Proclaiming An End To The False Promises

- January 20, 2012

Three Years Later, Obama’s Soaring Rhetoric At His Inauguration Comes Back To Haunt Him As He Has Failed To Build The America He Promised 

Obama On Inauguration Day: On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics.” (President Barack Obama, Inaugural Address, Washington, D.C., 1/20/09)

Today: 52 Percent Of Americans Say Obama Has Accomplished “Not Much” Or “Little Or Nothing” As President. “Slightly more than half the respondents — 52 percent — say Obama has accomplished ‘not much’ or ‘little or nothing’ as president, while 47 percent offer a positive assessment of his record.” (Jon Cohen And Dan Balz, “Electorate Is Sharply Split Over Obama, Poll Finds,” The Washington Post, 1/18/12)


THEN: Obama: “Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age.” (President Barack Obama, Inaugural Address, Washington, D.C., 1/20/09)

NOW: Obama Has Been “All-Too-Willing To Avoid Making Tough Decisions.” “One of President Obama's political weaknesses in his first term has been that he's all-too-willing to avoid making tough decisions, hesitant to expend political capital for potential long-term gain.” (Josh Kraushaar, “Obama Trying To Have It Both Ways,” National Journal11/30/11)

  • Robert Shapiro, Top Clinton Economic Advisor: Obama’s First-Term Policies “Didn’t Deliver The Prosperity His Economic Team Promised.” “One reason the White House may not want to shift gears now is that doing so would ‘tacitly acknowledge that his first-term program didn’t deliver the prosperity his economic team promised,’ said Robert J. Shapiro, who was the top economic adviser to Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign.” (Karen Tumulty And Peter Wallsten, “Nervous Democrats Say President Obama Must Be Bolder On Economy,” The Washington Post, 8/10/11)

THEN: Obama: “Less measurable, but no less profound, is a sapping of confidence across our land; a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, that the next generation must lower its sights.” (President Barack Obama, Inaugural Address, Washington, D.C., 1/20/09)

NOW: 84 Percent Of Americans Say They Are “Not As Well Off” Or “About The Same” Financially Since Obama Became President. (Washington Post-ABC News Poll, 1,000 A,  MoE 3.5%, 1/12 – 15/12)

  • Only 15 Percent Of Americans Say They Are Better Off Since Obama Became President. (Washington Post-ABC News Poll, 1,000 A,  MoE 3.5%, 1/12 – 15/12)
  • And Obama Agrees. OBAMA: “Well I don’t think they are better off than they were four years ago. They’re not better off than they were before Lehman’s collapse, before the financial crisis, before this extraordinary recession that we’re going through.” (ABC News/Yahoo News’ Live Interview, 10/3/11)

Only 18 Percent Of Americans Are Satisfied With The Direction Of The Country, “With Lower Ratings Occurring Only In 1992, The Year George H.W. Bush Was Defeated.” “The current 18% satisfied at the start of January is among the lowest Gallup has found during a presidential re-election year, with lower ratings occurring only in 1992, the year George H.W. Bush was defeated.” (Lydia Saad “Obama Faces Challenging Re-Election Climate,” Gallup, 1/16/12)


PROMISE: Obama: “The state of our economy calls for action, bold and swift.  And we will act, not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth.  We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.” (President Barack Obama, Inaugural Address, Washington, D.C., 1/20/09)

REALITY: NBC’s David Gregory: “I Don't Think There's Been Complete Ownership By This Administration Over The Fact That They Did Some Big Things To Deal With A Financial Crisis And A Recession And The Economy Is Not In Better Shape.” GREGORY: “Well, it's very interesting, Mika, because the Vice President did spend a lot of that interview talking about how big the hole was when they came into office, how much president Bush was still to blame, and then he cycled back and said but you know, well, we're in charge, and therefore we're vulnerable. I don't think there's been complete ownership by this administration over the fact that they did some big things to deal with a financial crisis and a recession and the economy is not in better shape. I beg your pardon. It could have been worse, but the economy is now approaching another recession. Biden said, the president said, if they don't get a jobs bill through, the economy is at least sluggish and stagnant if not completely back to recession. So there's going to be some accountability for that because they did some big things …” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 10/7/11)

Since President Obama’s $825 Billion Stimulus Passed, The Nation Has Lost 1.1 Million Jobs. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/6/12)

Obama’s $825 Billion Stimulus Failed To Keep The Unemployment Rate Below The 8 Percent And Is Nowhere Close To The 6 Percent They Predicted It Would Be At By Now. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/6/12; Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein, “The Job Impact Of The American Recovery And Reinvestment Plan,”1/9/09; Congressional Budget Office, 5/25/11)

  • Instead, Since The Stimulus Was Passed, The Unemployment Rate Has Increased From 8.2 Percent To 8.5 Percent And Has Remained Above 8 Percent For A Post-WWII Record 35 Straight Months. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/6/12)
  • The Unemployment Rate Peaked At 10.1 Percent In October 2009. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/6/12)

PROMISE: Obama: “We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.” (President Barack Obama, Inaugural Address, Washington, D.C., 1/20/09)

REALITY: The Failure Of Obama’s Green Jobs Programs “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)

“The Obama Administration Has Managed The Nearly Impossible Feat Of Turning Energy Policy Into A Money Loser, Pouring Taxpayer Dollars Into Green-Energy Busts Like Solyndra.” (Editorial, “The Non-Green Job Boom,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/28/11)

The Washington Post: “You Can Call It Crony Capitalism Or Venture Socialism — But By Whatever Name, The Energy Department’s Loan Guarantee Program Privatizes Profits And Socializes Losses.” (Editorial, “The Energy Department’s Loan Guarantee Program Is The Real Solyndra Scandal,” The Washington Post,11/17/11)

Solyndra, Obama’s Poster-Child For “American Ingenuity And Dynamism,” Declared Bankruptcy. “The California-based Solyndra, which employed more than 1,000 people, declared bankruptcy earlier this month. President Obama visited the company in May of 2010, saying it was a prime example of ‘American ingenuity and dynamism.’” (Alexander Mooney, “White House Beats Back Claim It Pressured Loan To Now-Bankrupt Company.” CNN,9/14/11)

  • The Obama Administration Ignored Warnings That Solyndra Was “Not Ready For Prime Time.” “One e-mail, uncovered by the House Energy and Commerce Committee and reported by ABC News, is from a White House budget analyst warning then-Vice President Biden’s chief of staff, Ron Klain, that the 2009 Department of Energy loan was ‘not ready for prime time.’” (Alexander Mooney, “White House Beats Back Claim It Pressured Loan To Now-Bankrupt Company.” CNN, 9/14/11)
  • In February 2011, Obama’s Department Of Energy Made The Decision To “Waive Its Privilege As First Creditor” In Solyndra Loan. “That decision in February gave Solyndra a temporary reprieve and a chance to survive, but it also forced the government to waive its privilege as first creditor in the event of a bankruptcy — which then occurred at the end of August.” (Matthew L. Wald, “Questions Raised Over Letting Another Lender Help A Failing Solar Company,” The New York Times, 9/16/11)
  • And Allowed Taxpayers To Take A Backseat To Private Investors When It Came To Recouping Their Losses. “And as part of the deal, the Energy Department agreed that if the company went bust, private investors could recoup their losses before the government.” (Ronnie Greene And Matthew Mosk, “Obama Officials Sat In On Solyndra Meetings,” iWatch And ABC News9/9/11)

“The Leading Investors In Solyndra Were Two Investment Funds With Ties To George B. Kaiser, A Major Campaign Fundraising ‘Bundler’ For Obama.” (Carol D. Leonning And Joe Stephens, “Solyndra Employees: Company Suffered From Mismanagement, Heavy Spending,” The Washington Post,9/21/11)

  • George Kaiser's Argonaut Ventures Is The “Single Largest Shareholder Of Solyndra.” “Kaiser's Argonaut Ventures and its affiliates have been the single largest shareholder of Solyndra, according to SEC filings and other records. The company holds 39 percent of Solyndra's parent company, bankruptcy records filed Tuesday show.” (Ronnie Greene And Matthew Mosk, “Obama Officials Sat In On Solyndra Meetings,” iWatch And ABC News9/9/11)
  • George Kaiser Bundled Between $50,000 And $100,000 For Obama’s 2008 Campaign. (Center For Responsive Politics,, Accessed 9/9/11)

PROMISE: Obama: “We'll restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost.”  (President Barack Obama, Inaugural Address, Washington, D.C., 1/20/09)

REALITY: ObamaCare Is Actually Making Health Care “Less Affordable.” “At the moment, the new law is making health care slightly less affordable. Independent health care experts say the law has caused some insurance premiums to rise. As we wrote in October, the new law has caused about a 1 percent to 3 percent increase in health insurance premiums for employer-sponsored family plans because of requirements for increased benefits. Last year’s premium increases cast even more doubt on another promise the president has made — that the health care law would ‘lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family per year.’” (D’Angelo Gore, “Promises, Promises,” Fact, 1/4/12)

  • The Washington Post’s The Fact Checker: “Moreover, at this point it is debatable whether the law has made health care more affordable. Insurance premiums have gone up, in part because of new benefits mandated by the law.” (Glenn Kessler, “The Fine Print In Obama’s ‘Promises Kept’ Ad,” The Washington Post’s The Fact Checker, 1/6/12) ObamaCare “Falls Short Of Making Health Care ‘Affordable And Available To Every Single American,’ As Promised.” “Furthermore, the law falls short of making health care ‘affordable and available to every single American,’ as promised. The law provides subsidies to help some Americans buy insurance, expands Medicaid and doesn’t allow insurance companies to exclude persons with preexisting conditions. But still, the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected 23 million persons will remain uninsured — some because they can’t afford coverage.” (D’Angelo Gore, “Promises, Promises,” Fact, 1/4/12)

  • The White House Ad Promising Medicare “Benefits Will Remain The Same” Is False. “Currently, about 1 in every 4 Medicare beneficiary is enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. For many of them, the words in this ad ring hollow, and the promise that ‘benefits will remain the same’ is just as fictional as the town of Mayberry was when Griffith played the local sheriff.” (Brooks Jackson, “Mayberry Misleads On Medicare,”, 7/31/10)

PROMISE: Obama: “And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.” (President Barack Obama, Inaugural Address, Washington, D.C., 1/20/09)

REALITY: Politifact: “Instead Of Open Talks Of C-SPAN, We've Gotten More Of The Same.” “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 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)
  • Obama Cut A Deal With PhRMA To Boost Their Profits, And Cut A Deal With The Drug Industry To Oppose Drug Reimportation In Exchange For Supporting ObamaCare. “Earlier this year, the administration struck a deal with PhRMA and the Senate Finance Committee limiting the industry's hit to $80 billion over ten years. The deal has never been officially confirmed, but the Huffington Post reported at the time that the White House agreed to oppose re-importation. The Senate Finance Committee bill, as well as the merged bill sent to the floor by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), stuck to that deal. Along with its pledge of support, PhRMA offered to spend $150 million on ads backing reform. Most of that money stands ready to be used to kill reform, should it come to that.” (Ryan Grim, “Pharma Deal Shuts Down Senate Health Care Debate,” The Huffington Post12/11/09)

“Candidate Obama Had Offered A Vision Of A President Who Could Persuade Lawmakers To Put Aside Partisanship And Deliver Solutions To The Country’s Biggest Problems. It Didn’t Turn Out That Way.” (Julianna Goldman, “Obama’s Anthem Of Change Pivots To Call For Patience On Economy,”Bloomberg, 11/1/11)

Obama Has Censored Emails About His Open Government Directive. “The Obama administration censored 194 pages of internal e-mails about its Open Government Directive that the AP requested more than one year ago. The December 2009 directive requires every agency to take immediate, specific steps to open their operations up to the public.” (“Promises, Promises: Little Transparency Progress,” The Associated Press3/14/11)

  • Including E-Mails That Say How The Administration Will Respond To The Press About The Transparency Directive. “But the White House Office of Management and Budget blacked-out entire pages of some e-mails between federal employees discussing how to apply the new openness rules, and it blacked-out one e-mail discussing how to respond to AP's request for information about the transparency directive.” (“Promises, Promises: Little Transparency Progress,” The Associated Press3/14/11)

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