Research

Obama’s Top 10 Broken Promises

In 2012, Remember That The Campaigner-In-Chief Has A Pattern Of Being Loose With Words And Short On Results

1.              Serious About Reducing The Deficit And Debt

2.              If You Like Your Plan, You Can Keep It

3.              The Stimulus Will Keep Unemployment Below 8 Percent

4.              Health Care Negotiations Will Be Televised

5.              Lobbyists “Won’t Find A Job In My White House”

6.              ObamaCare Will Reduce Premiums

7.              The Stimulus Will Create “Shovel-Ready Jobs”

8.              Housing Plan Will Save Millions From Foreclosure

9.              Stimulus Jobs Will Not Be Shipped Overseas

10.           Transparency

 

1.      SERIOUS ABOUT REDUCING THE DEFICIT AND DEBT

PROMISE: President Barack Obama Promised To Get Serious About Reducing Debt And Deficits. “We’ve got to spend some money now to pull us out of this recession. But as soon as we’re out of this recession, we’ve got to get serious about starting to live within our means, instead of leaving debt for our children and our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks At The Caterpillar Plant In East Peoria, Illinois, The White House, 2/12/09)

FACT: Since President Obama Took Office, The National Debt Has Increased By $3.5 Trillion. (Department Of The Treasury, “The Debt To The Penny And Who Holds It,” TreasuryDirect.gov, Accessed 3/9/11)

  • Currently, The Total Debt Of The US Government Is $14.2 Trillion Dollars. (Department Of The Treasury, “The Debt To The Penny And Who Holds It,” TreasuryDirect.gov, Accessed 3/9/11)

The Deficit This Year Is Slated To Reach A Historically High $1.65 Trillion. (Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Of The U.S. Government,  Office Of Management And Budget, 2/14/11)

Obama’s Proposed $3.73 Trillion FY2012 Budget Will Result In $46 Trillion In Spending Over Ten Years.  (Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Of The U.S. Government” Office Of Management And Budget, 2/14/11)

Obama’s FY2012 Budget Adds $13 Trillion In New Debt Through 2021. (Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Of The U.S. Government, Office Of Management And Budget, 2/14/11)

2.      IF YOU LIKE YOUR PLAN, YOU CAN KEEP IT

PROMISE: President Obama Promised That “If You Like Your Health Care Plan, You Will Be Able To Keep Your Health Care Plan. Period.” “For patients, he made a sweeping pledge that ‘no matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.’” (Mary Lu Carnevale, “Obama: ‘If You Like Your Doctor, You Can Keep Your Doctor’,” The Wall Street Journal’s  “Washington Wire” Blog, 6/15/09)

FACT: As Many As 69 Percent of Employees and 80 Percent of  Small Businesses Could Be Forced To Change Health Care Plans Under ObamaCare’s New Regulations. ”The administration estimated that by 2013, health plans covering as few as 39 percent and as many as 69 percent of employees could lose protected status. For small employers, the total could be as high as 80 percent; for large ones, it could reach 64 percent.” (David S. Hilzenrath And N.C. Aizenman, “New Health-Care Rules Could Add Costs, And Benefits, To Some Insurance Plans,” The Washington Post, 6/15/10)

  • “It’s Already Apparent, However, That Protecting The Current System Of Private Job-Based Insurance Was Not A Mission Of The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act, Promises About Keeping Your Plan Notwithstanding.” (Kate Pickert, “How Health Reform Will Impact Existing Plans,” Time, 6/24/10)

3.      THE STIMULUS WILL KEEP UNEMPLOYMENT BELOW 8 PERCENT

The Congressional Budget Office Now Says The Cost Of Obama’s Stimulus Is $821 Billion. “CBO now estimates that the total impact over the 2009–2019 period will amount to $821 billion.” (Congressional Budget Office, “Estimated Impact Of The American Recovery And Reinvestment Act On  Employment And Economic Output From October 2010 Through December 2010,” 2/11, p. 1)

PROMISE: President Obama’s Economic Advisors Christina Romer And Jared Bernstein Predicted Unemployment Would Not Rise Above 8 Percent If The Stimulus Was Passed. (Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein, “The Job Impact Of The American Recovery And Reinvestment Plan,” 1/9/09)

FACT: The Unemployment Rate Is 8.8 Percent And Has Remained Above 8 Percent For 26 Straight Months.  (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, Accessed 4/1/11)

4.     HEALTH CARE NEGOTIATIONS WILL BE TELEVISED 

PROMISE: President Obama Promised Eight Times To Hold Health Care Negotiations On C-SPAN. “Naked Emperor News complied [sic] video clips of eight instances of Obama promising to broadcast those negotiations on C-SPAN ‘so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents, and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies’, as he said during one speech. The President has reneged on that commitment by reportedly encouraging Congressional leaders to skip conference committee negotiations.” (Lachlan Markey, Op-Ed, “Gibbs Refuses To Address Question About Obama’s Broken C-SPAN Promises,” The Wall Street Journal, 1/8/10)

FACT: PolitiFact Rates This Promise Broken: “Obama promised — repeatedly — an end to closed-door negotiations and complete openness for the health care talks. But he hasn’t delivered. Instead of open talks of [sic] C-SPAN, we’ve gotten more of the same — talks behind closed doors at the White House and Congress. We might revisit this promise if there’s a dramatic change, but we see nothing to indicate anything has changed. We rate this Promise Broken.” (Angie Drobnic Holan, “Obama Said He’d Televise Health Reform Negotiations On C-SPAN,” PolitiFact, 7/10/09)

  • The Two Biggest Deals In ObamaCare Were Reached In Secret. “He’d describe how televised deliberations would take place around a big table, with seats filled by doctors, nurses, insurers and other interested parties. As president, he’d joke, he’d get the biggest chair. ‘Not negotiating behind closed doors, but bringing all parties together and broadcasting those negotiations on C-SPAN,’ Obama explained in a Democratic debate in Los Angeles in January 2008, in language similar to many of his campaign stops. However, the two biggest deals so far — industry agreements to cut drug and hospital costs — were reached in secret. ‘They were private, yes,’ said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., a key participant in the process.” (David Lightman and Margaret Talev, “Obama Campaign Vow Of Public Debate On Health Care Fading,” McClatchy, 7/9/09)

5.      LOBBYISTS “WON’T FIND A JOB IN MY WHITE HOUSE” 

PROMISE: Obama Promised That Lobbyists Would Not “Find A Job In [His] White House.” “President Obama promised during his campaign that lobbyists ‘won’t find a job in my White House.’ … Formalized in a recent presidential executive order, it forbids executive branch employees from working in an agency, or on a program, for which they have lobbied in the last two years.” (Kenneth P. Vogel & Mike Allen, “Obama Finds Room For Lobbyists,” Politico, 1/30/09) 

FACT: President Obama Has Granted Numerous Exceptions To His Lobbyist Ban. “Yet in the past few days, a number of exceptions have been granted, with the administration conceding at least two waivers and that a handful of other appointees will recuse themselves from dealing with matters on which they lobbied within the two-year window.” (Kenneth P. Vogel & Mike Allen, “Obama Finds Room For Lobbyists,” Politico, 1/30/09) 

Lobbyists Working In Obama’s White House

  • “Eric Holder, Attorney General Nominee, Was Registered To Lobby Until 2004 On Behalf Of Clients Including Global Crossing, A Bankrupt Telecommunications Firm.” (Kenneth P. Vogel & Mike Allen, “Obama Finds Room For Lobbyists,” Politico, 1/30/09) 
  • “Tom Vilsack, Secretary Of Agriculture Nominee, Was Registered To Lobby As Recently As Last Year On Behalf Of The National Education Association.” (Kenneth P. Vogel & Mike Allen, “Obama Finds Room For Lobbyists,” Politico, 1/30/09) 
  • “William Lynn, Deputy Defense Secretary Nominee, Was Registered To Lobby As Recently As Last Year For Defense Contractor Raytheon, Where He Was A Top Executive.” (Kenneth P. Vogel & Mike Allen, “Obama Finds Room For Lobbyists,” Politico, 1/30/09) 
  • “William Corr, Deputy Health And Human Services Secretary Nominee, Was Registered To Lobby Until Last Year For The Campaign For Tobacco-Free Kids, A Non-Profit That Pushes To Limit Tobacco Use.” (Kenneth P. Vogel & Mike Allen, “Obama Finds Room For Lobbyists,” Politico, 1/30/09) 
  • “David Hayes, Deputy Interior Secretary Nominee, Was Registered To Lobby Until 2006 For Clients, Including The Regional Utility San Diego Gas & Electric.” (Kenneth P. Vogel & Mike Allen, “Obama Finds Room For Lobbyists,” Politico, 1/30/09) 
  • “Mark Patterson, Chief Of Staff To Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Was Registered To Lobby As Recently As Last Year For Financial Giant Goldman Sachs.” (Kenneth P. Vogel & Mike Allen, “Obama Finds Room For Lobbyists,” Politico, 1/30/09) 
  • “Ron Klain, [Former] Chief Of Staff To Vice President Joe Biden, Was Registered To Lobby Until 2005 For Clients, Including The Coalition For Asbestos Resolution, U.S. Airways, Airborne Express And Drug-Maker Imclone.” (Kenneth P. Vogel & Mike Allen, “Obama Finds Room For Lobbyists,” Politico, 1/30/09) 
  • “Mona Sutphen, [Former] Deputy White House Chief Of Staff, Was Registered To Lobby For Clients, Including Angliss International In 2003.” (Kenneth P. Vogel & Mike Allen, “Obama Finds Room For Lobbyists,” Politico, 1/30/09) 
  • “Melody Barnes, Domestic Policy Council Director, Lobbied In 2003 And 2004 For Liberal Advocacy Groups, Including The American Civil Liberties Union, The Leadership Conference On Civil Rights, The American Constitution Society And The Center For Reproductive Rights.” (Kenneth P. Vogel & Mike Allen, “Obama Finds Room For Lobbyists,” Politico, 1/30/09) 
  • “Cecilia Munoz, White House Director Of Intergovernmental Affairs, Was A Lobbyist As Recently As Last Year For The National Council Of La Raza, A Hispanic Advocacy Group.” (Kenneth P. Vogel & Mike Allen, “Obama Finds Room For Lobbyists,” Politico, 1/30/09) 
  • “Patrick Gaspard, White House Political Affairs Director, Was A Lobbyist For The Service Employees International Union.” (Kenneth P. Vogel & Mike Allen, “Obama Finds Room For Lobbyists,” Politico, 1/30/09) 
  • “Michael Strautmanis, Chief Of Staff To The President’s Assistant For Intergovernmental Relations, Lobbied For The American Association Of Justice From 2001 Until 2005.” (Kenneth P. Vogel & Mike Allen, “Obama Finds Room For Lobbyists,” Politico, 1/30/09)

6.  OBAMACARE WILL REDUCE PREMIUMS 

PROMISE: Obama Promised That ObamaCare Would Reduce Premiums. Obama: “We agree on reforms that will finally reduce the costs of health care. Families will save on their premiums…” (President Barack Obama, “Remarks By The President After Meeting With Senate Democrats,” The White House, 12/15/09)

FACT: Insurance Companies Are Raising Rates Because Of The Requirements In ObamaCare, “Muddying The Democrats’ Contention That The Law Will Rein In Sharply Rising Premiums.” ”In recent weeks, insurance companies have started mailing consumers letters informing them of double-digit rate increases starting this month, partially attributing them to the mandates that begin Thursday. That is sowing confusion among consumers, and muddying the Democrats’ contention that the law will rein in sharply rising premiums.”  (Janet Adamy and Laura Meckler, “Obama To Tout Health-Care Law In Election Push,” The Wall Street Journal9/19/10)

Health Insurers Will Need To Increase Premiums As A Result Of ObamaCare. ”Health insurers say they plan to raise premiums for some Americans as a direct result of the health overhaul in coming weeks, complicating Democrats’ efforts to trumpet their signature achievement before the midterm elections. Aetna Inc., some BlueCross BlueShield plans and other smaller carriers have asked for premium increases of between 1% and 9% to pay for extra benefits required under the law, according to filings with state regulators.”  (Janet Adamy, “Health Insurers Plan Hikes,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/8/10)

7.     THE STIMULUS WILL CREATE “SHOVEL-READY JOBS” 

PROMISE: President-Elect Obama Was Confident That Shovel-Ready Infrastructure Projects Would Lead The Recovery And Create Jobs Immediately. OBAMA: “Now, here’s what I’m confident about, that our economic recovery plan, our 21st-century investments will create jobs immediately that would not otherwise be created. We’ve got shovel-ready projects all across the country that governors and mayors are pleading to fund. And the minute we can get those investments to the state level, jobs are going to be created.” (President-Elect Obama, “Remarks in Chicago Announcing Energy and Environment Team,” 12/15/08)

  • President-Elect Obama Predicted That He Could Create 2.5 Million Jobs By Investing In Shovel-Ready Infrastructure Projects. OBAMA: “And my economic team, which I’m going to be meeting with today, is helping to shape what is going to be a bold agenda to create 2.5 million new jobs, to start helping states and local governments with shovel-ready projects — rebuilding our roads, our bridges, making sure that schools like this one are energy efficient, putting people back to work, getting businesses to start seeing some increase in demand, so that we can get, instead of a downward spiral, start getting on an upward spiral.” (President Obama, “Remarks in Chicago Announcing the Nomination of Arne Duncan as Secretary of Education,” 12/16/08)

FACT: “[M]r. Obama Reflects On His Presidency, Admitting That He Let Himself Look Too Much Like ‘The Same Old Tax-And-Spend Democrat,’ Realized Too Late That ‘There’s No Such Thing As Shovel-Ready Projects…’” (Michael D. Shear, “President Obama Looks Forward – And Back,” The New York Times’  “The Caucus” Blog, 10/13/10)

8.     HOUSING PLAN WILL SAVE MILLIONS FROM FORECLOSURE

PROMISE: President Obama Promised That His Housing Program Would Prevent 7 to 9 Million Families From Foreclosure. “And we will pursue the housing plan I’m outlining today. And through this plan, we will help between 7 and 9 million families restructure or refinance their mortgages so they can afford—avoid foreclosure.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks On The Home Mortgage Industry In Mesa, Arizona, 2/18/09)

FACT: Only One In Four Of 2.7 Million Homeowners Seeking Assistance From Obama’s Mortgage Relief Plan Succeeded In Getting Their Payments Reduced. “Just one in four of the 2.7 million homeowners who sought to participate in the Obama administration’s signature mortgage assistance program have succeeded in getting their monthly payments reduced.” (Alan Zibel and Louise Radnofsky, “Only 1 In 4 Got Mortgage Relief,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/28/11)

  • Inspector General Neil Barofsky, Who Oversaw HAMP, Said That The Program “Continues To Fall Short Of Any Meaningful Standard Of Success.” “The program has faced sharp criticism. Neil Barofsky, the departing special inspector general overseeing the program, has faulted the administration for launching it with inadequate analysis and only partially developed guidelines. This led to delays and confusion, and the program ‘continues to fall short of any meaningful standard of success,’ he said a report released in January.” (Alan Zibel and Louise Radnofsky, “Only 1 In 4 Got Mortgage Relief,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/28/11)

9.      STIMULUS JOBS WILL NOT BE SHIPPED OVERSEAS 

PROMISE:  OBAMA: The Recovery Act “Will Create Good Jobs That Pay Well And Can’t Be Shipped Overseas.” (The White House, “Remarks By The President And The Vice President On The American Recovery And Reinvestment Act,” 4/13/09)

FACT: Stimulus Projects Created Thousands Of Jobs In China. “A Chinese company called A-power is helping to build a massive $1.5 billion wind farm in West Texas. The consortium behind the project expects to get $450 million in stimulus money.  Walt Hornaday, an American partner on the project, said it would create some American jobs. ‘Our estimation,’ he said, ‘is that we are going to have on the order of 300 construction jobs just within the fence of the project.’ But that’s in addition to 2,000 manufacturing jobs — many of them in China.” (Jonathan Karl, “New Wind Farms In The U.S. Do Not Bring Jobs,” ABC News, 2/9/10)

ABC News Report: Eight Out Of Every Ten Dollars Spent On Green Stimulus Projects Going To Foreign Firms, Sen. Schumer Admits It Is A Problem. (ABC News, “Green Stimulus Jobs Go To China,” 2/9/10)

  • Stimulus Funds Meant To Support The Renewable Energy Industry Flowed Overseas. “Money from the 2009 stimulus bill to help support the renewable energy industry continues to flow overseas, despite Congressional criticism and calls for change, according to a new analysis of the program by the Investigative Reporting Workshop.” (Russ Choma, “Renewable Energy Money Still Going Abroad, Despite Criticism From Congress,” Investigating Reporting Workshop/ABC’s World News Tonight/Watchdog Institute, 2/8/10)
  • The Department Of Energy “Acknowledged” That Up To 80 Percent Of Some Green Programs Went To Foreign Firms. ”The Department of Energy estimated that 82,000 jobs have been created and has acknowledged that as much as 80 percent of some green programs, including $2.3 billion of manufacturing tax credits, went to foreign firms that employed workers primarily in countries including China, South Korea and Spain, rather than in the United States.” (Patrice Hill, “‘Green’ Jobs No Longer Golden In Stimulus,” The Washington Times, 9/9/10)
  • President Obama Touted Green Jobs In Michigan By A Project That Gave Stimulus Money To A Korean Company. ”But the green economy looks like a lot of green for the well-connected. The president handed $150 million in stimulus money over to Korean CEO Peter Bahnsuk Kim of LG Chem. LG Chem is an $11 billion Korean conglomerate that hardly seems a candidate for the American Recovery Act. No wonder the program is so unpopular.” (Henry Payne, Op-Ed, “He Came, He Saw, He Insulted,” Detroit News7/16/10) 

10.           TRANSPARENCY

PROMISE: President Obama: “My Administration Is Committed To Creating An Unprecedented Level Of Openness In Government.” (President Barack Obama, “Memorandum For The Heads Of Executive Departments And Agencies: Transparency and Open Government,” Press Release, 1/21/09)

FACT: But The Administration Evades Their Own Transparency Rules By Meeting With Lobbyists Away From The White House. “Some lobbyists suspected they were being kept outside the gates for political, rather than logistical, reasons. ‘My understanding was they were holding the meeting there because it included several high-level business and trade association lobbyists,’ said a senior business lobbyist who attended the meeting. ‘This was an effort to not have to go through the security protocols at the White House which could lead to the visitor logs at some point being released to the public and embarrass the president.’” (Chris Frates, “Lobbyists: W.H. Hides Meetings Off-Site,” Politico2/24/11)

FACT: Freedom Of Information Act Requests Are Also Subjected To “Secretive Reviews” By The Obama Administration’s Political Advisors. “The Homeland Security Department official in charge of submitting sensitive government files to political advisers for secretive reviews before they could be released to citizens, journalists and watchdog groups complained in emails that the unusual scrutiny was ‘crazy’ and hoped someone outside the Obama administration would discover the practice, The Associated Press has learned.” (“Gov’t Emails: Political Reviews Over Requests For US Records ‘Meddling,’ ‘Crazy’ And ‘Bananas,’” The Associated Press3/28/11)