Obama Lies

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Nancy Pelosi on Obama not keeping his promise to televise health care on C-Span in January of 2010.[1]

Contents

The following is a list of lies by Barack Obama.

Obamacare

Lie of the Year: You Can Keep Your Healthcare

David Hilzenrath of the Washington Post pointed out back in August of 2009 that Obama's claim “if you like your plan you can keep it” was dishonest, yet Obama continued to make this assertion until it was ultimately labeled “Lie of the Year” by PolitiFact in 2013.[2] According to the Associated Press, 4.7 million Americans received cancellation notices stating their insurance would no longer be offered, contrary to Obama’s dishonest claim that if people liked their doctor and insurance plan they would be able to keep their coverage.[3]

Further analysis has discovered as much as 69% of employer-based plans, affecting 41 million Americans, could be canceled under Obamacare.[4]

Putting Obamacare Process on C-Span

“I'm going to have all the negotiations around a big table. We'll have doctors and nurses and hospital administrators. Insurance companies, drug companies -- they'll get a seat at the table, they just won't be able to buy every chair. But what we will do is, we'll have the negotiations televised 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. And so, that approach, I think is what is going to allow people to stay involved in this process.”

-Barack Obama, 2008[5]

Obama during the 2008 elections campaigned on healthcare reform, promising that the negotiations would not be behind closed doors but televised publicly on C-Span.[6] C-Span founder Brian Lamb urged Obama in January 2010 to keep his promise to broadcast healthcare negotiations on C-Span. House leader Nancy Pelosi defended Obama's broken promise, stating “there has never been a more open process for any legislation in anyone who’s served here’s experience.”[7]

Ms. Pelosi further pointed out that Obama's promise was just for campaign purposes, stating "There were a number of things he was for on the campaign trail."[8] John Boehner observed “these secret deliberations are a breeding ground for more of the kickbacks, shady deals and special-interest provisions that have become business as usual in Washington. Too much is at stake to have a final bill built on payoffs and pork-barrel spending.”[9] Comedian Jon Stewart, to his credit, criticized Obama's broken C-Span promise as “Stealth Care Reform.”[10]

Public Option

Despite campaigning on a public option, Obama would later backtrack on this promise.[11] On July 8th, 2009 Obama met with leaders of the hospital industry and struck a deal to remove the public option in exchange for industry support.[12] As Dennis Kucinich later said in disgust, “They took single-payer off the table right at the beginning, because the table was set by insurance companies.”[13] Obama then attempted to erroneously deny he had campaigned on the public option.[14] Obama's related claim that he had never supported single-payer has likewise been debunked.[15]

Go Line by Line Through Healthcare Bill

Jason Chaffetz in January of 2010 called attention to this and other dishonest claims made by Obama, stating that he and 5 other Republicans had personally contacted Obama to take him up on that offer:

“I'm one of 22 House freshmen. We didn't create this mess, but we are here to help clean it up. You talked a lot about this deficit of trust. There's some things that have happened that I would appreciate your perspective on, because I can look you in the eye and tell you we have not been obstructionists. Democrats have the House and Senate and the presidency. And when you stood up before the American people multiple times and said you would broadcast the health care debates on C-SPAN, you didn't. And I was disappointed, and I think a lot of Americans were disappointed.

You said you weren't going to allow lobbyists in the senior-most positions within your administration, and yet you did. I applauded you when you said it -- and was disappointed when you didn't. You said you'd go line by line through the health care debate -- or through the health care bill. And there were six of us, including Dr. Phil Roe, who sent you a letter and said, 'We would like to take you up on the offer; we'd like to come.' We never heard a letter, we never got a call. We were never involved in any of those discussions.

And when you said in the House of Representatives that you were going to tackle earmarks—in fact, you didn't want to have any earmarks in any of your bills—I jumped up out of my seat and applauded you. But it didn't happen.”[16]

Reduce Family Premiums by $2,500 Per Year

Obama's campaign promise to reduce family premiums by $2,500 a year has proven an abject lie. The Obama campaign was unable to provide evidence this would occur.[17] Premiums are currently predicted to rise substantially, by as much as 20%, in 2015.[18]

No Individual Mandate

Obama on the campaign trail against Hillary Clinton actually criticized Hillary for proposing an individual mandate forcing Americans to buy healthcare insurance, and argued this was the difference between his and Hillary's healthcare plans.

"The reason she thinks that there are more people covered under her plan than mine is because of a mandate. That is not a mandate for the government to provide coverage to everybody. It is a mandate that every individual purchase health care. And the mailing that we put out accurately indicates that the main difference between Senator Clinton's plan and mine is the fact that she would force, in some fashion, individuals to purchase health care."

-Barack Obama, February 26th, 2008[19]

Obama of course did a complete flip once elected and proposed a mandate central to Obamacare, one that most Americans (72%) believe is unconstitutional.[20]

Allow Imported Prescription Drugs

Obama's 2008 campaign promise to "allow Americans to buy their medicines from other developed countries if the drugs are safe and prices are lower outside the U.S." never materialized, resulting in a PolitiFact rating of "Promise Broken."[21]

Double Federal Funding for Cancer Research

Obama's campaign promise to "double federal funding for cancer research within 5 years, focusing on NIH (National Institutes of Health) and NCI (National Cancer Institute)" made for a nice soundbite but like most of what Obama says was just rhetorical demagoguery.[22] Similar promises to provide the CDC $50 million in funding to determine effective cancer approaches and direct HHS to study cancer initiatives were likewise broken.[23]

Corruption Scandals

No IRS Corruption

Obama dishonestly denied any corruption whatsoever in the IRS scandal, claiming there was "not even a smidgen of corruption" and admitted the head of the IRS Doug Shulman had been to the White House over 100 times, but said he didn't remember any of the conversations.[24]

"If there were not even a 'smidgen of corruption,' as Obama insisted, it is hard to understand what outraged him, or at least seemed to, when news of the IRS scandal first broke. 'It’s inexcusable, and Americans are right to be angry about it, and I am angry about it,' Obama said in May 2013. Obama routinely expressed anger when some new scandal erupted on his watch — IRS, the failed ObamaCare website, the VA scandal, Fast and Furious — but never before had he shoved a scandal down the memory hole so quickly. And how could Obama know there wasn’t a smidgen of corruption before the investigation was even over? Perhaps because the administration knew that any proof of that was gone with deleted emails and destroyed hard drives?"

-Jack Cashill, The New York Post[25]

However, the IRS a few months later paid $50,000 to the National Organization for Marriage to settle a lawsuit over the IRS leaking a confidential donor list to homosexual activists.[26] Meanwhile, Lois Lerner, the IRS official at the heart of the scandal, has refused to testify unless given immunity, pleading the Fifth Amendment after admitting the IRS subjected groups to additional scrutiny if they had the words "tea party" or "patriots" in their names.[27] While Democrats have attempted to dishonestly claim liberal groups were targeted as well as conservative groups by the IRS, the overwhelming majority were clearly conservative. As noted by John D. McKinnon of the Wall Street Journal, "Of the 298 applications that were collected and put on hold by the Internal Revenue Service between mid-2010 and mid-2012, 248, or 83%, were right-leaning, while 29, or 10%, were left-leaning."[28]

George also noted that while 16 groups with 'progressive' in the name showed up among the 298 cases, that represented just 30 percent of all 'progressive' applications. That is in stark contrast to groups with 'tea party,' 'patriot,' or '9/12' in their name, of which 100 percent saw their applications held up."

-Steve Contorno, PolitiFact[29]

Democrat Voter Fraud

Obama in April 2014 falsely claimed that "The real voter fraud is people who try to deny our rights by making bogus arguments about voter fraud."[30] However, contrary to Obama's lies, Democrat voter fraud has been pervasive and consistent under his administration. The Republican National Lawyers Association has catalogued nearly 200 cases of Democrat voter fraud just since 2011.[31] Some of the more prominent examples of Democrat voter fraud in recent years include:

  • Four Indiana Democrats charged with election fraud for helping put Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on the ballot in Indiana in 2008.[32]
  • Wendy Rosen, a Democrat running for Maryland's 1st Congressional District, resigned in September of 2012, and pled guilty in 2013 to voting illegally in two elections.[33] Rosen was sentenced to five years’ probation and a $5,000 fine.[34]
“Today, we have a new example of just how far prominent people will go to commit voter fraud. Wendy Rosen, who until last September was the Democratic nominee in Maryland’s Eastern Shore congressional district, was just indicted for voting in both Florida and Maryland since at least 2006. Each of the two counts she was indicted on carry a possible sentence of up to five years in jail and a fine of $2,500. Nor is Rosen the only candidate for Congress who has become, shall we say, personally involved in stuffing the ballot box. A few years ago, former Democratic congressman Austin Murphy of Pennsylvania pleaded guilty to illegally entering nursing homes and overly ‘assisting’ incapacitated voters with filling out ballots.”

-John Fund, National Review[35]

  • The 2008 ACORN national scandal had numerous cases of Democrat voter fraud across the United States leading to 18 convictions.[36] In Philadelphia alone 1,500 fraudulent voter registrations were submitted.[37]
  • Al Franken, the Senator who gave Democrats their supermajority in 2009, won through a recount where 12,000 absentee ballots were thrown out.[38] According to the New York Times, “Mr. Franken won by 312 votes, while state officials rejected 12,000 absentee ballots.”[39] Despite trailing at the end of the election, thousands of mysterious absentee ballots emerged after the elections had closed to given Franken the victory and Democrats complete control of Congress, allowing them to pass any legislation they wanted without Republican votes.[40]
“But the team's real goldmine were absentee ballots, thousands of which the Franken team claimed had been mistakenly rejected. While Mr. Coleman's lawyers demanded a uniform standard for how counties should re-evaluate these rejected ballots, the Franken team ginned up an additional 1,350 absentees from Franken-leaning counties. By the time this treasure hunt ended, Mr. Franken was 312 votes up, and Mr. Coleman was left to file legal briefs.”

-The Wall Street Journal[38]

  • The Chief of Staff for Florida State Representative Joe Garcia, Jeffrey Garcia (no relation) resigned on May 31st, 2013 for manipulating the 2012 Florida elections with hundreds of fake absentee ballots.[41]
  • James Webb Baker of Seattle pleaded guilty to one count of voter intimidation and one count of identification fraud for sending fake letters to 200 Republican Party donors in Florida warning them they would be arrested if voting.[42]
  • The son and Director of Field Operations for Democrat Representative Jim Moran resigned from his campaign in October of 2012 after being caught on video explaining how to use voter fraud to help Obama win the election.[43] The Congressman’s son Patrick Moran can be seen on recorded video saying “Bank statement would obviously be tough, but they can fake a utility bill easily enough, you know?”[44] Moran's son endorsed a scheme to fraudulently vote on behalf of 100 people.[45]
  • A Democrat State Representative in Massachusetts, Stephen Smith, pled guilty to charges of voter fraud in December of 2012. Smith used fraudulent absentee ballots in both 2009 and 2010.[46] According to the FBI's report Smith's plea agreement required that he resign from office on January 1st, 2013, and he will not be eligible to run for office for five years afterward.[47]
  • In March 2013 a Democrat poll worker, Melowese Richardson, was indicted for voting illegally at least six times in the 2012 elections, along with illegal votes in both 2008 and 2011. Richardson defended her illegal actions by saying, “I'll fight it for Mr. Obama and Mr. Obama's right to sit as president of the United States.”[48] Also indicted for illegal voting were Marguerite Kloos and Russell Glassop.[49] A year later Al Sharpton honored Melowese Richardson at a rally after she was released early from a 5-year prison sentence, going so far as to hug her for committing voter fraud to help Obama win.[50]
  • In February 2014 a Philadelphia election worker was arrested for tampering with voting machines during the November 2013 election. Dianah Gregory, a Democrat, forced her way into an election booth to write her name on another voter’s ballot for the position of election judge, and wrote her name on the side of the booth.[51] She has since been sentenced to 15 months’ probation, fined $5,000, and is required to perform 15 hours of community service.[52]
  • Eight different Democrat officials stand accused of voter fraud in the 2009 Working Families Primary, and as of January 2012, four of them had pleaded guilty to falsifying absentee ballots. Hundreds of faked ballots, as well as forgery instruments, were uncovered by the investigation.[53]
  • In September 2012 Democrat State Representative Hudson Hallum pleaded guilty to bribing voters with chicken dinners and cheap vodka for their absentee ballots in a 2011 election.[54] Also pleading guilty were two other Democrats, his father Kent Hallum and West Memphis City Councilman Phillip Wayne Carter; as well as a West Memphis Police Officer named Sam Malone.[55] Hallum was ultimately sentenced to three years’ probation including nine months of home confinement, fined $20,000, and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service.[56]

Stop Voter Fraud

Unsurprisingly, Obama showed no interest in keeping his campaign promise to "sign the Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act into law and charge the Voting Rights Section with vigorously enforcing that law and the provisions of the Voting Rights Act. The act will will enable investigations into deceptive and fraudulent practices. It establishes significant, harsh penalties for those who have engaged in fraud, and it provides voters who have been misinformed with accurate and full information so they can vote." Given how Democrats including Obama have benefited from voter fraud, it should be hardly surprising there was little desire on Obama's part to keep such a pledge.[57]

NSA Not Abusing Its Powers

Obama claimed the NSA was not abusing its powers, stating:

"If you look at the reports, even the disclosures that Mr. Snowden's put forward, all the stories that have been written, what you're not reading about is the government actually abusing these programs and, you know, listening in on people's phone calls or inappropriately reading people's e-mails. What you're hearing about is the prospect that these could be abused. Now part of the reason they're not abused is because they're — these checks are in place, and those abuses would be against the law and would be against the orders of the FISC [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court]."[58]

However, a NSA audit has discovered the NSA violated privacy rules or court orders 2,776 times in less than a year's time, from April 2011 to March 2012.[59] Nor was Obama's claim a one-time statement, he made this claim repeatedly to various news organizations, a systematic pattern of deliberate dishonesty. As observed by Salon's David Sirota, "But he's too smart not to understand the truth... I don’t buy that a constitutional lawyer and legal scholar didn’t know that the FISA court is secret — aka the opposite of 'transparent.' I don’t buy that he simply didn’t see any of the news showing that spying is happening in the United States. And I don’t buy that he didn’t know that there is evidence — both public and inside his own administration — of the NSA 'actually abusing' its power."[60]

Term Limit for Direction of National Intelligence

"Will insulate the Director of National Intelligence from political pressure by giving the DNI a fixed term, like the Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Obama and Biden will seek consistency and integrity at the top of our intelligence community -- not just a political ally."

-Barack Obama, 2008[61]

As Jonathan Gruber would put it, "stupid voters" were responsible for blindly believing these claims.[62] Needless to say, there has been no progress on this claim, earning a PolitiFact rating of 'Promise Broken.'[61]

Immigration

Executive Authority

Obama dishonestly claimed, not once but 25 times, that he lacked the executive authority to act unilaterally on immigration.[63] Obama, once the 2014 elections ended, has now reversed position now that there are no electoral consequences for his dishonesty, and is showing once again that he is the most dishonest politician in the world. Obama has since lied that Reagan and Bush passed similar executive orders in defending his unconstitutional actions, but in actuality they were both acting in accordance with legislation passed by Democrat-run Congresses, not unilaterally to skirt Congress.[64]

Reagan's order for example was based on and consistent with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, whereas Bush's was likewise based on that earlier law, and was quickly followed by the Immigration Act of 1990. Saturday Night Live afterwards parodied Obama's tyrannical actions.[65] Later polling showed 48% disapproval of the unilateral action to just 38% support.[66] If Obama is consistent about one thing, it is in being consistently dishonest. Since backtracking on his previous opposition to using executive authority to pass immigration reform, Obama has lied about his previous lies.[67]

Immigration Reform His First Year

Despite repeatedly campaigning on an immigration reform bill in his first year, once elected Obama showed little interest in keeping that promise.[68] Although Democrats had complete control of Congress during that time, passing the Stimulus with just 3 Republican votes, and Obamacare with no Republican votes, they did not attempt immigration reform despite having a 7-month supermajority allowing them to pass essentially any legislation they wanted to.[69] As such his later executive order was for political purposes at cementing a legacy and using the issue to demonize Republicans over, not because immigration reform was a priority.

Secure Borders, Crack Down on Hiring of Illegals

Obama campaigned both on securing the borders[70] and cracking down on the hiring of illegals.[71] His recent executive order makes those claims just several more in a long string of lies he has told throughout his career.

Social Issues

Support Traditional Marriage

When speaking before Rick Warren on the issue of gay marriage, Obama claimed "I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God's in the mix."[72] Obama dishonestly claimed to support traditional marriage multiple times on the campaign trail, saying "I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage" and "I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage."[73]

However as far back as 1996 Obama had endorsed gay marriage, and today is openly using executive orders to redefine marriage.[74] He lied to hide his real stance on the issue from the American people.

Abortion

When Life Begins Above Pay Grade

Obama despite having proven the most pro-abortion president in history[75] when asked at what point a baby gets human rights by Rick Warren said the question was above his pay grade.[76] Obama is a demagogue who lies at every turn to deceive voters.

Obamacare Not About Abortion

Main Article: Obamacare

Obama lied not once but repeatedly to pro-life Democrats that Obamacare was not about abortion. Obama initially claimed that allegations of abortion in the healthcare bill were "fabrications" by "people who are bearing false witness."[77] On August 21, he said, in a radio talk show, that claims of abortion in the bill were "not true".[78]

However, back in July of 2007 Obama spoke very differently, telling Planned Parenthood that he would make reproductive care "at the center and at the heart of the plan that I propose... I still believe that it is important for organizations like Planned Parenthood to be part of that system..."

"Well, look, in my mind, reproductive care is essential care. It is basic care. So it is at the center and at the heart of the plan that I propose... Essentially what we are doing is to say that we're going to set up a public plan that all persons, and all women, can access if they don't have health insurance. It'll be a plan that will provide all essential services, including reproductive services, as well as mental health services, and disease-management services, because part of our interest is to make sure that we're putting more money into preventive care. And so many of women's diseases are preventable if they're getting access to regular care. So we subsidize women who don't have health insurance, or can't afford low group rates. We also will subsidize those who prefer to stay in the private insurance market, except the insurers are going to have to abide by the same rules in terms of providing comprehensive care, including reproductive care, and mental care services, and they won't be able to keep people out as a consequence of pre-existing conditions. So, that's going to be absolutely vital... I still believe that it is important for organizations like Planned Parenthood to be part of that system, because many young women for example may be much more comfortable when they're in college, or universities, or in other places, going to Planned Parenthood clinics and services, to get contraception, for example."

-Barack Obama before Planned Parenthood, July 17, 2007[79]

A detailed FactCheck.org analysis in August of 2009 concluded that Obama was the one "fabricating" since his own previous promise of "reproductive services" in the bill coupled with the bill's wording showed that abortion likely would be subsidized by government under the bill.[80] On September 9, Obama continued to assert the bill would not fund abortions, promising immediately after Joe Wilson famously stood up and yelled "You lie!", that "Under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions."[78]

In November of 2009 Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) promised, "If it isn’t clear that government money is not to be used to fund abortions, I won’t vote for it," and Obama assured that "This is a health-care bill, not an abortion bill."[81]

Obama ultimately even reached an agreement with Bart Stupak, leader of the pro-life Democrat coalition, and half the pro-life Democrats (20 of the 40), to ensure abortion would not be funded in Obamacare. However, years later even Bart Stupak has come to realize Obama lied to him, and abortion is being funded in Obamacare after all.[82] In 2014 Bart Stupak has since described Obama's actions as a "doublecross."[83]

Planned Parenthood Provides Mammograms

During the presidential debates Obama falsely claimed that Planned Parenthood provides mammograms. However they do not have the equipment to provide mammograms, all they can do is refer patients to organizations that do perform them.[84]

Illinois Events

Born Alive Infant Protection Act

See also Obama born alive controversy

Obama not only repeatedly opposed medical care for newborn children, but led an effort by Illinois Planned Parenthood to conceal the votes of Illinois Senators so Illinoisans would not know their representatives were voting against bills to protect newborn babies outside the womb.[85] He has since lied repeatedly about his voting record until revelations in 2008 revealed that, contrary to his repeated denials, he had indeed while an Illinois State Senator voted against a bill identical to the federal Born Alive Infant Protection Act which had passed the U.S. Senate unanimously.[86] Obama’s representative then claimed he had “misspoke” despite the fact that he had repeatedly made this assertion a number of times from 2004-08.[87]

Tony Rezko Donations, Affiliation

Obama distorted the details of his relationship with convicted felon Tony Rezko, falsely portraying him as a one-time fundraiser and repeatedly lying about how much money Rezko fundraised for him.[88]

"Mr. Obama has portrayed Mr. Rezko as a one-time fund-raiser whom he had occasionally seen socially. But interviews with more than a dozen political and business associates suggest that the two men were closer than the senator has indicated."

-Christopher Drew and Mike McIntire, The New York Times[89]

Obama and Tony Rezko have been friends since 1990.[90] A notable fundraiser for both Obama and Governor Blagojevich, Rezko was convicted on 16 of 24 charges by the federal government for money laundering, mail/wire fraud, and corrupt solicitation, though he was acquitted for attempted extortion.[91] Rezko, a real estate developer, stacked state boards with members loyal to him, and used this power to negotiate $7 million in kickbacks for himself.[92]

In 2005, the longtime friends Obama and Rezko purchased adjoining lots next to one another, with Obama buying the house at $1,650,000, $300,000 below the asking price. Obama was also questioned by the Chicago Sun-Times on the fundraisers done by Rezko, with Obama stating Rezko had raised $50,000-$60,000 for him.[93] It has since emerged that Obama lied about the amount Rezko fundraised for him.

Details of the case:

  • Both Tony Rezko and Barack Obama bought their houses on the same day.
  • After Rezko got indicted, Obama from 2006-2008 contributed to charity at least $150,000 worth of Rezko campaign contributions to deflect potential criticism.[92]
  • Obama in 2008 revised earlier lies about what Rezko donated up to $250,000.[94]
  • Obama denies ever meeting with the money launderer for Tony Rezko, Auchi.
  • In 2010 details from the Blagojevich case revealed Obama may have further lied about the specific conversations he had with Tony Rezko, which if accurate means Obama was involved with Rezko's money laundering and the corruption of the Blagojevich administration.[95]

Government Reform

No Lobbyists in Administration

"I am in this race to tell the corporate lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over. I have done more than any other candidate in this race to take on lobbyists — and won. They have not funded my campaign, they will not run my White House, and they will not drown out the voices of the American people when I am president."

-- Barack Obama, Speech in Des Moines, IA November 10, 2007[96]

Despite campaigning on no lobbyists in his administration, once elected Obama did a 180.[97] Timothy Carney of the Washington Examiner back in 2013 reported that the Obama administration has now hired over 100 lobbyists to date despite his prior false promises.[98] As noted by Philip Bump of the Washington Post, in 2014 there are 65 former lobbyists now working in the Obama administration.[99] Obama also erroneously claimed that lobbyists had been excluded from policy-making jobs.[100]

No Earmarks

On the campaign trail Obama aggressively promised not to use earmarks similar to John McCain, but once elected showed no concern with packing the Stimulus and Obamacare bills full of them. PolitiFact rated this a "Compromise."[101] Obama even falsely campaigned on reducing earmarks below 1994 levels.[102] CNN back in 2008 noted with irony that Obama as a Senator had submitted over 100 earmarks despite his rhetoric.[103] The 2009 Omnibus bill signed by Obama and created entirely by a Democratic Congress had over 9,000 earmarks.[104]

"House minority leader John Boehner and nine other House Republicans sent Pelosi and Obama a letter asking for a freeze in spending levels and for a re-examination of the earmarks in the bill. 'There are 9,000 reasons to vote against this spending bill — 9,000 earmarks slipped and crammed into this pork-stuffed nightmare,' Representative John Shadegg, an Arizona Republican, said on Wednesday in a statement. 'Last night, President Obama bragged about this claim that there were no earmarks in his stimulus bill — and yet he's silent today as he prepares to put his signature on 9,000 earmarks.'"

-Jay Newton Small and Michael Scherer, TIME Magazine[105]

It was actually John Boehner who after calling attention to the broken promises of Democrats in supporting the earmarks they'd once condemned[106] forced a ban on earmarks in the House.[107] Boehner has continued to block the return of earmarks despite efforts by Harry Reid and top Democrats to resurrect them.[108] Although Obama did allow the earmark ban to pass and renewed his previous rhetoric against earmarks in late 2010 after the Republican midterms, this was only after Boehner had already started outlawing earmarks, and after Obama had directed billions if not trillions in special interest earmarks to Democrats with the stimulus, omnibus, and other spending.[109]

Public Financing

Obama dishonestly claimed in 2008 that he would accept public financing if his opponent John McCain did. However, once Obama realized he could raise more funding if breaking his promise, he quickly reversed course and disingenuously claimed he had never made such a promise.[110] McCain afterward pointed out that public financing was "dead" due to Obama's dishonesty, no Republican would accept it or pursue election reform through public financing after that broken promise by Obama.[111]

No Signing Statements to Get Around Congress

Obama on the campaign trail pledged to "not use signing statements to nullify or undermine congressional instructions as enacted into law." Obama broke this promise, just one example would be the use of a signing statement to trade terrorists for Bowe Bergdahl.[112]

"Already, Mr. Obama has had to reconcile his campaign-trail criticism of Mr. Bush for excessive use of so-called signing statements to bypass parts of legislation with his own use of such tactics. After a bipartisan furor in Congress last year, Mr. Obama stopped issuing such signing statements, but aides said last month that he still reserves the right to ignore sections of bills he considers un-constitutional if objections have been lodged previously by the executive branch.”

-Peter Baker, The New York Times[113]

5 Days of Public Comment Before Signing Bills

Obama on the campaign trail dishonestly claimed he would allow 5 days for public comment before signing bills, then once elected abruptly broke this promise not once but several times. The CARD Act of 2009 is just one example.[114]

National Catastrophe Insurance Reserve

Obama made full use of the Katrina catastrophe in 2008, pledging to create a national catastrophe insurance reserve to prevent future events. Naturally this was a lie Obama had no intention of keeping and years later there has been no effort by Obama to keep that promise.

"Will create a National Catastrophe Insurance Reserve that would be funded by private insurers contributing a portion of the premiums they collect from policyholders. Such a framework would neither distort the insurance market nor discourage risk avoidance and risk mitigation investments because insurers would not be forced out of high-risk markets for fear of bankruptcy in the event of a disaster. With this program in place, disaster victims would no longer have to depend solely on taxpayerfunded federal disaster aid loans."

-Barack Obama, 2008[115]

Reduce Federal Middle Managers

"Barack Obama will thin the ranks of Washington middle managers, freeing up resources both for deficit reduction and for increasing the number of frontline workers."

-Barack Obama, 2008[116]

According to PolitiFact there has been no progress by the administration in trying to keep this promise.[116] It was just there to look good, not to be kept.

Transparency

Obama campaigned on transparency, and in 2011 said "We pledge to be more transparent at every level – because more information on government activity should be open, timely, and freely available to the people." Obviously this promise has been broken repeatedly by the most secretive administration in history.[117]

Air Force One

Most recently the administration refused to provide information about use of Air Force One, for example.[117] Because so much of Obama's travel is international rather than within the United States, or to his home state of Hawaii, the total cost appears to be more than it was for George W. Bush.[118]

Make White House Communications Public

"Will amend executive orders to ensure that communications about regulatory policymaking between persons outside government and all White House staff are disclosed to the public."

-Barack Obama, 2008[119]

The White House refuses to disclose phone calls or emails and only provides visitor logs on a voluntary basis - in other words the really controversial visits the White House doesn't want people to know about aren't mentioned.[119]

Corporate Tax Break Database

On the campaign trail Obama promised to "ensure that any tax breaks for corporate recipients — or tax earmarks — are also publicly available on the Internet in an easily searchable format." As concluded by PolitiFact's J.B. Wogan, "Since we couldn't find any record of Obama ever pushing for a tax-earmark database as president, much less creating one, we rate this a Promise Broken."[120]

Congressional Ethics Agency

Nice talking point for Obama on the campaign trail, to "use the power of the presidency to fight for an independent watchdog agency to oversee the investigation of congressional ethics violations so that the public can be assured that ethics complaints will be investigated." Was never pursued once he gained election.[121] In fact Obama's own administration has seen multiple ethics violations that Obama has sought to downplay.[122] Given Obama's efforts to prevent investigation of his own administration's corruption, it is hardly surprising he would be uninterested in providing such oversight for Congress.

Regulatory Agency Transparency

"Will require his appointees who lead the executive branch departments and rulemaking agencies to conduct the significant business of the agency in public, so that any citizen can see in person or watch on the Internet these debates."

-Barack Obama, 2008[123]

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) continues secrecy in publishing rules and regulations, and debates held by the regulatory agencies remain hidden from the public. In the words of OMB Watch, "most indicators of openness have not even returned to the average for the Bush years, a period known for secrecy.” While there has been plenty of rhetoric, secrecy is greater than it was under Bush.[123]

Government Spending

Cut the Deficit in Half

Obama early in 2009 promised to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term.[124] In fact the deficit skyrocketed, more than doubling, during that time. Obama on the campaign trail was happy to criticize Bush for increasing the debt, even though the largest spending increase came from the 2008 budget after Democrats controlled Congress at the end of Bush's term, saying:

"The problem is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years, is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first forty-two presidents – number forty-three added $4 trillion all by his lonesome – so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we’re going to have to pay back - $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic!"[125]
YEAR BUDGET DEFICIT
2000 $1.824 trillion $236.2 billion surplus
2001 $1.958 trillion $128.2 billion surplus
2002 $2.090 trillion $157.8 billion deficit
2003 $2.266 trillion $377.6 billion deficit
2004 $2.408 trillion $412.7 billion deficit
2005 $2.583 trillion $318.3 billion deficit
2006 $2.780 trillion $248.2 billion deficit
2007 $2.863 trillion $160.7 billion deficit
DEMOCRATS CONTROL CONGRESS
2008 $3.326 trillion $458.6 billion deficit
2009 $4.077 trillion $1,412.7 billion deficit
2010 $3.484 trillion $1,294.4 billion deficit
2011 $3.510 trillion $1,299.6 billion deficit
SPLIT CONGRESS AFTER 2010 ELECTIONS
2012 $3.576 trillion $1,087.0 billion deficit
2013 $3.478 trillion $679.5 billion deficit

Deficits were dropping under the Republicans who ran Congress until the 2008 budget, the first one passed by a Democrat Congress following their victories in the 2006 elections. The 2006 Republican Congress was in office until January 2007, and passed the 2007 budget. Similarly, the Democrat 111th Congress was in office until January 2011 and passed the 2011 budget.[126]

Under George W. Bush, the highest deficit was $458.6 billion and under a Republican Congress never more than $412.7 billion. Democrats tripled the deficit in 2009 to $1,412.7 billion. The only reason the deficit dropped in 2013 was the government shutdown resulting from Republicans who refused to write Obama the blank check he wanted.[127] Government spending has declined as the result of a government shutdown under Obama, just as it did after Republicans shut down government under Bill Clinton.

The last deficit passed by a fully Republican Congress was the 2007 deficit of $160.7 billion. Obama in 2009 increased that over 800% to $1,412.7 billion.[126] Obama didn't just break this promise, he obliterated it. To quote Timothy Lee of the Center for Individual Freedom,

"Thus, the 'halved' 2013 deficit over which Obama brags is larger than the largest deficit of any president who preceded him. Even at the height of World War II in 1943, the deficit only reached $737 billion in current dollars. Even excluding the 2009 deficit, which Obama’s dwindling number of shock troops falsely attribute entirely to George W. Bush, that leaves Obama with a four-year average deficit of $1.153 trillion. Include the 2009 deficit, two-thirds of which occurred after he was inaugurated, and his average rises to $1.231 trillion. To provide additional context, the eight-year average Bush deficit that Obama labeled 'unpatriotic' was just $297 billion. Even being charitable to Obama by removing the 2001 budget surplus from Bush’s tally and adding the entire 2009 deficit to it, he still averaged just $511 billion. In other words, even in its most unfairly charitable light, Obama’s average deficit is more than double that of his all-purpose scapegoat predecessor."[125]

Go Line by Line Through Budget

Obama on the campaign trail vowed to go line by line through the U.S. budget[128] but has shown zero interest in keeping that promise once elected, to the extent that Congressional Republicans attempted to get the Office of Management and Budget to testify federally about the matter. Congressional Democrats blocked these efforts, claiming that Obama had spoken "figuratively."[129]

Pay As You Go on Budget

This is one of the more obvious lies Obama made on the campaign trail. Obama claimed at the time "a critical step in restoring fiscal discipline is enforcing pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) budgeting rules which require new spending commitments or tax changes to be paid for by cuts to other programs or new revenue."[130] This promise has been shredded, with Obama growing the debt faster in 3 years and 2 months than Bush did in 8 years.[131] Rather than seeking "fiscal discipline" Obama and the Democrats have instead sought "clean" debt extensions without any restrictions on their reckless spending.[132]

No No-Bid Contracts

After campaigning against no-bid contracts which drive up federal expense[133], Obama has not only reversed course but has even increased no-bid contracts 9%.[134] Examples include a $24 million contract to a Democratic donor on training of lawyers in Afghanistan and a $568 million contract to defense contractor Halliburton.[135]

No Debt Limit Increase

Back in 2006 when Bush was president, Obama was happy to criticize Bush for raising the debt limit, saying:

"The fact that we're here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. Leadership means 'The buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America's debt limit."[136]

But Obama went even farther in 2006, vowing not to increase the debt limit if elected. "America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit", Obama said. PolitiFact has correctly labeled this a Full Flop.[137]

Since then Obama has called for raising the debt limit multiple times without any spending cuts whatsoever.[138] In fact Obama has raised the debt limit more than any other president in history.[139]

George W. Bush

Iraq War

Bush Caused Troops to Return, not Obama

Contrary to popular belief, it wasn’t Barack Obama who caused U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq. In 2008, George W. Bush signed the U.S.-Iraq Status of Forces Agreement thereby cre-ating two deadlines for departure of U.S. troops. The first deadline in 2009 required all combat troops to leave Iraq cities, the second deadline at the end of 2011 forced all troops to leave, including those in military bases.[140] While it was the 2008 Democratic Congress that pressured Bush into taking this step, Obama has tried to dishonestly portray himself as the sole cause for troop withdrawal when it was Bush's agreement that caused U.S. troops to leave Iraq.

Bringing Troops Home His First Year

Despite his earlier campaign promise to withdraw troops in his first year Obama contrarily tried to keep 10,000 troops past the Bush-set deadline, but was refused by Iraq's government.[141] Newsweek in 2011 accused Obama of a war crime for taking credit from the Bush administration for ending the Iraq War.[142] While a U.S. Senator Obama voted for ten of eleven Iraq War funding bills.[143] Ironically Obama was more pro-war than Bush and it was Bush that caused troops to return while Obama tried to keep them in Iraq.

Criticized Troop Surge

Obama originally criticized the troop surge, and it was a major point of disagreement between him and McCain from 2007-08.[144] Obama even claimed "In the 18 months since the surge began, the strain on our military has increased, our troops and their families have borne an enormous burden, and American taxpayers have spent another $200 billion in Iraq."[145] Today Obama is sending troops back to Iraq with the same troop surge he repeatedly criticized McCain for supporting while on the campaign trail.[146]

Revise the Patriot Act

In 2008 Obama campaigned on revising the Patriot Act and restricting warrantless wiretapping.[147] Obama even specifically campaigned against the national security letters used by the Patriot Act, stating,

"I will provide our intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to track and take out the terrorists without undermining our Constitution and our freedom. That means no more illegal wiretapping of American citizens. No more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. No more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war. No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient."

-Barack Obama, 2007[148]

Obama has extended and defended the wiretapping he once condemned.[149]

"Five years into his presidency, Barack Obama presides over a national security apparatus that in many ways still resembles the one left behind by President George W. Bush. Drones are killing terrorism suspects, the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, holds 'enemy combatants' and the government secretly collects telephone records of millions of Americans. This from a president who in 2008 ran as the anti-Bush candidate who would get the U.S. out of Iraq, put an end to torture and redefine U.S. policies abroad."

-The Associated Press[150]

Fast and Furious

Obama claimed Fast and Furious began under the Bush administration, but it clearly began under his administration.[151]

Bush Responsible for Deficits Over Last 4 Years

For a chart of the deficit, see Cut the Deficit in Half

As pointed out by PolitiFact and the Washington Post Fact Checker, Obama voted for the same spending he attempts to blame on George W. Bush.[152] But even the fact checkers overlook that spending blamed on Bush the last two years was actually passed by a Democratic Congress (including Obama), and that the Democrats overrode Bush's vetoes on hundreds of billions of dollars in spending he didn't approve of.

In actuality, deficits were dropping under the Republicans who ran Congress until the 2008 budget, the first one passed by a Democrat Congress following their victories in the 2006 elections. The 2006 Republican Congress was in office until January 2007, and passed the 2007 budget. Similarly, the Democrat 111th Congress was in office until January 2011 and passed the 2011 budget.[126]

Under George W. Bush, the highest deficit was $458.6 billion and under a Republican Congress never more than $412.7 billion. Democrats tripled the deficit in 2009 to $1,412.7 billion. The only reason the deficit dropped in 2013 was the government shutdown resulting from Republicans who refused to write Obama the blank check he wanted.[153] Government spending has declined as the result of a government shutdown under Obama, just as it did after Republicans shut down government under Bill Clinton.

2008 Bailouts

The left’s attempts to excuse Obama’s responsibility for the so-called Bush Bailouts notwithstanding[154], it was Barack Obama back in January of 2009 who urged the Democratic Congress to pass the rest of the TARP/Bailout funds[155], spending that he has since disingenuously blamed on George W. Bush.[156] Furthermore, it was only with Obama’s urging that Bush chose to seek the remainder of the Bailout funds[157] even as Obama back in November 2008 privately urged Bush to seek more bailout funds for the auto industry.[158] In fact Barack Obama as far back as September 2008 was pressuring Congress to pass the Bailouts regardless of oversight for how the funds were spent![159]

It was a 2008 Democrat-run Congress that passed the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) known as the Bailouts in the first place. Most House Republicans actually voted against the Bailouts, and the Bailouts were passed primarily by Democrats. In the House, 172 of 235 Democrats (73%) and 91 of 199 Republicans (46%) voted for the TARP, while in the Senate 41 of 51 Democrats (80%) and 34 of 49 Republicans (69%) did so.[160] On a purely Republican vote the Bailouts would never have passed at all; Democrats bear the primary responsibility for them.

Obama's attempt to blame Bush for bailout spending is dishonest given that Obama himself voted for the bailouts and urged Bush and Congress to pass them at the time. Furthermore, the bailouts were primarily designed by the Democratic Congress with most House Republicans voting against them. That spending is primarily on Democrats, not Republicans.

2008 Stimulus

Despite being regularly labeled the "Bush Stimulus" the stimulus was actually designed primarily by the Democrats who ran Congress, not Republicans, and its original sponsor was Nancy Pelosi.[161] Although the stimulus was passed bipartisanly, far more Republicans voted against it then Democrats. In the House 93% of Democrats (215 Yes, 6 No, 11 Not Voting) and 83% of Republicans (165 Yes, 28 No, 5 Not Voting) voted for the stimulus.[162] In the Senate 94% of Democrats (47 Yes, 0 No, 3 Not Voting) and 67% of Republicans (32 Yes, 16 No, 0 Not Voting) voted for the Stimulus.[163]

"After the early-morning report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that 80,000 jobs had disappeared in March, the speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, said she would propose a second economic stimulus package. Hers would supplement the $150 billion measure that includes the mailing of tax rebates to millions of Americans beginning next month... In separate statements Friday morning, Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama supported another stimulus package and an extension of unemployment benefits, among other measures. In contrast, John McCain, acknowledging that 'many Americans are hurting,' said that lower taxes and less regulation would generate jobs."

-Louis Uchitelle, The New York Times[164]

Democrats Overrode Bush's Vetoes

President Bush at the time actually vetoed a number of spending bills which Democrats passed over his vetoes, spending which now gets blamed upon Republicans.[165]

Specifically, in November 2007, the Democrat-run Congress passed the Water Resources Development Act, a $61 billion piece of environmental legislation replete with hundreds of earmarks, over George W. Bush’s veto.[166] In May 2008, the 2007 Farm Bill titled the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act costing $307 billion, mostly on welfare spending (and potentially far more since it waived conventional ‘Pay-As-You-Go’ guidelines) was passed over Bush’s veto, but due to a clerical error it was sent back to Congress, and passed over Bush’s veto a second time in June 2008.[167]

In July 2008 the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act was likewise passed over Bush’s veto, implementing changes to Medicare spending that George W. Bush warned would result in spiraling, out-of-control healthcare spending.[168] Ultimately four of Bush’s vetoes were overridden by the Democrat-controlled 110th Congress, the most of any president since Ronald Reagan, and hundreds of billions of dollars of spending is blamed on Republicans that was vetoed by George W. Bush.[169]

2009 Obama Stimulus

Obama's massive $831 billion so-called jobs bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act better known as the Stimulus, has proven a debacle. Despite the trillions of dollars of stimulus spending from 2008-10 student homelessness is at an all-time high,[170] the labor force participation rate remains at a 30-year low,[171] and the number of long-term unemployed has increased so much that Obama is calling for further extension of unemployment benefits for those unemployed so long they are no longer eligible.[172] There are at least 13 million more people on food stamps than when Obama took office.[173]

At the time of its passage in January 2009 the Wall Street Journal reported on how much of the Stimulus bill's spending in the name of job creation was actually being used for pork, special interest earmarks benefiting every major liberal agenda of the past 40 years. Wall Street Journal analysis determined that only 12 cents of every dollar was spent on actual job creation:

“This is a political wonder that manages to spend money on just about every pent-up Democratic proposal of the last 40 years. We've looked it over, and even we can't quite believe it. There's $1 billion for Amtrak, the federal railroad that hasn't turned a profit in 40 years; $2 billion for child-care subsidies; $50 million for that great engine of job creation, the National Endowment for the Arts; $400 million for global-warming research and another $2.4 billion for carbon-capture demonstration projects. There's even $650 million on top of the billions already doled out to pay for digital TV conversion coupons… Add the roughly $20 billion for business tax cuts, and by our estimate only $90 billion out of $825 billion, or about 12 cents of every $1, is for something that can plausibly be considered a growth stimulus.”

-The Wall Street Journal[174]

As Republican Senator Tom Coburn pointed out, “This is about spending money we don't have for things we don't need.” Wasteful spending included $650 million in subsidies to switch television signals to digital, $335 million for STD research, $70 million for non-smoking programs, $50 million for the arts, and $25 million for ATV trails.[175] Despite the bill's original projections that unemployment would stay below 8% if the Stimulus was passed the unemployment rate went above 10%.[176]

According to page 4 of Obama's 2009 report, The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, “As Figure 1 shows, even with the large prototypical package, the unemployment rate in 2010Q4 is predicted to be approximately 7.0%, which is well below the approximately 8.8% that would result in the absence of a plan.” The chart then showed unemployment remaining below 8% if the Stimulus was passed, a claim that has failed to bear out in reality.[177]

The Stimulus ended up on 2009 CBO projections before Obama took office only because Obama pressured Congress to pass the bill before he took office.[178] Democrats have since used this fact to dishonestly claim that Obama reduced the deficit, when the 2009 Stimulus spending was clearly his own handiwork. Mitch McConnell aptly summed up the situation in April 2009: “A way of looking at it is we have spent more in the first 23 or 24 days of this administration, in other words, charged more, than it cost post-9/11 for the war in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq and the response to Katrina already.”[179]

2009 Omnibus

The $410 billion bill was filled with pork; over 9,000 of the earmarks Obama campaigned against.[104] Backtracking on his previous criticism of earmarks, Obama when signing the Omnibus defended earmarks when they're "done right."[180] According to Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill at the time, Obama's rhetoric against earmarks at the time was received in Congress with "a roar of laughter -- because there were earmarks."[181] Furthermore, some of the earmarks included were ones that Obama and members of his administration (including Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden) had sponsored before Obama became president.[182] Only 24 Republicans, 16 in the House and 8 in the Senate, ended up voting for the corrupt and wasteful bill; it was passed primarily by the heavily Democratic Congress at the time.[183]

2010 Obamacare

Obamacare is predicted by the Congressional Budget Office to cost $1.76 trillion over an 11-year period.[184] Obama of course repeatedly called for the then-fully-Democrat Congress to pass Obamacare.[185] That spending is entirely on him and Democrats, not Republicans.

No GOP Ideas/Bills

No GOP Healthcare Bills

Contrary to Obama's false accusations that the GOP did not have ideas or bills on healthcare, the GOP introduced a series of their own healthcare bills as alternatives to Obamacare.[186] Because Democrats had a Supermajority, complete control of both the House and Senate so that they did not need any Republican votes to pass healthcare bills, Republican bills were not considered by the Democrats. However, Republicans continued to advocate for their alternatives to Obamacare as late as February 2010, just before Obamacare passed.[187] It should also be pointed out that Obama lied and claimed he had not accused the GOP of not having ideas (which he clearly and repeatedly did).[188]

Byron York of the Washington Examiner reported in September that media bias was preventing coverage of Republican healthcare bills, and that a search of the Lexis-Nexis database of media reports found 3,000 mentions of the major House Democrat bill, H.R. 3200 over the past 6 months, but GOP bills were mentioned far fewer times. H.R. 3400, introduced by Tom Price, got only 60 mentions. Paul Ryan's bill, H.R. 2520, had been mentioned just 12 times. And H.R. 3217 and 3218, both by John Shadegg, had only a combined 20 mentions by the media.

“The virtual embargo on reporting Republican legislation has allowed Democrats and their allies in the media to keep up the 'Republicans have no plan' attack. Just hours after the president’s speech, for example, the Democratic National Committee released a new commercial claiming that Republicans 'refuse to offer a plan' to reform the health care system.”

-Byron York, Washington Examiner[189]

Barack Obama claimed at the time that the healthcare bill creation process was bipartisan, and that Democrats had included 160 Republican amendments in the bill.[190] However, PolitiFact debunked this claim as “Mostly False.”[191] In essence, Republicans proposed hundreds of amendments to Obamacare after Obama accused them of not having ideas, but Democrats took only the minor ones that did not substantially alter the core of the bill, including the abortion agenda generating such opposition, so that they could then make a pretense of bipartisanship without ever working with Republicans or including Republicans in the bill creation process. The bill creation itself was made behind closed doors solely by Democrats without Republican input.

“White House officials have shown little interest in Republicans, with the exception of Senator Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, whom they have wooed assiduously, and one or two others.”

Robert Pear and Sheryl G. Stolberg

-New York Times[192]

In October 2009, Eric Cantor said Obama had cut off all communication with Republican leaders, and John Boehner confirmed GOP leaders hadn’t been invited to the White House since late April.[193] As of November, the Obama administration was continuing to outright ignore Republicans.[192] Democratic leadership pointedly ignored Republicans for nearly a year while the health care bill was being created and even famously changed the locks on committee room doors in October 2009 to keep Republicans from holding a vote on the corruption of Democrats Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad.[194]

“I've not talked to him. We haven't been to the White House since late April, early May. No discussions about healthcare. No discussions about Afghanistan. No discussions about all their spending and debt. And so there's nothing bipartisan coming out of this White House, and there's nothing bipartisan that's come out of the Democrat leadership here in the House. Nothing.”

-John Boehner, October 2009[193]

The election of Senator Scott Brown in the January 19th election meant that Democrats would soon lose their seven-month supermajority which had allowed them to pass bills without any Republican votes.[195] Brown was officially sworn into office on February 4th, ending the Democrat supermajority. As observed by CNN at the time, “Democrats huddled to try to figure out a way to get their health care bill passed before Brown is seated and ends their 60-seat filibuster-proof ‘supermajority’ in the Senate.”[196] Republican Senator Lamar Alexander optimistically speculated “Now that we have 41 votes maybe the administration will decide it wants to sit down and work with us in the middle rather than trying to say 'We won the election, we'll write the bill.'"[197]

“Senior Democratic sources say Democrats are prepared to short-circuit the traditional legislative process of a formal conference committee comprising House and Senate members to exclude their Republican counterparts during final congressional health care deliberations.”

-Dana Bash, CNN[198]

Now that Republicans finally had the ability to filibuster legislation again, Obama met with a frustrated GOP caucus on January 29th, 2010 for the first time.[199] Mike Pence accused Obama of smearing Republicans, declaring that “Republicans are going to continue to stand on the principles that we were elected to advance. We're going to remind him that despite the 'party of no' smear of the last year; we've offered substantive alternatives on every single major issue facing the economy, facing the country.”[200] Obama's pretense at bipartisanship was met with skeptical criticism from Republicans, particularly Jason Chaffetz.[201]

At every stage, Democrats refused to remove their controversial abortion agenda, to compromise with Republicans, designed the bill in back rooms contrary to Obama's campaign promises, and ultimately passed Obamacare without a single Republican vote.

Patients Choice Act

On May 20th, 2009 Reps. Paul Ryan and Devin Nunes with Sens. Tom Coburn and Richard Burr introduced H.R. 2520, a 248-page bill entitled the Patients Choice Act, giving the GOP an alternative to the Democrat healthcare proposals.[202] The Ryan plan sought to operate through the private insurance market through use of tax credits, guaranteed insurance access for those with pre-existing conditions, required insurers to meet the same standards on healthcare plans as the plans given to members of Congress, provided auto-enrollment by employers and DMVs, included state insurance exchanges, improved preventive care with disease prevention subsidies, and sought to move low-income citizens out of Medicaid and into private insurance by having government subsidize their healthcare costs.[203]

Empowering Patients First Act

On July 30th, 2009 Reps. Tom Price and Dan Burton introduced H.R. 3400, a 268-page bill known as the Empowering Patients First Act.[204] Price's bill focused on improving the private insurance market and employer coverage, allowing insurers to pool coverage across different states, increased tax incentives for private insurance purchases, provided refundable tax credits for low-income consumers to purchase coverage, addressed coverage of pre-existing conditions through offering states incentives such as federal block grants to create high-risk pools, implemented tort reform via caps on non-economic damages, and proposed a voucher system so Medicaid and SCHIP recipients can purchase private insurance.[205] The Empowering Patients First Act was reintroduced as H.R. 4910 on March 22nd, 2010, as H.R. 4944 on March 25th, 2010, as H.R. 105 on January 5th, 2011, and as H.R. 3000 on September 21st, 2011.[206] It died in committee each time.

Common Sense Health Care Reform... Act

On November 6th, 2009 Reps. Dave Camp and John Boehner introduced a 220-page substitute healthcare bill in the form of an amendment, H.R. 4038, titled the Common Sense Health Care Reform and Affordability Act.[207] The Boehner alternative included pooling of coverage across state lines to provide healthcare at reduced cost, verification of citizenship or immigrant qualification, improved health savings accounts, allowed minors to stay on parent plans until age 24, implemented tort reform by capping rewards on medical liability lawsuits, and added a prohibition on taxpayer-funded abortion in healthcare plans with exceptions for rape and life of the mother.[208] On May 27th, 2010 the bill was reintroduced as H.R. 4038 and on January 24th, 2011 as H.R. 397 as a replacement when repealing Obamacare, but it died in committee both times.[209]

Patient Centered Healthcare Savings Act

On December 15th, 2011 Rep. Sean Duffy introduced the 212-page Patient Centered Healthcare Savings Act, H.R. 3682, as a replacement for Obamacare.[210] Duffy's bill included tort reform caps on lawsuit damages, expansion of health savings accounts, removal of restrictions on pre-existing conditions, coverage for children to stay on parent healthcare plans until age 23, increased penalties for Medicare fraud, state-run high-risk insurance pools, state incentives to reduce the number of uninsured, and reauthorized Medicaid health opportunity accounts. Duffy's bill, reintroduced in November 2013 as H.R. 3622, died in House committees.[211]

American Health Care Reform Act

On September 8th, 2013 Republicans introduced a comprehensive 182-page bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, H.R. 3121 the American Health Care Reform Act.[212] The bill revolved around a $7,500 deduction for individuals and $20,000 for families that purchase coverage through state healthcare exchanges, while increasing government funding to high-risk pools for those with pre-existing conditions. Other features include pooling of policies across state lines by insurers and small businesses, caps on medical liability lawsuit awards, and expansion of health savings accounts.[213] Obama threatened to veto the bill if it were passed.[214]

GOP Ideas in Obamacare

Obama falsely accused Republicans of not having ideas even as he quietly put some of the most popular Republican ideas in Obamacare, taking credit for them. Examples include tort reform grants to states, allowing children to stay on their parents' plans until age 26, automatic employer enrollment in health insurance, and community mental health centers.[215] State exchanges allowing insurers and small businesses to pool coverage across state lines were also originally a Republican idea.[216] However, Democrat leadership refused to compromise on the core of the bill, government taking over the healthcare industry with an abortion agenda so extreme even pro-life Democrats of their own party rallied to stop it. Republicans never opposed healthcare reform, and indeed had previously passed the largest expansion of Medicare in U.S. history, the 2003 Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act.[217]

No GOP Jobs Bills

Democrat-Run Senate Not Passing Legislation

Obama has accused the GOP of blocking jobs legislation and not producing their own.[218] However it is the Democrat-controlled Senate which is passing legislation at historic lows. Nor did this even start after the Republican takeover of the House after the 2010 elections. The number of bills passed by the Senate dropped drastically once Harry Reid took control of the Senate in 2007, from 204 bills in the 109th Congress (2005-06) to just 112 bills in the 110th Congress (2007-08) when and all the way down to 72 bills in the 111th Congress (2009-10). The Senate passed just 82 bills in 2011-12 and 76 thus far in 2013-14. In other words, Harry Reid stopped the Senate from passing legislation even before Republicans took control of the House. The House on the other hand continues to pass over 300 bills per year, consistent with historical norms, unlike the Senate.[219]

CONGRESS YEARS HOUSE BILLS SENATE BILLS
113th 2013-14 414 76
112th 2011-12 301 82
111th 2009-10 518 72
110th 2007-08 735 112
HARRY REID BECOMES SENATE LEADER[220]
109th 2005-06 376 204
108th 2003-04 372 297
107th 2001-02 369 205
106th 1999-00 384 230
105th 1997-98 328 203
104th 1995-96 263 161
103rd 1993-94 281 184
102nd 1991-92 310 287
101st 1989-90 396 267
100th 1987-88 270 247
99th 1985-86 250 247
98th 1983-84 272 247
97th 1981-82 196 275
96th 1979-80 299 232
95th 1977-78 319 230
94th 1975-76 297 263
93rd 1973-74 239 295

The Democrat-controlled Senate is ignoring hundreds of bills passed by the GOP. As rightly observed by Philip Bump of the Washington Post, "You'll notice a big drop-off in the number of bills that the Senate passed over to the House."[221]

GOP Jobs Bills Stuck in Senate

Republicans point out that they have passed over 40 jobs bills which are stuck in the Democrat-controlled Senate.[222] As such, PolitiFact gives a "Pants-on-Fire" rating to those who claim the GOP has produced no jobs bills.[223] Now it can be contested how well they would create jobs,[224] but for Obama to accuse Republicans of not passing jobs legislation or being a "do nothing Congress" is an outright lie. It is the Democrat-controlled Senate that has by and large stopping legislation, not the GOP House, which will become apparent when Republicans take control of the Senate in January 2015.

GOP Blocked Every Idea To Strengthen Middle Class

Obama ridiculously claimed in 2014 that "So far this year, Republicans in Congress have blocked every serious idea to strengthen the middle class." However, the Washington Post Fact Checker has excellently pointed out a number of bills the GOP has passed such as the Farm Bill, Home Heating Emergency Assistance Through Transportation Act and the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act. Obama even congratulated Congress for passing the Water Resources Reform and Development Act for creating thousands of new jobs, saying "During my State of the Union address, I asked Congress to pass this bill by the summer, and I congratulate this outstanding crew for getting it done." The Fact Checker awards Obama three pinocchios for his dishonest rhetoric.[225]

GOP Filibustered 500 Bills to Help Middle Class

In an excellent article, the Washington Post Fact Checker dismantles Obama's obviously flawed claim that Republicans "have filibustered about 500 pieces of legislation that would help the middle class," awarding Obama all four pinnochios for his falsehood. The Fact Checker first points out that while 527 cloture motions have been filed since 2007, only 133 were successful, and many of those motions were "simply dropped, never actually voted on, or 'vitiated' in the senatorial nomenclature." On top of this, many of the cloture motions are to judicial/executive appointments; for example in the 113th Congress 83 of the 136 cloture motions were for nominations not legislation. The cloture motions do not even necessarily represent different bills, as one bill can be subject to 3 different clotures. Finally, the Fact Checker notes that Obama is including two years, 2007-08, when he was still a Senator, and that during that time Obama himself used the same cloture motions/filibusters he is now criticizing 8 different times. Obama is actually accusing the GOP of filibusters he himself participated in, during a time period (2007-08) when Democrats ran Congress the last 2 years under Bush.[226]

Business Reform

No Loopholes for CEO Pay

In 2008 Obama campaigned on closing loopholes for CEO pay tax deduction but once elected did not attempt to keep this promise. PolitiFact rates this promise broken.[227]

Now granted, Obamacare does include some restriction on CEO health insurance benefit deductions specifically.[228] Furthermore Obama did propose a cap on defense contractors (which are a heavily conservative industry) specifically, although Republican Buck McKeon was already proposing such a cap anyway.[229] The Bailouts even were altered to include some restrictions on CEO pay of bailed out companies specifically.[230] The Stimulus caps came only after public outrage however that the Democrat-authored bailouts of Wall Street were being used by CEOs to give themselves huge bonuses.[231] Ultimately Obama has shown little concern for imposing the wide ranging caps on CEO pay that he argued for on the campaign trail however, despite specific caps such as these.

Nor is this surprising given Obama's cozy relationship with the major tax-dodging CEOs. For all of Obama's rhetoric, many of the most egregious offenders were appointed to positions in Obama's administration. In its 2011 report, "Executive Excess 2011: The Massive CEO Rewards for Tax Dodging," the Institute for Policy Studies determined that the top tax-dodging CEO was General Electric's Jeffrey Immelt.[232] General Electric was the long-time parent company of NBC until February 2013 when Comcast bought NBC from General Electric.[233] General Electric under Immelt dodged far more taxes than any other companies (and it was close), receiving a $3.2 billion refund from the IRS in 2010 alone through use of tax havens and green energy tax breaks. So how did Obama address the criminal theft of Immelt and General Electric? According to the New York Times, "[Obama] has designated G.E.’s chief executive, Jeffrey R. Immelt, as his liaison to the business community and as the chairman of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, and it is expected to discuss corporate taxes."[234]

"Of Obama's corporate favorites, General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt and Honeywell CEO David Cote have served in the highest-profile public positions associated with the administration.... Ford CEO Allan Mulally, Boeing CEO James McNerny Jr. and Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg all served on Obama's Export Council, which the president established in 2010 to help advance his goal of doubling the exports of American products to other countries by 2015. Seidenferd stepped down as Verizon CEO earlier this year, but he is currently chairman of the company. Combined, the three executives secured $58.4 million last year, while their companies scored a combined $767 million federal tax benefit."

-Zach Carter and Jordan Howard, Huffington Post[235]

Nor is this an isolated example. On November 18th of 2014 the IPS released a new report on 7 CEOs who are paid more than they pay the U.S. government in taxes.[236] Ultimately 4 of these 7 tax-dodging CEOs are part of the Obama administration, specifically W. James McInerney (Boeing, formerly GE)[237], Alan Mulally (Ford Motors)[238], Dan Akerson (General Motors)[239], and Michael Corbat (Citigroup).[240] A 5th of the 7 CEOs, Jamie Dimon, has been described by the New York Times as "Obama's favorite banker."[241]

No Bonuses for CEOs of Bankrupt Companies

Obama in 2008 promised to "protect the jobs and benefits of workers and retirees when corporations file for bankruptcy by telling companies that they cannot issue bonuses for executives during bankruptcy while their workers watch their pensions disappear." The promise has since been entirely abandoned leading to a "Promise Broken" rating from PolitiFact.[242] In fact the Obama administration shattered this promise by giving billions through the Department of Energy to green energy companies that provided millions of dollars in bonuses to CEOs before collapsing.[243] Rather than keeping his promise, Obama actually gave billions in taxpayer dollars to liberal special interest groups, green energy companies, that used the money to reward themselves with hefty kickbacks. Rather than honesty, Obama pursued hypocritical cronyism.

Financial Partnerships Pay Corporate Income Tax

In 2008 Obama promised to "require publicly traded financial partnerships to pay the corporate income tax." From 2009-10 Democrats had such complete control of Congress they could pass bills with less than a handful of Republican votes, and could surely have passed this reform then had they chosen to do so. Obama never made it a priority and as a result PolitiFact labels this promise broken.[244]

Tax Carried Interest As Ordinary Income

Obama's 2008 promise to change corporate tax deductions for CEO pay never materialized. Granted, Obama did finally include the change in a 2013 budget proposal, but showed no interest in keeping it from 2009-10 when it actually had a chance of being passed under a Democrat Congress. As a result, the promise was never kept and PolitiFact rates this broken.[245]

Obstructionism

Bipartisanship Lie

Obama lied about bipartisanship on the campaign trail, claiming he would bring both parties together in setting an agenda.[246] Obviously this was a completely dishonest lie.

The McConnell One-Term President Lie

The claim by Barack Obama and Harry Reid that McConnell said he wanted to make Obama a one-term president from day one is an outright lie. As pointed out by the Washington Post Fact Checker McConnell said that two years into Obama's presidency in late 2010, after two years of Democrats excluding Republicans from the legislative process.[247]

The Democrat Supermajority

Contrary to Obama's claims of GOP obstructionism, an examination of 2009 history reveals that it was Democrats who originally refused to include Republicans in bill creation and who rejected cooperation. Democrats ran Congress from 2007 to 2010. The Democratic Party had such complete control of Congress from 2009-10 that they passed the Stimulus with only three Republican votes (Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, and Arlen Specter).[248] The Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, passed the House with just one Republican vote in November 2009 (Joseph Cao) and the Senate without any Republican votes in December 2009. The two bills were reconciled in March 2010 without any Republican votes.

From July 8th, 2009 with the swearing-in of Minnesota Senator Al Franken until February 4th, 2010 when Scott Brown was sworn in to replace deceased Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy, Obama presided over the first Democrat Supermajority since 1958.[249] A Supermajority is where a political party has control of the House, Senate, and Presidency, allowing the party to pass any bills regardless of opposition from the opposing party. Democrats were immune to filibusters during this time; every single Republican could vote No and if all Democrats voted Yes a bill would still pass.

The Stimulus

During Obama’s first two years Democrats refused to cooperate with Republicans entirely, excluding them from the creation of all legislation. Democrats had come off a historic 2008 win, picking up 21 seats in the House and 8 Senate giving them clear control of Congress and the presidency.[250] They decided this was a clear mandate from the American people to do as they wished as evidenced by Nancy Pelosi’s comments to Republicans concerning the Stimulus: “Yes, we wrote the bill. Yes, we won the election.”[251]

Obama replied similarly when accused in January 2009 of breaking his promise of bipartisanship with “I won.”[252] Bloomberg's Kevin Hassett presciently predicted on January 26th, “Civility begins at the beginning. In the next month, Obama will set a tone for Washington that will likely endure as long as he does. If he fails to live up to his rhetoric now, he will fail just as Bush did... He should advise his own staff to begin returning the phone calls of senior Republican aides.”[253]

Newsweek on January 29th, 2009, just eight days after Obama's inauguration, reported that Obama and Rahm Emanuel planned to push their agenda while labeling Republicans the party of no: “’Rahm told the president that he can take care of Congress,' a senior Republican reported to me. 'He said, ‘these guys will roll over, they're afraid of being called the party of No. Believe me, I know them. They'll be easy.’”[254]

John Boehner gave voice to the disenfranchisement of the GOP on the Stimulus, “It appears that the House Democrats are going to continue to barrel ahead without any bipartisan support. We’re trying to understand how their plan is really going to stimulate the economy. How is it going to create more jobs in America and preserve existing jobs in America? And so I believe that my colleagues on the Republican side need to be heard in this process.”[255] As Republican Mike Pence of Indiana complained at the time in January 2009, “Republicans have had no input whatsoever in the development of this so-called stimulus bill.”[256]

Ranking Republicans continued criticizing Obama over broken campaign promises on bipartisanship into February and March of 2009.[257] Senator Lindsey Graham accused Obama of ramming the bill through Congress, and Obama's 2008 presidential opponent John McCain told CNN “It was a bad beginning because it wasn't what we promised the American people, what President Obama promised the American people, that we would sit down together.”[258] Nancy Pelosi airily dismissed GOP criticisms of partisanship, and told her House members to “sell, sell, sell” the Stimulus to their districts to sway public opinion.[259]

Reuters on February 9th candidly observed that “President Barack Obama showed he is willing to cast aside talk of bipartisanship and flex Democratic muscle to push opposition Republicans out of the way in the battle over a U.S. economic stimulus.”[260] On February 14th the New York Times wrote “The lesson, Democrats said, is that it is not so important to win bipartisan support as long as Mr. Obama is seen by the public as trying.”[261] In late March, McCain said that he had been consulted only once since Inauguration Day by the Obama administration, and then by a lawyer for the White House on the closing of Guantanamo Bay.[262]

Mitch McConnell expressed similar sentiment. “After two months, the president has not governed in the middle as I had hoped he would. But it's not too late. He's only been in office a couple of months. Still before him are the opportunities to deal with us on a truly bipartisan basis.” McConnell further predicted Obama's administration “is going to be the furthest to the left of any government...certainly in my lifetime. I’m not sure that’s what people voted for. I mean they were angry with President Bush. They were not happy with the economy...Whether they intended to see America turned into a Western European country as a result of an explosion of spending and debt and regulation is an-other matter.”[263]

Obamacare

On February 24th, 2009, Obama began urging Congress to pass healthcare reform, and on March 5th, he held a healthcare summit.[264] Contrary to his earlier promises of bipartisanship he did not even meet with Republicans until January 27th, 2010, eleven months later.[265] Despite national protests against the bill Obama and the Democrats tried to force the bill through Congress without examination or bipartisanship. Nancy Pelosi famously argued at the time, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”[266]

Following an initial pretense at bipartisanship the election of Al Franken was upheld on June 30th, 2009 by the Minnesota Supreme Court, giving Democrats a supermajority that allowed them to pass bills without any Republican votes in both the House and Senate.[267] Word of what would happen had leaked the week before however, for on June 25th Republican Paul Ryan told ABC News “Unfortunately, it doesn't look like it will be bipartisan health care reform. Democrats have the votes, and they've told us they're not interested in sincere bipartisanship.”[268]

“The ball is in President Obama's court to reach out to Republicans if he wants a bipartisan bill on healthcare reform, House GOP Leader John Boehner (Ohio) said Monday morning. Boehner told reporters that the president has not invited House GOP leaders to the White House for meetings on healthcare reform since the end of April. Earlier this year, GOP leaders sent a letter to the president in May stating that they would like to work with the administration to find 'common ground' on healthcare reform. But the administration responded with a tersely worded letter indicating that they had healthcare reform under control.”

-Molly K. Cooper, The Hill[269]

In early August John McCain accused Democrats of locking Republicans out of the bill creation process, telling CNN “Unfortunately there was no input by Republicans in writing the bill in the HELP Committee. It was all a Democratic proposal. That's not the way you want to begin if you're really interested in a true bipartisan result. Maybe we can go back and all of us – and I'd be glad to play a role. I have been playing a small role on the committee. I'd be glad to try and help. But it's got to be a true sit down, OK, what are you going to concede? What are you going to concede? How can we come together? Not, here's the plan; how can we fix it so it satisfies enough of you to call it, quote, 'bipartisan.'”[270]


Wealth and Poverty

No Taxes on Middle Class

This promise was broken just in his first year, with the Associated Press pointing out that "He promised repeatedly not to raise taxes on anyone but the rich, then did, approving a tobacco tax increase that disproportionately hits the poor."[271] PolitiFact in 2010 pointed to this and a tax on tanning services as evidence of a broken promise.[272] Furthermore, the Supreme Court only upheld Obamacare as a tax, yet another violation of Obama's earlier promise.[273] Obama even specifically lied about Obamacare, saying the mandate was not a tax.[274] The GOP has done a thorough fact check of Obama's repeated false claims on this issue.[275]

No Taxes on Seniors Making Less Than $50,000

Obama similarly promised there would be no taxes on seniors making less than $50,000, but once elected showed no interest in keeping that promise. PolitiFact rates it broken.[276]

Most Money Came from Small Donors

Obama in 2010 dishonestly claimed that most of his money came from small donors. As PolitiFact concluded, "That's not the case. Only 32 percent of his general election money came from people who gave $200 or less. We rate his statement False."[277] In fact, Obama received far more in large contributions from the wealthy than his opponents Mitt Romney and John McCain did in 2012 and 2008.[278] In fact, the top Wall Street investment bank, Goldman Sachs, was a key contributor to Obama in 2008.[279]

Increase Affordable Housing in Metropolitan Areas

Obama's campaign promise of an Affordable Housing Trust Fund never materialized.

"Of course, it's impossible to know whether Obama could have secured new money for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund if it had been higher on his list of priorities. But we do know that in his first two years, Obama signed into law an economic stimulus package worth more than $700 billion, a comprehensive health reform law and an overhaul of financial regulations for Wall Street. His administration also pushed for new laws on climate change and immigration reform. The housing trust fund received less attention than any of those broad-reaching initiatives."

-J.B. Wogan, PolitiFact.[280]

Walk With Picketers if Unionization Rights Threatened

On the campaign trail in 2007 Obama vowed "If American workers are being denied their right to organize when I'm in the White House, I will put on a comfortable pair of shoes and I will walk on that picket line with you as president of the United States."[281] Years later when criticizing Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker for an assault on unions, Obama refused to keep his promise even when reporter Chip Reid and several Congressional Democrats called on him to keep it.[282]

Foreclosure Prevention Fund

Obama campaigned on a foreclosure prevention fund to help poor borrowers and the Stimulus even provided $75 billion in funding for this purpose. However, despite being billed at helping 9 million homeowners, it only helped 500. According to ProPublica, "With millions of homeowners still struggling to stay in their homes, the Obama administration's $75 billion foreclosure prevention program has been weakened, perhaps fatally, by lax oversight and a posture of cooperation—rather than enforcement—with the nation's biggest banks."[283] PolitiFact thus concludes that "the evidence has been mounting for some time that the foreclosure prevention fund has fallen far short of its goals. If it ever rights itself, we'd certainly be willing to reconsider our rating. But today, it hasn't helped many homeowners faced with losing their houses. We conclude it's a Promise Broken."[284]

Media

Protect Whistleblowers

On the campaign trail candidate Obama promised to "strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government."[285] In reality, as pointed out by Jake Tapper of CNN, "the Obama administration has used the Espionage Act to go after whistleblowers who leaked to journalists ... more than all previous administrations combined."[286] Even Attorney General Eric Holder has bragged that the administration has brought more leak cases than all previous administrations.[287] Holder's Department of Justice also secretly seized two months of phone records without notification from the Associated Press, one of the largest international organizations of journalists.[288] The White House has even forced changes to press pool reports, altering the news as it pleases.[289]

Diversity in Media Ownership

On the campaign trail Obama promised to "encourage diversity in the ownership of broadcast media, promote the development of new media outlets for expression of diverse viewpoints, and clarify the public interest obligations of broadcasters who occupy the nation's spectrum." As noted by PolitiFact this promise has been clearly and substantially broken.[290] In fact, Obama has declared war on conservative news outlets, using the power of his administration to try and silence FOX News.[291] The Obama administration even sought to get FOX removed from the White House Press Pool.[292]

Foreign Policy

Restrict Outsourcing

Obama has drawn broad criticism from both sides of the aisle for backtracking on his earlier promises to stop outsourcing of American jobs.[293] Obama's flip-flop on the issue was so noticeable that Mitt Romney termed Obama the "outsourcer in chief."[294] In fact, billions of dollars from Obama's stimulus created jobs overseas rather than in the United States.[295]

"An investigation by ABC News and the Investigative Reporting Workshop found that 79 percent of the program's money has gone to foreign companies, money that Schumer said was 'federal tax dollars, the stimulus, which was sold as jobs in America.' The senators are especially alarmed about a project highlighted by ABC News in West Texas that uses turbines manufactured in China. The Texas wind farm is eligible for up to $450 million in stimulus funds."

-Jonathan Karl, ABC News[296]

No Tax Deductions for Companies that Offshore

Candidate Obama campaigned on ending tax deductions for companies that send jobs overseas.[297] Once elected he showed no interest in keeping this promise, supporting unrestricted free trade and sending jobs overseas.

Consult Congressional Leaders Before Military Actions

"I will call for a standing, bipartisan consultative group of congressional leaders on national security. I will meet with this consultative group every month and consult with them before taking major military action."

-Barack Obama, 2007[298]

Ha. There have been many examples of Obama taking military action without approval from Congress, Libya for example.

"The Obama administration argued Wednesday that its nearly three-month-old military involvement in Libya does not require congressional approval because of the supporting role most U.S. forces are playing there, a position that puts it at odds with some Republican leaders and the antiwar wing of its own party."

-Scott Wilson, the Washington Post[299]

Invade Pakistan

In 2007 at the AFL-CIO Democratic Forum Obama denied having supported a unilateral invasion of Pakistan, saying "I did not say that we would immediately go in unilaterally. What I said was that we have to work with [Pakistan’s President Pervez] Musharraf." However, Obama had on August 1st said "I understand that President Musharraf has his own challenges. But let me make this clear. There are terrorists holed up in those mountains who murdered 3,000 Americans. They are plotting to strike again. It was a terrible mistake to fail to act when we had a chance to take out an al Qaeda leadership meeting in 2005. If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will."

As observed by FactCheck.org, "Sen. Barack Obama attempted to revise his own earlier remarks about invading Pakistan... But the record shows Obama’s original remarks were much tougher than that... Sen. Obama rewrote history when he defended his controversial remarks about invading Pakistan if necessary to eliminate al Qaeda."[300]

Congress Owns Sequestration Cuts to Military

Obama dishonestly sought to lay blame for the sequestration cuts on Congress by saying "First of all, the sequester is not something that I've proposed. It is something that Congress has proposed. It will not happen." However PolitiFact has rated this claim mostly false and concludes that "it was Obama’s negotiating team that came up with the idea for defense cuts in 2011, though they were intended to prod Congress to come up with a better deal for reining in the deficit, not as an effort to make those cuts reality."[301]

No Boots on Ground in Libya

Despite publicly insisting there would be no U.S. troops on the ground in Libya, Obama "Obama signed a secret finding authorizing the C.I.A. to provide arms and other support to Libyan rebels" and "small groups of C.I.A. operatives have been working in Libya for several weeks as part of a shadow force of Westerners that the Obama administration hopes can help bleed Colonel Qaddafi’s military" according to the New York Times.[302]

Double the Peace Corps

The 2008 promise was that "Barack Obama will double the Peace Corps to 16,000 by its 50th anniversary in 2011 and push Congress to fully fund this expansion, with a focus on Latin America and the Caribbean." Obama's proposed budgets have not even come close to attempting to keep this promise resulting in PolitiFact's "Promise Broken" rating.[303]

Science

National Aeronautics and Space Council

"Will re-establish an organizational authority in the federal government with a sufficiently broad mandate to oversee a comprehensive and integrated strategy and policy dealing with all aspects of the government's space-related programs, including those being managed by NASA, the Department of Defense, the National Reconnaissance Office, the Commerce Department, the Transportation Department, and other federal agencies. This Council reporting to the president "will oversee and coordinate civilian, military, commercial and national security space activities. It will solicit public participation, engage the international community, and work toward a 21st century vision of space that constantly pushes the envelope on new technologies as it pursues a balanced national portfolio that expands our reach into the heavens and improves life here on Earth."

-Barack Obama 2008, "Obama: Advancing the Frontiers of Space Exploration"[304]

On the campaign trail Obama was happy to promise to restore the National Aeronautics and Space Council.[304] Obviously this never occurred and Obama actually cut NASA funding.

"Supporters of planetary science are rallying against NASA's proposed 2014 budget, which they say unfairly guts funding for solar system research and exploration. The Obama administration unveiled the budget plan April 10, requesting $17.7 billion for NASA — $50 million less than the agency got in 2012."

-Clara Moskowitz, Space.com[305]

Human Mission to Moon by 2020

Another campaign promise obliterated. Obama promised to "endorse the goal of sending human missions to the Moon by 2020, as a precursor in an orderly progression to missions to more distant destinations, including Mars."

"Obama's proposed budget would cancel Constellation, the successor system for the space shuttle, after NASA has already spent $9 billion on the program. And along with canceling Costellation, Obama offered an alternative road map for human space exploration over the next decade or more... the president has made clear his opposition to the idea of landing a human on the moon by 2020, which was the linchpin of Promise 339. So we are moving it from In the Works to Promise Broken."

-Louis Jacobson, PolitiFact[306]

Obama also similarly promised to "expedite the development of the Shuttle's successor systems for carrying Americans to space so we can minimize the gap." This likewise has proven a lie.[307]

$50 Billion by 2013 for HIV/AIDS

"Pledged to provide at least $50 billion by 2013 for the global fight against HIV/AIDS, including our fair share of the Global Fund, in order to at least double the number of HIV-positive people on treatment and continue to provide treatments to one-third of all those who desperately need them. This funding will allow the U.S. to meet its commitments that have been flat-funded by the Bush Administration, which includes expanding existing programs to help the millions of children orphaned and made vulnerable by AIDS, increasing the number of health care workers by at least one million, preventing violence against women and girls, and improving health care systems so that U.S. assistance can be fully and effectively utilized."

-Barack Obama, 2008[308]

As noted by PolitiFact, Obama has angered the AIDS Healthcare Foundation so much it ran a negative ad against him, because he asked Congress to cut funding for HIV/AIDS. It appears questionable whether he is even doing a better job on the subject than the Bush administration which he criticized.[308]

Agriculture

Tax Breaks for New Farmers

After campaigning on providing tax breaks to new farmers, Obama not only broke this promise but even reduced government spending on agriculture as a deliberate strategy.[309]

Limit Subsidies for Agribusiness

"Obama will implement a $250,000 [farm commodity] payment limitation so that we help family farmers, not large corporate agribusiness. Obama will close the loopholes that allow megafarms to get around the limits by subdividing their operations into multiple paper corporations."

-Barack Obama, 2008[310]

PolitiFact observes that "President George W. Bush's administration made an attempt and did 'minimal reform,' Hoefner said, and the Obama administration did not carry the ball further. It's possible that the pending farm bill could make this pledge a reality, but that seems like a long shot. If it does, we'll change our rating. Until then, we'll call this a Promise Broken."[310]

Energy

Keystone XL Would Only Create 2,000 Jobs

Obama attempted to downplay the effects of the Keystone XL Pipeline being proposed, by claiming it would create "maybe 2,000 jobs" suggesting even 2,000 was unlikely. However, actual estimates show 3,900 would be created, bare minimum, and possibly as many as 42,100 annually (although this number includes part-time jobs and jobs created as the spending moves through the economy). As a result, PolitiFact has rated this claim false.[311]

White House Plug-in Fleet Within One Year

"Within one year of becoming President, the entire White House fleet will be converted to plug-ins as security permits."

-Barack Obama, 2008[312]

Just another case with Obama of do as I say, not as I do. Louis Jacobson of PolitiFact concludes "this is one of a handful of promises that came with a specified time limit -- and the White House did not meet that deadline, which came and went almost a year ago. So we're calling it a Promise Broken."[312]

External Sources

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