Dylan Roberts: Overlooked achievements of 100 days

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While the first 100 days is a ceremonial milestone that dates back to the famed first months of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, there is a reason President Barack Obama's and every recent presidents' first days in office are judged with scrutiny. Every president knows that the best chance to make advances with his governing agenda is immediately after he takes office. After that, politics takes center stage with the upcoming congressional races, and then over the horizon the campaign to re-elect the sitting president.

April 29 marked the 100th day in office for Obama. Our new president took office in the most trying of times in modern history. I do not need to explain the difficult circumstances. The political debate has been contentious, and I am sure many of you reading this column have vastly different opinions than I do when it comes to the highly publicized and major actions of Obama.

Contentious debate continues on the economic stimulus bill, the financial industry bailouts, the monumental proposed budget that seems headed for passage that includes health care, education, and energy reform, the new policies concerning Iraq and Afghanistan, and much more.

Beyond these major issues, there are many achievements that have occurred in the first 100 days of this administration that may be overlooked. Yet these actions are incredibly important for our country and deserve praise from both sides of the political spectrum.

These triumphs have received bipartisan praise and show that the Obama administration is committed to following through on major campaign pledges. They deserve recognition because their actions will truly affect people's lives in the immediate future and deserve respect and separation from partisan bickering:

- The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act: Obama signed the act into law just nine days after he was inaugurated. The law ensures a woman's right to file a lawsuit if she finds discrimination in her compensation compared to a man of equal position. This was a bill that most likely would not have been signed by a Republican president. The act is a major step in closing pay discrimination in our country and will protect tens of thousands of women from unfairness.

- Kennedy Serve America Act: In the spirit of President John F. Kennedy and his brother, Sen. Robert Kennedy, Obama signed this act that expands the AmeriCorps work force from 75,000 to 250,000 by 2017. Obama has inspired a call for community service across the nation and now provides the outlet for citizens to give back to their communities. The words "what can you do for your country" have never been more important, and now, possible.

- Children's Health Insurance Program Amendment: In early February, Obama signed a bill amending the Social Security Act to extend comprehensive health care coverage to more than four million children who previously were uninsured. Although the number covered is small, it makes a dent in the enormous amount of young children in this country who should have health care, no matter their circumstances. The policy puts us on the path to future health care legislation that will improve the lives of millions and millions of Americans.

- Executive Order on Stem Cell Policy: In March, Obama signed an executive order that lifted the ban on stem cell research imposed by President Bush. Twice during his presidency, Bush vetoed bills that would have authorized the research. Now, research is moving forward thanks to Obama's commitment to science. Stem cell research soon will lead to help for people with diabetes, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and spinal-chord injuries. Along with most Americans, Obama realizes we are now in the 21st century and should take advantage of the technology that is available. This research will affect the lives of millions and surely many people you know yourself.

Obama has a bold agenda. He promised change during his historic campaign. Whether change has arrived will be debated every single day. However, beyond the stories that dominate the front page, it is important to look beyond the headlines and realize that Obama already has signed laws that our country deserves. Amid all the 100-day chatter and the debate that will continue concerning Obama's strategy to save the economy and revitalize our country, remember to look back at some major achievements that are positive for all Americans, regardless of party or ideology.

Roberts was Barack Obama's field organizer for Northwest Colorado in the presidential campaign. He is a sophomore at Boston College pursuing a degree in political science and environmental studies. Roberts went to high school in Steamboat and ski raced for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.

Comments

norton 5 years, 7 months ago

Thank you for removing Mr. Duckels comment. A democratic society requires intelligent, rational discussion. I'm sure he professes to believe in democracy and yet threats against another person, direct or indirect, are harmful to that process.

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Fred Duckels 5 years, 7 months ago

Let me phrase this another way, Dylan. if you were my kid I would disaprove of your political views. But at the same time, I appriciate your participation. This was not threatning, but using humor to poke fun at my own partisanship. Norton. you need a nap.

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oldskoolstmbt 5 years, 7 months ago

fred, if, "if's" and "but's" were candy and nuts, we would all have a better christmas:)...(dylan is NOT your kid so...).....when poking fun at one's own expense...use yourself.....oh, and fred. you need a vacation, away from stmbt pilot blog spots....

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upstream 5 years, 7 months ago

Dylan- as always, thank you for sharing your intelligent, thought provoking insights. Keep up the good work.

(Boy, I sure am glad I'M NOT cranky Duckels kid...what a crank)

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stillinsteamboat 5 years, 7 months ago

Dylan, "If you were my kid" I'd be the proudest parent on the block. How many of us walk the walk as Dylan has. Fred, how could you belittle a young person so passionate about his country that he takes a leave from college to help run a campaign? We should all take a lesson from Dylan. Some of us just babble on this blog. Dylan actually did something. Fred, put up or shut up.

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LynneD 5 years, 7 months ago

Thank you for your thought provoking and intelligent comments Dylan!

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ybul 5 years, 7 months ago

Dylan,

 I would suggest that while in college you look into the writings of Fredrick Batiste and Ludwig von Mises.  Wish they had been part of my curriculum.

Excluding the fair pay for all which is just the right thing to do and stem cell research for which I can not responsibly state my opinion online as I will offend some bush supporter I am sure.

The others acts are essentially taking from some to give to others.

But ponder upon health care, or sick care as it should rightly be called. Most illness' is the result of stress, poor nutrition, or toxins in the environment.

Stress is a tough one, though children should not have much.

Poor nutrition is being facilitated by government intervention into grain subsidies which have strip mined our fields of nutrients while shifting our diets towards corn. When one looks at the nutritional values of our food it has declined by nearly 50% in the last 100 years.

Then those pesky toxins; diesel exhaust which creates asthma in children, mercury which makes it so some waterways should not be fished, birth control pills which end up in our waterways, leading to, in Boulder Creek, a higher percentage of fish being born as female or dual gendered fish than upstream by a mile.

Those toxins are regulated by the EPA allowing the maximum emissions possible, while at the same time taxing the general population as a whole. Through increased health care costs, poor performance in school from mercury poisoning, etc..

So while these wonderful things Obama is bringing the nation simply are treating symptoms of problems. Poor Health and expensive health care costs, which could be better addressed in a free market by placing a cost of emitting those toxins for the greater population to enjoy.

Volunteerism, should be taken on by all able body people. Lending a helping hand is always a good thing, but does not need governmental assistance to get the job done. If one were to rate the government on how much money for any given program actually ends up in assistance, I would never give a dime to the government as they only return about 25% of what they receive, the rest is taken up in overhead. Many charities have far better records than that.

Anyway, I would suggest that you ponder upon the 1.8 trillion dollar deficit that will occur this year. It has nothing to do with who is in charge or was. It has to do with wether or not the United States will become a banana republic or not. Wether you will be able to pull yourself up by your boot straps and get ahead in life or wether the government will decide what is good for you.

I suggest you read Von Mises lectures on freedom. They are very thought provoking and as an economist by education, I am disappointed my education lacked any of his views as an economist from Austria in the early 1900's fleeing in the 30's.

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