Chapter 31 Outline

Challenges of the 21st Century
2000-Present

I. Intro

A. Political Polarization

  1. Elections of the early 21st century revealed a nation closely divided
  2. Traditional, religious, and limited or anti-government rural areas and many suburban areas went REPUBLICAN.
  3. More diverse large urban centers and internationally minded coasts voted democrat

B. Domestic policies of the George W. Bush Administration

  1. Republican Tax Cut – Congress passed a $1.35 Trillion dollar tax, a bull lowered top tax bracket, gradually eliminated estate taxes, increased child tax credit and limits for IRA.
  2. Education and Health reform – President Bush championed the bipartisan “No child left behind Act”
  3. Economic bubbles and corruption – technology boom of 1990’s peaked in 2000, stock market crashed, unemployment rate climbed, people living in poverty increased.

C. The war on terrorism

  1. Roots of terrorism – US was faulted by many in the Arab world
  2. Early terrorist attacts – truck bombing of the World Trade Center – September 11, 2001
  3. The war in Afghanistan – Pres. Bush wanted Osama Bin Laden and other Al-Quaeda leaders “dead or alive”
  4. Homeland security – After 9/11 attacks, most americans were willing to accept background checks and airport checkers
  5. George W. Bush Foreign Policy – President bush worked with european nations to expand the european union and NATO, supported admission of China to the World Trade Organization and brokered conflicts between India and Pakistan
  6. Iraq war-
    Pres bush, in 2002 state of the union address, singled out Iraq, North Korea, and the iran as the “axis of evil”
  7. Operation Iraqi Freedom – In early 2003, Pres. Bush declared that Iraq had not complied with numerous U.N. Resolutions and that “the game was over”

D. Elections of 2004 and a Bush second term

  1. Four more years – reconstruction of Iraq had made some headway by 2005, when the Iraqis held their first election, created a national assembly, and selected a prime minister and cabinet ministries, but the violence continued
  2. Washington Politics – Pres. Bush pushed congress w/o success to privatize Social Security
  3. The great recession – the housing boom of 2002-2007 was fuel by subprime and fraudulent mortgage lending and runway real estate speculation
  4. The election of 2008

II. Domestic Policy During the Obama Presidency

A. The Transition

  1. Rapidly growing economic crisis dominated the transition between pres bush and obama
  2. Congress approved TARP funding

B. Presidential Initiatives

  1. Obama signed a number of executive orders to overturn actions of the Bush Administration

C. Economic Stimulus

  1. The “great” recession started in late 2007
  2. Stock market lost half of its value and unemployment peaked

D. Healthcare

  1. The U.S. “fee for service” medical system was most expensive and it promoted innovation but left people seeking for emergency rooms

E. Environment and climate change

  1. Energy Sources

F. Education

K-12 Education
(Race to the top)

G. Budget Deficits

  1. Recession devreased federal tax income receipts and increased federal spending to avoid depression

H. The Tea Party

  1. Opposition to growing national debt and to “obamacare” coalesced in a loosely united conservative and libertarian movement

I. Elections and money

  1. Citizens united v. Federal Election Commission
  2. “Legal Persons”
  3. New money

J. Election of 2012

  1. Election dominated by issues related to the great recession, the affordable care act, illegal immigration,