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Expectations of the Presidency: Overload or Overachieving?

PresidentialSeal The American voters have very high expectations for The President of the United States of America. They expect him to protect their homes from domestic and foreign invaders, lead the executive branch and provide guidance for the legislative branch, provide funds to promote job creation and economic growth, and to provide funds for those who can’t (or won’t) provide for themselves. This a lot for one man and his staff to juggle. Before you judge the disappointing presidents before Obama, remember what they had to deal with and ask yourself. Are our expectations of the president just according to the office he holds?

Ever since 9/11, our defense budget has increased by 114 percent. Our armed forcesRIMPAC 00 have bases that hold an area greater than that of D.C., Massachusetts, and New Jersey combined. That is a lot to manage. Not only do American citizens, but the world expects  America to be the first to respond to a crisis. So far during that time period, we have.  We have spent countless hours in Iraq and Afghanistan trying to create an environment in the Middle East that is hostile toward Terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda. We spend an enormous amount of money to maintain this force to protect not only our shores but also those of other nations.

The president also  is the head of both the Executive branch (naturally) and the Legislative branch. He is expected to carry out all the President Obama Delivers State Of The Union Addresstasks in an Executive Branch that covers: the military, foreign relations, economic matters, public safety, and relief.  He is responsible with the task of maintaining the largest military the world has seen. This branch also has the task of not using that military with maintaining exceptional international relations. It also deals with domestic matters. It bears the blame or reward of the economy the branch produces. It is also responsible for relief. With Super-storm Sandy, states have been pleading for extensive relief packages. Obama has an extra duty to asses as well. With Newtown he is taking on a greater role of public safety as well. The president is also expected to be a leader in congress. He negotiates and bargains to get the bills he supports passed. He provides helpful suggestions for Congress to consider or approve.  Apart from the Judicial Branch, the president has to manage almost the entire government.

The American people have also put the responsibility of the economy on the presidency. He is now responsible for jobs as well as the GDP. If you look at previous presidents before the Great Depression, all policies were hands off. Now after the horrors of the Great Depression, Government is supposed to consistently have their hands on the economy. With this consistent hands-on policy, the presidency takes whatever blame comes its way for a poor stretch.  With this policy, not only does the government take the blame for a poor stretch, they take the fall for unemployment, falls in stock prices, and lowered GDP. If you look at the last two elections, much of the heated debate was about addressing the problem of unemployment, the low GDP, and the lowest stock market since the Great Depression. It seems odd, that it were the corporations: who packed up and moved factories to China, who let go workers, and who diminished manufacturing presence in America, go away without a scratch. Yet all fingers point to the oval office.

 With the poor times that this country has faced in the past 5 years, our Government has been forced to take on a major role in entitlement programs. Since 2000, entitlement spending by the federal government equally matched the tax revenue. This means that the President has to supervise Federal programs that is 18.25% of the GDP. This involves Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and Welfare programs. Each of which has more that tripled since 1993. These programs have now become an essential part in debates and presidential satisfactory ratings. People have lost faith in businesses to create jobs, they now rely on the Federal Government. They have forgotten that businesses are the force that create jobs. They have asked the government to create jobs. Yet it is only until now that we have asked it to be run like one.

Are these tasks we have put upon the president a just call for fixing the flaws in society, or are we putting too much power and too much responsibility on one man? In the revolutionary period, we were dead scared of a king. One man who had absolute power and authority. Flash forward 233 years later and we have a man we is responsible for maintaining peace over the entire globe, supervising not only one branch of government but also having an ever stronger influence in congress, bearing the burden of mitigating a recovering economy, and being the shoulder to constantly lean on in times of need. Are we asking too much of the president? Are the requests that we make just compared to the powers this office has? Does the executive branch have too much power? These are the questions we need to ask ourselves in 2016. We don’t need to ask where my paycheck is, or will my children be able to go to school. We need to ask ourselves are we putting the best man in office that will create an environment that is best for the America of tomorrow.

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