What Obama Has Done [Comprehensive Edition]
By Guest Columnist
NEWS JUNKIE POSTNov 1, 2010 at 6:24 am
There has been a great deal of change and reform delivered over the last two years. While most of these have gone by unnoticed or are not remembered, a fine Wiki team has recorded and organized every major point in a comprehensive database, now available here.
There are a few excellent resources where the victories of Change and Reform have been assembled on the internet, including the Democratic Change Update (reposted on News Junkie Post), the 244 Accomplishments of Obama, and the Things Obama Has Done page on Facebook.
While the mainstream media narrative has been dominated by right wing and Tea Party talking points, many of the fundamental changes in direction of this country have not received the attention they deserve. Now in one day, the very politicians who venomously opposed these reforms, the very people who want to take America back to the days of Bush are poised to retake the US House of Representatives. They are banking on the short attention span of voters, so share this list liberally!
Arts and Culture
Banking and Financial Reform
Commerce, Trade and technology
Education: Health of Children
Foreign Affairs and International Relations
Health and Wellness
Health Care Reform (See also Taxes)
Law and Justice
Military and National Security
Military Veterans and Families
National Disasters and Emergencies
Scientific and Medical Research
Space Exploration and Space Station
Transparency and Accountability
Recovery, Progress and Change
Chapter 1: BANKING AND FINANCIAL REFORM
Established the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. [pdf]
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) [pdf]
Assigned a Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program Act of 2009.
Pension Relief Act of 2010.
Played a lead role in G-20 Summit re: financial crisis.
Reformed deferral rules to curb tax advantages for investing overseas.
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.
Created the Financial Stability Oversight Council to monitor stability of the financial system & individual firms. [pdf]
New requirements for reporting financial data. [pdf]
Created self-funded Office of Financial Research (OFR) to collect information from financial firms. [pdf]
OFR employees must wait a year before working for certain financial firms. [pdf]
Provided for orderly liquidation of financial companies. [pdf]
Limited trading activities of banks (Volcker Rule) beginning 2 yrs after passage. [pdf]
Swaps Pushout Rule prevented federal assistance to swaps (including derivatives) traders. [pdf]
Derivatives must be traded transparently through a clearing house. [pdf]
Defined the amount and nature of assets required to meet capital requirements. [pdf]
Originators of asset-backed securities must retain 5% ownership/risk. [pdf]
Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (DF). [pdf]
Stronger client fiduciary duty for broker-dealers. [pdf]
Higher standards for securities advertising and disclosures. [pdf]
Expanded “insider loans”. [pdf]
Higher standards for systemically important ($50 billion assets+) institutions, including annual stress tests and restrictions on bank acquisitions. [pdf]
Executive compensation must be determined by an independent committee.[pdf]
Financial agencies must establish Offices of Women & Minorities to promote more diverse hiring. [pdf]
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.
(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
Chapter 2: HEALTH CARE REFORM
Requires large employers to contribute to a national healthcare plan
Requires Insurance Companies to cover pre-existing conditions
Requires health plans to disclose how much of premium goes to patient care
Establishes an independent health institute to provide accurate & objective information
Provides minimal essential healthcare coverage by Veterans Affairs
Prevents children from being denied health insurance coverage
Establishes early retiree reinsurance program
Cut prescription drug cost for medicare recipients by 50% and began eliminating the plan’s gap (doughnut hole) in coverage
TRICARE Affirmation Act
Chapter 3: CIVIL RIGHTS AND ARTS & CULTURE
Provide $12.2 Billion in new funding for Individuals With Disabilities Act through the American Recovery and Investment Act
Presidential Memorandum protecting gay and lesbian partners’ visitation and healthcare decision making rights
Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act to include gender, sexual orientation and disability
Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act
Appointed more openly gay officials (150) than any other president in history
Established White House Council on Women & Girls
Financial agencies must establish Offices of Women & Minorities to promote more diverse hiring
Increase minority access to capital
Signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities
ARTS & CULTURE
Created an artist corps for public schools
Championed the importance of arts education
Promoted cultural diplomacy
Chapter 4: Commerce, Trade & Technology, Conservation
Webcaster Settlement Act of 2009
Satellite TV Extension Act of 2010
Expanded loan programs for small businesses
Small Business Act
Small Business Investment Act
Denied federal contracts to tax delinquents
Appointed the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer
Established Federal IT Dashboard
Modernized USA.gov portal to connect people to services they require
Launched piracy crackdown
Morris K Udall Scholarship & Excellence in National Environmental Policy Amendments Act of 2009
Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009
North American Wetlands Conservation Act
Stewardship of the Ocean (established National Ocean Council) for Coasts and the Great Lakes (executive order)
Established partnerships to share environmental technology with other countries
Increased funding for 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
Expanded access to places to hunt and fish
Led effort to phase out whaling
Pursued wildlife management plan
Encouraged more controlled burns to reduce wildfires
Ordered removal of more brush, small trees and vegetation that fuel wildfires
Chapter 5: THE ECONOMY
The American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009: a $789 billion economic stimulus plan [pdf]
Start-up activity now higher than it was during the dotcom boom
Created task force to fight deficit (actually senate voted it down – only 53 votes)
Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009
Temporary extension of programs under Small Business Investment Act of 1958
Increased minority access to capital
$26 billion aid to states package (Aug. 2010)
Raised 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 & Recovery Act – establishes a federal “Do Not Pay” list
Extended and indexed the 2007 Alternative Minimum Tax patch
Adopted Economic Substance tax doctrine
Economy grew 5.9% in 4th quarter
U.S. Economy: Manufacturing has grow more than since 2004
U.S. GDP up 3.2% in first quarter
Largest rise in consumer spending in three years
Orders for most durable goods rose
Wholesale inventories and sales rose
$26 billion state aid triggered a surge of private municipal investment
EXHIBITS – THE STIMULUS ONE YEAR LATER
Success of the stimulus: How do you illustrate it could have been much worse?
Distribution of ARRA funds by years
Need for financial education: Investors who act on their own than T-bills; market timers warn negative returns
Consumer debt patterns (revolving & non-revolving) through end of 2009
Growth of the national debt from 2000-2009
Bar chart: 2009 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: 2007-2010
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 AARA: 2008-2010
More Private Sector Jobs Created In 2010 Than During Entire Bush Years
Chapter 6: EDUCATION
Health Care & Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010
Increased funding for land-grant colleges
Provided means for students struggling to make college loan to refinance
Expanded Pell grants for low-income students
Expanded Pell grant pool by eliminating private lender subsidies for student loans
EDUCATION: HEALTH OF CHILDREN
Created the Race to the Top Fund ($4.35 billion) to reward states that create comprehensive education reform plans [pdf]
Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization of 2009
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 strengthen Elementary and Secondary education [pdf]
Fully funded the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
Provided $12.2 billion in new funding for the Individuals with Disabilities and Reinvestment Act.
$26 billions state aid package saved 160,000 teacher jobs (Aug. 2010)
Provided over $2.3 billion in additional funding to Head Start & Early Head Start programs in 2009
Provided $5 billion for Early Learning Programs under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. [pdf]
Doubled the amount available in Federal Child Care Block Grants
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
Chapters 7-33 and the full expandable database are located at the Obama Achievements Center, a project led by @shoq and @maysgg71 and contributed to by over 80 researchers on the oWiki crowdsourcing team. Special thanks to Wayne Bomgaars for some style corrections and list/citation additions and creating a discussion group for this on Reddit. The banner was designed by Ole Ole Olson.
- October 29, 2010 -- Democratic Change Update
- November 26, 2012 -- Open Letter to Obama: Get Tough Mr President, Get Tough
- May 14, 2010 -- The 2010 Midterms: What If The Democrats Win?
- November 1, 2010 -- Vote Republican If…
- May 29, 2010 -- The Backlash Against Anti-Reform Democrats Is Unleashed