years .
Orders for most durable goods rose.
Wholesale inventories and sales rose in March.
Consumer confidence highest in 2 years.
Start-Up activity now higher than it was during the dotcom boom.
Study: almost 5 million charging stations by 2015.
Wind power growth up 39% due to government stimulus.
Poll: world’s opinion of U.S. has “improved sharply” under Obama.ref
47 nations rise to Obama’s challenge at US nuke summit and agree to four years of non-proliferation efforts.
U.S. jail population declined for first time in decades.
Miscellaneous

Got his daughters a puppy!
Held first Seder in White House.,
Appointed at least one Republican to the cabinet.

Comments

  • (Show?)

    from Pdx's Jonathon Singer on his blog "Polising":

    When all is said and done, the 111th Congress will go down in history along with the 89th and the 74th Congresses as one of the most effective enactors of progressive legislation in American history.

    Is it everything progressives wanted to have done? Far from it. But did Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid manage to get more progressive legislation to the President's desk this Congress than all of their predecessors in the past 40 years combined? Probably.

  • (Show?)

    Thanks, T.A. It's good to see the long list of achievements by the president and the Dem. party, and a good response to the naysayers who frequently attack and denigrate those accomplishments on the left.

    • (Show?)

      But the reality is that the average American is going to look at that list, and say: "Nice. Now if I could just find a job before they foreclose on my house, my son won't have to re-enlist in the Army and he can come home from Afghanistan where he has three Purple Hearts."

  • (Show?)

    Now if you can just get ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN to run that list each night for the next 90 days, maybe it will matter.

  • (Show?)

    Nice to see such an exhaustive list of Obama's accomplishments. As I said in my November 3rd op-ed piece in the Wilsonville Spokesman, http://www.wilsonvillespokesman.com/news/2010/November/11/Dialogue_Reader.Views/obama.has.distinguished.himself.as.president/news.aspx, President Obama has had to battle the scheming, lying, manipulative GOP media campaign, the "spineless spinless democrats" in Congress, as well as the unrealistic expectations of the "starry eyed" Obama supporters, two wars and an economic crisis the extent of which this country had not seen in almost 80 years. This makes the list of Obama's accomplishments even more amazing. I wish I would have had the list when I wrote my piece.

  • (Show?)

    And what the source of that list there?

    You can't make this stuff up.

    Kaystreet.wordpress.com

    Yeah... we already knew K Street thinks Obama is the best thing since sliced bread.

    It's the poor and middle class people that Obama deserted.

    • (Show?)

      Actually, you CAN make this stuff up -- which is EXACTLY what you just did.

      If you'd taken 60 seconds to actually click on the "about" link on that blog, you'd have discovered that the blog is NOT written by some K Street lobbyist - but rather by an African-American great-grandmother who lives somewhere outside of Atlanta.

      Seriously.

  • (Show?)

    This list is largely misleading. Many of the economic numbers are snapshots of brief moments of positive news that indicate progress where none exists. For example, new home sales up and foreclosures down, but the housing market is in just as much trouble as it's ever been. These numbers are explained by the home buyers' tax credits that have since expired and banks taking a break from foreclosing while they get their records in order.

    Other statistics aren't good. They're just better than Bush. For example, job creation and deficit (btw, why is Obama trying to cut the deficit now?). And I think we can all agree his deficit reduction numbers are ancient history with the new tax bill.

    All of this though is just window-dressing. Yes, it's a fine list, but I liken it to a doctor who does a fine job stitching up a cut on a patient's arm, but allows the patient to die by ignoring his amputed leg. Obama has not tackled the biggest issues of our time (disparity of wealth, campaign finance reform, Afghanistan, long term debt) or if he has, he has done so ineffectually (health care, Iraq, financial reform).

    I can make lists of good things Bush and Reagan did too (albeit slightly more difficult), but that doesn't change the fact that each were terrible presidents. That's because presidents are rightfully assessed on the totality of their actions and their ability to improve our country, not on a few legislative accomplishments. By that standard, Obama is terrible disappoinment and failure. He's only half way in and can certainly change his ways, but I see no sign its coming.

  • (Show?)

    in the face of the most hostile Congress any president has faced in modern history

    The "most hostile opposition party," sure. But he had 255 Democrats in the House and 57 in the Senate, plus two independent Senators who caucused with his party. That's a pretty friendly Congress, overall. And it light of that, I'm less impressed by what got through and more concerned with all the times this party -- with solid majorities in both houses, plus the White House -- caved in (the public option, tax cuts for the rich) or didn't even try (middle-class tax cut BEFORE the election, comprehensive immigration reform), even when the issues were policies that were quite popular with majorities of the American people and would have helped turn out the base for the midterms.

    So, given what Obama had to work with, he could have gotten a LOT more done if he'd really wanted it. I don't spare Senate Democrats from criticism here either. They should have at least threatened to blow up the filibuster once the Republicans started abusing it.

  • (Show?)

    We could all make our own lists, but it might soon be harder to compile them, as the FCC (led by the Obama-appointed chair) has just set a precedent (a bad one) by approving corporate censorship of the Internet (although Obama is spinning it as being a victory for net neutrality).

    I might start a list with this: http://www.blackstarnews.com/news/135/ARTICLE/6843/2010-10-07.html

    Read how the U.S. under Obama continues to use the Rwandan and Ugandan militaries as U.S. proxies in Africa- how the continued forays into eastern Congo, under the pretext of chasing terrorists, is actually about killing people who might not accede to western theft of mineral resources.

    And also U.S. use of Ugandan and Ethiopian proxies in the Horn of Africa. And WikiLeaks-revealed covert shipments of armaments to south Sudan.

    And that's only what's going on on one continent, as regards U.S. warmaking.

    I say as far as being a Nobel Peace recipient, Obama is giving Kissinger a run for his money.

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