Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Compromises Take Toll on US President's Bedrock Supports

The economic prospects remain unclear, US President Barack Obama suddenly made a policy U-turn by calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw its new proposal on ozone standards. He claimed that such a move was meant to reduce the burden on corporate so that it would not hinder the latter from creating employment opportunities. His supporters lambasted him for "surrendering" to corporate by sacrificing public health.
Law on Smog Emission
EPA Administrator proposed to tighten the law on smog emission. The proposal was strongly objected by lobby groups. The latter claims that the industrial sector would have to make enormous spending if the new pollution rule is implemented and this will cause more people lose their jobs.
But actually, limiting smog emission would not affect the employment rate much. On contrary, it may generate more job opportunities as a result of the increase of corporate investment and spending.
Obama argued that the already approved or implemented environmental regulations -- including regulations on eco-friendly cars and reduction of pollutant emission of power plants -- will help reduce environmental pollution. In any case, given the fact that even if the revision of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ground-Level Ozone is passed in the Congress, the law will come into effect only a few years later, to a larger extent, Obama's withdrawal of the bill was done in view of political pressure and the presidential election next year.
Health Care Reform Plan
In early 2010, despite the objection from the Republican Party, Obama insisted in implementing his health care reform plan and accomplished one of the major goals the Democratic Party had sought for many years. The health care reform legislation has also become an achievement Obama has taken pride in.
Yet, after the Republican Party gained the control over the House of Representatives following the midterm elections held in November last year, Obama has become a lame-duck president. Under the pressure of the reality, Obama has started to flip-flop in his policies. For example, once he insisted to abolish the policy of tax reduction for the rich during the era of President George W. Bush. But he eventually put off this plan in December 2010. Early this year, he gave in to the Republican Party to prevent the government from shutting down.
Impact of Economic Recession
Obama can blame the Republican Party for the economic recession in the United States. But his repeated compromises have outraged and later disappointed voters who supported him. In fact, Obama has gradually lost his bedrock supports he enjoyed three years ago.
Obama once proclaimed: "I would rather be a good president for one term than be a president who achieves nothing in eight years." But in reality, it is hard to be a good president even for one term only.

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