Who knew?

I get pretty frustrated these days with folks who say they voted for Obama in 2008, but are not sure whether his record justifies their vote again. Frankly, it’s a whole lot easier to understand why someone who supported McCain/Palin four years ago would not wish to re-elect Obama. He’s definitely a center-left guy and Romney, like McCain/Palin is, at best, middle-right or at least he is trying to claim some small piece of the middle after having swung so far right to capture the nomination. On the other hand, it’s awful difficult for me to understand how someone who thought Obama was a good choice in 2008 would now think Romney is the answer today. The only possible answer is that one thinks Obama has been a disastrous president, which, of course, is what we have been hearing day-in and day-out for four years from Fox News and Rush Limbaugh.

Those sources aside, I don’t see any objective take on his record which would suggest such a thing. On the foreign policy front, we are finally out of Iraq and soon will be out of Afghanistan. One could certainly argue these moves came too late, but the other party wasn’t about to make this happen any sooner. We did finally got Osama. That event might have been more a symbolic moment than anything else, but still, Obama made the call and it turned out well. The drone war, while legally questionable, seems to be working pretty darn well. All-in-all, on the foreign policy front, at least in comparison to his predecessor, I’d have to say Obama looks quite brilliant.

On the social policy side of things, you’ve got the immigration, gay marriage and health care victories for the left (if you lean the other way politically, I doubt you voted for Obama the first time). Again, one can be critical of Obama for the timing of some of these things or whether he turned out to be as left-handed as one wished, but please, in today’s world where the House has voted 30 times to repeal Obamacare, the man got some stuff done. And then you have the economy.

The economy sucks. I give you that. It sucks pretty much everywhere, but the reality is that we have fared pretty well through this global crisis. Obama doesn’t get the credit for all of that, but does anyone think a different president would have ended the global recession? But, still, hasn’t Obama proven he can’t cut anything and doesn’t he represent the worst of the tax and spend tradition of the Democratic party? Hold on a second. Forbes magazine, that well-known socialist rag, has just come out with a story entitled : Who Is The Smallest Government Spender Since Eisenhower? Would You Believe It’s Barrack Obama?


What?Who knew?

In the first year of his presidency, operating with a budget set by George W., the federal budget increased a whopping 17.9%. One can’t lay that one on Obama anymore than one could reasonably blame Romney (if elected) for the budget passed before he takes office. The 2009 budget was passed by the 2008 Congress and in effect four months before Obama even took office. Fiscal year 2010 was the first budget that belonged to Obama and it saw spending fall 1.8%. In 2011, spending rose again at the rate of 4.3%. For 2012, it is set to rise 0.7%. Finally, in 2013, the last budget of the term, it is scheduled to fall 1.3%. The bottom line? Not since President Eisenhower have we had a President who has been tighter with the buck than Obama. Funny how facts get in the way of a good story.

Lawrence M. Schall


Oglethorpe University

4484 Peachtree Road NE

Atlanta GA 30319

o. 404.364.8319

f. 404.364.8324



Make a life. Make a living. Make a difference.

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4 Responses to Who knew?

  1. I knew you’d like that story! But we still need to cut a lot of spending out of the federal budget — and I wish that some leader in either party would have the guts to step up and lay out what we need to do in Social Security (delay the retirement age) and with Medicare & Medicaid (stop using the fee-for-service model). In this overheated political climate, public SERVICE is the most endangered thing of all.

  2. Amanda says:

    here here!

  3. Bill Aitken '64 says:

    Facts—stories; got that right (remember the bumper sticker: “My Mind’s Already Made Up, Don’t Confuse Me With the Facts”?). Of course, in any comparison with the former Administration’s two terms…..(just about anything in the opposite direction has to be better) . Just how can we judge the efficacy and success of any policy initiatives of a president when they are all opposed by the ‘Party of NO’ in Congress? And besides–News flash: Congress makes the laws, not presidents. As an Independent, I abhor political parties for the same reason Jefferson did: people become beholden in lock step to the Parties instead of the country (just like they do Fox News, and any number of other irrational entities). Honest debate and discussion (upon which our country’s political system was/is supposed to be based) seem to have gone out the window (seems to be a National trend in any issue)! And why have so many forgotten that congressional representatives, while elected from home districts so that they have a voice, are supposed to care for and manage the ENTIRE COUNTRY, not just their home districts? (Money of course.)
    As far as voting again for Obama, there’s a reasonable alternative?! As far as I’m concerned, Romney just keeps digging deeper holes and then stepping in them. (Tell me, is there any reason to put money in off-shore accounts, if one has nothing to hide?)
    Not sure I’m so much on the reduce-spending side (it is important) as much as I am on the raising revenue side. You and I at home (and at OU) have to pay for everything we get, and the way a government, any government, pays for its citizen’s needs is through raising taxes in a fair way. Now really, is there any reason the wealthiest nation in the world can’t provide food, shelter and basic health services to all it’s citizens? That’s as much a MORAL, ETHICAL issue to me, as it is anything else. Last I heard we pay the LEAST in taxes in the developed world and get far more for them than most. If you want the services, gotta pay for them. FAIR taxes are good things, not bad. How about a little bit of that for a change?
    Very interesting Forbes article. Also love Betty’s point about that endangered species, public SERVICE.

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