Bush and Obama Administrations
George W. Bush and Barack Obama are the 43rd and 44th persons to occupy the U.S presidency respectively. Both individuals served for two terms, although Obama’s second term administration is still in session. There are several key events and policies marking their terms, which have been categorized as either successes or failures. This paper reviews the milestones of Presidents Bush and Obama’s administrations.
George W. Bush
Election into Office
- Both the election and re-election of George Bush into office were marked by controversy unlike his successor who had massive victories.
- In an election that will be historically regarded as the most disputed, he was declared the winner in 2000 for his first term, despite losing the popular vote to his rival.
- He was re-elected into office in 2004 with only a slight 2.5% point edge.
- After the September 11th attacks on the U.S, Bush unified the country in the immediate outcome of the al Qaeda attacks. He ensured that there were no more terrorist attacks on the U.S soil after September 11, 2001.
- His policy on cutting income tax is viewed as the biggest tax cut in the history of the U.S. This returned money to all citizens, although it largely benefited the rich (Hay 3).
- His policy on economy contributed to the weakening of the U.S economic performance, he was the heir to the largest surplus and left with the greatest debt.
Prevention of Economic Meltdown
- The imminent failure of the U.S. financial system in the waning days of the Bush administration was largely due to his poor domestic policies.
- However, his rapid response in convincing the congress to act helped prevent a recurrence of the great depression.
War on Iraq
- Although he succeeded in rooting out Saddam Hussein, his decisions to invade the country are said to be based on false intelligence reports.
- Furthermore, the invasion of Iraq acted as a diversion from the ongoing military efforts to secure Afghanistan (Hirsh).
Failure to capture Osama and Secure Afghanistan
- Bush failed to live to his promise of bringing in Osama “dead or alive” and the departure of the U.S troops from Afghanistan left anxiety in the country’s future.
- Despite these setbacks, his administration greatly contributed to reducing terrorism activities worldwide.
- Barrack Obama earned a landslide election victory in 2008 to become the first black president in the history of the United States.
- He was re-elected four years later with convincing victories in both the popular and the congress votes.
Foreign Policy and war on Terrorism
- Obama does not favor a military action based foreign policy. This has portrayed him as an understanding and diplomatic president.
- These actions, however, have been unsuccessful as Iran is likely to have nuclear weapons capability, a consequence that poses grave future problems.
- He has successfully fought terrorism as is evident from the killing of Osama, although the mass murders in Syria still stain his record.
Tax Policy and Economic Stability
- In 2010, he extended the Bush tax cuts, thus, reducing tax burdens on the citizens. This aided in stabilizing the economy by preventing greater damage.
- These tax cuts are however argued to majorly favor the wealthy citizens as middle family incomes have continued to spiral downwards.
- Referred to as the ObamaCare and regarded as his best achievement, the Obama health care plan greatly benefits the average American by ensuring that the majority of uninsured citizens have access to quality and affordable insurance.
- On the contrary, there are new taxes, especially for high-income earners and large companies who may experience negative effects.
America’s Image in the World
- Obama’s quest to change the world’s perception of America has been through the closure of the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, retrieval of the U.S troops from Iraq and Afghanistan as well as diplomatic foreign policies (Goldenberg).
- This has however been criticized on grounds that it breeds future consequences that will be hard to deal with, such as the Iran nuclear weapon developments.
Goldenberg, Suzanne. “Barack Obama’s successes and failures.” The Guardian 24 January 2011: n. pag. Web. 16 March 2014
Hay, Chelsey E. “A Taxing Presidency: A Critique of the George W. Bush Tax Policy.” Student Pulse: The International Student Journal, Vol. 2 No. 05 (2010): 2/3. Web. 16 March 2014
Hirsh, Michael. “Gates: Bush Screwed Up the War on Terror.” The National Journal (2014): n. pag. Web. 16 March 2014