The Case For President Obama
When President Obama took office on January 20, 2009, the economy was losing 700,000 jobs per month, GDP had just shrank 8.9% in the last quarter of 2008, the auto industry was on the verge of collapse and the U.S. was involved in two wars. The President inherited the greatest set of challenges any new President had inherited since Franklin Roosevelt was inaugurated in 1933 during the height of the Great Depression. Just how did President Obama deal with these multiple crises? How effective have his responses been?
President Obama stepped up and began to make the tough choices even before he was formally sworn in. One of his first decisions was to provide federal assistance to the ailing U.S. auto industry. This was an unpopular decision (at the time) that ultimately saved millions of jobs and restored the auto industry to profitability. At the time Obama made this courageous decision, Mitt Romney and the Republicans said we should "let Detroit go bankrupt."
On the economic front, President Obama passed through the Congress - with the help of Ben Nelson - the $800 billion stimulus program.
According to three non-partisan sources, the 2009 stimulus bill saved anywhere from 1 to 3 million jobs, ended the recession and began the current recovery. Currently, the economy has created around 150,000 new jobs per month over the last year.
Another one of President Obama's most significant achievements was the passage of Obama Care - which will insure an additional 30 million Americans. This landmark legislation - which was also supported by Senator Nelson - will save thousands of lives every year and reduce the deficit. On the other hand, Romney (and Fischer) want to repeal Obama Care - a decision which would deny health insurance to about 45 million people.
President Obama's accomplishments in the realm of national security are equally impressive. In 2011, U.S. Navy Seals found Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan and brought this terrorist mastermind to justice.
In contrast, Mitt Romney told us in 2007-08 that he would oppose any U.S. military intervention in Pakistan to get Bin Laden.
In addition to President Obama's successes in the fight against terrorism, U.S. troops were withdrawn from Iraq at the end of 2011 and U.S. troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan at the end of 2014.
Once again, Romney has disagreed with President Obama on Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Romney would like to leave U.S. troops in both of these countries on an indefinite basis.
Elections aren't only about rewarding past success - they are also about the future. President Obama has a promising agenda which will improve the economy and reduce the deficit. In September 2011, President Obama introduced a jobs bill that would create 2 million new jobs and reduce the unemployment rate to 7%. The Republicans in the Congress have blocked this bill and refuse to grant it an up or down votes. In addition, the President has offered a deficit reduction plan that consists of both tax increases on the wealthy and spending cuts.
The choice on November 6 is clear. President Obama has both a record of accomplishment and a strong second term agenda. I would urge all of my Democratic friends to work hard for President Obama's re-election, as well as for our other fine candidates.
Dennis Crawford is our newly elected 2nd Associate Chair. He will begin serving his term on the NDP's executive board at the first State Central Committee meeting following November's election. Thank you to Dennis for his contribution to the NDP's blog.