This is not only for those in our community who consider themselves Republican but for those who are Democrat, Libertarian and everything in between; What do you dislike about Obama.

Here's what I see:

- Came into a shit-storm of a situation, economy wrecked and in two wars.

- He made decisions that can be criticized and should be however, the economy is on the mend.

- He has ended one war and is ending another one.

- He has restored the reputation of this country in the eyes of much of the rest of the world.

- He killed Osama.

- He created health care reform that will benefit millions (not perfect by any means, but a step in the right direction for sure)

- He ended DADT

He has disappointed us in many ways as well but all in all I think he has done well considering not only the circumstances he came into, but also the hostile and overtly racist government he has to deal with.

What are your thoughts on this? What do you dislike about Obama?

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The problem is.. the way the U.S. political system is - it wouldn't support a 3rd. let alone a 4th party for very long. We've seen this time and time again over the years. 

He took over Bush's catastrophe - Clinton and Gore left a $3,000.000.000,000 (3 TRILLION) budgetary surplus, and in less than six months, under Bush, it was gone. Considering what he has had to work with, and the deliberate efforts on the part of Republican members of Congress to stall or defeat any piece of legislation that might make Obama look good and assure his re-election, he's certainly earned his $200K.

Anyone who has ever built a sand castle knows it is far easier and much less time consuming to destroy, than to rebuild, and Obama has had only four years to rebuild the country from Bush's eight. I could post a list of Bush transgressions that Obama has had to overcome, but that would fill this page and spill over onto the next.

If there was one area in which I feel Obama fell especially short, it was in failing to adequately explain his health care program to the masses. There might be some who disagree, but I think I'm a little smarter than the average bear, and I'll be the first to say that there is much about it that I don't understand. One can only imagine then, the effect of Republican candidates, stumping for election, using tried and true Rovian manipulation techniques, skewing the truth to the public to make "Obamacare" look bad - even those who favor Obama can't defend his health care program if they don't understand it. He could have and should have done more to educate us regarding the program.

I think Obama needs to sell the health care plan to the people who already have insurance, many of whom oppose it, by saying, "Look at all the people out of work and without insurance. You could be next. Even though you don't need my plan, if you find yourself on the street without a job, consider this plan insurance covering you against losing your current health insurance. He also needs to talk more about how the current health care system is unsustainable and will be totally unaffordable by all but millionaires and billionaires in 2 or 3 decades. We'll need a national plan eventually anyway.

@Unseen - incredible as it may sound, I agree with you.

Where have I gone wrong? Is it curable? Is there a pill I can take? A therapist I can see?

The problem with that is .. most Americans think of themselves as indestructible. "I won't ever get sick. So why do I need it?" ... "Nothings going to happen to me, who cares?" .. "I'll cross that bridge when I get to it-- assuming I get to it."  Americans don't plan for the future like they did in the 40's, 50's and 60's.. The plan for now. What good is this going to do me now-- not -- "Mmm, how will this help me in the future?"... We're a nation of Veruca Salt's... " I want it and I want it now!! " 

that may be so but thats our right. the government isnt here to be our big brother, if i dont plan for the fututre and in the future shit happens, thats my fault. its not the governments job to come tuck me in at night.

So the government isn't what the citizenry want it to be, it's what the Libertarian Party wants it to be. If that's so, then it's time for a new Constitutional Convention.

What do you plan for when the "future" is unknown and unknowable?  I think the present is what we should address and if we do a good job here, the "future" will take care of itself.  We need to deal with the many problems that we face today and one being this idea that the "future" is the answer. European cultural thought..we really need to bring that into the light of day and make adjustments or else nothing will really change only modify what we have..

It is our responsibility to 'plan' on the Koch brother's new plant to poison our water and give us cancer.  If we don't 'plan' on some benevolent corporation in an effort to give  us new jobs has to frak in your back yard and make you drinking water flammable then it is your fault.  The government isn't here to hold you hand and tuck you in.  It's ok for them to poison you and kill you as long as you plan for it yourself and take personal responsibility for the cancer, leukemia, ms, or any other illness that is eventually kill you as collateral damage in the Corporations divine search for the almighty profit. 

and you dont think all these poloticians are in on that too? the lobbiest? the banksters? these are all the guys making us pay money to take care of the shit they already gave us. making us pay to take out their trash. i know youre anti corporations, so am i. but i'm more anti government and i know the corporations and the politicians are wiping each others asses.

3 trillion dollar surplus?

Excuse me but that is bullshit--but it's widely believed bullshit so I don't really blame you.  Note here and here that every year during the Clinton/Gore administration (and yes, since then and for quite some time before then as well) the national debt increased.  There cannot possibly have been budget surpluses during these times or the national debt (which is the summation of all past deficits and surpluses) would have decreased at least one of these years.

Government played some sneaky bookkeeping tricks in the 1990s.  The sneakiest part of which is that the federal government is financially divided into two pieces:  social security, medicare and medicaid together make up one piece, and everything else makes up the other.  (Oftentimes articles about the federal budget completely ignore the first piece, calling it "off budget" if they talk about it at all.  For instance any claim that defense takes up 58% of government spending is among them.  A dishonest attempt to make defense spending look bigger than it is.  Add both pieces together and it turns out defense--including veterans benefits--is more like 30 percent.)

What happened under Clinton was that Social Security, et. al. were running surpluses.  The rest of the government was still running a deficit.  The net result was a surplus.  But the rest of the government was running a deficit and borrowed money from Social Security.  Someone in (IIRC) West Virginia was printing IOUs on a laser printer and sticking them into a file cabinet, and these IOUs were counted as assets of the social security trust fund.  (I kid you not!)  Thus, the national debt, which is the total of all money owed by the Federal government, even to itself, went up.

"Publicly held debt" is debt held by people, companies, and governments other than the federal government, and that more than likely did go down under Clinton.  But it doesn't matter.  By borrowing money from Social Security, all the federal government did in the 1990s was ensure that the deficit spending would not show up as publicly held debt until later.  Because now Social Security is running a deficit and is cashing in those IOUs from that file cabinet.  But today, as always, the rest of the federal government is running a deficit, and it can only pay off those IOUs by borrowing even more money.  So Clinton's "surplus" is now magically showing up today as more publicly held federal debt.

Three addenda to the above.

1) Total federal spending for 2012...  3795.6 billion.  Defense spending 902.2 billion.  That is less than a quarter of all federal spending (not 30 percent as I stated above).  The deficit for FY 2012 is 1327 billion, so getting rid of unnecessary defense spending and ending the wars cannot possibly erase the deficit.

2)  The Clintonian bogus surplus was at least as much the fault of the Republican congress from 1994 onwards as it was his fault.  (This is in part why few pointed these facts out at the time; both the Republican congress and the Democrat president could claim credit for the pseudo-surplus.)  Just want to be clear I am not simply bashing Clinton, though I do want to make sure he doesn't get credit he does not deserve for an accomplishment that did not in fact exist.

3)  One might point out that the debt grew less slowly under Clinton than either before or after his term, but that could be credited to either him or the Republican congress, similarly.


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