Since taking office in January, 2009, President Obama has been labeled, by most Republican politicians, as a socialist and the most leftist president this nation has ever seen. The truth of the matter is that he is far more moderate than the political rhetoric surrounding his presidency, and when looking at his policies, it is easy to see his positions have been those of a moderate Republican.
Policies put in place by President George W. Bush, due to the War on Terror, have been carried over by the Obama administration. President Obama has not only continued, but also expanded, the use of drone warfare. The war in Afghanistan, which was under President Bush, was not only continued by President Obama, but like drone warfare, this was expanded by the president after taking office in 2009. President Obama followed through with the Iraq withdrawal that was put in place by President Bush, as well as the operation that led to the death of Osama Bin Laden.
The financial rescue that was led by President Obama was more of a continuation of the policies put in place by former President George W. Bush and his administration. He bailed out big banks and refused to break them up, as well as call for the prosecutions of those responsible for this crisis. In this respect, we saw very little action that was different from the previous administration, due to the extension of policies of the previous administration by the Obama administration.
Since taking office, he has signed extensions for the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, along with the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003. Together, these are known as the Bush Tax Cuts, signed by former President George W. Bush. These were due to expire in 2010, but President Obama had signed extensions that would keep them in place. Over the last week, there is talk that they will be in place for middle class Americans, while still debating these tax cuts for upper class Americans.
President Obama has also supported the cap and trade plan that was proposed by Senator John McCain. To be perfectly clear, cap and trade was originally a Republican idea back in the early 1990’s. President George H.W. Bush, a moderate Republican, wanted legislation that addressed sulfur dioxide, which was largely involved in acid rain. He signed the Clean Air Act of 1990, and within that plan, there was a proposal that would cap sulfur dioxide emissions, while letting the market determine how to allot the permits.
There has been much debate on both sides of the political spectrum, regarding the individual mandate and the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. This piece of legislation has been the biggest for fueling the argument by Republicans on President Obama being a socialist. The individual mandate states that all must have health insurance or they will suffer a tax penalty. Republicans have denounced this as socialism, which they claim to be evil, and pledge to fight to repeal Obamacare. The truth is that the individual mandate was a Republican idea from the start.
In the early 1990’s, a group of conservative economists had developed the idea of the individual mandate. When President Clinton had introduced an employer mandate in his healthcare proposal, the Republican alternatives both focused on the individual mandate. In fact, more than 15 Republican senators, who included Orrin Hatch, Dick Lugar, and Chuck Grassley, all signed numerous individual mandate bills by 1995.
Aside from President Obama signing a carbon copy of the Republican alternative to Hillarycare, this is virtually identical to what Mitt Romney signed back in 2006 while he was governor of Massachusetts, which has come to be known as Romneycare and mandates all to have health insurance.
Many can find different things to criticize President Obama on, but to call him a socialist and the most leftist president we have had is just ridiculous and nonintellectual; which are exactly what the radical conservative ideology that has come to dominate the Republican party of today has become. The policies that President Obama supports has made him a moderate Republican, which is not a bad thing, as moderates have always been willing to compromise.