Grading President Obama Through The First Three Quarters
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Grading Obama Through The First Three Quarters

Now that we're heading into the fourth quarter of the first Obama Administration its a good idea to examine the first 3/4ths of what he hopes is his first term as President. Before any second term, President Obama will be reapplying for his job as commander in chief. But how do we assess the performance of President Obama. Hs predecessor George W. Bush's disastrous Presidency has undoubtedly hung a huge shadow over the economic policy and direction of Obama but to some Americans whose memory are often short that was a long time ago. He will be judged on his performance which includes all that he inherited and his responses. Considering that we thought appropriate to give the President grades as a way of assessing his performance through the first three quarters of his administration.

Economy: Grade C

First, perhaps the most pressing issue facing millions of Americans is the economy. How do we assess the President's performance. We're giving the President a C on the economy. He gets the C because of the near Depression economic condition he inherited by the above mention disastrous Republican President George W. Bush. We criticize Bush with jest but he fought hard for his constituency-rich white males. The economic result was a wealth disparity not seen since the 1920's. Today in America the top 2% control more wealth than the bottom 60% of Americans combined. Bush achieved this feat through the only economic policy or rather religious philosophy republicans truly believe: tax cuts for millionaires.

Given this well known republican economic philosophy one of the first things the President should have done is kept his campaign promise. He repeated this campaign promise over and over and throughout the debates. It went something like if you make $250,000 or more you are going to pay the same rate you paid during the Clinton Administration. That's it. This should have been job #1. Even before the stimulus package, which was absolutely necessary to keep economic activity going when there was none. The President should not have listened to his Wall Street Advisors in the White House who claimed that raising taxes even on the most well off would have created further economic instability. The people who suggested this were wrong. Eliminating the Bush tax cuts would have passed the house and through reconciliation had passed the Senate by a simple majority (which is how Bush got his tax cuts through).

Forced Modification. Given that the housing crisis led by Wall Street traders created the economic downturn. Instead of the sideshow focus on bonuses for people who nearly destroyed the world economy the focus should have been on the homeowners. As the President will admit his housing modification has not done enough and has not moved fast enough to ward off foreclosures.

The auto industry was saved and starting to thrive. This is a good thing no matter what republicans say.

He doesn't get a D or F even because the economy is growing albeit slowly and although unemployment is unprecedentedly high. It has come down as the new economic data has indicated.

Communication: C

How can one of the great President orators be average at communicating his goals, plans and accomplishments to the American people. I don't know either. Where is the President of we are the one's we have been looking for? Many of the President's supporters are wondering how he has lost the communication battle which led to the rise of the people who loved Bush rebranding themselves as a tea party.

Further, the President has done nothing to overcome the perception that he approaches and deals with the Republican's in Congress not from his own political position which can lead to a healthy compromise but from their position which then leads to a furtherance of a right wing domestic agenda of spending cuts and tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy. This is simply not what millions of Americans voted for. No matter how the President wants to put lipstick on this pig. Millions of Americans that voted for him also voted for his domestic policy agenda. Not Obama light.

Foreign Policy: A

He ordered the successful capturing and killing of Bin Ladin. That's enough actually. But he also kept a campaign promise in pulling allcombat troops out of Iraq. Despite criticism by Republicans he proved right in supporting NATO in toppling Gaddafi.

Health Care: A-

Passing the Health Care Act what Fox News fan base derogatorily brands as Obamacare was nonetheless monumental important piece of legislation in American history. And was passed when many pundits thought it would never get done. It was a legislative feat yet many of his strongest supporters those who made the calls and knocked on doors were dismayed when he did not fight for a public option. A public option would have been the true competitive check on private health insurance. The other giant negative is not the mandate, which is not actually a mandate, (but arguably a tax credit if you buy insurance is that the bill would not go fully into effect until 2014 which is utterly ridiculous. Putting the exchange together and staffing of the agencies needed to support a health care system with a public options could have added thousands of jobs, right when jobs are needed. The law is clearly constitutional. If the court finds the so called mandate unconstitutional then it must also find tax credits for homeowners (an incentive to own a home and a penalty to those who rent) unconstitutional.

But he gets an A- as millions of young adults (many unemployed) are now covered under their parents insurance. And millions of Americans can no longer be thrown of health insurance once they get sick.

Overall grade heading into the final semester a B-. Which makes his Presidency thus far better than average. But has room for improvement. There is an A student in the White House. He needs to go with his instincts a little more, his guts a little more when comes to domestic policy as he has done with foreign policy. Will that be good enough for re-election we don't know there is another semester to go, it depends on the opponent. If its Mitt Romney who is the epitome of the 1 percent and built a career firing Americans than Obama has a good shot at keeping his job.


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