Opinion: A Liberal's Critique of Obama

Obama has had several accomplishments so far as president. The most important of these include, but are not limited to: ending the war in Iraq with the last deployment of U.S. troops on December 11th of 2011, saving the U.S. auto industry - which now has over 100,000 more jobs than it did upon its collapse in 2009, and, most obviously, a plethora of social reforms that are continuing to sweep the nation.

Despite these reforms, criticism of Obama has continued to reign supreme. Before he took office, he was seen as our millennium’s FDR. He led everyone to believe that he would be the impetus to governmental reconstruction. Now, five years later, we can see that Obama has enabled the flawed mechanics of our governing system to thrive, instead of giving us the America he promised on the campaign trail and in his inaugural addresses.

Even so, I like Obama. I believe he has done a lot of good with the little he has been given. But that doesn’t mean he couldn't have done more.

For me, there are two policies that need attention. Firstly, we need immigration reform. We have a system that grossly underestimates the vital role that immigrant labor plays within our economy. Immigrant labor is extremely cheap and central to filling the jobs most Americans do not want. And yet, what do we do to those immigrant workers? We prevent them from legally living in our country. Then comes the ridiculous amount of government spending that goes into fortifying the border. Even in the new immigration reform bill that has been drafted, there is a specific section designated to increasing the already fortified boundary lines. All of this, in turn, leads to inefficiency. We can much better allocate the millions of dollars used to keep hard working immigrants, who help our economy thrive, from living in our country.

Instead, we can apply the money to things that really matter, like making Obamacare deliver a meaningful reform, which leads me to my next point.

Obamacare prides itself in being a progressive system that provides Americans with universal health care; however, due to the nature of the Affordable Care Act itself, it doesn’t actually hold that kind of weight. Since its drafting, it never had the opportunity to become what Obama proposed it to be: healthcare for all Americans, especially the working poor. What it has become is a trivial system of health benefits that only applies to those who meet outstanding requirements. For those who lack those outstanding requirements, they have two options. One, go without health care coverage, which is obviously less than ideal, but a serious option for low income families who don’t qualify for Obamacare. Second, buy healthcare from independent healthcare providers, whose prices are sky high. And that is equally as unrealistic for people from lower income households.

In conclusion, our current immigration laws and Obamacare are the antithesis of the promises that Obama made in his first campaign. He vowed that he would right the wrongs that have been infecting our government, but the only thing he has done is grease the wheels of inefficiency and bipartisan contempt. Obama gave himself lofty goals, and as citizens we need to hold him to those expectations. And thus far, we have yet to be impressed.

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