The Obama Election Promise Checklist
What Change Can We Really Believe In?
Keep Track of President Obama's Promises He Made During His Campaign 2008:
Over the years of the Obama presidency, it may become progressively difficult to keep track of the promises Mr. Obama made during his 2008 campaign. Since the Obama Web pages are subject to change without prior notice, we took the liberty to download some of the campaign documents and keep them for safe storage. Furthermore, we listed some of the key campaign promises. This way, interested voters can keep track of Mr. Obama's progress in keeping his election promises.
The table contains a list of selected promises with a focus on economics, each of them marked with one of these symbols:
|Pending promise. Not yet kept.|
|High probability of a failure to keep promise.|
|Failed to keep promise.|
This page was last updated: 04-06-2010 with the following changes:
|Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050||1||It will be interesting to observe the economic consequences, particularly in light of continuously declining consensus on anthropogenic climate change.|
|Invest $150 billion over next 10 years into private enterprises developing clean energy sources||1||A long-term goal that will be hard to assess unless Obama goes for a 10-year presidency|
|... and in the process create 5 million jobs||1||Although the investment value of government stimulus is debatable, it is clear from the current unemployment rate that Obama's Keynesian policies failed to create any jobs, let alone sustainable green jobs. In fact, the Obama Administration seems to be taken by surprise, too.|
|Put one million plug-in hybrid cars on the road by 2015||1|
|Ensure 10% of our electricity comes from renewable energy sources by 2012||1|
|Impose windfall profit tax on oil companies||1||Obama failed to keep this promise even before he took office. All the better for the economy as taxes lead deeper into a recession, not out of it.|
|... and, from that revenue, provide an immediate $500 relief to individuals and $1000 to married couples||1||We assumed that immediate means: within the first 100 days. As of May 2009, these 100 days have passed, and we have to consider this promise failed.|
|Regulate energy speculation||1|
|Provide US automakers with $4 billion in tax credits and loans to build fuel efficient cars in the US||1|
|Mandate all new vehicles to be Flexible Fuel or Biofuel Vehicles||1|
|Develop and deploy clean coal technology||1|
|Develop safe and secure nuclear technology||1|
|Reduce federal energy consumption by 15% by 2015||1|
|Cut taxes for 95% of workers and families and (quote:) "no family making less than $250,000 will see their taxes increase."||2|| We did not consider the new tobaccto tax (see
WSJ commentary, local copy
and Breitbart commentary, local copy) a real tax hike, because
smoking is a voluntary act. However, in 2010 taxes really went up.
See details in the Wall Street Journal article
The New Year Brings Tax Chaos (local copy).
Here are a few examples
how your taxes will go up: Alternative Minimum Tax, expiration of homebuyer
tax credit, expiration of the federal tax deduction for college tuition,
expiration of research tax credit and write-off for small businesses for capital purchases.
Note that many small businesses are family businesses, so these tax increases hit
individuals. In fact these tax increases hit tax filers who are school teachers,
construction workers and bus drivers. Although the media does not publicize these
tax hikes in an election year, Mr. Obama has completely failed to keep this promise.
And the consequence?
...and, we might continue, there are now millions of businesses who rather wait than employ.
Lastly, we need to consider ObamaCare as a source of massive tax increases. See here. The "Cadillac plan tax" alone affects many unionized lower-income families. This is a tax increase.
|Provide a $500 tax cut for workers and $1000 for working couples||1, 2|
|Pay a refundable $4,000 American Opportunity Tax Credit for college||2|
|Provide a Universal 10% mortgage interest tax credit||2|
|Eliminate Income Taxes for seniors making less than $50,000||2|
|Introduce health care tax credits||2|
|Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit||2|
|Increase benefits for child care||2|
|Simplify the tax system||2|
|Eliminate capital gains taxes on entrepreneurs and investors in small businesses||2||See this article (local copy)|
|Cut corporate tax rates for companies creating jobs in US||2|
|Offer a small business health care tax credit||2|
|Make the R&D tax credit permanent||2||The research tax credit has been suspended as of January 01, 2010. See details in the Wall Street Journal article The New Year Brings Tax Chaos (local copy). Mr. Obama failed to keep this promise.|
|Make international tax havens less accessible||2|
|Broaden the corporate tax base and eliminate special preferences||2|
|Generally increase income taxes from the 2008 tax brackets of 33% and 35% to 36% and 39.6%, respectively, by letting the Bush tax cuts expire||2|
|Increase capital gains tax to 20% for families making more than $250,000||2|
This part does not look good. Massive spending that is not offset by cuts elsewhere; spending that has poor promise of stimulating the economy or creating jobs, all of this in a package that contains massive amounts of pork-barrel projects (see links below). The consequences of this poor fiscal discipline are likely to be:
|Reinstate pay-as-you-go budgeting rules (i.e., new spending has to be offset with other spending cuts)||3||Is there any indication that the stimulus spending would be offset by spending cuts in other places?|
|Cut pork barrel spending||3|| See related articles
(local copies here,
A picture emerges in which the Obama administration packs a so-called stimulus package with pork-barrel liberal pet projects. Mr. Obama cleanly failed this promise.
|Make government spending more accountable and efficient||3||We have put this item on watch for some time, but with 7 percent of government funds lost to fraud and abuse, government spending cannot be called accountable, nor efficient. To quote: Devaney said data has shown that about 7 percent of all government funds are lost to fraud and abuse. If that holds up for the $787 billion Recovery Act, more than $55 billion would be wasted. "We just can't allow that to happen," said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, the committee's ranking member. "That's just an unacceptable percentage." Honestly, this does not come as a surprise.|
|Health care: Lower health care costs by $2,500 for a typical family||4||After ramming ObamaCare through Congress and signing it into law, costs for the average family will increase in a number of ways. Unfortunately, Obama did not lower health care costs for a typical family, but rather raise health care costs. Read this article to find out how.|
|Internet: Protect the openness of the Internet by defending network neturality||5||Obama is about to default on this promise, too. The The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled against the government concept of net neutrality. See also Wall Street Journal article and commentary. Note that the failure to keep this promise is probably good for us. After all, the Internet is maintained and expanded by private companies. If the government over-regulates (as it is wont to do), companies wil invest less, and the Internet development will slow down.|
| Second Amendment: protect the constitutional right of Americans |
to keep and bear arms ("He will protect the right of hunters and
other law-abiding Americans to purchase, transport, own, and use guns"
|Troop withdrawal from Iraq: Phased withdrawal of 1-2 brigades per month leading to full withdrawal by Summer of 2010.||7||It is now 2011, and the administration promises troop withdrawal by the end of the year (see this article in the Wall Street Journal, (local copy)). Summer 2010 (promise) to end of 2011 is a significant delay, and we need to consider this promise broken.|