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Reuters: Promises, Promises: Obama Keeps More Than He Breaks

Author: Alister Bull, Reuters
January 24, 2011

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As President Barack Obama nears the halfway point in his four-year term, PolitiFact.com compiled a tally of campaign promises and found that he kept many more vows than he broke. Writing for Reuters, Alister Bull, highlights the larger promises.

President Barack Obama has reached the halfway point in his four-year term. As he prepares to deliver the annual State of the Union speech on Tuesday, a tally of Obama campaign promises finds that he has managed to keep many more of these vows than he has broken.

But most of the issues that he vowed to tackle after coming to office in 2009 are still works in progress, like plans to reform U.S. immigration laws and fix the economy.

According to the nonpartisan PolitiFact.com website, which keeps track of his progress with an "Obameter Scorecard," Obama has kept 134 promises, compromised on 41 and broken 34. Some 221 pledges are "in the works," the scorecard finds.

The State of the Union gives Obama a chance to lay out a roadmap for the next two years of his presidency. But his ability to deliver on remaining pledges has shrunk following losses by his Democrats in congressional elections.

They lost seats in the Senate and surrendered control of the House of Representatives to Republicans after the November vote. Here are a few of the bigger promises Obama made on the 2008 campaign trail and where he is on fulfilling them:

ECONOMY

Obama's broad electoral promise to put the economy back on a solid footing after the worst recession since the 1930s Great Depression is still a work in progress. U.S. growth has resumed but unemployment, at 9.4 percent in December, is still way too high.

Obama secured a second massive fiscal stimulus when he and Republicans reached a compromise in late December to extend all Bush-era tax cuts for two years.

This kept his vow to extend tax cuts for Americans whom the White house calls the 'middle class' - families who earn less than $250,000 a year - at the expense of accepting an extension for wealthier Americans whose taxes he wanted to allow to rise back to pre-Bush levels.

As promised, Obama put in place new financial regulations to stop the excessive risk-taking on Wall Street that helped fuel the 2007-2009 financial crisis blamed for the recession.

But that came at a price. Obama has had rocky relations with the business community, who have complained his new laws raised their costs and hit profits. The administration has begun the new year with fresh outreach efforts to lobby key corporate groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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