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 Post subject: Obama in First 18 months ——
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 7:09 pm 
God

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Seriously, what major accomplishments did Obama get done in his first 18 months in office other than the “Pizza Lunch”?

Would really like the input of all his backers on this one.


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 Post subject: Re: Obama in First 18 months ——
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:14 pm 
Bishop

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Saved the American auto industry, which obviously doesn't mean ____ to Republicans who are more interested in Trump claiming to save a few thousand coal mining jobs. What has Trump done aside from blowing up the deficit, breaking records on golf course attendance, public lying, having half his administration indicted, etc?


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 Post subject: Re: Obama in First 18 months ——
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:53 pm 
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Hawkeye wrote:
Saved the American auto industry, which obviously doesn't mean ____ to Republicans who are more interested in Trump claiming to save a few thousand coal mining jobs. What has Trump done aside from blowing up the deficit, breaking records on golf course attendance, public lying, having half his administration indicted, etc?

actually Bush passed and E.O.'ed the bailout in December before Obama took office...Obama just created a Car Czar.

next?

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 Post subject: Re: Obama in First 18 months ——
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 4:35 am 
Bishop

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subgenius wrote:
Hawkeye wrote:
Saved the American auto industry, which obviously doesn't mean ____ to Republicans who are more interested in Trump claiming to save a few thousand coal mining jobs. What has Trump done aside from blowing up the deficit, breaking records on golf course attendance, public lying, having half his administration indicted, etc?

actually Bush passed and E.O.'ed the bailout in December before Obama took office...Obama just created a Car Czar.

next?


That's a fairly simplistic and basically wrong perspective. But that's to be expected from a troll who gets his news feed from Daily Caller. In 2009, Obama injected $62 billion on top of the $13.4 billion in loans from the George W. Bush administration. That effectively saved the US auto industry from collapse.

Did President Obama save the auto industry?

We ask, did President Obama really save American auto makers? This is more a matter of opinion, and not an item for the Truth-O-Meter, but we can still shine some light on the question.

In broad strokes, the answer is yes, but with some help from the other party and with one huge unknown -- no one can say what would have happened without massive government intervention. We spoke with a number of analysts and read many independent reports. There is no question that General Motors and Chrysler are profitable today. But so is Ford, a company that received no financial aid at all. The jobs have returned -- although not nearly at the level they were before the industry began its steep decline in 2007.

Without a doubt, the American auto industry emerged smaller and more competitive.

In the words of the bipartisan Congressional Oversight Panel that assessed the impact of the government's efforts: "The industry’s improved efficiency has allowed automakers to become more flexible and better able to meet changing consumer demands, while still remaining profitable."

Barack Obama, however, cannot claim full credit for this outcome. According to several experts, he needs to share it with his predecessor, President George W. Bush. Dr. James Rubenstein at Miami University co-wrote a post-bankruptcy assessment for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Rubenstein said no one should overlook the importance of Bush’s decision to use $17.6 billion in TARP money in December 2008 to keep General Motors and Chrysler afloat.

"The Bush Administration provided short-term bridge loans," Rubenstein said. "That allowed the Obama Administration to take a couple of months to assess the situation."

Aaron Bragman, the lead American automotive analyst for the financial forecasting group IHS Automotive, echoed the point. "The Bush administration is the one that actually acted to save them from an uncontrolled bankruptcy and shutdown," Bragman said. "The Obama administration's role was to fix them."

Layoffs in 2008

In 2008, the entire auto industry was in very bad shape. Layoffs at auto plants and among auto parts suppliers were on track to reach 250,000 workers. Gasoline prices were up and buying power was down. General Motors was virtually out of cash to pay its bills and Chrysler was not far behind. In November 2008, the New York Times ran the headline "GM teetering on bankruptcy, pleads for federal bailout".

The Center for Automotive Research, an independent research group that gets some funding from automakers, predicted harsh outcomes if GM and Chrysler went belly up. Beyond the immediate jobs lost, there would be a partial collapse of the supplier industry that would lead to a 50 percent drop in production at Ford and the American-based foreign car plants. Imports would replace 70 percent of the lost GM and Chrysler production, the group predicted.

When President Obama took office, he created a task force with a sweeping mandate to determine the fate of GM and Chrysler. The companies’ first proposals to the task force included downsizing, but the task force wanted deeper changes. In March 2009, Obama rejected those plans and said if the firms wanted federal money, they had to go through bankruptcy. That happened quickly. The car companies filed for bankruptcy in June and emerged in July.

Between 2008 and 2010, carmakers closed or scheduled the closure of 16 plants and cut their ties with about 2,500 dealerships. Stockholders were wiped out and creditors such as banks and pension funds wrote off about two-thirds of the value of their claims. The companies shed their entire obligation to pay for the health care of retired autoworkers and that burden shifted to an independent trust fund in which the United Auto Workers union appoints five out of 11 board members.

Under new ownership

What emerged was a smaller American auto industry with a very different set of owners.

The Italian car company Fiat became the majority stockholder of Chrysler. The second largest owner of Chrysler now is that retiree trust fund. For GM, the U.S. government now owns about 32 percent of the company. Private shareholders account for about 35 percent. The retiree trust fund owns about 10 percent.

The union gave up the right to strike through 2015 and ended automatic pay raises. Back in 2007, it had agreed to a two-tiered wage scale that allowed the companies to hire new workers at much lower pay. Between the new wage rates and the savings from taking over retiree health costs, labor costs fell by about a third and are now on par with those of the foreign carmakers.

The entire deal was financed with about $80 billion in taxpayer money. That included a special $5 billion set aside to keep cash flowing to car part suppliers when they found that their normal lines of credit had vanished.

The turnaround

Today, total employment for carmakers and parts suppliers is up about 250,000 from 2009. In 2011, sales rose 10 percent for GM, 13 percent for Ford and 14 percent for Chrysler.

"Both Chrysler and General Motors are not just profitable," said Bragman. "They are significantly profitable, earning more now than they have in years."

The benefits have not flowed simply to GM and Chrysler. In a speech this June, Ford’s CEO Alan Mulally said the bailouts were the right medicine for his company as well.

"If GM and Chrysler would've gone into free-fall," Mulally said, "they could've taken the entire supply base into free-fall also, and taken the U.S. from a recession into a depression."

There is no guarantee that these gains are permanent. The auto industry is on firmer ground because it can sell far fewer cars than it once did and still be profitable. However, making the cars and trucks that people want at the right price is a moving target.

Still, the present success leaves critics asking whether it came at too high a price. The Treasury Department estimates that about $23 billion will never be repaid. For James Sherk, an analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation, much of that is due to "incredibly generous treatment of the unions." Sherk says the union’s retiree health benefit fund got about $21 billion more than it deserved compared to other creditors.

Mitt Romney has taken up that claim, saying the bailout was flawed by "crony capitalism." The union counters that the trust fund does not belong to the union and the fund took on the substantial risk of providing healthcare for retirees for all the decades to come. According to the Center for Automotive Research, that shift alone accounted for two-thirds of the labor savings that have made the carmakers competitive.

At the libertarian Cato Institute, Dan Ikenson says no one can know for sure, but he thinks disaster would not have occurred if the companies had been allowed to go through a normal bankruptcy.

"I suspect some assets of both companies would have been sold off to other auto producers," Ikenson said. "And some assets and brands would have remained under the GM and Chrysler names."

A key question for advocates of a conventional bankruptcy is whether private lenders would have come forward to finance any such deal. The view of most analysts is that the private money would not have been there.

The Economist, one of the bastions of free-market thinking, came around to that view. Originally, it favored no government intervention. In April 2010, it offered an apology to President Obama.

"Given the panic that gripped private purse-strings," the magazine wrote in an editorial. "It is more likely that GM would have been liquidated, sending a cascade of destruction through the supply chain on which its rivals, too, depended."

Even Sherk at the Heritage Foundation gives Obama credit for forcing the carmakers to go through bankruptcy and the necessary restructuring that followed. The Economist concludes "by and large Mr Obama has not used his stakes in GM and Chrysler for political ends. On the contrary, his goal has been to restore both firms to health and then get out as quickly as possible."

As we said in the beginning, it is impossible to know if the American auto industry would have fared better without government money, without government ownership, and without strong government intervention. Most likely, that debate would be more robust if the industry were not doing well.

But for the moment, it is. The massive loss of jobs and the disruption to the network of auto parts suppliers did not happen. The shock that might have hit all car makers and the overall economy is not staring lawmakers in the face. Given the tangible reality of today, the view among most analysts is that President Bush kept the carmakers afloat long enough for President Obama to put them on solid footing moving forward. If that matches the definition of a rescue, then both presidents saved the auto industry.


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 Post subject: Re: Obama in First 18 months ——
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 4:46 am 
Bishop

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Perhaps Obama's greatest accomplishment, aside from saving the economy from depression, was to pass the ACA which effectively cut the rate of uninsured by half. The rate dropped from 18% to 10% after legislation took effect, effectively saving the lives of tens of thousands of Americans during his tenure. By contrast Trump's relentless effort to dismantle and undermine ACA - using no logic other than "I have to destroy everything Obama accomplished" - has led to the uninsured rate rising again for the first time in years, effectively stripping millions of Americans of health insurance.

The rate has increased over 15% among working age adults since Trump took office. Making American Unisured Again.


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 Post subject: Re: Obama in First 18 months ——
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:35 am 
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Bach wrote:
Seriously, what major accomplishments did Obama get done in his first 18 months in office other than the “Pizza Lunch”?


Seriously? You people have never heard of the Affordable Care Act, A.K.A. "Obamacare"? Whether you like the ACA or not, I think that qualifies as a major accomplishment in his first 18 months. Sheesh.

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 Post subject: Re: Obama in First 18 months ——
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 10:05 am 
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DarkHelmet wrote:
Bach wrote:
Seriously, what major accomplishments did Obama get done in his first 18 months in office other than the “Pizza Lunch”?

Seriously? You people have never heard of the Affordable Care Act, A.K.A. "Obamacare"? Whether you like the ACA or not, I think that qualifies as a major accomplishment in his first 18 months. Sheesh.

"accomplishment" kinda implies a good thing, but ACA has proven to be a good idea that was poorly executed, poorly administered, and poorly led. So, the unchanged persistence of medical poverty, yeah that's on him.

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 Post subject: Re: Obama in First 18 months ——
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:09 pm 
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subgenius wrote:
DarkHelmet wrote:
Seriously? You people have never heard of the Affordable Care Act, A.K.A. "Obamacare"? Whether you like the ACA or not, I think that qualifies as a major accomplishment in his first 18 months. Sheesh.

"accomplishment" kinda implies a good thing, but ACA has proven to be a good idea that was poorly executed, poorly administered, and poorly led. So, the unchanged persistence of medical poverty, yeah that's on him.

He got the bill passed despite major opposition from Republicans. That's a huge accomplishment. It's certainly not perfect, but there was no way he was going to get everything he wanted. Trump and the Republicans can't get it repealed even though they control all 3 branches of government. How sad is that?

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 Post subject: Re: Obama in First 18 months ——
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 5:47 pm 
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One could take a good look at the question and find some answers and a lively debate elsewhere, if one was truly interested... which bach certainly is not.

From one source, anyway, we have this:

Quote:
Journalist Michael Grunwald has documented the scope of one of Obama’s ambitious achievements: the stimulus package known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In constant dollars, the ARRA was “more than 50 percent bigger than the entire New Deal, twice as big as the Louisiana Purchase and Marshall Plans combined,” Grunwald wrote in his 2012 book, The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era. It was “the biggest … education reform bill since the Great Society,” he continued. The “biggest foray into industrial policy since FDR, biggest expansion of antipoverty initiatives since Lyndon Johnson, biggest middle-class tax cut since Ronald Reagan, biggest infusion of research money ever.” And that was just one of several massive Obama undertakings. He stormed into the banking, automotive and health-care industries, winning changes that had been mulled, debated and dithered over for decades.

Obama’s new administration went immediately to work on the largest economic-stimulus bill ever enacted by Congress-about $8oo billion. Much of the money went to tax relief, unemployment insurance and other direct infusions of cash into the pockets of Americans who would, in tum, the administration hoped, spend or invest it. But the new president also seized the chance to pump billions into priorities that would normally struggle to receive much smaller sums. The stimulus bill was packed with record spending on renewable energy, a modern electrical grid, computerization of health-care records, high-speed rail, and new bridges and roads. Obama also directed billions to basic scientific research, hoping to sow seeds of discovery that would yield the next wave of American innovation.

The extent of the economic emergency allowed Obama to fulfill a catalog of campaign promises in the first dizzy weeks of his administration—that is, to make good on pledges he made to invest. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the recovery act boosted growth in the U.S. by 1% to 4% in 2010, with smaller impacts in subsequent years. That’s not bad by historical standards, but Obama was reluctant to boast; it was not the rapid repair that he had envisioned, and it was hardly enough to cure such a deep recession.

The auto industry was facing disaster... Obama moved to shore up the industry. But rather than dole out tax dollars while asking little in return, he wielded the bailout funds to force rapid streamlining and reforms, such as having fewer dealerships and more flexible pay scales. Critics, appalled at what they felt was federal overreach, gave GM a new name: “Government Motors.”

During those panicked early months, Obama was also pressing ahead with the unpopular bailout of the banking industry that began under President Bush. By most measures, it worked: instead of a cascade of bank failures, Americans ended up with a stronger financial system, and the public got its money back. All the tax dollars devoted to the bank rescue wound up being repaid.


On the other hand, it took Trump three tries and 18 months just to get a travel ban in place for a handful of muslim-dominated countries.

But Trump has been able to keep exploding the debt during the most prosperous economic times of the last decade. Obama's critics used to shart their shorts over Obama's stimulus adding to the debt but they seem content to cheer on an even higher - and still increasing - level of that same debt now. One has to wonder about that.


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 Post subject: Re: Obama in First 18 months ——
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:38 pm 
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canpakes wrote:
On the other hand, it took Trump three tries and 18 months just to get a travel ban in place for a handful of muslim-dominated countries.

But Trump has been able to keep exploding the debt during the most prosperous economic times of the last decade. Obama's critics used to shart their shorts over Obama's stimulus adding to the debt but they seem content to cheer on an even higher - and still increasing - level of that same debt now. One has to wonder about that.

Not only that, Trump seems maliciously determined to undo anything that Obama accomplished (especially the best ones, apparently) for no other reason than that Obama's name is associated with them, and he hates Obama so much that he can't stand the idea of Obama getting credit for anything good or worthwhile. He obviously doesn't even care how many people will be hurt if the best of Obama's initiatives are undone or abolished.

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 Post subject: Re: Obama in First 18 months ——
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 2:08 am 
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Gunnar wrote:
Trump seems maliciously determined to undo anything that Obama accomplished for no other reason than that Obama's name is associated with them ...

Pettiest Prez Ever.


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 Post subject: Re: Obama in First 18 months ——
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 4:33 am 
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canpakes wrote:
Gunnar wrote:
Trump seems maliciously determined to undo anything that Obama accomplished for no other reason than that Obama's name is associated with them ...

Pettiest Prez Ever.


And, by far, the most childish!

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 Post subject: Re: Obama in First 18 months ——
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 4:42 am 
Bishop

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subgenius wrote:
"accomplishment" kinda implies a good thing


And for most folks with any sense of morality, saving thousands of American lives is a good thing. Sure, the ACA didn't do anything to [personal attack deleted], but maybe [personal attack deleted] will help with that. Keep the faith and keep investing in Trump's booming stock market. And whatever you do, don't let the rowdy life of Boondock USA, stop you from fighting the good fight on the internet every day.


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 Post subject: Re: Obama in First 18 months ——
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 11:45 am 
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DarkHelmet wrote:
He got the bill passed despite major opposition from Republicans. That's a huge accomplishment. It's certainly not perfect, but there was no way he was going to get everything he wanted. Trump and the Republicans can't get it repealed even though they control all 3 branches of government. How sad is that?

Yeah, all those CEOs and shareholders of Insurance companies that are surely registered Democrats and that just had the government force money down their throats sure put up a fight...."so sad" how this situation is such a source of consternation for Republicans...yep, so sad...how will they survive?

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 Post subject: Re: Obama in First 18 months ——
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:31 am 
Bishop

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subgenius wrote:
DarkHelmet wrote:
He got the bill passed despite major opposition from Republicans. That's a huge accomplishment. It's certainly not perfect, but there was no way he was going to get everything he wanted. Trump and the Republicans can't get it repealed even though they control all 3 branches of government. How sad is that?

Yeah, all those CEOs and shareholders of Insurance companies that are surely registered Democrats and that just had the government force money down their throats sure put up a fight...."so sad" how this situation is such a source of consternation for Republicans...yep, so sad...how will they survive?

Classic. When the ACA was in its first stages all we heard from idiots like subz was about this was government run healthcare. When reality proved them wrong and it turned out to be very much a market based system where private companies compete, they have to spin it in a hilarious way that is also hypocritical because we all know they don't give a flying damn about money going to private corporations. Of course, with millions more people buying insurance, obviously the insurance companies are going to benefit. That's how private business works.


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 Post subject: Re: Obama in First 18 months ——
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:22 am 
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Hawkeye wrote:
Of course, with millions more people buying insurance, obviously the insurance companies are going to benefit. That's how private business works.

yeah, and this fact was noted by posts, such as mine, during that time - but understandably it was beyond your ability to grasp at the time, since you had not joined the board yet.

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 Post subject: Re: Obama in First 18 months ——
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:34 am 
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Obama was like a blue light flashed on a hotel room, except rather than making disgusting bodily fluids appear, he made all the quiet disgusting racists come out of the woodwork and get a lot louder and (if possible) more obnoxious.

Quite an accomplishment.

All Drumpf did was exploit that fact. It's yet another thing for which Drumpf (the whiny little bitch) wants to take credit from Obama.

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