Research

Obama’s Failed Scranton Promises

The Campaigner In Chief Makes Another Swing State Visit To Sell His Failed Policies To Pennsylvanians Familiar With His Broken Promises

“President Obama will speak at Scranton High School on Wednesday to make a pitch for Congress to extend a Social Security payroll tax cut, the White House said Sunday.” (Jonathan Ruskind, “President Will Visit Scranton,” The Times Leader [Wilkes-Barre, PA], 11/28/11)

OBAMA PROMISED SCRANTON THAT CLEAN ENERGY WOULD REVIVE THE ECONOMY, BUT HIS PROGRAM HAS FAILED TO CREATE JOBS AND JUST “GETS MORE EMBARASSING”

Obama’s Promise To Scranton In 2008: Clean Energy Will “Lower Gas Prices And Create Millions Of Jobs.” “Q: If there was only one thing you could accomplish to improve the economy, what would it be? OBAMA: It would be to invest in clean energy, to lower demand and lower gas prices and create millions of jobs in clean and renewable energies like wind and solar and biodiesel. I think that would make a huge improvement — long term.”  (Borys Krawczeniuk, “Exclusive: Interview With Barack Obama,” The Times-Tribune, 4/21/08)

  • Failed Promise: Obama’s Failure To Create Green Jobs “Gets More Embarrassing By The Day.” “The green jobs subsidy story gets more embarrassing by the day. Three years ago President Obama promised that by the end of the decade America would have five million green jobs, but so far some $90 billion in government spending has delivered very few.” (Editorial, “Green Jobs Brown Out,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/11/11)

Obama’s “Dismal” Green Jobs Record Has Not Seen The “Millions” Of Jobs He Promised

“Federal And State Efforts To Stimulate Creation Of Green Jobs Have Largely Failed, Government Records Show.” “A study released in July by the non-partisan Brookings Institution found clean-technology jobs accounted for just 2 percent of employment nationwide and only slightly more — 2.2 percent — in Silicon Valley. Rather than adding jobs, the study found, the sector actually lost 492 positions from 2003 to 2010 in the South Bay, where the unemployment rate in June was 10.5 percent. Federal and state efforts to stimulate creation of green jobs have largely failed, government records show.” (Aarom Glantz, “Number Of Green Jobs Fails To Live Up To Promises,” The New York Times, 8/18/11)

  • Obama’s $38 Billion Green Energy Stimulus Program Only Has A Few Thousand Jobs To Show For It. “A $38.6 billion loan guarantee program that the Obama administration promised would create or save 65,000 jobs has created just a few thousand jobs two years after it began, government records show. The program — designed to jump-start the nation’s clean technology industry by giving energy companies access to low-cost, government-backed loans — has directly created 3,545 new, permanent jobs after giving out almost half the allocated amount, according to Energy Department tallies.” (Carol D. Leonnig and Steven Mufson, “Obama Green-Tech Program That Backed Solyndra Struggles To Create Jobs,” The Washington Post, 9/14/11)

“The Jobs Record Is Even More Dismal When You Consider That Many Of The Jobs Classified As Green Aren’t Even New Jobs, Much Less Green.” “The jobs record is even more dismal when you consider that many of the jobs classified as green aren’t even new jobs, much less green, according to a report from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. They include positions that have been ‘relabeled as green jobs by the BLS [Bureau of Labor Statistics].’” (Editorial, “Green Jobs Brown Out,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/11/11)

  • The Cost Of Each Green Job Is $157,000. “This means that bus drivers, Environmental Protection Agency regulators, university professors teaching ecology, and even the Washington lobbyists who secure energy loan guarantees count as green employees for the purposes of government counting. The Oversight Committee finds that even a charitable assessment of the Labor program puts the cost of each green job at $157,000.” (Editorial, “Green Jobs Brown Out,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/11/11)

OBAMA PROMISED SCRANTON HE WOULD “STABILIZE THE HOUSING MARKET,” BUT THE INDUSTRY IS SLATED TO HAVE THE “WEAKEST YEAR ON RECORD”

Obama’s Promise To Scranton In 2008: I Will Have A Plan To “Stabilize The Housing Market” “A: But I have to say short term, our most urgent need is stabilizing our housing market. And so we’re going to have to put together a plan like the one I proposed to get borrowers and lenders to work together to set up fixed interest rate mortgages, stabilize the housing market. That will in turn stabilize the financial market and get credit going again so we can pull out of this recession as quickly as possible.” (Borys Krawczeniuk, “Exclusive: Interview With Barack Obama,” The Times-Tribune, 4/21/08)

  • Another Failed Promise: “The Alphabet Soup Of Housing Assistance Programs To Date — HAMP, HARP, EHLP, 2MP — Have Been Too Poorly Administered And Too Limited In Scope And Eligibility To Slow Or Halt The Slide In The U.S. Housing Market.” “Only 2 percent of President Obama’s speech to Congress on Sept. 8 dealt with the plight of underwater homeowners, but those 72 words could do as much or more for the flagging U.S. economy as the entire $447 billion jobs bill. Especially if the White House is willing to think big. That’s a big if, given that the alphabet soup of housing assistance programs to date — HAMP, HARP, EHLP, 2MP — have been too poorly administered and too limited in scope and eligibility to slow or halt the slide in the U.S. housing market.” (Eric Wieffering, “Fixing economy Requires More Work On Housing,” Star Tribune, 9/17/11)

Obama’s Housing Programs Have Helped Only A Small Portion Of Struggling Homeowners

“Builders Sold Fewer New Houses In The U.S. Than Forecast In October, Delaying A Recovery As The Industry Heads For The Weakest Year On Record.” (Bob Willis, “Fewer New Homes Purchased Than Forecast,” Bloomberg, 11/28/11)

Only 900,000 Homeowners Have Been Helped By HARP, Which Was Estimated To Assist Between 3 And 4 Million. “The program was estimated to help between 3 million and 4 million homeowners, but lenders are not required to participate, and fewer than 900,000 homeowners had benefited from HARP through August, FHFA said this week.” (Mike Lillis, “House Democrats Hammer New Obama Mortgage Crisis Response As Insufficient,” The Hill, 10/24/11)

  • James Parrott, WH Economic Advisor: HARP “Hasn’t Worked.” “Regulators are revamping a program rolled out two years ago, the Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP, which lets borrowers with less than 20% in equity refinance if their loans are backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. President Obama announced HARP roughly one month into his presidency. So far, only 894,000 borrowers have used it, of which just 70,000 are significantly underwater. ‘It hasn’t worked,’ said James Parrott, a White House economic adviser, in a speech last month.” (Nick Timiraos, “Home Lending Revamp Planned,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/24/11)

 “To Date, Administration Programs Have Permanently Reduced The Debt Of Just One Tenth Of 1 Percent Of Underwater Borrowers.” “But in reality, the programs were off-balance. Although advisers intended to address the debt problem, they set up programs in ways that were likely to limit their success — for example, asking banks to reduce debts without offering much taxpayer money to help cover the cost. To date, administration programs have permanently reduced the debt of just one tenth of 1 percent of underwater borrowers.” (Zachary A. Goldfarb, “Obama’s Efforts To Aid Homeowners, Boost Housing Market Fall Far Short Of Goals,” The Washington Post, 10/23/11)

  • In The End, The Obama Administration Is Only Expected To Spend $13 Billion On Its Housing Programs Yet “At Least 5 Million More Foreclosures Are Estimated In Coming Years.”  “All told, estimates indicate that when all current programs have run their course, the administration will have spent a total of about $13 billion on housing programs. Still, at least 5 million more foreclosures are estimated in coming years — and perhaps many more. This summer at the White House, Obama offered a rare acknowledgment that his response to the housing crisis had fallen short.” (Zachary A. Goldfarb, “Obama’s Efforts To Aid Homeowners, Boost Housing Market Fall Far Short Of Goals,” The Washington Post, 10/23/11)

OBAMA PROMISED SCRANTON AN END TO “THE USUAL POLITICAL GAMES,” BUT HAS SHOWN HE IS MORE CONCERNED WITH POLITICS THAN LEADERSHIP

Obama’s Promise To Scranton In 2008: I Will Be “A President Who Is Not Playing The Usual Political Games.” “A: I don’t try and demonize my opponents and I try to solve problems and I think that on a lot of these big issues like health care and energy, housing we can arrive at some sensible compromises that are good for the American people. But it requires a president who is not playing the usual political games.” (Borys Krawczeniuk, “Exclusive: Interview With Barack Obama,” The Times-Tribune, 4/21/08)

  • Yet Another Failed Promise: “Forget Hope And Change,” Obama’s Campaign Is Based On “Fear And Loathing.” “Forget hope and change. President Obama’s reelection campaign is going to be based on fear and loathing: fear of what a Republican takeover would mean, and loathing of whomever the Republican nominee turns out to be. Of course the Obama campaign will attempt to present the affirmative case for his reelection, citing legislative achievements, foreign policy successes and the current flurry of executive actions. But his strategists have clearly concluded that selling the president will not be enough, and the contours of the ugly months ahead are becoming increasingly apparent.” (Ruth Marcus, “Campaign 2012: Welcome To The Slugfest,” The Washington Post, 11/2/11)

Obama’s Tone Has Become Increasingly Partisan

Obama’s “Reelection Effort Will Be More Sharply Partisan In Tone Than The Idealistic-Sounding Campaign That Brought Him To Power.” “President Obama’s latest attacks on Republicans are another sign that his reelection effort will be more sharply partisan in tone than the idealistic-sounding campaign that brought him to power.” (Paul West, “Obama Campaign Gears Up To Pull In New Voters,” Los Angeles Times, 9/30/11)

  • “And As Much As Obama Presented Himself As Above The Regular Partisan Fray During The 2008 Campaign, He Was Not Averse To Taking The Lower Road When It Appeared The Advisable Route.” (Ruth Marcus, “Campaign 2012: Welcome To The Slugfest,” The Washington Post, 11/2/11)

“A Year Before He Faces The Voters, President Barack Obama Isn’t Waiting For The Republicans To Pick Their Candidate Before He Starts Campaigning.” (Steven Thomma, “Obama Camp Expects A Close – But Successful- Re-Election,” McClatchy Newspapers, 11/7/11)

  • Obama’s White House Team Lives In The “Permanent Campaign.” WOODWARD: “But the political staff is — you know, it’s the permanent campaign.” (CNN’s “Larry King Live,” 10/3/10)

And On The Super Committee And His Jobs Act, Obama Chose Political Games Instead Of Leadership

Rather Than Working With The Super Committee, Obama Believed The Greater Political Benefit Came From Campaigning For His New Stimulus. “And with the economic recovery at risk and Democrats pressing for help, Mr. Obama sees greater economic and political benefit in emphasizing his $447 billion job-creation plan rather than longer-range deficit reduction. And that is precisely what he has been doing all over the country since September, after giving the committee his own proposals for $3 trillion in tax increases and spending cuts to reduce projected deficits over 10 years.” (Jackie Calmes, “Panel Is At Impasse, But Obama Sees No Reason To Step In,” The New York Times, 11/9/11)

  • The White House Chose Not To “Tarnish” Its Image By Getting Involved. “Several aides said the White House believes the super committee is likely to fail to produce a package that shaves at least $1.2 trillion from the deficit. Therefore, it may not be worth their time and could tarnish the president because the GOP would try to pin any failure on him, these aides said.” (Steven T. Dennis and Meredith Shiner, “White House Stays Out Of Deficit Panel,” Roll Call, 11/2/11)

Obama Promised To Take His Jobs Plan “To Every Corner Of The Country,” But Only Took It To Swing States. “In unveiling his jobs plan to Congress last month, Obama pledged to sell it ‘to every corner of the country.’ But the president has focused on swing states, including stops at universities in North Carolina and Virginia; a high school and interstate bridge in Ohio; a high school in Colorado and two fundraising events in Missouri. He’s also scheduled to appear in Michigan, North Carolina and Virginia over the next two weeks. Obama carried each of these states except Missouri in 2008, and he lost the Show Me State by just 4,000 votes to John McCain.” (David Nakamura, “Obama Resumes Jobs Tour With Eye On 2012 Battleground,” The Washington Post10/11/11)

Obama Used His Jobs Bill As A “Political Weapon Rather Than As A Means Of Fixing The Nation’s Economic Woes And Putting Americans Back To Work.” “It underscored Obama’s dilemma as he travels the country seeking to isolate Republicans to take the blame if his jobs bill doesn’t pass — without a clear strategy for ensuring it does. The approach puts the Obama administration at risk of appearing to use the president’s $447 billion jobs bill as a political weapon rather than as a means of fixing the nation’s economic woes and putting Americans back to work. And it relies heavily on the assumption that the public won’t also hold Obama accountable if he can’t get Congress to act.” (Julie Pace, “Obama Knocks GOP Leader, Says GOP Blocks Jobs Vote,” The Associated Press, 10/4/11)