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US Presidents
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Barack Obama

What are some opinions about what President Obama has done right as President during his term so far?

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October 18, 2012 11:48PM

This question is asking for opinions. Please keep the tone friendly when adding yours. This question is for voicing your opinion about what has been done right. See the related question below for voicing your opinions about what was done wrong in his Presidential term so far. If you disagree with another opinion in these answers, do not put that here, that is what the discussion section is for. When adding your opinion, put it below those opinions before yours.

*Note: some opinions may be based on biases,

misinformation or misinterpretation of facts.

  1. Prevented the collapse of the American automotive industry by making GM restructure before bailing them out, and putting incentive money to help the industry. As a result, many jobs were saved and some were created as GM became the Number 1 auto manufacturer in the world again.
  2. Shifted the focus of the war from Iraq to Afghanistan, and put the emphasis on reducing terrorism (where it should have been all along)
  3. Relaxed Anti-American tensions throughout the world
  4. Signed order to close the prisoner "torture camp" at Guantanamo Bay
  5. Has made the environment a national priority, and a primary source for job creation
  6. Has made education a national priority by putting emphasis and money behind new ideas like charter schools, but speaking directly to school children in telling them they have to do their part
  7. Won the Nobel Peace Prize - Pres. Obama has stated "Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges" to which the Nobel prize's nominating committee responded: "For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world's leading spokesman."
  8. Created a $789 billion economic stimulus plan
  9. Made the appointment of first Latina to the Supreme Court
  10. Pushed for attractive tax write-offs for those who buy hybrid automobiles
  11. Authorized construction/opening of additional health centers to care for veterans
  12. Renewed dialogue with NATO and other allies and partners on strategic issues
  13. Began the process of reforming and restructuring the military 20 years after the Cold War to a more modern fighting force. This includes new procurement policies, increasing size of military, new technology and cyber units and operations, etc.
  14. Provided better body armor to our troops
  15. Created the "Cash for clunkers" program that offers vouchers to trade in fuel inefficient, polluting old cars for new cars to help stimulate auto sales, save energy, and help the environment
  16. Changed the failing status quo military command in Afghanistan
  17. Closed offshore tax safe havens
  18. Deployed additional troops to Afghanistan
  19. Ended previous policy of awarding no-bid defense contracts
  20. Ended media blackout on war casualties and the return of fallen soldiers to Dover AFB
  21. Ended the previous practice of cutting the FDA and circumventing FDA rules
  22. Ended previous practice of forbidding Medicare from negotiating with drug manufacturers for cheaper drugs; the federal government is now realizing hundreds of millions in savings
  23. Ended previous practice of having White House aides rewrite scientific and environmental rules, regulations, and reports
  24. Enabled the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that has created 2.1 million jobs (as of 12/31/09)
  25. Ended previous policy of not regulating and labeling carbon dioxide emissions
  26. Ended previous policy of offering tax benefits to corporations who outsource American jobs; the new policy is to promote in-sourcing to bring jobs back
  27. Ended previous policy on torture; the US now has a no torture policy and is in compliance with the Geneva Convention standards
  28. Launched website Recovery.gov to track spending from the Recovery Act, an unprecedented step to provide transparency and accountability through technology
  29. Ended previous practice of protecting credit card companies; in place of it are new consumer protections from credit card industry's predatory practices
  30. Ended previous "stop-loss" policy that kept soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan longer than their enlistment date
  31. Enabled law that energy producing plants must begin preparing to produce 15% of their energy from renewable sources
  32. Established a National Performance Officer charged with saving the federal government money and making federal operations more efficient
  33. Established a new cyber security office
  34. Expanded the SCHIP program to cover health care for 4 million more children
  35. Expanded vaccination programs
  36. Provided funding to families of fallen soldiers to have expenses covered to be on hand when the body arrives at Dover AFB.
  37. Provided the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with more than $1.4 billion to improve services to America's Veterans
  38. Encouraged Federal support for stem-cell and new biomedical research
  39. Budgeted funds for high-speed, broadband Internet access to K-12 schools
  40. Responded with compassion and leadership to the earthquake in Haiti
  41. Responded immediately and efficiently to the floods in North Dakota and other natural disasters
  42. Launched Business.gov - enabling conversation and online collaboration between small business owners, government representatives and industry experts in discussion forums relevant to starting and managing a business - Great for the economy
  43. Improved housing for military personnel
  44. Improved conditions at Walter Reed Military Hospital and other military hospitals
  45. Changed failing war strategy in Afghanistan
  46. Improved benefits for veterans
  47. Increased infrastructure spending (roads, bridges, power plants…) after years of neglect
  48. Donated his $1.4 million Nobel Prize to nonprofit organizations
  49. Increased opportunities in AmeriCorps program
  50. Provided tax credits to first-time home buyers through the Worker, Home Ownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 to revitalize the U.S. housing market
  51. Increased pay and benefits for military personnel
  52. Increased student loans
  53. Instituted a new policy on Cuba, allowing Cuban families to return "home" to visit loved ones
  54. Cracked down on companies that deny sick pay, vacation and health insurance to workers by abusing the employee classification of independent contractor. Such companies also avoided paying Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance taxes for those workers
  55. Limited salaries of senior White House aides; cut to $100,000
  56. Placed limits on lobbyists' access to the White House
  57. Protected 300,000 education jobs that would have otherwise been lost, such as teachers, principals, librarians, and counselors through the Recovery Act
  58. Placed limits on White House aides working for lobbyists after their tenure in the administration
  59. Pushed for the Children's Health Insurance Re-authorization Act on February 4, 2009, which provides quality health care to 11 million kids - 4 million who were previously uninsured
  60. Lowered drug costs for seniors
  61. Made more loans available to small businesses
  62. Held many more press conferences and town halls and provides much more media access than previous administration
  63. Signed the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act, the first piece of comprehensive legislation aimed at improving the lives of Americans living with paralysis
  64. Negotiated deal with Swiss banks to permit US government to gain access to records of tax evaders and criminals
  65. Promoted a new Afghan War policy that limits aerial bombing and prioritizes aid, development of infrastructure, diplomacy, and good government practices by Afghans
  66. Announced creation of a Joint Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record for medical records of members of the U.S. Armed Forces to improve quality of medical care
  67. Encouraged new federal funding for science and research labs
  68. Created new funds for school construction
  69. Ordered all federal agencies to undertake a study and make recommendations for ways to cut spending
  70. Ordered a review of all federal operations to identify and cut wasteful spending and practices
  71. Began the phasing out the expensive F-22 war plane and other outdated weapons systems, which weren't even used or needed in Iraq and Afghanistan
  72. Reengaged in the talks on global warming and greenhouse gas emissions
  73. Provided tax credit to workers thus cutting taxes for 95% of America's working families
  74. Reengaged in the treaties/agreements to protect the Antarctic
  75. Removed restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research
  76. Helped reverse a downward spiral of the stock market. On January 19, 2009, the last day of President Bush's presidency, the Dow closed at 8,218.22. In February 2010, the Dow closed at 10,309.24
  77. Renewed loan guarantees for Israel
  78. Restarted the nuclear non-proliferation talks and building back up the nuclear inspection infrastructure and protocol
  79. Returned to the government the money authorized for his family's refurbishment of White House offices and private living quarters
  80. Sent envoys to the Middle East and other parts of the world that had been neglected for years; reengaging in multilateral and bilateral talks and diplomacy
  81. Unveiled a program on Earth Day 2009 to develop the renewable energy projects on the waters of our Outer Continental Shelf that produce electricity from wind, wave, and ocean currents. These regulations will enable, for the first time ever, the nation to tap into our ocean's vast sustainable resources to generate clean energy in an environmentally sound and safe manner
  82. Signed national service legislation; expanded national youth service program
  83. Permitted states to enact fuel efficiency standards above federal standards
  84. Arranged for students struggling to make college loan payments to have their loans refinanced
  85. Commanded and authorized the SEALS team to gain the successful release of a US captain held by Somali pirates
  86. Pushed for the FDA to now regulate tobacco
  87. Ended the previous stop-loss policy that kept soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan longer than their enlistment date
  88. Cut the missile defense program by $1.4 billion in 2010
  89. Provided for the public to meet with federal housing insurers to refinance (the new plan can be completed in one day) a mortgage if they are having trouble paying
  90. Arranged for the closing of the "secret detention" facilities in Eastern Europe and elsewhere
  91. Implemented the US financial and banking rescue plan
  92. Commanded the US Navy to increase patrols off the Somali coast
  93. Signed the Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act to stop fraud and wasteful spending in the defense procurement and contracting system
  94. Visited more countries and met with more world leaders in his first six months in office than any prior President
  95. Improved relations with Iran
  96. Improved U.S. policy on climate change
  97. Set timetable for exiting Iraq and brought troops home
  98. Improved relations with Russia
  99. Improved relations with the Islamic World
  100. Made progress towards greater cooperation on limiting nuclear proliferation
  101. Created jobs with his economic stimulus plan causing the unemployment rate to decrease. Currently at the lowest in recent years.
  102. Drastically slowed down the recession
  103. Saved Wall Street
  104. Passed the Lilly Ledbetter Act (equal work for equal pay)
  105. Signed the healthcare reform laws after he pushed for the successful passage of the comprehensive health care reform
  106. Signed into law a financial reform package related to Wall Street
  107. Nominated two of the only four women ever to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court
  108. Presided over the departure of U.S. combat troops from Iraq after seven years.
  109. Received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 for his "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."
  110. Created closer oversight of the financial services/credit card industry
  111. Ratified the nuclear weapons reduction treaty with Russia
  112. Rescued the US automobile industry
  113. Provided timetables for bringing our troops home from Afghanistan
  114. Accomplished the extension of unemployment compensation
  115. Put an end to discrimination against homosexuals in the military
  116. Assisted in the overthrow of Moammar Gadhafi, with no loss of American life
  117. Extended unemployment compensation
  118. Started a new hospital records system
  119. He has done wonderful work starting to repair the sullied image of the United States around the world
  120. Helping the earth become a better place
  121. Gave money for veterans
  122. Encouraged people to do the right things and not the wrong
  123. Told people to believe in their dreams and to go through with them and have a great life
  124. He has given the late night talk show hosts a lot of new material for their jokes, as well as the 'forwarded' email jokes
  125. Kept John McCain from becoming President, which is all the contribution he needs to make. Even if he screws up royally, at least he kept Senator McCain from sitting in the "big boy's chair"
  126. Called for resumption of Arab-Israeli peace negotiations
  127. Introduced George Mitchell as an envoy for peace in Palestine
  128. Improved strained relations with moderate Arab leaders (like with his meeting with President Mubarak of Egypt and his meeting with King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz
  129. Started reversing U.S. efforts to isolate antagonists such as Iran and Syria
  130. Believes that there needs to be an elimination of nuclear weapons (like nuclear weapons in Iran)
  131. He has tried to do the best things possible to try to fix our country and the world's Economic Crisis (Watch the CBS Evening News w/ Katie Couric weekdays on CBS @ 6:30pm Eastern)
  132. Improved Relations with Russia
  133. Made the Rights of Women around the World a Core Component of the U.S. foreign policy
  134. Made Progress towards Greater Cooperation on Limiting Nuclear Proliferation
  135. Improved Relations with Iran
  136. Sponsored these bills (unverified):

    • S.RES.529 : A resolution designating July 13, 2006, as "National Summer Learning Day".

    • S.2048 : A bill to direct the Consumer Product Safety Commission to classify certain children's products containing lead to be banned hazardous.

    • S.2125 : A bill to promote relief, security, and democracy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    • S.2154 : A bill to provide for the issuance of a commemorative postage stamp in honor of Rosa Parks.

    • S.2259 : A bill to establish an Office of Public Integrity in the Congress and a Congressional Ethics Enforcement Commission.S.3627 : A bill to prohibit the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy from selling, distributing, or transferring elemental mercury, to prohibit the export of elemental mercury, and for other purposes

  137. He has done us proud, he is one of the best Presidents ever
  138. Ordered Osama Bin Laden killed on May 1st 2011
  139. Signed a detailed form to ban abuse to prisoners
  140. Sent out 800+ bills, most of which helped the US or will in the future
  141. Put his life on the line just to fix bush stupid mistakes
  142. Signed an Executive Order on government contracting to fight waste and abuse
  143. Renewed dialogue with NATO and other allies and partners on strategic issues
  144. Launched Recovery.gov to track spending from the Recovery Act, an unprecedented step to provide transparency and accountability through technology
  145. Launched a $15 billion plan to boost lending to small businesses
  146. Invested heavily in education both as a way to provide jobs now and lay the foundation for long-term prosperity
  147. Signed an Executive Order establishing the White House Office of Urban Affairs
  148. Issued a Presidential Memorandum to restore scientific integrity in government decision-making
  149. Answered questions at the first online town hall from the White House that were submitted and voted on transparently by the public at WhiteHouse.gov
  150. Established a central portal for Americans to find service opportunities
  151. Launched Business.gov - enabling conversation and online collaboration between small business owners, government representatives and industry experts in discussion forums relevant to starting and managing a business
  152. Appointed the first ever Federal Chief Information Officer to provide management and oversight over federal IT spending
  153. Signed the Children's Health Insurance Reauthorization Act on February 4, 2009, which provides quality health care to 11 million kids - 4 million who were previously uninsured
  154. Issued an Executive Order repealing the Bush-Era restrictions on embryonic stem cell research
  155. Committed to phasing out the expensive F-22 war plane and other outdates weapons systems, which weren't even used or needed in Iraq/Afghanistan
  156. Played a lead role in G-20 Summit that produced a $1.1 trillion deal to combat the global financial crisis
  157. Signed the Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act to stop fraud and wasteful spending in the defense procurement and contracting system
  158. Ordered the closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay and a review of our detention and interrogation policy, and prohibited the use of torture
  159. Appointed Special Envoys for Climate Change, Southwest Asia, the Middle

    East, Sudan, and a Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan

  160. Increased infrastructure spending (roads, bridges, power plants) after years of neglect
  161. Increased minority access to capital
  162. Developed a comprehensive new strategy on Afghanistan and Pakistan that will help defeat Al Qaeda and authorized the deployment of more than 21,000 troops to Afghanistan
  163. Signed the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act which gives the federal government more tools to investigate and prosecute fraud, from lending to the financial system, and creates a bipartisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to investigate the financial practices that brought us to this point
  164. Signed the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act
  165. Increased, for the first time in more than a decade, the fuel economy standards for Model Year 2011 for cars and trucks so they will get better mileage
  166. Issued a Presidential Memorandum to the Department of Energy to implement more aggressive efficiency standards for common household appliances
  167. Announced a new U.S.-Mexico border initiative
  168. Concluded cyberspace policy review
  169. Established a new "U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue"
  170. Announced new policy steps towards Cuba
  171. Provided funding for advanced manufacturing technologies
  172. Issued a Presidential Memorandum on the Freedom of Information Act instructing the Attorney General to issue new guidelines to the government implementing those same principles of openness and transparency in the processing of FOIA requests
  173. Funded the design of a new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History scheduled to open on the National Mall in 2015
  174. The Executive Order on Presidential Records brings those principles to presidential records by giving the American people greater access to these historic documents, severely curtailing the ability to use executive privilege to shield those documents
  175. Signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, a hallmark piece of legislation
  176. Signed an Executive Order establishing a White House Council on Women and Girls to provide a coordinated Federal response to the challenges confronted by women and girls and to ensure that all Cabinet and Cabinet-level agencies consider how their policies and programs impact women and families
  177. Reengaged in the agreements/talks on global warming and greenhouse gas emissions, and addressed the U.N. Climate Change Conference
  178. Supported the first steps of a legally-binding treaty to reduce mercury emissions worldwide
  179. Managed several natural disasters successfully, including oil spill in the Gulf- one of the worst environmental disasters ever- severe winter ice storms and flooding in several states
  180. Provided new car tax credit
  181. Purchased fuel efficient American-made fleet of vehicles for the federal government
  182. Nominated Sonia Sotomayor to Supreme Court. She's confirmed and becomes the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice
  183. Helped reverse a downward spiral of the stock market. On January 19, 2009, the last day of President Bush's presidency, the Dow closed at 8,218.22. Today, the Dow closed at 10,309.24 (February 2010)
  184. Earned an unprecedented success rate of 96.7% on winning congressional votes on issues where he took a position. He did even better than legendary arm-twister Lyndon Johnson who had a 93% success rate in 1965
  185. Signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act that made it a federal crime to assault an individual because of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity
  186. Appointed the first Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy
  187. Signed the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act authorizing advance appropriations for the Department of Veterans Affairs by providing two-fiscal year budget authority thus enabling better medical care for veterans. Endorsed by the American Legion, American Veterans, Blinded Veter...ans Association, Disabled American Veterans, Jewish War Veterans, Military Officers Association, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Paralyzed Veterans of America and Vietnam Veterans of America
  188. Held impromptu press conference to urge Congress to investigate Anthem Blue Cross and other corporate health insurance companies that raise premiums in high amounts without explanation. Rep. Henry Waxman launches probe. In this case, Anthem Blue Cross wanted to raise premiums 39%. They have now put the increase on hold for two months (as of February 2010). Legislation preventing such increases pending
  189. Designated $1.5 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program to fund programs at local housing finance agencies in the states hardest hit by the housing crisis: California, Florida, Nevada, Arizona and Michigan. The MBA forecasts that foreclosures will peak in the last quarter of 2010
  190. Extended discounted COBRA health coverage for the nation's unemployed from 9 months to 15 months. Workers laid off between September 1, 2008 and February 28, 2010 qualify
  191. Extended unemployment benefits for 2,000,000 unemployed Americans by 20 weeks. At the time the bill was signed 7,000 unemployed Americans were losing their unemployment benefits each day
  192. Eliminated federal funding for abstinence-only education which was significantly increased during the Bush Administration to $176 million annually
  193. Rescinded the Global Gag Rule
  194. Appointed the most diverse Cabinet in history including more women appointees than any other incoming president
  195. Committed to no permanent military bases in Iraq through the Defense Authorization Act
  196. Provided the Department of Veterans Affairs the largest spending increase in 30 years to improve medical facilities and national cemeteries, and to assist states in acquiring or constructing state nursing homes and extended care facilities
  197. Strengthened the Endangered Species Act
  198. Empowered states that legalized medical marijuana to regulate themselves. Fourteen states have allowed some use of marijuana for medical purposes: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Maryland, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington
  199. Enhanced earth mapping
  200. Increased funding for national parks and forests in 2010, and plans to do it again for FY 2011
  201. Allocated special funding to the Labor Department to provide green job training to veterans
  202. Allocated funding to states and the Department of Homeland Security to save thousands of police or firefighter jobs from being cut during the recession
  203. Created and sustained 2.1 million jobs and stimulated the economy 3.5% [as of December 31, 2009] through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
  204. Signed on to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  205. Signed the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009. The Act extends the Ryan White programs through 2013
  206. Ordered a review by the Sentencing Commission of mandatory minimum sentences
  207. Signed the Travel Promotion Act of 2010 to increase travel to the United States
  208. Expanded the Rural Energy for America Program and USDA energy grants to empower farmers that want to use renewable energy
  209. Revitalized and empowered the EPA, OSHA and the SEC to protect workers and consumers by regulating business practices
  210. Signed the HIRE Act
  211. Did not apologize to BP for making them take responsibility for the mess they created, as the GOP has done
  212. Did not suggest that taxpayers foot the bill for the spill instead of BP, like John Boehner, Michele Bachmann, Tom Donohoe and other GOPers think we should
  213. Did not further injure out of work Americans by blocking the extension of unemployment benefits in June of 2010
  214. Worked tirelessly to get Congress to work in a bipartisan manner and encouraged Democrats and Republicans to work together and compromise . Democrats did
  215. As the leader of the most powerful nation on earth, Barack Obama has inspired billions of people across the globe to take part in their political community, especially the youth populations
  216. Supported funding for deep space travel by NASA (incl. asteroids and Mars)
  217. Imposed a $500,000 cap on senior executives' pay for the most distressed financial institutions receiving federal bailout money
  218. Developed new Afghan War policy that limits aerial bombing and prioritizes aid, development of infrastructure, diplomacy, and good government practices by Afghans
  219. Announced the long-term development of a national energy grid with renewable sources and cleaner, efficient energy production
  220. Held first Seder ever in the White House
  221. Backed the START Treaty
  222. Stood for the food safety regulation bill
  223. President Obama pushed for the successful passage of comprehensive health care reform; signed into law a financial reform package related to Wall Street; nominated two of the only four women ever to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court; and presided over the departure of U.S. combat troops from Iraq after seven years. He also was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 for his "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."
  224. Quit smoking cigarettes as a leader and role model to set an example of a healthier lifestyle
  225. Guantanamo Bay closed. Human rights were being breached so now the prisoners (some American citizens) can have fair treatment.
  226. Removed Troops from Iraq. Relieving military stress, lowering war costs, strengthening Iraq's infrastructure
  227. Health Care Reform will insure all Americans, would lower costs of treatment, increase quality of medical care
  228. Economic Stimulus, etc. Expensive measures were necessary to revitalize the economy, jobs are being created slowly but surely, Obama is not at fault for the mounting economic struggles, he inherited them.
  229. Appointed nation's first Chief Technology officer
  230. Signed financial reform law establishing a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to look out for the interests of everyday Americans
  231. Signed financial reform law requiring lenders to verify applicants' credit history, income, and employment status. Signed financial reform law prohibiting banks from engaging in proprietary trading (trading the bank's own money to turn a profit, often in conflict with their customers' interests). Signed financial reform law allowing shareholders of publicly traded companies to vote on executive pay.
  232. Provided $12.2 Billion in new funding for Individuals With Disabilities Education Act
  233. Extended Benefits to same-sex partners of federal employee.
  234. Implemented voluntary disclosure of White House visitors for the first time in US history.
  235. Signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, giving the FDA the authority to regulate the manufacturing, marketing, and sale of tobacco for the first time.
  236. Developed stimulus package, which includes approx. $18 billion for non-defense scientific research and development.
  237. He's worked hard to please both sides of the political spectrum and work with republicans to pass fair legislation.
  238. He wants people to pay more attention to their kids.
  239. He got Bin Laden.
  240. Has been one of the most (if not the most) fiscally responsible presidents in the past 60 years. See the graph in the related links section that shows his spending compared to the recent presidents back through Ronald Reagan. Don't believe the politically-driven lies that he is spending more than all others. The economic reports show the opposite.

See also the related question below asking for opinions about what he has done wrong so far.