Sunday, 2 June 2013

Barack Obama – A Great Leader or just a Great Orator?

“I will cut taxes - cut taxes - for 95 percent of all working families, because, in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle class.

-          Barack Obama

What’s common among today’s Lawyers and Presidents? The answer is that they are both required to be good speakers. This must be the reason why India’s current, as well as former President, were both holders of degrees in Law. This principle applies to Western Countries as well, such as the U.S. where Barack Obama had wooed his way into the Presidential Office in 2009.

Admittedly, Obama took office at a time when America was suffering a Great Recession, with businesses laying off employs on a large scale, in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. But that was over three years ago. As the new president, and with the aid of a firm Democratic Congress, Obama gave U.S. a variety of promises, which till date remain unfulfilled. Several of his policies have turned out to be futile. In the face of overwhelming public opposition, Barack Obama’s health care reform legislation symbolizes the largest expansion of government authority in over 70 years, and is a important step towards a government-run health care system. He proposed an expansion of health insurance coverage to cover the uninsured, to cap premium increases, and to allow people to retain their coverage when they leave or change jobs. His proposal was to spend $900 billion over 10 years and include a government insurance plan, also known as the public option, to compete with the corporate insurance sector as a main component to lowering costs and improving quality of health care. [1]It would also make it illegal for insurers to drop sick people or deny them coverage for pre-existing conditions, and require every American carry health coverage. The plan also includes medical spending cuts and taxes on insurance companies that offer expensive plans. On June 28, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled by a 5–4 vote in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius that the Commerce Clause does not allow the government to require people to buy health insurance, but the mandate was constitutional under the US Congress's taxing authority.
Nearly $1 trillion in stimulus spending, which was supposed to kick the economy back into gear; Dodd-Frank financial-reform law, which claimed to tackle the roots of the 2008 meltdown.
Another unwise plan Obama had done was giving major corporations money and not controlling what the companies are spending it on. The biggest one is the GM/Chrysler bailout worth $25 billion. The present should have had control measurements on how all this money was spent; instead, the CEO’s of these immense companies put the money in their pockets. President Barack Obama also did no action whatsoever towards our nation’s education. America has bad educational projects the president is not improving. He refuses to raise teacher’s pay. 

Then the Democrat’s party lost big in 2010 and Obama in fact gave up on doing anything to help the economy. He even ignored the recommendations of his bipartisan deficit-reduction panel  including its push for tax reform, probably the best economic-growth idea to ever come near this White House[2].

The key reason why many people had elected for Obama is either because he has people around him brokering ideas and making them seem too good to be true, around which he can construct persuasive and powerful speeches, or he himself is great at presenting his own “great” ideas, leveraging the media, etc [3]. In short, Barack Obama is only a Great Orator, and nothing more. It maybe wise for not just U.S. citizens, but also Indian citizens, to start looking for more in our leaders than just voting for them based on empty words.

[3] Philip Collins, ‘The Art of Speeches and Presentations: The Secrets of Making People Remember What You Say’, John Wiley & Sons, 2012;
David Templeton, Ulterior Motives - The Presidency of Barack H. Obama

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