Better The Devil You Know?

I’m not calling President Obama the devil, but unfortunately I feel many liberals believe Obama has left them high and dry. I may just be a simple policy wonk, but if you look at history and what this president has accomplished, it has been some of the most progressive policies ever.

The prime example liberals point to is health care. The Affordable Care Act did a lot to curb costs and keep Medicare solvent for future generations. While there are problems with it, such as the possible illegality of requiring everyone to have insurance, it is by far the biggest accomplishments any president has made since the Social Security Act in 1935.

During the process though, Obama made a deal with the insurance companies saying he would not include a single payer system with the reforms. So instead of an entire new government agency that would manage people’s healthcare, it is instead going to be managed by private companies. In the long run, it probably would have been cheaper to have done it through the government. But what would have been sacrificed is the quality of the care people received. Hospitals in this country are run pretty well, and studies have shown countries that have public facilities don’t get to people’s needs as efficiently. Even in Canada where health costs are cheaper for the countries citizens, it is still easier to see a doctor privately then if you go to a public office. Even if a single payer plan was enacted cost constraints would have also have been needed to make sure the price for these services is going up fairly. This, by the way, was the main problem to begin with. Those controls are in the Act and will be enacted in future years.

And don’t forget, when Social Security was enacted, the law stated people would receive benefits when they turned 65 years old. Of course, the average people were living to then was 61.

Then there is foreign policy. Obama inherited wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and during the campaign he said the military would be removed from the Middle East. Well, it may not have been as fast as everyone would have liked, but our troops are coming home from Iraq next year, and with the continuing stories of corruption in Afghanistan, plus having killed Osama Bin Laden, there is no reason for us to be there anymore either. Just last month Obama set goals for getting the troops out of Afghanistan as well. With the amount of military equipment there is, it still wouldn’t have mattered when the order was given to recall the troops because it would have taken a while to get everything out of there anyway.

If you noticed there hasn’t been a lot of talk about these two countries recently because of what had occurred in Egypt, and there haven’t been many big operations within the last year. While many erred at the troop increase, after it had taken place violence in Afghanistan sharply decreased, and Al Qaeda has had trouble recruiting new members.

I have complained many times about Obama, particularly the way he had forgotten how to get his point across. At the town hall today he admitted he wish he had done a better job explaining to the American people how his policies would help them. It almost cost him the gains he made with healthcare. But the policies this President has gotten through will help millions of Americans, and improve their quality of their life.

Politically speaking, Obama owns the middle, which he needs to win next year in order to stay in office. Every poll shows that no matter who the Republicans nominate to run against Obama, he or she losses. Liberals should also remember that if a Republican were in the Oval Office, the people that President would have to appeal to are extreme conservatives who want to dismantle the social safety nets that are needed today need more than ever.

Our government was built so people can be skeptical of it, and it has served us well. The American people, by default, are not meant to trust their elected officials. When Obama says we need reforms to social programs, it is to make sure they are there for our children. It might require some cuts for those who are earning enough to pay out of pocket, but that is a lot better than not having anything at all.
Those on the left should remember it is better to have someone in office that you know will have to appease you, and not the one who doesn’t.


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Filed under Politics, President Obama

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