Washington Post: Obama's Agenda Misfiring on All Cylinders

Monday, 28 Jul 2014 07:16 PM

By Cathy Burke

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President Barack Obama declared 2014 a "year of action," but it's been anything but, with his lofty State of the Union goals to fix everything from immigration to the tax code either having failed, getting mixed results or pending.

Updating the president's agenda for entrepreneurs, employers and the economy, The Washington Post reported Monday that many of Obama's goals have largely been a bust.

For example, tax reform is "going nowhere fast," The Post reported, noting that former Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus has stepped down to become ambassador to China, and lawmakers are split on just how to go about tax code reform.

As for immigration reform, the president's concerted push came to a screeching halt in June, with Republicans sharply critical of the administration's enforcement of current laws.

Raising the minimum wage has been left to states and cities, including Seattle, to take action, The Post reported.

"Odds remain low that Congress will take action any time soon on the federal wage minimum, which has stood at $7.25 an hour since 2009," The Post reported.

Obama's goal to invest in the nation's infrastructure is still awaiting expected approval of money for the depleted Department of Transportation's Highway Trust Fund, though his push for free trade agreements with Europe and in the Asia-Pacific Region is inching closer, The Post noted.

But the charter for the federal Export-Import Bank, which provides low-cost financing to foreign buyers of U.S. goods, is due to expire and reauthorization is in doubt.

Also, patent reform, another big Obama goal, went on and off the table of the Senate Judiciary Committee, while a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee bill may run out of time with an August recess and midterm elections looming, The Post reported.

In addition, Obama's goal to kickstart manufacturing —  and jobs —  is more wish than reality, Reuters reported in March.

In what may be the most disappointing failure is the president's commitment "to making Washington work better and rebuilding the trust of the people who sent us here."

Not only are the president's and Congress's approval ratings low, but a survey by the National Small Business Association shows just 7 percent of employers think their congressmen are effective, and just 4 percent approve of the current political system.

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