Posted by: Lisa Pampuch | October 9, 2012

Why I’m voting to re-elect President Obama

My sample ballot arrived in the mail last week, signaling that it’s time to write my once-every-four-years presidential endorsement column. Here’s why I’m voting to re-elect President Barack Obama.

Obama 2008 Presidential Campaign from the Flickr photostream of Barack Obama

When Obama took office four years ago, the economy was in the midst of the worst recession in 75 years and was dangerously close to a full-blown depression.

When Obama took office, the country had experienced 13 straight months of job losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 8,000, having lost more than a third of its value.

When Obama took office, we were involved in two wars and Osama bin Laden was alive and plotting.

Today, the economy is recovering. For example, we’ve had 30 straight months of job growth.

Think how much better the economy would be, however, if Republicans in Congress hadn’t blocked bills like the American Jobs Act and the Bring Jobs Home Act. An analysis of the fully paid-for AJA by Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi concluded that it would have “increased real GDP growth in 2012 by two percentage points, added 1.9 million jobs, and reduced the unemployment rate by one percentage point.”

Today, the Dow just set a five-year high by closing at 13,610. That’s thanks, in large part, to Obama’s economic stimulus efforts that most Republicans opposed and that, despite the facts, they label a failure. What’s more, at the time that the stimulus was enacted, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman warned that it was too small. Think how much more robust our economic recovery would be if Republican opposition hadn’t prevented a larger stimulus package.

Today, we are no longer fighting in Iraq and we have an exit plan for Afghanistan. Moreover, Osama bin Laden is dead because Obama approved a gutsy, risky raid. bin Laden survived as long as he after the Sept. 11 terror attacks because then-President George Bush diverted resources and attention from Afghanistan to Iraq. Bush said in 2002, “I don’t know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don’t care. It’s not that important. It’s not our priority.” GOP nominee Mitt Romney agreed, saying of bin Laden in 2007, “It’s not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person.” Like almost every other position Romney has taken (abortion, gay rights, his own tax plan, his own health care reform plan), he’s tried to shake the Etch-a-sketch on this one, too. Which Romney should you believe?

Beyond beginning the hard work of cleaning up the eight-years-in-the-making economic and foreign policy disasters that Bush and his Republican congressional cronies left behind, Obama has made significant progress in other areas; here are just a few:

  • Repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell
  • Signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
  • Passed health care reform
  • Reformed student loan program
  • Removed Bush’s restrictions on federal spending on stem cell research

In late 2008, the American automobile industry, which supports 13 million jobs in the US, according to ABC News, was on the brink of failure, unable to get loans after the 2008 Wall Street meltdown.

Many Republicans, including Romney, opposed the plan to assist the auto industry. Romney wrote an op-ed for the New York Times entitled, “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.” The first line of Romney’s op-ed? “If General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye.”

Today, the American auto industry is thriving. Then-President-elect Obama supported rescuing the American auto industry. When he took office, Obama expanded the auto loan program that the Bush Administration started. Obama’s expansion plan required “equity stakes and agreements for massive restructuring.”

What if we had listened to Romney? The AP reported expert predictions of a “catastrophic chain reaction in the economy, eliminating up to 3 million jobs and depriving governments of more than $150 billion in tax revenue” if the American auto industry failed. Instead, it’s booming, demonstrating the foolishness of Romney’s position.

Obama has done a great job, despite inheriting an unprecedented mess and facing an obstructionist opposition party in Congress that prioritized political points over the good of this country. He has earned another term.

Please join me in voting to re-elect President Barack Obama.

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