USA Today, a politically neutral national newspaper, concludes that America has benefited from President Obama's leadership.
Regarding health care, the paper noted that 3.6 million additional Americans already have gained medical insurance -- mostly young adults allowed to remain on their parents' policies -- and a total of 30 million will get coverage by 2014 when the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented.
Republican threats to revoke all or part of this humanitarian advance are "no way to address the health insurance mess," the newspaper said. " ... ObamaCare is already having a significant impact. Better to let it take effect and fix any problems, than to repeal it and replace it with a mythical alternative."
Amen. Other modern democracies consider health care a human right, and created national plans covering every citizen. We hope America likewise will someday adopt a universal, single-payer, complete, national system -- but at least the Affordable Care Act was a historic stride toward that goal.
Regarding the much-condemned "bailout" after the U.S. economy plunged to the brink of collapse -- a rescue launched by former President Bush in 2008 and continued by Obama -- USA Today said the Troubled Asset Relief Program has been a success.
"With the government's sale last week of $20.5 billion of stock in troubled insurance giant AIG, the much-maligned TARP is inching closer to the break-even point. When the remaining equity holdings are sold, a modest profit from TARP is now almost certain. Put simply, the bailouts worked."
The rescue saved Chrysler and General Motors from doom, the paper said. "Had the carmakers imploded, the costs of guaranteeing pensions and paying jobless benefits would have been enormous."
President Obama inherited a nightmare when he took office -- an economic crisis that was destroying 750,000 jobs per month and sending millions of homes into foreclosure. He has struggled valiantly to cope with the worst slump since the Great Depression. Meanwhile, Republicans controlling the House of Representatives sought to block every White House reform.
The latest GOP mantra is: Are you better off than you were four years ago? Well, four years ago, America was plunging into disaster. The nation certainly is better off after this period of Democratic leadership.
The venomous 2012 presidential campaign is nearly over. Although West Virginia probably will vote Republican a fourth consecutive time, we hope the rest of America gives President Obama a chance to continue his efforts to bolster the middle class and average families.