Obama Legacy: Poverty and the Middle Class

President Obama Fought Poverty and Strengthened the Middle Class

Over the course of his eight years in office, President Obama took as many steps as he could to alleviate poverty and to strengthen the lives of the middle class. His first two years, his work with the Democrats was nothing short of stellar, and he worked hard to continue that legacy, even after the left squandered the built-in advantage and helped Republicans take back Congress. He got almost everything done with zero help from the Republican Party.

Here are some examples of what President Obama was able to pull off, despite massive instruction. Compare this to anything the Republican Party has ever done. (Or even the unicorn left, for that matter.)

President Obama and Democrats worked hard to to provide affordable, high-quality child care to working families. http://bit.ly/fNfidS

Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and other actions, President Obama and Democrats managed to cut taxes for 95% of America’s working families, instead of just for the very rich. http://bit.ly/eSEI4F

That means, while many believe Obama was trying to raise everyone’s taxes, they should know that, during the Obama years, the tax rates paid by average working families dropped to their lowest rates since 1950. http://bit.ly/f74pD8 That’s right, the bottom 95% of taxpayers, including Trump voters, pay lower federal income taxes, not higher. http://bit.ly/1w1W8Ns

President Obama and Democrats not only extended the Alternative Minimum Tax, but they were able to fully fund the patch that was needed to make it fair. http://bit.ly/eFeSdP

Prior to passing the ACA, President Obama and Democrats extended discounted health coverage under the COBRA health insurance law for the unemployed from 9 months to 15 months. http://nyti.ms/emrqKJ

President Obama and Democrats overcame Republican objections to extend unemployment benefits several times. http://bit.ly/fTT7kz This happened even while Republicans in Congress were complaining about the “slow recovery,” which means they were intent on making sure those without jobs were hurt.

President Obama and Democrats provided a $20 billion increase for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/Food Stamps). http://nyti.ms/gfLqyM Of course, it wasn’t long before Republicans tried to cut far more than that amount from the SNAP budget. http://bit.ly/2qGr3Xs

President Obama included the Buffet Rule in his 2014 budget proposal, so as to fulfill a campaign promise to make sure tax rates are fair between the rich and the middle class. http://1.usa.gov/19PkdQo

President Obama used the ridiculous “fiscal cliff” negotiations to extend the American Opportunity Tax Credit for five additional years. The AOTC provides tax credits to families for college-related expenses, thus saving those families up to $10,000. http://onforb.es/17zYg3u

President Obama also passed rules that increased protections for the unemployed who are seeking a government job. http://1.usa.gov/1jgXATu

President Obama updated and modernized overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) http://1.usa.gov/1iGDO8e Of course, the Republican Congress is trying hard to kill these rules and cheat workers out of what they’re owed. http://bit.ly/2qKW3Rb

Championed by Michelle Obama and passed by Democrats, President Obama signed and implemented the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, to improve nutrition in schools and make children healthier. http://1.usa.gov/GAXkSk As is their tendency, Republicans in Congress are trying to kill this program. http://fxn.ws/2rK2Gbc

In an effort to make college more affordable and accountable, President Obama set up rules to rate colleges with regard to affordability and their overall value for the money. http://bit.ly/14Dn7UL
President Obama initiated a reform of federal job training programs, to make them more relevant to the current economy and the job market. http://1.usa.gov/1kZLQHG

President Obama signed a presidential memorandum authorizing six weeks paid leave for all federal employees with a new baby and encouraged Congress to do the same for all workers. http://bit.ly/18613XA  (By way of comparison, Republican Governor Larry Hogan of liberal state Maryland recently vetoed a bill that would require employers with more than 15 employees to provide workers with six weeks paid sick leave. http://bit.ly/2rvsh79  )

President Obama took solid steps to improve overall workplace safety by creating an Advisory Board of Toxic Substances and Worker Health to study workers’ exposure to toxic substances and ways to reduce those. http://1.usa.gov/1M4s8IG

President Obama changed rules for federal contractors, guaranteeing that all workers earn paid leave. http://1.usa.gov/1LcHZWl

President Obama signed a Hague Convention Agreement to make it easier to collect child support from parents wherever they are in the world. http://bit.ly/2cI38wB

President Obama negotiated a replacement law for “No Child Left Behind.” The Every Child Succeeds Act removed much of the onerous government “oversight” that caused children to stagnate, not improve, academically. http://bit.ly/1Up9pMl

President Obama signed an executive order that will seek to expand charitable giving among federal employees. http://bit.ly/2e7cJQy   http://bit.ly/2rZ4

President Obama brought to an end the “Victory Tax” that caused financial hardship to successful Olympic athletes. http://bit.ly/2ds4uO2

Signed an Executive Order that established the White House Office of Urban Affairs. http://wapo.st/eWECA8


Under President Obama, We Created Sustainable Economic Growth

Though many people like to whine and complain about the rate of growth since the end of the recession, which ended about four months after President Obama took the oath (Source), the fact of the matter is, following a deep recession that left behind a significant amount of damage to virtually everyone, the economy that was created makes a lot more sense than the irrational “recovery” from the tiny recession that Bush faced when he took office in 2001. Not only did Bush put us through two recessions, but the recovery from the first was fueled by fake money. And even with at least $16 trillion in fake money (the amount that was lost during the Great Bush Recession) (Source), the numbers were never stellar during the Bush years.

When you look at the growth in jobs, the recovery of the stock market and the recovery of all of the fake money that was lost in the Great Bush Recession, given where we could have been, where we are is amazing. Here are some examples of what we mean:

As of January 2017, when Obama left office, this country has seen a record 76 consecutive months of overall job growth. http://on.msnbc.com/1TKFCPQ

In addition, we saw 83 consecutive months of private sector job growth (which means the loss of public sector jobs caused by Republican budget cuts was not counted) by the end of the Obama presidency, which is a also an amazing record. http://1.usa.gov/1Xhizho

In August 2016, unemployment dipped below 5% for the first time in eight years. Unemployment remained below 5% for the balance of President Obama’s presidency. In January 2017, the unemployment rate was 4.8% and dropping. http://on.msnbc.com/1TKFCPQ

In April 2016, new unemployment claims hit their lowest level since Nov. 1973 and they remained low. That means unemployment claims are lower than at any time during Saint Reagan’s Administration, no matter what anyone else says about President Obama. http://yhoo.it/2eaIPbf http://nyti.ms/1YhZEBk

Since February 2010, when unemployment peaked, 16 million non-farm private sector jobs have been created. http://1.usa.gov/1Xhizho

Contrary to GOP rhetoric, most of the new jobs created during the Obama presidency have been full-time, not temporary. http://bit.ly/2dF7pjO

President Obama oversaw a reduction in the federal budget deficit by two-thirds since taking office. http://bit.ly/1xKMmjY

Not only that, but President Obama reduced the federal budget deficit from 9.8% of GDP in Fiscal Year 2009, which was Bush’s last fiscal year, to 2.4% of GDP in FY 2015. http://bit.ly/2cI4ABV / http://bit.ly/2rYmyaE

Wages have risen more in 2015 and 2016 than at any time in more than 20 years, and that was accomplished without the aid of a $16 trillion economic bubble. http://theatln.tc/2iX24JK

For the first time in 15 years, the lowest income demographic is seeing a rise in income. http://theatln.tc/2iX24JK

2014 marked the first time since 1984 that unemployment dropped in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Http://1.usa.gov/1E25u0C

Consumer confidence continues to inch up to its highest level more than a decade in 2015 and it stayed there through the end of his second term in office. http://bit.ly/1PZLRcK (Note: every economic number Lord Donny is crowing about and taking credit for now was present long before he stole the presidency. It’s all Obama momentum.)

Under the Obama Administration, the stock market reached record highs, which means most people were returned to them after the Bush Recession, where the Dow hit a low of 6547.05. When Obama left office, the Dow was more than triple that. http://bit.ly/2rT0YDo