Barack Obama's First Two Years as President

Topics: Barack Obama, George W. Bush, President of the United States Pages: 6 (2166 words) Published: December 13, 2010
There is an innumerable amount of ways someone can measure Obama’s first two years in office to try to define whether his presidency has been a success or failure. Issues relating the economy, domestic policy, and national security and foreign policy are the major topics in which many of those controversial issues lie. The easiest ways to determine whether or not Obama has been successful, is to look at his accomplishments as President, look at the principle promises he made regarding those issues prior to and during his time in office, and lastly the public’s overall rating of his presidency. After looking at all of those factors, I have determined that Obama has failed as President after the first two years being in office.

The first aspects of Obama’s presidency that will be assessed are the principle promises he made, to the public, prior to/or after being sworn into office. There are, roughly, around 5 main topics that Obama addressed and said he was going to take a certain action on. The first of them was the Economic Stimulus Bill, where Obama said, “if we did not pass his Economic Stimulus bill, unemployment would rise over 8 percent. That unemployment statistic is currently 9.6 percent. But the actual unemployment rate (including people who have given up on finding jobs) is 16 percent = double the tragedy that Obama threatened us with”(, 2010). Obama stated that the unemployment rate would go up if the Economic Stimulus bill did not pass, however, the unemployment rate increased dramatically after the bill took effect and, thus, totally contradicting the President and his word. The stimulus bill was supposed to be a “bill meant to pump money into the economy via tax cuts and a wide range of spending plans to make up for the sudden, sharp contraction of spending by consumers and businesses”(NYTimes, 2010). Many economists believe that the bill actually helped out the economy, however it became one of the main issues that Republicans attacked due to the rising national debt and increased unemployment rate. It is understandable that the President had no idea of the exact outcome, but he should not be making assumptions just because he wants something passed in his favor, when he is not positive about the end result.

Another promise he made to the American people was that he was going to end the wars and bring our troops home. Obama, “ordered drones to bomb Pakistan (killing 22 people) during his first week in office. He’s leaving 50,000 troops in Iraq, preparing to launch a surge of 30,000 troops in Afghanistan - and just authorized 21,000 additional troops in Afghanistan. Obama just requested $83,400,000,000 for Iraq, Afghanistan, and foreign aid… The maximum number of US forces expected in Afghanistan by year’s end -- 68,000 -- will remain the same”(, 2010). It is hard for Obama to promise something when he has no knowledge of the full situation going on. Former President George Bush ordered our troops into Iraq and Afghanistan for a purpose, and that includes more knowledge than anyone else could possibly know. Obama came into office with the promise he made and now, he has not only broken that promise to the American people, but he is also elevating the amount of foreign aid and debt immensely. Promises should not be made without total knowing, and they have to be reasonable. Coming into office and automatically taking out military troops that have been there in an on going war is not reasonable whatsoever.

One of the next promises Obama made was to end illegal wiretapping of Americans. President Bush approved a law called the USA P.A.T.R.I.O.T Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001) that is intended to discourage and punish terrorist activity in the United States and elsewhere, and also to enhance law enforcement investigatory tools. Instead of putting an end to the bill, Obama “signed...

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