From credit cards to student loans, don't forget Obama's small victories
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Hours from now, the American people will be forced to say goodbye to the 44th president of the United States, Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBiden, Eastland and rejecting the cult of civility Biden lays out immigration priorities, rips Trump for 'assault on dignity' Democrats not keen to reignite Jerusalem embassy fight MORE. To some, Obama was a role model, an icon and a model president. To others, he was un-American, a poor leader and even a socialist.

But no matter what you thought, the facts don't lie: They show that he was an extremely effective president for the economy, for social inclusion and for improving the lives of many more Americans than you think.

What the president lacked was the innate ability to celebrate his wins, rally in victory and pat himself on the back for the small things. Truth be told, if he did that a little bit more, we might be saying "hello" to a President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden, Eastland and rejecting the cult of civility Inslee unveils plan to fight fossil fuel pollution Biden lays out immigration priorities, rips Trump for 'assault on dignity' MORE on Friday.

This will likely be the last piece I write during the Obama administration. In celebration of Obama's legacy, I thought I would remind America of a handful of Obama's small victories.

Thank you, Mr. President, for serving our nation with order, distinction and class. We are grateful for your audacity to believe that America could do the impossible. And thank you for pushing us to see that there is more that unites us than divides us.

Introduced income-based student loan repayment

As millennials now occupy the largest bloc of American voters, student loan policy has been pushed to a headline issue over the last year. With the mayhem of the recent presidential elections, many Americans have forgotten the strides that Obama made throughout his presidency to lighten the load of those struggling with student loans.

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Beginning in 2009, President Obama introduced an income-based loan repayment system, which allowed former students to cap their loan payments at 15 percent of their discretionary income. This was a huge step toward creating a truly fair student loan repayment system that works for all former students.

 

Since 2009, Obama has used executive actions and presidential memorandums to further these efforts, lowering the cap percentage to 10 percent while also creating new services aimed at helping to educate and prepare students on loan repayment policies.

Cracked down on bad practices by for-profit colleges

In another education-centered issue, Obama has also worked tirelessly to crack down on foul play by bad for-profit colleges. Working with the Department of Education, the Obama administration has taken many effective steps toward ending shady business practices by for-profit colleges across the country.

For years, these schools have knowingly recruited students who are unlikely to be able to pay for college, nor pay off their federal loans. With business models focused on appeasing shareholders, for-profit schools have been allowed to mislead millions of students and reap the benefits of their foul play.

Thankfully, Obama took notice of this activity and has since fought to pass legislation such as the gainful employment rule that looks to ensure that graduates of these schools will make enough money out of college to repay their depts.

Additionally, the administration has forced many colleges to forgive billions of dollars in loans to hundreds of thousands of students who have been defrauded by their universities.

Killed the F-22

When it comes to government spending, Republicans love to think that Obama has greatly increased federal program spending, racking up our nation's debt.

But when looking at the facts, that is just not true. Throughout Obama's eight years in office, our country only saw about a 3 percent increase in government spending, a far lower percentage than any other president in recent history.

The president even went as far as to cut back on military spending by canceling orders for the F-22, a twin-engine fighter aircraft that costs about $358 million apiece. Manufactured by Lockheed Martin, the aircraft has never been flown in a single combat mission, but the U.S. has still purchased over 150 of the planes.

This is a very little-known accomplishment of Obama, but has been estimated to have already saved about $4 billion in government spending.

Increased national service

By signing the Serve America Act of 2009, Obama nearly tripled the size of AmeriCorps. Experiencing a 13 percent increase, the program grew to 85,000 members across the country as of 2012.

AmeriCorps is an extremely important civil society program that directly works with local communities to help them meet their respective goals and provide critical needs to community members. Multiple studies and scholarly reports have found that the work of the program has strengthened civic attitudes and sentiment, making members more likely to choose careers in public service.

Unfortunately, since Obama's last achievements for AmeriCorps, House GOP officials have significantly cut funding for the program.

Instituted Credit Card Bill of Rights

One of the least-appreciated and acknowledged accomplishments of Obama's time in office is the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act (the CARD Act). Also known as the Credit Card Bill of Rights, tackled a long-overdue objective of cracking down on deceptive practices by credit card companies.

Signed into law in 2009, the CARD Act marked a major turning point for American consumers, providing protection against unreasonable fees and penalties, putting a stop to hidden over-the-limit fees, while also ensuring that consumers receive their bills on the same day every month.

Whether or not you think this legislation effects your day-to-day life and finances, I assure you it does.

Served eight years without scandal

Last but not least, I feel it is important to note that Obama managed to avoid scandal throughout his eight years in office — a feat that is more impressive than many may think.

It is absolutely an undervalued accomplishment of Obama's presidency.

Richard A. Fowler is the host of the nationally syndicated radio program "The Richard Fowler Show," which can also be viewed on YouTube as an affiliate of The Young Turks network. He is also a Fox News contributor and a senior fellow for the New Leaders Council. Follow him on Twitter @RichardAFowler.


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