2. Authorized a $789 billion economic stimulus plan – 1/3 in tax cuts for working-class families; 1/3 to states for infrastructure projects; 1/3 to states to prevent the layoffs of police officers, teachers, etc., at risk of losing their jobs because of state budget shortfalls.
3. Instituted a new rule allowing the public to meet with federal housing insurers to refinance (in as quickly as one day) a mortgage if they are having trouble paying.
4. Authorized the “Cash for Clunkers” program that stimulated auto sales and removed old, inefficient, polluting cars from the road.
5. Convened a “jobs summit” to bring experts together to develop ideas for creating jobs.
6. Authorized the federal government to make more loans available to small businesses and ordered lower rates for federal loans to small businesses.
7. In November 2009, Obama extended unemployment benefits for one million workers.
8. Signed historic Wall Street reform bill – Designed to re-regulate and end abusive practices and promote consumer protections.
9. Instituted enforcements for equal pay for women (Lilly Ledbetter Bill).
10. Signed the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act (2010) - To curb wasteful spending.
11. Signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act which provides small tax cuts for 95% of “working families” - The tax cuts were not as big as was suggested during the 2008 campaign.
12. Reduced taxes for some small businesses to stimulate the economic recovery.
13. Extended the Home Buyers Credit for first-time home buyers.
14. Overturned the Bush-era practice of not listing certain federal programs in the federal budget – Bush did this (so did Reagan) in an effort to hide programs and make the budget look smaller; such “off budget” items are now included in the annual budget.
16. Working to increase pay and benefits for military personnel.
17. Fulfilled campaign promise to have combat troops (90,000) out of Iraq by August 31, 2010.
18. Appointed Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina, to the Supreme Court.
19. Appointed a diverse Cabinet and diverse White House staff.
20. Spoke at the annual dinner of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights organization.
21. Signed the first major piece of federal gay rights legislation that includes acts of violence against gays under the list of federal hate crimes.
22. Allowed the State Department of offer same-sex benefits for employees.
23. After eight years of neglect, the Justice Department and EEOC are again enforcing employment discrimination laws.
25. Programs to assist Spanish speakers with the US Census.
26. Increased funding available for student loans.
27. Expanded the national youth service program.
28. Initiated a “Race to the Top” competitive federal grant program for states who develop innovative policies.
29. Proposed that the Pentagon repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy; placed a “freeze” on current efforts to remove alleged homosexuals from the military.
31. Ordered a review of hurricane and natural disaster preparedness.
32. FEMA once again reports directly to the president – Bush removed FEMA (prior to the Hurricane Katrina disaster) from this status.
33. Visited more countries and met with more world leaders than any president in his first six months in office.
34. Health insurance plans must cover birth control as preventive care for women, with no copays.
35. Reversed some of the Bush-era restrictions that prevented Medicare from negotiating with pharmaceutical firms for cheaper drugs, allowing government to again competitively bid.
36. Individuals living at or below the poverty line were eligible for healthcare under Medicaid, but by 2014 individuals/families living slightly above (making up to $14,404/$29,327) the poverty line will also be eligible for benefits.
37. Individuals/families making less than $43,320/$88,200 per year will qualify for government subsidies to help purchase health insurance.
38. Families can keep their children in college on their healthcare plans through age 26.
39. Childhood Obesity Act (spearheaded by Michelle Obama) – purposed to subsidize free meals in low-income areas to ensure that children receive well-balanced and nutritious school meals; and also to provide free or reduced-price meals to nearly 31 million low-income children; and ultimately reduce childhood obesity.
40. Obama proposes Jobs Bill to help put Americans back to work.
These are some of the items that our President are trying to accomplish or has accomplished to make life better for all.