The Record — What Obama Has Accomplished!

Every now and again, the other side likes to claim President Obama doesn’t have a record to run on. They’re wrong. Here’s a taste of why:

(Just a couple of) the Obama Administration’s accomplishments:

The first bill President Obama signed was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, to help women fight back when they don’t get equal pay for equal work.

His Recovery Act supported millions of jobs and helped to stave off a second Great Depression.

He pushed for and won middle-class tax cuts that benefitted every American worker, and saved the typical family $3,600 in taxes over the last four years.

President Obama rescued the auto industry, and now GM and Chrysler are healthier than they’ve ever been. The American auto industry has added nearly a quarter of a million jobs since June 2009 — and they most likely wouldn’t exist right now without President Obama’s leadership.

He doubled funding for Pell Grants, helping to make college more affordable for nearly 10 million families.

His student loan reform ended billions in subsidies to banks serving as middlemen and reinvested those savings directly into students.

The President established the American Opportunity Tax Credit, worth up to $10,000 over four years of college.

His Race to the Top Initiative helped spur nearly every state to raise academic standards.

His tax cuts, social-welfare programs, and economic policies lifted nearly 7 million Americans above the federal poverty line in 2010.

President Obama has signed 18 tax cuts for small businesses since taking office.

We’ve seen 5.2 million new private-sector jobs over the last 31 months.

The unemployment rate is at the lowest level since President Obama took office.

Health care reform — passed after decades of failed attempts by every previous President — provides affordable health coverage to every American and will lower premiums by an average of $2,000 per family by 2019.

Obamacare expanded access to lifesaving preventive care such as cancer screenings and immunizations with no out-of-pocket costs for 54 million Americans.

Obamacare ends insurance discrimination against the 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions.

Because of Obamacare, over 3 million more young adults have health insurance today than would if the new law hadn’t passed.

The parents of over 17 million children with pre-existing conditions no longer have to worry that their children will be denied coverage.

President Obama has ordered the overhaul of federal government regulations to make them smarter, practical, and more efficient. Just a fraction of these commonsense initiatives will help save businesses $10 billion in the next five years alone.

His historic investments in clean energy have helped more than double the amount of electricity we obtain from wind and solar sources and helped increase biofuel production to its highest level in history.

President Obama is doubling fuel efficiency standards, which will save drivers more than $8,000 at the gas pump, not to mention lessen the impact of automobiles on our environment.

President Obama has taken unprecedented action to address climate change, reaching historic international agreements to curb carbon emissions, and taking action here at home to reduce carbon pollution from our vehicles and promote clean energy production.

He has taken historic action to protect our environment — signing one of the largest expansions of protected wilderness in a generation and putting in place standards to reduce toxic air pollution that will save thousands of lives.

President Obama fought for and won landmark Wall Street reform that reins in the abuses that led to the financial crisis and ends the era of taxpayer bailouts and “too big to fail.”

Wall Street reform created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the nation’s first federal agency focused solely on consumer financial protection — and the Bureau is already protecting families from unfair and abusive financial practices from Wall Street banks and shadowy corners of the financial industry.

As part of President Obama’s commitment to transparency, the White House has posted its visitor records online for the first time ever.

President Obama’s all-of-the-above approach to energy has helped cut the United States’ dependence on foreign oil to its lowest level in 20 years.

President Obama responsibly ended the war in Iraq.

He announced a plan to end the war in Afghanistan and transition security responsibility to the Afghan people.

President Obama sent the largest security assistance package to Israel in history and funded the Iron Dome system, which is protecting Israeli homes and schools from rocket attacks.

President Obama rallied the international community to implement the toughest sanctions on Iran in history.

Through the President’s historic increases in Veterans Affairs funding, he has expanded and improved healthcare and job training access for our returning veterans.

President Obama negotiated the New START Treaty with Russia to reduce the number of nuclear weapons in both countries. At the same time, he also secured commitments from dozens of other countries to lock down nuclear materials.

His administration naturalized 11,146 military service members as U.S. citizens in 2010; more than in any year since 1955.

President Obama set a bold new plan for the future of NASA space exploration, using the skill and ability of the private sector for short trips to the International Space Station, while building a new vehicle for exploration of distant space, and doing everything in his power to support the economy on Florida’s Space Coast.

President Obama recognizes that tourism is one of America’s largest economic engines; he’s worked to encourage international visitors to come here, maintaining our security while keeping millions of Americans in good, paying jobs.

He has affirmed his personal support of marriage equality, directed the Justice Department to stop defending DOMA in federal courts, and took the practical and compassionate step of extending hospital visitation rights to same-sex partners.

He fought for and won the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, allowing gay and lesbian members of the military to serve openly for the first time in history.

When Congress failed to fix our broken immigration system, his administration did everything in its power to improve it, streamlining the legal immigration process and announcing a policy that lifts the shadow of deportation from hard working young immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.

Oh, and he gave the order to send troops in after Osama Bin Laden — and has decimated al-Qaeda’s senior leadership.

But … if you listen to the REPUBLIBAN, President Obama has NO record to run on.  Their argument is nothing more than pure, unadulterated bull puckey

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At Last Night’s Debate: Romney Told 27 Myths In 38 Minutes

— By Igor Volsky at ThinkProgress

Pundits from both sides of the aisle have lauded Mitt Romney’s strong debate performance, praising his preparedness and ability to challenge President Obama’s policies and accomplishments. But Romney only accomplished this goal by repeatedly misleading viewers. He spoke for 38 minutes of the 90 minute debate and told at least 27 myths:

1) “[G]et us energy independent, North American energy independent. That creates about 4 million jobs”. Romney’s plan for “energy independence” actually relies heavily on a study that assumes the U.S. continues with fuel efficiency standards set by the Obama administration. For instance, he uses Citigroup research based off the assumption that “‘the United States will continue with strict fuel economy standards that will lower its oil demand.” Since he promises to undo the Obama administration’s new fuel efficiency standards, he would cut oil consumption savings of 2 million barrels per day by 2025.

2) “I don’t have a $5 trillion tax cut. I don’t have a tax cut of a scale that you’re talking about.” A Tax Policy Center analysis of Romney’s proposal for a 20 percent across-the-board tax cut in all federal income tax rates, eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax, eliminating the estate tax and other tax reductions, would reduce federal revenue $480 billion in 2015. This amount to $5 trillion over the decade.

3) “My view is that we ought to provide tax relief to people in the middle class. But I’m not going to reduce the share of taxes paid by high-income people.” If Romney hopes to provide tax relief to the middle class, then his $5 trillion tax cut would add to the deficit. There are not enough deductions in the tax code that primarily benefit rich people to make his math work.

4) “My — my number-one principal is, there will be no tax cut that adds to the deficit. I want to underline that: no tax cut that adds to the deficit.” As the Tax Policy Center concluded, Romney’s plan can’t both exempt middle class families from tax cuts and remain revenue neutral. “He’s promised all these things and he can’t do them all. In order for him to cover the cost of his tax cut without adding to the deficit, he’d have to find a way to raise taxes on middle income people or people making less than $200,000 a year,” the Center found.

5) “I will not under any circumstances raise taxes on middle-income families. I will lower taxes on middle-income families. Now, you cite a study. There are six other studies that looked at the study you describe and say it’s completely wrong.” The studies Romney cites actuallyfurther prove that Romney would, in fact, have to raise taxes on the middle class if he were to keep his promise not to lose revenue with his tax rate reduction.

6) “I saw a study that came out today that said you’re going to raise taxes by $3,000 to $4,000 on middle-income families.” Romney is pointing to this study from the American Enterprise Institute. It actually found that rather than raise taxes to pay down the debt, the Obama administration’s policies — those contained directly in his budget — would reduce the share of taxes that go toward servicing the debt by $1,289.89 per taxpayer in the $100,000 to $200,000 range.

7) “And the reason is because small business pays that individual rate; 54 percent of America’s workers work in businesses that are taxed not at the corporate tax rate, but at the individual tax rate….97 percent of the businesses are not — not taxed at the 35 percent tax rate, they’re taxed at a lower rate. But those businesses that are in the last 3 percent of businesses happen to employ half — half of all the people who work in small business.” Far less than half of the people affected by the expiration of the upper income tax cuts get any of their income at all from a small businesses. And those people could very well be receiving speaking fees or book royalties, which qualify as “small business income” but don’t have a direct impact on job creation. It’s actually hard to find a small business who think that they will be hurt if the marginal tax rate on income earned above $250,000 per year is increased.

8) “Mr. President, all of the increase in natural gas and oil has happened on private land, not on government land. On government land, your administration has cut the number of permits and licenses in half.” Oil production from federal lands is higher, not lower: Production from federal lands is up slightly in 2011 when compared to 2007. And the oil and gas industry is sitting on 7,000 approved permits to drill, that it hasn’t begun exploring or developing.

9) “The president’s put it in place as much public debt — almost as much debt held by the public as all prior presidents combined.” This is not even close to being true. When Obama took office, the national debt stood at $10.626 trillion. Now the national debt is over $16 trillion. That $5.374 trillion increase is nowhere near as much debt as all the other presidents combined.

10) “That’s why the National Federation of Independent Businesses said your plan will kill 700,000 jobs. I don’t want to kill jobs in this environment.” That study, produced by a right-wing advocacy organizationdoesn’t analyze what Obama has actually proposed.

11) “What we do have right now is a setting where I’d like to bring money from overseas back to this country.” Romney’s plan to shift the country to a territorial tax system would allow corporations to do business and make profits overseas without ever being taxed on it in the United States. This encourages American companies to invest abroad and could cost the country up to 800,000 jobs.

12) “I would like to take the Medicaid dollars that go to states and say to a state, you’re going to get what you got last year, plus inflation, plus 1 percent, and then you’re going to manage your care for your poor in the way you think best.” Sending federal Medicaid funding to the states in the form of a block grant woud significantly reduce federal spending for Medicaid because the grant would not keep up with projected health care costs. A CBO estimate of a very similar proposal from Paul Ryan found that federal spending would be “35 percent lower in 2022 and 49 percent lower in 2030 than current projected federal spending” and as a result “states would face significant challenges in achieving sufficient cost savings through efficiencies to mitigate the loss of federal funding.” “To maintain current service levels in the Medicaid program, states would probably need to consider additional changes, such as reducing their spending on other programs or raising additional revenues,” the CBO found.

13) “I want to take that $716 billion you’ve cut and put it back into Medicare…. But the idea of cutting $716 billion from Medicare to be able to balance the additional cost of Obamacare is, in my opinion, a mistake. There’s that number again. Romney is claiming that Obamacare siphons off $716 billion from Medicare, to the detriment of beneficiaries. In actuality, that money is saved primarily through reducing over-payments to insurance companies under Medicare Advantage, not payments to beneficiaries. Paul Ryan’s budget plan keeps those same cuts, but directs them toward tax cuts for the rich and deficit reduction.

14) “What I support is no change for current retirees and near-retirees to Medicare.” Here is how Romney’s Medicare plan will affect current seniors: 1) by repealing Obamacare, the 16 million seniors receiving preventive benefits without deductibles or co-pays and are saving $3.9 billion on prescription drugs will see a cost increase, 2) “premium support” will increase premiums for existing beneficiaries as private insurers lure healthier seniors out of the traditional Medicare program, 3) Romney/Ryan would also lower Medicaid spending significantly beginning next year, shifting federal spending to states and beneficiaries, and increasing costs for the 9 million Medicare recipients who are dependent on Medicaid.

15) “Number two is for people coming along that are young, what I do to make sure that we can keep Medicare in place for them is to allow them either to choose the current Medicare program or a private plan. Their choice. They get to choose — and they’ll have at least two plans that will be entirely at no cost to them.” The Medicare program changes for everyone, even people who choose to remain in the traditional fee-for-service. Rather than relying on a guaranteed benefit, all beneficiaries will receive a premium support credit of $7,500 on average in 2023 to purchase coverage in traditional Medicare or private insurance. But that amount will only grow at a rate of GDP plus 1.5 percentage points and will not keep up with health care costs. So while the federal government will spend less on the program, seniors will pay more in premiums.

16) “And, by the way the idea came not even from Paul Ryan or — or Senator Wyden, who’s the co-author of the bill with — with Paul Ryan in the Senate, but also it came from Bill — Bill Clinton’s chief of staff.” Romney has rejected the Ryan/Wyden approach — which does not cap the growth of the “premium support” subsidy. Bill Clinton and his commission also voted down these changes to the Medicare program.

17) “Well, I would repeal and replace it. We’re not going to get rid of all regulation. You have to have regulation. And there are some parts of Dodd-Frank that make all the sense in the world.”Romney has previously called for full repeal of Dodd-Frank, a law whose specific purpose is to regulate banks. MF Global’s use of customer funds to pay for its own trading losses is just one bit of proof that the financial industry isn’t responsible enough to protect consumers without regulation.

18) “But I wouldn’t designate five banks as too big to fail and give them a blank check. That’s one of the unintended consequences of Dodd-Frank… We need to get rid of that provision because it’s killing regional and small banks. They’re getting hurt.” The law merely says that the biggest, systemically risky banks need to abide by more stringent regulations. If those banks fail, they will be unwound by a new process in the Dodd-Frank law that protects taxpayers from having to pony up for a bailout.

19) “And, unfortunately, when — when — when you look at Obamacare, the Congressional Budget Office has said it will cost $2,500 a year more than traditional insurance. So it’s adding to cost.” Obamacare will actually provide millions of families with tax credits to make health care more affordable.

20) “[I]t puts in place an unelected board that’s going to tell people ultimately what kind of treatments they can have. I don’t like that idea.” The Board, or IPAB is tasked with making binding recommendations to Congress for lowering health care spending, should Medicare costs exceed a target growth rate. Congress can accept the savings proposal or implement its own ideas through a super majority. The panel’s plan will modify payments to providers but it cannot “include any recommendation to ration health care, raise revenues or Medicare beneficiary premiums…increase Medicare beneficiary cost-sharing (including deductibles, coinsurance, and co- payments), or otherwise restrict benefits or modify eligibility criteria” (Section 3403 of the ACA). Relying on health care experts rather than politicians to control health care costs has previously attracted bipartisan support and even Ryan himself proposed two IPAB-like structures in a 2009 health plan.

21) “Right now, the CBO says up to 20 million people will lose their insurance as Obamacare goes into effect next year. And likewise, a study by McKinsey and Company of American businesses said 30 percent of them are anticipating dropping people from coverage.” The Affordable Care Act would actually expand health care coverage to 30 million Americans, despite Romney fear mongering. According to CBO director Douglas Elmendorf, 3 million or less people would leave employer-sponsored health insurance coverage as a result of the law.

22) “I like the way we did it [health care] in Massachusetts…What were some differences? We didn’t raise taxes.” Romney raised fees, but he can claim that he didn’t increase taxes because the federal government funded almost half of his reforms.

23) “It’s why Republicans said, do not do this, and the Republicans had — had the plan. They put a plan out. They put out a plan, a bipartisan plan. It was swept aside.” The Affordable Care Act incorporates many Republican ideas including the individual mandate, state-based health care exchanges, high-risk insurance pools, and modified provisions that allow insurers to sell policies in multiple states. Republicans never offered a united bipartisan alternative.

24) “Preexisting conditions are covered under my plan.” Only people who are continuously insured would not be discriminated against because they suffer from pre-existing conditions. This protection would not be extended to people who are currently uninsured.

25) “In one year, you provided $90 billion in breaks to the green energy world. Now, I like green energy as well, but that’s about 50 years’ worth of what oil and gas receives.” The $90 billion was given out over several years and included loans, loan guarantees and grants through the American Recovery Act. $23 billion of the $90 billion “went toward “clean coal,” energy-efficiency upgrades, updating the electricity grid and environmental clean-up, largely for old nuclear weapons sites.”

26) “I think about half of [the green firms Obama invested in], of the ones have been invested in have gone out of business. A number of them happened to be owned by people who were contributors to your campaigns.” As of late last year, only “three out of the 26 recipients of 1705 loan guarantees have filed for bankruptcy, with losses estimated at just over $600 million.”

27) “If the president’s reelected you’ll see dramatic cuts to our military.” Romney is referring to the sequester, which his running mate Paul Ryan supported. Obama opposes the military cuts and has asked Congress to formulate a balanced approach that would avoid the trigger.

UPDATE

— Romney has now admitted that number 26 was not true.


This material [article] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe.

What Does “Conservative Judicial Activism” Look Like

— by Erin Neff, Executive Director, ProgressNow Nevada

The majority on the U.S. Supreme Court continues to stridently put politics above justice as it finishes its radical term this week.

Today the court upheld the most controversial aspect of Arizona’s immigration law — the portion that all but sanctions racial profiling. While the court did strike down the majority of the law as unconstitutional, some of the conservative justices wanted to uphold the entire thing.

And Justice Antonin Scalia, a Reagan appointee, used the bench to speak out about President Obama’s recent executive order giving “dreamers” (those who would qualify under the DREAM Act) a path to citizenship.

How is that blind justice?

This is the most radical court in history. The majority — Reagan and Bush appointees — issue opinions that break court rules and shatter common sense.

How else can you explain corporations are people?

Today the court upheld its horrific Citizens United opinion by overturning an attempt by Montana to try to regulate the unfettered corporate money in its political system.

This radical Roberts Court is the precise reason Sheldon Adelson can spend tens of millions of dollars to try to impact the presidential election. It’s the reason the Koch Brothers, Karl Rove and their affiliated “non-profits” have spent multiple millions on ads calling for the repeal of health care reform.

In Nevada, these groups have spent $4.4 million on TV ads calling for the repeal of Obamacare. They’ve outspent supporters of health insurance 4-to-1. Citizen’s United will never create an even system because it allows those with the money to speak the loudest.

On Thursday, the court is expected to announce its decision on the Affordable Care Act as corporations and their puppet on the presidential trail scream for repeal.

We know there’s power in people. And we’re thankful Obamacare has insured 22,000 young adults and 750 people with pre-existing conditions right here in Nevada.

Check out this video thanking Obamacare for providing access to health coverage for millions of Americans.  Watch it and share it. Together we can stand up to the corporate money. Together we can stand against a radical court. And together we can say Thanks Obamacare. 

President Obama’s Immigration Executive Order

Last Friday, the Department of Homeland Security announced a new policy to make our immigration policy more fair and efficient.

President Obama said, “This morning, Secretary Napolitano announced new actions my administration will take to mend our nation’s immigration policy, to make it more fair, more efficient, and more just, specifically for certain young people sometimes called DREAMers. Now, these are young people who study in our schools, they play in our neighborhoods, they’re friends with our kids, they pledge allegiance to our flag. They are Americans in their heart, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper. They were brought to this country by their parents, sometimes even as infants, and often have no idea that they’re undocumented until they apply for a job or a driver’s license or a college scholarship.”

President Obama continued, “This is a temporary stop-gap measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while giving a degree of relief and hope to talented, driven, patriotic young people…”

“In the absence of any immigration action from Congress to fix our broken immigration system, what we’ve tried to do is focus our immigration enforcement resources in the right places. So we prioritized border security, putting more boots on the southern border than at any time in our history — today, there are fewer illegal crossings than at any time in the past 40 years. We focused and used discretion about whom to prosecute, focusing on criminals who endanger our communities rather than students who are earning their education. And today, deportation of criminals is up 80 percent. We’ve improved on that discretion carefully and thoughtfully. Well, today, we’re improving it again.

President Obama concluded, “This is the right thing to do.”

Read the full remarks here and watch the video here.

Legal Maximum Donation is $78,500?

Mitt Romney is already selling tickets to his “Presidential Inaugural retreat.” In case you think I’m kidding, I’ve included the letter from Romney’s campaign to big donors.

Yesterday, at a private fundraising event, he said the Department of Housing and Urban Development “might not be around.” And the Department of Education would, at the least, be “a heck of a lot smaller” such that you could probably fit it inside a thimble.  Cut education for children and put struggling veterans back on the streets? No wonder he’s not sharing the details with the American public.  He claims to want to “lead” this nation … but he’s unwilling to share his super-secret plans for America … that is, unless you’re one of his high-dollar donors.  The only thing he’s shared with the general public thus far is that he wants to repeal “Obamacare” and he endorses Rep. Paul Ryan’s Path to Poverty budget that would turn Medicare into a declining value voucher system, turn Medicaid into a block grant program, and pretty much gut that safety net that Romney’s “not worried about.”

As Democrats, we don’t believe in that kind of politics. We’re fighting to re-elect President Obama and Democrats up and down the ticket who will keep fighting for the middle class.

Given what Mr. Romney told his high-dollar donors in Florida this week, we can only imagine what Romney would tell his high-dollar donors at his “Presidential Inaugural retreat.”  It might be considered wonderful news for them, but you could probably safely bet your last dollar it won’t be good news for the vast numbers of ordinary Americans.  And if you’re a woman, well … the writing is already on the wall as to what the GOP thinks about us and the envy they’ve displayed in regulating our bodily functions.  All one needs to do is look at the bills GOP-dominated legislatures are passing in Arizona (where women are now considered pregnant before they’re pregnant and where women of child-bearing age are subject to monthly sonograms to ensure that each and every fetus is brought to full term) and in Wisconsin (where they’ve now repealed equal pay for equal work law at the state level).

Help us make sure the GOP is denied the Presidency as well as majorities in either house of Congress by supporting President Obama and down-ticket Democrats.  If you can’t afford to make a donation to the Obama Campaign, but you have some shoe-leather to walk door-to-door, or you’re willing to work a phone bank, we can use your help as the fall campaign unfolds.  Check out our Contacts link in the header and give one of us a call.

—-ROMNEY FUNDRAISING EMAIL—–

From: Richard Stormont

Subject: Governor Romney for President

this is very important for the future of our country. Please read it to the end.
___

The campaign is now moving into its next phase with the formation of “Romney Victory.” This is a joint fundraising committee established between Romney for President, the RNC and a number of battleground fund states. Romney Victory will make it easy for a donor to make one contribution to fund various committees focused on the election. The legal maximum that an individual can donate to Romney Victory is $75,800. The campaign is asking people who are able to make a $50,000 contribution to do so today and become a “Founding Member” of Romney Victory. These donors will be invited to a special retreat with Governor Romney in late June in California and will have preferred status at the first Presidential Inaugural retreat as well as yet to be determined access at the Republican National Convention in Tampa in August.

As for our Georgia efforts, Governor Romney will be returning to Atlanta on June 11th to participate in two Romney Victory fundraising events.

The first event will be a reception which will be 1K per person/2K per couple to attend and 10K per couple to get a photo with Governor Romney. 10K represents a maxed out couple, giving $2500 each to both the primary and general election. Please keep in mind that while we are now accepting general election funds, we are still raising primary dollars. Contributions made to Romney Victory will first go toward the primary election account and then once an individual has reached their $2500 limit, the general election account. We are forming a host committee for this event, asking each host to raise 25K. There will be a private reception for the host committee with the Governor prior to the event.

The second event on the 11th will be a private dinner at a home in Buckhead that is being co-chaired by Tom Bell, Fred Cooper, Bernie Marcus and Jeffrey Sprecher. This dinner will be for “Founding Members” of Romney Victory who contribute 50K.

On April 27th, Spencer Zwick, Governor Romney’s national finance chairman, will be in Atlanta to participate in a lunch with the host committee and co-chairs for the June 11th events.

We have two months to make the June 11th events a success and I am confident that we can do it.

We know there have been a number of people who have been standing on the sidelines waiting for a nominee to be selected. It is now clear who the nominee will be and we will be making every effort to reach out to all those who have yet to give as well as those who previously supported another candidate. We now all need to unify in our efforts to retire President OBAMA in November.

Please let me know that you will be participating in this critical phase of the future of our country. I would like to request that you take a moment and reply back to me as soon as possible as to whether you would like to serve on the Host Committee for the June 11th reception and/or if you are interested in participating in the private dinner on June 11th?

The future of our country is at stake.