Friedman has an interesting column today, and repeats a few important points about the achievements and under-communication of Barack Obama – perhaps increasingly evident and troublesome now in the campaign season..
Some examples on education:
In Seattle with a group of educators, one of them surprised me when she pointed out that even though their state did not win President Obama’s education “Race to the Top,” that program was critical in spurring education reform in Washington State.
“Obamacare is socialized medicine,” says the Republican Party. No, no — excuse me — socialized medicine iswhat we have now! People without insurance can go to an emergency ward or throw themselves on the mercy of a doctor, and the cost of all this uncompensated care is shared by all those who have insurance, raising your rates and mine. That is socialized medicine and that is what Obamacare ends. Yet Obama — the champion of private insurance for all — has allowed himself to be painted as a health care socialist.
Jobs and Energy:
Think about this: Obama didn’t just save the auto industry from bankruptcy. Two years later, he also got all the top U.S. automakers to agree to increase mileage for their vehicle fleets to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, from 27.5 m.p.g. today. As Popular Mechanics put it, this “is the largest mandatory fuel economy increase in history.” It will drive innovation, save money and make America less dependent on petro-dictators. Did you know Obama did this?
The budget before and now:
Finally, how did Obama ever allow this duality to take hold: “The Bush tax cuts” versus the “Obama bailout”? It should have been “the Bush deficit explosion” and the “Obama rescue.” Sure, the deficit has increased under Obama. It was largely to save the country from going into a Depression after a Bush-era binge that included two wars — which, for the first time in our history, we not only did not pay for with tax increases but instead accompanied with tax cuts — plus a 2003 Medicare prescription drug bill that we could not afford, then or now. Congressional Democrats also had a hand in this, but the idea that Bush gets to skate off into history as a “tax-cutter” and not as a “deficit buster” is a travesty. You can’t just blame Fox News. Obama has the bully pulpit.
The list goes on.. and there could be many reasons for this. Maybe Obama just doesn’t like to brag.. maybe he just doesn’t like to repeat himself.. or maybe he just want to avoid confrontation and controversy. But, it still feels strange.. and unnecessary.