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« Will Barack Obama Stop Talk Radio? | Main | A 2008 Thanksgiving »

It’s Coming Down the Pike

President-elect Barack Obama did not sweep into office without an agenda. Many of his critics claimed he had no substance to his speeches. They said his campaign rhetoric consisted of empty platitudes, vague references to ideas and an alarming lack of specificity about his programs. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reason his speeches may have been meandering and somewhat fatuous was because he could not possibly cover everything he wanted to change in one, five or ten speeches. His campaign website, however, provided anyone who was interested enough to look with a mind-boggling array of plans, programs and initiatives that he promised to advance when he became president. (Courtesy of R. G. Combs, of Although it is now too late to make a difference in the vote, we can now at least educate ourselves—or in some cases brace ourselves—to know what’s coming down the pike.

End the war in Iraq.
Will implement tax form simplification to reduce filing time.
Provide tax credit for all middle class homeowners.
Provide a tax cut for all families making less than $250,000 a year.
Amend NAFTA to protect American workers and strengthen environmental protections.
Provide Flex Ed training accounts for workers.
Extend Trade Adjustment assistance to service workers.
Pass the Patriot Employer Act of 2007 that gives tax credits to large companies that keep workers here in America.
Double funds for basic federal research.
Implement a long term research and development tax credit.
Invest in green technologies.
Reduce carbon emission gases.
Tackle the challenges of global warming.
Create an energy focused youth jobs program.
Create Federal Renewable Portfolio Standard.
Extend the Production Tax Credit.
Expand Broadband into every community.
Keep the Internet tax free.
Expand high speed internet access in rural areas.
Fight for passage of Employee Free Choice Act.
Ensure freedom to unionize.
Would overturn “Kentucky River” classifications of Bush’s NLRB
Protect rights of striking workers.
Increase the mininum wage to index it to inflation.
Crack down on predatory lenders.
Provide a universal mortgage tax credit for homeowners who don’t itemize.
Sign the Stop Fraud Act to prevent lending fraud.
Mandate accurate loan disclosure.
Create a fund to protect people from foreclosures.
Close the bankruptcy loophole for mortgage companies.
Establish a credit card rating to improve disclosure.
Ban unilateral credit card charges.
Apply interest rate only to future debt.
Prohibit credit card interest on fees.
Prohibit Universal defaults.
Require prompt and fair crediting of cardholder payments.
Protect working people from unfair bankruptcy laws.
Ban executive bonuses for bankruptcy companies.
Require disclosure of pension investments.
Cap outlandish interest rates on payday loans.
Implement legislation to drive unscrupulous lenders out of business
Create a bankruptcy exemption for people that went broke because of medical bills.
Double funding for after school programs.
Extend Family and Medical Leave Act.
Encourage states to adopt Paid leave.
Expand the Child Care Tax Credit
Support ratification of UN Convention Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Support independent, community based living for people with disabilities.
Expand educational opportunites for people with disabilities.
Expand job opportunities for people with disabilities.
Strengthen civil rights enforcement.
Sign into law the Fair Pay Act.
Sign law reversing recent SCOTUS rulings that permitted discrimination against women.
Sign law reversing recent SCOTUS rulings that permitted discrimination against racial minorities.
Strengthen federal hate crimes legislation.
Eliminate the sentence disparities regarding crack cocaine.
Establish drug courts for first time, non violent offenders.
Create a prison to work incentive for those transitioning back into society.
Prohibit the practice of racial profiling.
Support reauthorizing the Voting Rights Act.
Oppose all discriminatory barriers to voting.
Help reform death penalty system to protect innocent people on death row.
Ban cluster bombs.
Provide high quality affordable child care to families.
Quadruple Early Head Start funding.
Increase Head Start funding.
Create early learning challenge grants.
Abolish overly rigid teach to the test curriculum in schools.
Improve accountability in public schools.
Invest in intervention strategies to reduce dropout rates in schools.
Increase funding for after school programs.
Support Step Up program to increase summer learning opportunities.
Support English language learner programs.
Expand college outreach programs.
Create teacher service scholarships.
Require all public schools to be accredited.
Create teacher residency programs.
Create the American Opportunity Tax Credit for higher education.
Streamline financial aid application.
Increase Pell Grant to $5,100.
Reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050.
Confront deforestation.
Promote carbon sequestration.
Accelerate commercialization of plug in hybrids.
Promote development of commercial scale renewable energy.
Invest in low emission coal plants.
Transition to new electric digit grid.
Double science funding for clean energy products.
Create Green Jobs Corps.
Invest in programs to help manufacturers make transition to green products.
Create clean technologies venture capital fund.
Deploy cellulosic ethanol.
Expand locally owned biofuel refineries.
Increase renewable fuel standards.
Establish national low carbon fuel standard.
Increase fuel economy standards.
Invest in solar energy.
Invest in wind energy.
Establish a centralized database to track lobbyist activities.
Appoint an independent watchdog group to oversee congressional ethic violations.
Sunshine on legislation proposal.
End abuse of no bid contracts.
Release presidential records in a more timely fashion.
Prevent political appointees from working as lobbyists within two years after employment has ended.
Reform the political appointment process.
Sign ethics legislation that he proposed as a Senator with Russ Feingold.
Allow regular people to track federal grants.
Take leadership in the global fight against AIDS.
Provide tax cuts to small businesses.
Provide income tax cuts for all senior citizens making $50,000 a year or less.
Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Protect workers from caregiver discrimination.
Increase mentoring programs for beginner teachers.
Provide universal health care for all Americans within 4 years.
Combat fraudulent subprime loans.
Expand Nurse Family Partnership.
Provide automatic workplace pensions for workers.
Expand savings credit for retirement accounts.
Reinstate pay as you go budget rules.
Repeal Bush tax cuts for top 1% which led to lower middle class standard of living.
Slash earmarks to pre 2001 levels.
Abolish obsolete wasteful government programs.
Oppose raising the minimum debt.
Wipe out Al Qaeda wherever they may be.
Support diplomacy with Iran to protect America’s interests.
Work to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Re-strengthen NATO.
Reduce nuclear arsenals around the globe.
Support securing loose nuke arsenals from the former Soviet Union and elsewhere.
Strengthen Non Nuclear Proliferation Treaty.
Expand size of Army by 65,000.
Expand size of Marines by 27,000.
Provide our troops with new equipment and the tools they need.
Provide National Service troops with adequate leave time.
Will insulate the Director of National Intelligence from partisan politics.
Guarantee that health care can never be denied because of a pre-existing condition.
Introduce a health care plan similar to the one members of Congress have and give all Americans access to this plan.
Simplify the paperwork in health care costs.
Make premiums and co pays affordable.
Require mandatory coverage of all children for health care.
Expand SCHIP.
Expand Medicaid.
Reduce costs of catastrophic illnesses for employers and employees.
Support disease management programs.
Require hospitals and providers to have full transparency over costs.
Promote patient safety by requiring providers to report medical errors.
Establish an independent institute to guide reviews and research on comparative effectiveness in health care.
Strengthen anti trust laws to prevent insurance companies from gouging medical providers.
Lower medical costs through electronic health information systems.
Increase competition in prescription drug markets.
Advance biomedical research field.
Improve mental health care coverage.
Reduce mercury deposits to help prevent miscarriages.
Increase funding for autism research.
Support Healthy Kids Act.
Suport reauthorization of SCHIP.
Establish guidelines to monitor fuels from nuclear power plants.
Protect chemical plants from possible terrorist attacks.
Introduced legislation to upgrade monitoring of water supplies.
Introduced legislation to protect localities from radioactive leaks.
Create secure borders with additional personnel and infrastructure.
Remove incentives for people to enter this country illegally.
Crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants.
Invest in transitional jobs.
Improve transportation access to jobs.
Fully fund community block grants.
Create an affordable housing trust fund.
Establish a program called 20 Promise Neighborhoods.
Invest in rural areas, especially small businesses, schools, and doctors.
Implement a payment limitation program to help small farmers.
Protect family farms from anti-competitive monopolies.
Implement tough fines for CAFO violations.
Establish country of origin labeling for all products.
Support regional food systems.
Encourage organic farming.
Provide tax credits for young farmers.
Increase capital for small farmers.
Modify FCC so all rural residents have access to modern communications.
Upgrade rural infrastructure.
Reverse two billion dollars of agriculture cuts under Bush.
Support Emergency Farm Relief Act.
Combat the scourge of methamphetamines.
Expand Americorps.
Double the Peace corps in eight years.
Expand Service learning in all our schools.
Offer an opportunity tax credit for college students in exchange for 100 hours of community service.
Promote college work study programs with public service.
Expand on the Youth Build program.
Create a Social Investment Fund Network.
Create a non profit entrepreneur agency.
Protect Social Security.
Reform corporate bankruptcy laws.
Strengthen laws protecting against age discrimination in the workplace.
Ensure heating assistance for senior citizens.
Protect the openness of the Internet.
Encourage diversity in media ownership.
Protect children from Internet predators with strict law enforcement.
Support transition of the internet into the digital world.
Preserve artistic expression.
Keep inappropriate advertising away from programs for children.
Enhance safety standards for toys imported into this country.
Protect the right of privacy of every law abiding American.
Update surveillance laws under the rule of law.
Support higher salaries for teachers.
Work with the FTC to cut down on cyber crimes.
Eliminate teach to the test curriculum and restore true learning to the classroom.
Open up government to citizens by providing transparency.
Provide all our schools with broadband technology.
Modernize public safety networks.
Make the research and development tax credit permanent.
Protect intellectual property at home and abroad.
Reform the patent system to encourage innovation.
Allow all veterans back into the VA.
Strengthen VA care for all veterans.
Fight veterans’ employment discrimination.
Fix the benefits bureaucracy to help veterans.
Expand vet centers across the country.
Slash red tape to help wounded soldiers at Walter Reed.
Direct the VA and Pentagon to fix its veterans record systems.
Rebuild the roads and bridges that need to be rebuilt.
End the genocide in Darfur.
Restore habeas corpus to America.
Reject torture.
Close down Gitmo.
Pledge to obey the Constitution of the United States.
Fully implement and enforce the Equal Pay Act.
End tax breaks for US companies sending jobs overseas.
Reinstate 1.15 billion to the COPS program to reduce crime.
Keep drinking age at 21.
Support grants to local educational agencies.
Protect ANWR.
Protect the Great Lakes from polluters.
Favor labor and trade standards with trade with China.
Oppose CAFTA which hurts American workers.
Give the District of Columbia its proper vote in Congress.
Expand enrollment period for Medicare Part D.
Repeal the discriminatory don’t ask don’t tell policy.
Provide first responders with the health care and equipment they need.
Implement the 9/11 commission recommendations.
Restore money to ports and first responders.
Establish a Guest Worker program.
Increase the minimum wage.
Appoint judges who will respect different points of view.

Oppose repeal of the estate tax that only applies to 1% of the wealthiest of estates.
Support the first amendment freedom of religion clauses and establishment clauses.
Require public companies to give shareholders an annual nonbinding vote on executive compensation.
Protect our schools by opposing voucher schemes.
Support Biofuels Security Act.
Close corporate tax loopholes.
Address global warming as a real problem.
Support civil unions for LGBT couples.

This is one of the most ambitious proposal slates ever brought to Capitol Hill. Of course, no president gets everything he wants. It is surprising, however, how much a lame duck president can do, even with minority support in both houses of congress. With the president and the legislative branch of government all of the same party, the chances are overwhelmingly favorable to President Obama that much of his agenda will pass, some of it without objection.

There isn’t much in this agenda that warms a conservative heart. Several broad themes put forth in these proposals are especially problematic to those of us who favor limited government, economic strength and a strong military. These themes focus on “Green” legislation, universal health care, higher taxes, a much greater spending on government entitlement programs, and unlimited support for social liberalism. The economic crash of 2008 may force a scale back of these proposals, but changes that do not have a direct fiscal impact will probably get done. That includes appointment of judges, drafting of liberal legislation on social issues and diplomatic initiatives involving our military and overseas trade.

The biggest test of this agenda’s viability will come in 2010 when elections come up for the house and senate. Will the country react negatively to the spate of changes in the first two years of an Obama presidency? Will they vote out the democratic majority and reinstate a more conservative GOP? Or will the immense popularity of this new president carry him and his programs over the top to 2012 and beyond? It would seem to me that the decisions and actions of the next twenty-four months hold the future for the nation. Regardless of the direction it takes, people of conviction need to stand firmly and resolutely for righteous causes. The things coming down the pike may be more than political and legislative changes. Depression, restricted freedom and even persecution may hit us as well. Stay alert.

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Reader Comments (2)

Fantastic site / Will definitely come back again.

May 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteritalaedurride

I can understand the desire for a "strong military", as an American, but it seems to me to fly in the face of "resist not evil" and "do good to them that persecute you." I don't see how Christians still support killing in the age of grace. I thought that God would take care of any necessary judgement himself at the appointed time, nes pa?

Jesus demonstrated his teachings of non-resistance rather dramatically, and he instructed his followers to do the same. This is hard to do when you're shooting someone on a battlefield, or controlling a drone that is killing people, many of them innocent of any wrong at all and that our nation admits are "collateral damage."

I believe our country has the biggest heart, and we are the fairest in how we deploy our military and use our force; from a secular standpoint, I can honestly say I'd rather be at the mercy of the United States military than other; at least, we do really go through great efforts to minimize loss of life, and great effort to target only the "bad guys."

However, this is not what Jesus called his followers to; he didn't say, "Come with me, and I'll make you killers of men", but rather "fishers of men." There is simply no room for Christ-ians to be actively supporting the killing of any human life.

October 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTim Garcia

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