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Then And Now: Mile High, Still Just An Inch Deep

- August 25, 2011

Obama Accepted His Nomination With Mile-High Rhetoric Nearly Three Years Ago In Denver, But Has Since Delivered Mile-High Debt, Deficits, And Unemployment

THEN:  OBAMA:  “And That's To Be Expected, Because If You Don't Have Any Fresh Ideas, Then You Use Stale Tactics To Scare Voters.  If You Don't Have A Record To Run On, Then You Paint Your Opponent As Someone People Should Run From. You Make A Big Election About Small Things.”(Sen. Barack Obama, Acceptance Speech Remarks At The Democratic National Convention, Denver, CO, 8/28/08)

NOW:  With Americans Disapproving Of His Job Performance And Believing The Nation Is On The Wrong Track, Obama Is “Resigned To Running For Re-Election In A Glum Nation.” “Obama remains personally popular, but pluralities in recent polling disapprove of his handling of his job and Americans fear the country is on the wrong track. His aides are increasingly resigned to running for re-election in a glum nation.” (Ben Smith And Jonathan Martin, “Obama Plan: Destroy Romney,” Politico8/9/11)

  • “And So The Candidate Who Ran On ‘Hope’ In 2008 Has Little Choice Four Years Later But To Run A Slashing, Personal Campaign Aimed At Disqualifying His Likeliest Opponent.” (Ben Smith And Jonathan Martin, “Obama Plan: Destroy Romney,” Politico8/9/11)

THEN:  OBAMA:  “But What I Will Not Do Is Suggest That The Senator Takes His Positions For Political Purposes, Because One Of The Things That We Have To Change In Our Politics Is The Idea That People Cannot Disagree Without Challenging Each Other's Character And Each Other's Patriotism.”(Sen. Barack Obama, Acceptance Speech Remarks At The Democratic National Convention, Denver, CO, 8/28/08)

NOW:  OBAMA: “The Only Thing Preventing Us From Passing These Bills Is The Refusal By Some In Congress To Put Country Ahead Of Party.”  (Devin Dwyer, “Obama:  Jobs Bill Stalled In Congress By Party Before Country Mentality,” ABC News’ Political Punch,” 8/20/11)

THEN:  OBAMA:  “Now, Many Of These Plans Will Cost Money, Which Is Why I've Laid Out How I'll Pay For Every Dime: By Closing Corporate Loopholes And Tax Havens That Don't Help America Grow.” (Sen. Barack Obama, Acceptance Speech Remarks At The Democratic National Convention, Denver, CO, 8/28/08)

NOW:  Since Obama Took Office, The National Debt Has Increased By $4 Trillion. (Department Of The Treasury, “Debt To The Penny And Who Holds It,” TreasuryDirect.gov, Accessed 8/23/11)

  • Obama Is Responsible For “The Most Rapid Increase In The Debt Under Any U.S. President.” “The debt was $10.626 trillion on the day Mr. Obama took office. The latest calculation from Treasury shows the debt has now hit $14.639 trillion. It's the most rapid increase in the debt under any U.S. president.” (Mark Knoller, “National Debt Has Increased $4 Trillion Under Obama,” CBS News, 8/22/11)

THEN:  BARACK OBAMA:  “Tonight, More Americans Are Out Of Work And More Are Working Harder For Less. More Of You Have Lost Your Homes And Even More Are Watching Your Home Values Plummet. More Of You Have Cars You Can't Afford To Drive, Credit Cards, Bills You Can't Afford To Pay, And Tuition That's Beyond Your Reach.” (Sen. Barack Obama, Acceptance Speech Remarks At The Democratic National Convention, Denver, CO, 8/28/08)

NOW: Since President Obama Took Office The Nation Has Lost 2.37 Million Jobs And The Unemployment Rate Has Increased From 7.8 Percent To 9.1 Percent. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov, Accessed 8/23/11)

  • Nearly 14 Million Americans Are Unemployed, 1.95 Million Americans Unemployed Since President Obama Took Office. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov, Accessed 8/5/11)
  • 7.0 Million Foreclosure Filings Since Obama Took Office.  (RealtyTrac, Accessed 8/3/11)
  • Politico:  “Obama Has Few, If Any, Domestic Achievements That Enjoy Broad Public Support. No One Assumes Employment, Growth Or Housing Prices To Pick Up Much, If At All ….” (Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen, “Obama’s Big Drags,” Politico, 8/4/11)

THEN:  OBAMA:  “We Measure Progress By How Many People Can Find A Job That Pays The Mortgage, Whether You Can Put A Little Extra Money Away At The End Of Each Month So You Can Someday Watch Your Child Receive Her College Diploma.” (Sen. Barack Obama, Acceptance Speech Remarks At The Democratic National Convention, Denver, CO, 8/28/08)

NOW:  Only 26 Percent Of Americans Approve Of Obama’s Handling Of The Economy. “A new low of 26% of Americans approve of President Barack Obama's handling of the economy, down 11 percentage points since Gallup last measured it in mid-May and well below his previous low of 35% in November 2010.” (Lydia Saad, “New Low Of 26% Approve Of Obama On The Economy,” Gallup, 8/17/11)

  • 75 Percent Of Americans Think Things Are Going “Pretty” Or “Very” Badly. (CNN/ORC Poll, 1008 A, MoE 3%, 8/5-7/11)
  • When Asked About The State Of Their Finances Since President Obama Took Office, Almost Half Of Likely Voters — 48 Percent — Said Theirs Had Worsened.” (Elise Viebeck, “The Hill Poll: One In 3 Voters Say The US Has Passed Its Peak,” The Hill, 8/1/11)
  • 70 Percent Of Americans Think That The Country Is Headed In The Wrong Direction. “Underscoring it all, Americans think by 70-21 percent that the country's headed in the wrong direction, the worst finding since Marist started asking the question at the start of the George W. Bush presidency in January 2001.” (Steven Thomma, “Poll: Americans See Debt Deal As Bad For Nation,” McClatchy Newspapers8/8/11)

THEN:  OBAMA:  “We Measure The Strength Of Our Economy Not By The Number Of Billionaires We Have Or The Profits Of The Fortune 500, But By Whether Someone With A Good Idea Can Take A Risk And Start A New Business, Or Whether The Waitress Who Lives On Tips Can Take A Day Off And Look After A Sick Kid Without Losing Her Job, An Economy That Honors The Dignity Of Work.” (Sen. Barack Obama, Acceptance Speech Remarks At The Democratic National Convention, Denver, CO, 8/28/08)

NOW:  Under Obama, The U.S. Has Fallen From 1st To 4th Place For The Best Places For Companies To Do Business. (Jay Heflin, “Study: U.S. Loses Its Competitive Edge During Obama Administration,” The Hill’s “On The Money” Blog, 9/10/10)

  • The Hill: “Study: U.S. Loses Its Competitive Edge During Obama Administration.” (Jay Heflin, “Study: U.S. Loses Its Competitive Edge During Obama Administration,” The Hill’s “On The Money” Blog, 9/10/10)
  • U.S.’ Business Competitiveness Ranking Falls From First Place Due To “High Taxes And Onerous Regulations.” “The World Economic Forum has released a report showing the United States in fourth place. Two years ago, the U.S. was ranked first. … The forum identified high taxes and onerous regulations for dulling the competitive edge of the United States.” (Jay Heflin, “Study: U.S. Loses Its Competitive Edge During Obama Administration,” The Hill’s “On The Money” Blog, 9/10/10)

THEN:  OBAMA:  “Change Means A Tax Code That Doesn't Reward The Lobbyists Who Wrote It, But The American Workers And Small Businesses Who Deserve It.” (Sen. Barack Obama, Acceptance Speech Remarks At The Democratic National Convention, Denver, CO, 8/28/08)

NOW:  Obama Admitted He Will Raise Taxes On Job-Creators If He Is Reelected. OBAMA: “That is a reasonable proposition. So, when you hear folks saying ‘Well, the president shouldn’t want massive job killing tax increases when the economy is this weak.’ Nobody’s looking to raise taxes right now. We’re talking about potentially 2013 and the out years.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks At Press Conference, Washington, D.C., 7/11/11)

  • Obama’s FY2012 Budget Aimed To Raise Taxes By $1.6 Trillion, With Businesses Taking A Significant Hit. “However, Obama also would rely heavily on new taxes, to a degree unacknowledged by administration officials in recent days. His budget request calls for well over $1.6 trillion in fresh revenue over the next decade, much of it through higher taxes on the wealthy and businesses.”  (Lori Montgomery, “Obama Budget Projects Record $1.6 Trillion Deficit,” The Washington Post, 2/14/11)

THEN:  OBAMA:  “And For The Sake Of Our Economy, Our Security, And The Future Of Our Planet, I Will Set A Clear Goal As President: In 10 Years, We Will Finally End Our Dependence On Oil From The Middle East.” (Sen. Barack Obama, Acceptance Speech Remarks At The Democratic National Convention, Denver, CO, 8/28/08)

NOW:  After Being In Office For Nearly Three Years, Obama Says  “Our Energy Policy Still Is Just A Hodgepodge…”  “‘We've got more work to do,’ Obama continued. ‘Our energy policy still is just a hodgepodge, and for all the progress we've made, we're not where we need to be in making sure that this is an energy-efficient economy that is running on all cylinders.’" (Alexis Simendinger, “Obama:  Energy Policy Remains ‘A Hodgepodge,’” Real Clear Politics, 6/15/11)

THEN:  OBAMA:   And I'll Invest $150 Billion Over The Next Decade In Affordable, Renewable Sources Of Energy -- Wind Power, And Solar Power, And The Next Generation Of Biofuels -- An Investment That Will Lead To New Industries And 5 Million New Jobs That Pay Well And Can't Be Outsourced.”(Sen. Barack Obama, Acceptance Speech Remarks At The Democratic National Convention, Denver, CO, 8/28/08)

NOW:  Obama’s “Environmental Agenda Is In Tatters” And “Green Jobs” Have Not Brought Down Unemployment. “Obama’s environmental agenda is in tatters. His green jobs plan has done little to make a dent in unemployment, which persists at close to 10 percent. Obama’s signature environmental initiative, cap-and-trade, died in the Senate in July. And, during the first year of Obama’s tenure, China massively outspent the United States on clean-energy technology.”  (Michael Shellenberger, “Cap And Charade” The Green Jobs Myth,” The New Republic, 10/14/10)

  • “The Green Economy Is Not Proving To Be The Job-Creation Engine That Many Politicians Envisioned.” “In the Bay Area as in much of the country, the green economy is not proving to be the job-creation engine that many politicians envisioned. President Obama once pledged to create five million green jobs over 10 years. Gov. Jerry Brown promised 500,000 clean-technology jobs statewide by the end of the decade. But the results so far suggest such numbers are a pipe dream.” (Aaron Glantz, “Number Of Green Jobs Fails To Live Up To Promises,” The New York Times, 8/18/11)

THEN:  OBAMA:  “[I]f You Have Health Care -- If You Have Health Care, My Plan Will Lower Your Premiums. If You Don't, You'll Be Able To Get The Same Kind Of Coverage That Members Of Congress Give Themselves.” (Sen. Barack Obama, Acceptance Speech Remarks At The Democratic National Convention, Denver, CO, 8/28/08)

NOW:   “Health Insurers Say They Plan To Raise Premiums For Some Americans As A Direct Result Of The Health Overhaul ...” (Janet  Adamy, “Health Insurers Plan Hikes,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/7/10)

  • “But Now That Regulations About Existing Employer-Sponsored Plans Have Been Issued, It's Becoming Clear That Many Of The 160 Million Americans With Job-Based Coverage Will Not, In Fact, Be Able To Keep What They Currently Have.” (Kate Pickert, “How Health Reform Will Impact Existing Plans,”Time, 6/24/10)

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