Barack H. Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States on November 4, 2008. President Obama was re-elected to a second term on November 6, 2012. In addition, President Obama continues to be the most admired man in America – a title he has held since 2008.
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His story is the American story — values from the heartland, a middle-class upbringing in a strong family, hard work and education as the means of getting ahead, and the conviction that a life so blessed should be lived in service to others.
With a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas, President Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4, 1961. He was raised with help from his grandfather, who served in Patton’s army, and his grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle management at a bank.
President Obama moved to Chicago, where he worked with a group of churches to help rebuild communities devastated by the closure of local steel plants. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. After working his way through college with the help of scholarships and student loans, President Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. He returned to Chicago and worked as a civil rights attorney and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. He served three terms representing the 13th District in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004.
President Obama’s years of public service are based around his unwavering belief in the ability to unite people around a politics of purpose. In the Illinois State Senate, he passed the first major ethics reform in 25 years, cut taxes for working families, and expanded health care for children and their parents. As a United States Senator, he reached across the aisle to pass groundbreaking lobbying reform, lock up the world’s most dangerous weapons, and bring transparency to government by putting federal spending online.
Following an unsuccessful bid against the Democratic incumbent for a seat in the United States House of Representatives in 2000, Mr. Obama ran for the United States Senate in 2004. Several events brought him to national attention during the campaign, including his victory in the March 2004 Illinois Democratic primary for the Senate election and his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July 2004. He won election to the U.S. Senate in Illinois in November 2004. His presidential campaign began in February 2007, and after a close campaign in the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries against Hillary Rodham Clinton, he won his party’s nomination. In the 2008 presidential election, he defeated Republican nominee John McCain, and was inaugurated as president on January 20, 2009. In October 2009, President Obama was named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
As president, Mr. Obama signed economic stimulus legislation in the form of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009 and the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act in 2010. Other domestic policy initiatives include the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act and the Budget Control Act of 2011. In foreign policy, he gradually withdrew combat troops from Iraq and announced that all troops would be home by the end of 2011, increased troop levels in Afghanistan, signed the New START arms control treaty with Russia, ordered enforcement of the UN-sanctioned no-fly zone over Libya, and ordered the military operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. In April 2011, President Obama declared his intention to seek re-election in the 2012 presidential election.
President Obama and his wife, Michelle, are the proud parents of two daughters, Malia, 13, and Sasha, 10.
Top 28 Accomplishments during Obama Presidency
As the first African-American elected President of the United States, Barack Obama became a pivotal figure in American history even before his inauguration. But after winning a second term in 2012, his achievements in office have made him one of the most transformative presidents of the past hundred years. He took office with a country in peril and led it through the Great Recession, two wars, civil unrest, a rash of mass shootings, and changing cultural demographics. In the 2008 campaign he called for change and eight years later we are living in a more prosperous country because of it.
Here are 28 of President Obama’s biggest accomplishments as President of the United States.
1 – Rescued the country from the Great Recession, cutting the unemployment rate from 10% to 4.7% over six years
2 – Signed the Affordable Care Act which has provided health insurance to over 20 million uninsured Americans
3 – Ended the war in Iraq
4 – Ordered the capture of and killing of Osama Bin Laden
5 – Passed the $787 billion America Recovery and Reinvestment Act to spur economic growth during the Great Recession
6 – Supported the LGBT community’s fight for marriage equality
7 – Commuted the sentences of nearly 1,200 drug offenders to reverse “unjust and outdated prison sentences”
8 – Saved the U.S. auto industry
9 – Helped put the U.S. on track for energy independence by 2020
10 – Began the draw down of troops in Afghanistan
11 – Signed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals allowing as many as 5 million people living in the U.S. illegally to avoid deportation and receive work permits
12 –Signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to re-regulate the financial sector
13 – Dropped the veteran homeless rate by 50 percent
14 – Reversed Bush-era torture policies
15 – Began the process of normalizing relations with Cuba
16 – Increased Department of Veteran Affairs funding
17 – Signed the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act
18 – Boosted fuel efficiency standards for cars
19 – Improved school nutrition with the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act
20 – Repealed the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy
21 – Signed the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, making it a federal crime to assault anyone based on sexual or gender identification
22 – Helped negotiate the landmark Iran Nuclear Deal
23 – He signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to combat pay discrimination against women
24 – Nominated Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, making her the first Hispanic ever to serve as a justice
25 – Supported veterans through a $78 billion tuition assistance GI bill
26 – Won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples”
27 – Launched My Brother’s Keeper, a White House initiative designed to help young minorities achieve their full potential
28 – Expanded embryonic stem cell research leading to groundbreaking work in areas including spinal injury treatment and cancer
Obama’s Presidency: The Facts
People have many perceptions of how the US economy or the country as a whole has done in recent years. Depending on your political views, you may think the country is doing exceptionally well or is teetering on the verge of collapse.
Listed below are fourteen objective facts, without interjected opinion, about the state of America under the leadership of President Obama. Every statement is followed up with a link to a reputable source where you can verify the fact for yourself.
1. We’ve now had 78 straight months of economic expansion.
That’s right: For seventy-eight consecutive months, the US economy has gotten progressively better. That includes a new record for consecutive months of private sector job growth. Forbes magazine (which is no fan of President Obama) crunched the numbers and demonstrated how the economic recovery under President Obama has been better in just about every measurable way than the recovery under President Reagan.
Source: Obama Out-Performs Reagan on Jobs, Growth, and Investing; Forbes magazine.
2. We are currently enjoying the longest period of private sector job creation in American history.
This statistic also comes from the Forbes magazine article listed above. In fact, we’ve enjoyed 68 straight months of private sector job creation. That is the longest period of job creation since the Department of Labor has been keeping statistics.
Source: Obama’s Claim That Businesses Are in the “Longest Uninterrupted Stretch of Job Creation”: The Washington Post.
3. Unemployment has dropped from 10.1% in October of 2009 to 4.9% by early 2016.
Not only has the unemployment rate dropped significantly, but since the recession ended, the US economy has gained over twelve million new jobs. (You can refer to the Forbes article above or check the article below.)
It is also worth noting that during the 2012 presidential election, Obama’s opponent, Mitt Romney, promised to lower the unemployment rate to 6% by the end of 2016. President Obama succeeded at lowering unemployment to under 6% two full years earlier than Romney had promised.
Source : Romney vows to lower unemployment to 6% by the end of 2016: The Hill
4. The stock market continues to set new record highs since President Obama took office.
Since early 2009, there has been a steady upward trend in stock market growth. The Dow Jones Industrial averages reached an all-time high of 18,292 in May, 2015. Since most Americans have 401K retirement investments in the stock market, this growth benefits millions of middle class Americans.
Source: Dow Jones Industrial Average Last 10 Years: Macrotrends.
5. The Federal budget deficit is shrinking. It’s been reduced by two-thirds since 2009.
The $1.4 trillion federal budget deficit that Obama inherited in 2009 was in a large part due to the high rate of unemployment. When millions of people were put out of work in 2008 and 2009, it resulted in far less income taxes and less economic activity to generate federal revenue. As eleven million people have regained employment, there have been billions more tax dollars generated. As a result, the deficit has been shrinking each year. The 2015 deficit was $439 billion, the smallest deficit since 2007, and roughly 70% lower than it was in 2009.
Source: What is the Deficit?: USGovernmentSpending.com.
6. Under President Obama, government spending has increased only 3.3% annually, the lowest rate since Eisenhower was president.
You may have heard critics say that President Obama is spending money wildly and running up our debt. According to this article from Forbes, Obama has increased spending by 1.4% annually, far less than President Reagan (8.7%) or George W. Bush (8.1%). According to a more recent article from the Washington Post, Obama has increased spending 3.3% annually. In either case, Obama has increased spending less than any president since Eisenhower.
Sources: Who Is the Smallest Government Spender Since Eisenhower? Would You Believe It’s Barack Obama? Forbes magazine.
The Facts About the Growth of Spending Under Obama: Washington Post.
7. For 95% of American taxpayers, income taxes are as low or lower than they were at almost any point in the last 50 years.
After President Obama took office, thousands of Tea Party members all over the country held rallies protesting Obama’s tax increases. At that time, President Obama had actually passed several tax cuts to stimulate the economy. Most of the Tea Partiers who were protesting had only seen their taxes decrease under Obama, yet polls indicated that most Tea Party members wrongly believed their taxes had gone up.
In fact, the only people whose income taxes have gone up during Obama’s presidency are those making $400,000 per year or more. That’s less than 2% of the population. Today, for the vast majority of people, tax rates are lower than or exactly where they were when Obama first took office. The article below from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities explains this in greater detail.
Source: Federal Income Taxes on Middle-Income Families Remain Near Historic Lows, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
8. Dependence on foreign oil has shrunk due to record domestic oil production and improved fuel efficiency standards.
While some claim that oil production has declined under President Obama, the truth is just the opposite. Oil production has reached record highs. The United States now produces so much oil that we export more oil and gasoline than we import.
9. At least 18 million more Americans now have health insurance than before.
Depending on whose numbers you use, anywhere from 12 to 18 million Americans acquired health insurance due to the Affordable Care Act. Now that those millions of Americans have insurance, the rest of us are no longer on the hook to pay for their healthcare when they get sick. This saves the American people billions of dollars in the long run.
Source: Obamacare Helped Up to 10 Million Get Insurance, Gallup Finds: NBC News.
10. The Affordable Care Act has added years to the life of Medicare.
The Medicare trust fund had been on course to run out of money by the end of 2016. But due to cost savings from the Affordable Care Act and lower healthcare expenses, Medicare’s trust fund will now remain stable until the year 2030 without cutting benefits.
Source: Medicare, Social Security Disability Fund Headed in Different Directions; The Wall Street Journal.
11. Since passage of the Affordable Care Act, we are seeing the slowest rate of increase in healthcare costs since 1960.
Contrary to the Republican predictions, healthcare costs have increased at a much slower pace since the passage of the ACA.
Source: Trends in Health Care Cost Growth and the Role of the Affordable Care Act; White House Report.
12. We currently have fewer soldiers, sailors, and airmen in war zones than we did at any time in the last 12 years.
With the end of the Iraq war and the steady withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, we have fewer people in war zones now than we did at any time since 2002.
13. There have been zero successful attacks by al Qaeda on US soil since Obama became president.
Despite Dick Cheney’s warning that if voters elected a Democrat as president, we’d be “hit again and hit hard” by al Qaeda, we have actually been far safer from terrorist attacks on US soil in recent years than we were under the previous president. There have been several unsuccessful attacks against the US under both Bush and Obama, but under Obama, al Qaeda has been largely unsuccessful in striking the US on our home soil.
Source: Timeline of Al Qaeda Attacks
14. We now successfully catch and deport more illegal immigrants than ever before.
Despite the mythology being spread by President Obama’s political opponents about our “open border” with Mexico, the numbers prove that President Obama has turned back and deported more illegal immigrants than any other president.
Politifact checked the claim that President Obama turned away more illegal immigrants than any other president, and they confirmed that under President Obama, the US has turned back or deported an average of 32,886 people per month. That’s a far greater rate than any other president in history by far.
Source: Has Barack Obama deported more people than any other president in U.S. history? Tampa Bay Times.
An In-Depth Look at President Obama’s Record in Five Areas
President Barack Obama
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