Hm, let’s see here. During the first term of President Obama, we’ve got the lowest tax burden that we’ve had for the past sixty years. Does this sound like something a fiscal conservative would approve of? Absolutely.
During the first term of President Obama, 2011 saw the the lowest level of corporate taxation since 1972. Of course, it’s projected to go back to what was pretty much the average rate from 1987 to 2000, but no Republican president since Nixon can claim to have been such a friend to business when it comes to taxes. And let us not forget that despite the fact that America has the highest nominal corporate tax rate in the developed world, America actually has the second-lowest effective corporate tax rate in the developed world; please note the difference in the wording between the two. Of course, that’s not something that FoxNews would ever allow to see the light of day. But do such low corporate taxes sound like something a fiscal conservative would approve of? Certainly.
On the day that President Obama was sworn in, the Dow Jones closed at 8228 and our economy was in free fall. It would fall as far as 6763.29 before it began its long, slow climb. As of the time of this writing, the Dow Jones stands at 12,486.50, an increase of 34.21 percent since President Obama took the oath of office, and 45.85 percent from its nadir less than three months later. Would a fiscally conservative Republican president be boasting about such a performance by the stock market on his watch? You betcha!
During the first term of President Obama, government spending increased at its slowest rate since Eisenhower. Of course that doesn’t exactly match what Republicans have been saying about Obama’s “reckless spending spree”, so they’re doing their utmost to reject the Wall Street Journal-affiliated MarketWatch article by Rex Nutting, but I’ll go with what Politifact said about Nutting’s findings. Would such fiscal restraint be a “plus” in the eyes of a fiscal conservative? Oh, yes!
While the word “bailout” is verboten in modern conservative discourse (unless it’s used to insult liberals and Democrats), one can easily see Ronald Reagan not only approving of the bailouts (which were not bailouts, but loans) that rescued General Motors and Chrysler but also going on a publicity blitz (as he did with Lee Iacocca) to show the American people the record profits that GM was making only two years after the (wrongly named) bailout, not to mention the millions. Millions! Of jobs that were saved by the rescue of GM and Chrysler. But in today’s Republican party, Reagan would have been condemned as a tax-and-spend socialist, so we won’t count this particular accomplishment.
But enough about the economy; let’s talk other domestic issues. Under President Obama, the Department of Homeland Security has been deporting a record number of illegal aliens. Granted, there are many on the Republican side who would deplore such a record, but there are many more Republicans who would exultantly advertise such an accomplishment; if the occupant of the White House were a Republican, that is.
Under President Obama’s watch, the past two years have seen greatly-increased prosecutions of Medicare fraud, and the government recovered record amounts: over four billion dollars, in each of those years. This was done by bringing fraud enforcement into the twenty first century. Here’s a more detailed description of this “War on Health Care Fraud.” What would any conservative worthy of the title think of such aggressive enforcement against Medicare fraud? They’d be shouting it to the rooftops, and probably using it as an excuse to defund Medicare (except for those who comprise their political base, of course). But one wonders how many conservatives realize that the increased enforcement was enabled by the Affordable Care Act they hate so much?
Then there’s President Obama’s prosecution of the war on drugs. Admittedly, most residents of Blogcritics (including myself) are against the war on drugs, but most conservative politicians and pundits (but not the Republican rank-and-file) are all for the prosecution of the drug war, if for no other reason than to provide fresh residents for the privately operated prison corporations that are perennial donors to Republican candidates.
Let’s not forget the small matters of ending the Iraq war (with a government in place that is still functioning, surprisingly enough), the killing not only of Osama bin Laden but also most of al-Qaeda’s leadership and leaders of other terrorist organizations worldwide. That in and of itself ought to cause any self-respecting conservative to do something that young men used to do with Penthouse magazines back in the days before online porn, but we’re not done yet! There’s the shifting of American military focus towards Asia and away from Europe in response to China’s increasing belligerence, particularly in the Spratly Islands region (which makes one wonder if we’ll someday defend communist Vietnam against communist China). There’s also the fall of the Qaddafi regime in Libya, which was accomplished with American logistical support but without the cost of even a single American soldier.
Yes, Barack Hussein Obama won passage of the Affordable Care Act (itself based on Republican ideals once strongly supported by the Heritage Foundation, Newt Gingrich, and someone named Mitt Romney), ended Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and ended the use of torture, but all in all, President Obama has been close to the ideal of what a conservative president would be. Obama’s first term has been in most ways more conservative than that of any president since Eisenhower. So why do the Republicans and conservatives hate him so much? He’s got a funny name, he doesn’t have an (R) behind said funny name, and he’s not quite as, um, pale as they’d like him to be. The right’s hatred of Obama has nothing to do with his policies, his accomplishments, or his failures, and has everything to do with the fact that he’s really different and he’s not one of them.