Our view: Our Obama year in review

DKS Editors

Happy one-year anniversary to the Obama administration! It has been 365 long days full of many ups and downs.

Arguably the most important act passed in Congress was the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The act is the result of the $787 billion economic stimulus package. This act covers actions such as federal tax cuts, expansion of unemployment benefits and other social welfare provisions, and domestic spending in education, health care and infrastructure, including the energy sector.

The ARRA has made an impact on the Kent area. The district the city of Kent is in received a little more than $165 million from the act and has created 229 jobs according to Recovery.gov. The government created Recovery.gov to track where the stimulus money is going.

Another of the administration’s successes has been with equal rights. The first piece of legislation President Barack Obama signed into law was the Lily Ledbetter Act. The act gives victims of pay-based discrimination the right to file a complaint to the government within 180 days of their most recent paycheck, as opposed to within 180 days of their first paycheck. He also expanded the hate crimes law to include hate crimes against LGBT Americans.

One of the people-friendly, but not so economically-efficient programs, set up by Obama was Cash for Clunkers. The program was meant to boost the American auto industry, but it unintentionally favored foreign auto companies instead. Americans tended to go for foreign models for their proven reliability and fuel efficiency. This program got a lot of criticism for not boosting the American auto industry like they thought it would.

And finally, the great debate about health care. Well, President Obama’s plan didn’t exactly go as hoped. He left it to Congress to help create a health care plan for the entire nation. What did he get? Arguments, outraged politicians and uninformed Americans. Even though the nation still goes without a health care plan, President Obama did sign an act to ensure health insurance for some of the nation’s children. The President signed the Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act on Feb. 4, which provides quality health care to 11 million kids – 4 million who were previously uninsured.

Taking a look back at a year ago today, we remember a historical day of change. We haven’t seen too much of a difference, but remember – they still have three more years to keep all the promises that Obama made in his campaign.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.