Before you drown in the sea of negative ads this week, consider some of the positive things that have occurred in America since 2008.
President Barack Obama has accomplished many good things in his six years in the White House despite the complete lack of cooperation from Republican lawmakers.
The Iraq war was ended and the war in Afghanistan is drawing to a close.
Even though the 2009 economic stimulus bill was instrumental in our America’s economic recovery, few ads mention that. The stock market came back and 10 million new jobs have been created. For September, 248,000 new jobs were created, only 5 percent in the public sector. For the last 12 months, the U.S. has averaged an increase of 220,000 jobs per month. Income has stayed flat suggesting that workers still have little bargaining power.
For the first time in the economic recovery, unemployment has fallen below 6 percent, to 5.9 percent.
The automobile industry made a strong comeback when it appeared it would disappear altogether. Jobs for autoworkers were saved as were the suppliers for the auto manufacturers and their jobs.
Equal pay for equal work, a benefit for federal women workers was passed.
But the best news is that health care spending has slowed tremendously, especially in Medicare costs. Medicare is spending $1,000 less per beneficiary than was projected by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office just four years ago. The incentives in the Affordable Care Act changed the focus of medical care to rewarding doctors for keeping patients healthy. Turns out it’s less expensive to keep patients healthy than it is to pay to treat their chronic illness when it gets out of control.
When more people are insured, the emergency rooms are not used as clinics and costs of care drops. Those states that accepted federal money to expand Medicaid, unlike Wisconsin, have saved their taxpayers significant dollars in unreimbursed health care costs.
With the slowdown in health care costs, the federal deficit was 13 percent lower in September 2014 than a year ago. In fact, the deficit for 2014 is poised to be the lowest since 2008. You have hardly heard about that during the campaigns this year.
Many policies President Obama wanted to enact were stonewalled by Republican opposition, such as increasing the minimum wage, spending on repairing our infrastructure, bridges, road, water mains and natural gas lines and reforming immigration laws.
Remember the federal shutdown engineered by the leaders of the Republican Congress? That was a disaster for the country and actually cost taxpayers’ money. During the 16-day shutdown, 120,000 private sector jobs were lost. Independent sources estimated a loss of $2 billion in output. The cost to the government in services that could not be rendered due to employee furloughs was estimated to be more than $2 billion.
Think it over. If you want to continue the progress that has been made in job growth nationally and making health care affordable for more of us, vote for Democrats Mary Burke and Ron Gruett on Nov. 4.