The Obama-Biden victory Tuesday night makes it more likely that the major reforms anticipated by passage of stiffer financial regulation and broader access to higher education will be implemented. It’s also likely that Republican plans for providing a defined benefit for eligible Medicare recipients to buy private insurance will go nowhere.
In several respects, the president is expected to continue domestic policies of his first term, including health care reform. The Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010, for example, takes four years to be fully implemented.
Obama signed the Dodd-Frank financial regulations aimed at preventing another economic crisis; these will now stay in effect rather than be repealed, as the Romney-Ryan ticket proposed. Obama also signed the Credit CARD Act in 2009 that lets consumers know how long it would take to pay off credit card debt.
Still, Obama was willing to roll back some financial regulations this year in the JOBS Act, and a second Obama administration, like the first, is unlikely to want to upset Wall Street.
Obama has said he would not continue to extend Bush-era tax cuts to those making more than $250,000 a year, and that will be a major point of contention in the immediate aftermath of Tuesday’s vote. Less clear has been whether he will propose continuing the payroll tax cut that expires at the end of the year. Medicare taxes on upper incomes, called for in the health care law, will proceed.
Obama has angered a significant element of his base, teachers’ union members, by supporting charter schools and pay-for-performance, which are likely to be extended in a new four-year term.
In energy production, Obama is now free to offend some environmentalists and go forward with plans to build the Keystone XL pipeline from Canadian tar sands to Texas oil refineries.
President Barack Obama’s re-election on Tuesday gives him a pathway to pursue an economic agenda that he has argued will put Americans back to work.
The plan, which the president has been touting for months, includes a combination of tax cuts and incentives for businesses as well as investments /in public schools and infrastructure.
One of the cornerstones of the proposal is taxes.
The president has promised to lower individual and corporate tax rates while raising taxes on Americans who make more than $200,000 per year.
To make sure the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share, Obama wants to implement the so-called “Buffett Rule.” Named after billionaire investor Warren Buffet, the proposal would require families making more than $1 million a year to pay a federal income tax of at least 30 percent.
Obama has proposed a 10 percent tax credit for small businesses that hire new workers or increase wages. He has said he will end tax deductions for companies that ship jobs overseas and use the savings to create a new 20 percent tax credit on expenses incurred to move an overseas business back to the United States.
In addition, Obama has suggested allowing companies to immediately write off the costs of new plants and equipment. He has offered a number of proposals to assist Americans looking for jobs, such as requiring states to come up with more rigorous re-employment services for the long-term unemployed.
To deal with the federal deficit, Obama has proposed $4 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade. Defense spending and other programs would be slashed, he has said, but Medicare and Medicaid would be preserved.
The president’s plan also calls for modernizing at least 35,000 public schools across the country and pumping money into roads, rail, airports and other infrastructure projects.
Barack Obama went to Cairo in June of 2009 and spoke of “a new beginning” and “mutual respect” in U.S. relations with Middle East countries. Two years later, the world experienced the Arab Spring.
Obama doesn’t claim to have sparked it off but his administration’s behind-the-scenes actions helped fell longtime tyrants. Nonetheless, Obama now is under fire by dissidents in Syria and elsewhere for doing little to back up his rhetoric with action.
A second Obama administration can be expected to continue to encourage democratization and an end to ethnic strife around the world with a projection of an Obama Doctrine that combines a sober assessment of a changing world and America’s restraint in seeking to shape its future.
But he’ll likely do it with a new secretary of state, with Hillary Clinton expected to step down.
Obama will continue the phased withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and continue to confront Iran over its nuclear weapons capability. He’ll also have to calm the nuclear-powered Pakistan-India rift and deal with North Korea’s missiles.
Relations with Israel will remain close and unquestioned even as Obama continues to have disagreements with right-wing Likud Party leader and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.