Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Obama a year in

Just thought I'd throw my voice in:

Things in which President Obama has disappointed me:
-Unfilled cabinet posts
-Inconsistent trade policy
-Lack of transparency (I thought this was one of the corners he was going to be able to turn)
-An inability to stop blaming President Bush for all the administrations problems

Fulfilled my expectations:
-Setting a less ideological tone on foreign policy (Even if in practice his policies aren't too different, the tone was the biggest problem)
-A thoughtful and rational approach to the wars in which we are engaged
-A decisive and well-informed response to the financial crises

Exceeded expectations:
-John Huntsman as ambassador to China
-The quality of his existing cabinet
-His pragmatic governing from the center (not completely, but much more than any other political figure would have)

Popular criticisms I don't buy:

-National debt: This is mainly the economy's fault, not Obama's. Tax revenue has plummeted and previously commitments are more expensive than planned (unemployment benefits). Discretionary spending (what the current government has direct control over) is rising at about the same rate as during the Bush years (not to say that that is where I'd like to see them stay).

(Graph from

-Job creation: The US government is terrible at this. The only way to get more jobs is either to spend more money that we don't have or just to wait until they follow the economy back up, as they usually, but not always, do. The Republican's also suggest cutting taxes which will only contradict all their claims of desiring to lower the budget.
-Dealing with Republicans: Republicans have shifted dramatically to the right. Their fear of the Tea Parties will make them the party of No until they realize that it is killing their party.
-Unfulfilled promises: Name me any president in a century that doesn't have a list of these a mile long.

I expect that President Obama will be able to:
-End the wars in the Middle East responsibly
-Return the US to the role of peace maker in the area and a more realistic role globally
-Move our economy away from fossil fuels to green technology
-Realize that fixing health care means lowering cost, bottom line
-Decrease levels of discrimination in the country (blacks, gays and immigrants)
-Continue to move towards the center

I wish he would, but don't expect him to:
-Cut the defense budget dramatically
-Implement smart taxes (like the gas tax)
-Move the country to socialized medicine (it works people)
-Keep all his promises that he hasn't already broken

Would I still vote for Obama: Yes. The Republican party has no feasible direction right now and there's is no better Democrat to vote for.


  1. Social medicine works? Also, isn't a bailout part of discretionary spending which deepens our national debt?

  2. Gas tax is something that is feasible on the state level. Massachusetts passed a gas tax, it's definitely the smart way to go in states are hurting for revenue. I think a lot of red states would have a hard time letting the Fed Gov't do that.

    MA came to the gas tax because they hiked the sales tax, got nothing from it because it's just bad PR for the constituents and scares people to neighboring states like NH that don't have a sales tax even though it was only a 1.25% increase. The gas tax is already fixed into what you read on the sign and the incidence is much fairer...unless of course you hike up taxes on heating oil too.

  3. Wow, you are out of touch with reality, my darling daughter. He has expanded the war in Afghanistan. That was the right thing to do, but if Bush had done it, it would be the wrong thing to do. Cut the defense budget? The defense budget supported you for the first 20 years of your life. It paid for you to be born. What do you want him to cut? Pay for soldiers fighting in Afghanistan?? Benefits for surviving families? Good weapons for the warfighter? Education benefits for veterans? He made a bunch of promises he can't keep. Are you REALLY going to give Obama credit for ending the war in Iraq?? He's following President Bush's exact Iraq plan. He COPIED the Bush surge policy in Afghanistan. He's a mirror image of Bush when it comes to defense. Caitlin, really??? Cut the defense budget drastically?????

  4. I apologize Cait. I thought you posted that. But since you and Tim think alike, my comments are almost the same. Tim, are you kidding? Cut the defense budget drastically? The defense budget paid for your wife to be born? And ditto on the rest of my comments. Everyday that goes by President Obama makes President Bush look better and better. Okay, I'll stop now before I go too far :) I know how sensitive you kids are about politics.

  5. When you say 'cut the defense budget drastically'? you don't want Obama to cut my military pension, for example, do you?