The economic crisis was caused by finance capital and the stimulus was too small. It was small because that is all they could get through the Republican resistance in the Senate. But, the stimulus was still the biggest jobs bill in U.S. history, and the biggest investment in public goods (schools, teachers, roads, bridges, clean energy, firefighters, cops, etc.). The health care bill has big flaws, including the lack of a public option. The nation should have gone for Single Payer to save money and to improve the system. But, Single Payer could not get through the Senate- it didn’t even pass the House. Remember, we were unable to establish Single Payer by a direct vote in California. How do you think it went in Tennessee, Nebraska, etc.? Obama, Barbara Boxer and the Democrats succeeded at extending health coverage to virtually everyone and reining in major insurance abuses (on pre-existing conditions, lifetime caps, etc.) . Every prior Democratic president for almost 60 years had tried and failed. Look at the history of social security. It started with much less.
Boxer worked with the Obama Administration political team to prevent a second Great Depression and put the country back on a halting
path to recovery. Boxer and the Democrats delivered record tax cuts to the middle class and slashed nearly $200 billion in
corporate welfare. The Obama team prevented the collapse of the Big Three automakers – over the objections of the Republicans and saved more than 1 million jobs. Imagine what Fiorina would do- off shore the auto industry.
The financial reform bill is a good start. There were very significant victories in reigning in the financial sector, and the Administration moved toward more financial regulation . ( See my essay “The best way to rob a bank is to own one.” ) The financial reform bill should have been stronger, re-implementing Glass-Steagall type protection, but the Republican Senators would not permit it, and they would not permit a vote on it. Imagine what Fiorina would do.
The federal budgets Obama submitted have been the most progressive indecades . Progressives won a major victory on, and expansion of, the student loan program for college students. The Lilly Leadbetter Equal Pay law got passed, S-CHIP got expanded, the hate crimes bill got signed.
In August the Senate and the House passed, and President Obama signed an additional stimulus of 26 billion dollars to fund teachers, Medicaid, and public service jobs. This saved 15,000 teacher jobs in California alone. None of this would have happened if the Senate or the House were in Republican hands. Think of this when you vote.
We are now entering another slow down of the economy. This slow down was caused by the Republicans in the Senate refusal to pass additional stimulus money for jobs, health care, and public works. Do you want to strengthen the Republican resistance to economic growth.
The Obama Administration has provided a moderate, centrist government. To me, the major failure has been the continuation of U.S. policy of imperialism and hegemony in the world. This policy is most clearly revealed in the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but also clearly visible in Honduras , Columbia, and other areas. There is no major political party nor candidate opposing US imperialism and global domination. The Administration has also failed in educational policy working with Arne Duncan where they have extended and accelerated Bush policies. There is much more on this on my blog at www.choosingdemocracy.blogspot.com