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Guest Post: 82 prior State of the Union Promises Not Kept

In Economics,Elections on January 31, 2014 by Robert Burke

While conventional wisdom says I’m getting lazy using someone else material, efficient markets say I am using what is just laying around.  Me?  I say I’m just looking for the truth.

Grabien writes:

Tonight President Obama delivers his fifth State of the Union address (sixth if you count his unofficial 2009 address), during which he is expected to engage the usual custom of issuing a variety of new promises.But what of past promises? Have they been fulfilled?
Do you remember that in 2009 he promised to create universal private retirement savings accounts?
Or his 2009 promise to close Gitmo?
Or his 2010 promise that ObamaCare would not interfere with Americans’ existing health-care plans?
What about his promise to pass immigration reform, which he has repeated in almost every State of the Union address during his presidency?
Grabien went back and looked at all the promises Mr. Obama made in these five speeches. We count 82 promises that remain uncompleted. See for yourself.
[Full 12 minute video link][Condensed 4 minute version]
Here’s the full list of unfulfilled promises:
2009
1: The American Investment and Recovery Act will create 3.9 million jobs over two years 90 percent of which will be in the private sector.
2: The HARP plan will help millions of families struggling to refinance and make payments on homes declining in value.
3: The recovery plan will double America’s supply of renewable energy in three years.
4: The largest investment in research funding in America’s history will spur discoveries and breakthroughs in energy, medicine, science, and technology.
5: Thousands of miles of power lines will be laid, bringing electricity to cities across America, and creating thousands of jobs.
6: By making homes and buildings more efficient, we will save billions of dollars on energy.
7: “We will launch a new effort to conquer a disease that has touched the lives of nearly every American, including me, by seeking a cure for cancer in our time.”
8: Promoting and funding preventive care will keep Americans healthy, and keep ObamaCare costs low.
9: To bring down the deficit by making government more efficient.
10: “I pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term in office.”
11: $2 trillion will be cut from the budget over the next decade.
12: For families who make less than $250,000 per year, “you will not see your taxes increased a single dime.”
13: Comprehensive health care reform will strengthen Medicare in the years to come.
14: To develop a plan to strengthen Social Security in a similar way …
15: … While creating tax-free universal savings accounts for all Americans.
16: To close the Guantanamo Bay detention center.
2010
17: A new high-speed railroad in Tampa, Fla., funded by the Recovery Act.
18: The investment in research could lead to more efficient solar cells, or treatment that kills cancer cells but leaves healthy cells.
19: To build a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in the U.S.
20: To pass an energy reform bill that incentivizes clean energy.
21: ObamaCare allows the insured to keep their doctors and their plans.
22: ObamaCare reduces costs for families and companies.
23: ObamaCare will bring down the deficit by $1 trillion in the next two decades, according to the U.S. Budget Office.
24: To balance the stimulus and recovery spending, “starting in 2011, we are prepared to freeze government spending for three years.”
25: “Like any cash-strapped family, we will work within a budget to invest in what we need, and sacrifice what we don’t—”
26: “— And if I have to enforce this discipline by veto, I will.”
27: “We will continue to go through the budget line-by-line, page-by-page, to eliminate programs that don’t work.”
28: A bi-partisan fiscal commission will ensure that budget reform, and that won’t be a “Washington gimmick.”
29: The Senate should restore the pay-as-you-go law, which led to budget surplus in the 1990s.
30: “Tonight, I’m calling on Congress to publish all earmark requests on a single website before there’s a vote, so that the American people can see how their money’s being spent.”
31: “I will not give up on trying to change the tone of our politics.”
32: “We should continue the work of fixing our broken immigration system —”
33: “— to secure our borders, and to enforce our laws—”
34: “— and to ensure that everyone who plays by the rules can contribute to our economy and enrich our nation.”
2011
35: To meet energy goals, we will need to use wind, solar, natural gas, nuclear, and clean coal.
36: “Now, I strongly believe that we should take on once and for all the issue of illegal immigration.”
37: “I am prepared to work with Republicans and Democrats to protect our borders, enforce our laws —”
38: “— and address the millions of undocumented workers who are now living in the shadows.”
39: “We will put put of Americans to work repairing our crumbling roads and bridges. We will make sure this is fully paid for —”
40: “— attract private investment —”
41: “— and pick projects based on what’s best for the American economy, not politicians.”
42: Give 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail in the next 25 years.
43: Make it possible for businesses to provide high speed wireless coverage to 98 percent of Americans in the next five years.
44: To lower the corporate tax rate for the first time in 25 years.
45: To reduce barriers to growth and investment by reviewing rules for unnecessary burdens on businesses.
46: ”So tonight, I am proposing that this year, we freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years.
47: The Affordable Care Act will slow the rising costs of Medicare and Medicaid.
48: To rein in frivolous lawsuits by reforming medical malpractice laws in order to lower costs.
49: To re-organize government agencies to make the government more effective and efficient.
50: To create a website which details all government spending.
51: “If a bill comes to my desk with earmarks inside, I will veto it.”
2012
52: “If companies that choose to stay America and gets hit with the highest tax rate in the world, it makes no sense, and everyone knows it. So let’s change it.”
53: “I want to cut through the maze of confusing training programs, so that from now on, people like Jackie have one program, one website, and one place to go for all the information and help that they need.”
54: “It is time to turn our unemployment system into a re-employment system that puts people to work.”
55: “I believe as strongly as ever that we should take on illegal immigration.”
56: “I am proposing that every state — every state — requires that all students stay in high school until they graduate, or until they turn 18.”
57: “Tonight, I am directing my administration to open more than 75 percent of our potential off-shore oil and gas resources.”
58: “This country needs and all-out, all-of-the-above strategy, that develops every available source of American energy.”
59: “We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly 100 years. And my administration will take every possible action to safely develop this energy.”
60: “I’ve ordered every federal agency to eliminate rules that don’t make sense. We’ve already announced over 500 reforms.”
61: “We will also establish a financial crimes unit of highly trained investigators to crack down on financial fraud, and protect people’s investments.”
62: “I’ve asked this Congress to grant me the authority to consolidate the federal bureaucracy, so that our government is leaner, quicker, and more responsive to the needs of the American people.”
63: To end partisan gridlock based on strongly held ideology.
2013
64: To enact Medicare reforms that give the same savings as the reforms of the Simpson-Bowles commission.
65: “We’ll reduce tax-payer subsidies to prescription drug companies —”
66: “— and ask more from wealthy seniors.”
67: “We’ll bring down costs by changing the way our government pays for Medicare.”
68: Save money by getting rid of tax breaks for the wealthy.
69: Reform taxes that rewards job creation and reduces deficit.
70: Cut red tape to make it easy to obtain oil and gas permits.
71: Create energy trust to drive development of new technology to shift cars and trucks off of oil and gas.
72: “I propose a fix-it-first program to put people to work on our most urgent repairs.”
73: To make pre-school available to every child in America.
74: To make affordability and value a factor in deciding which colleges receive federal aid.
75: “The time has come to pass comprehensive immigration reform.”
76: To raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour.
77: Incentivize hiring of currently unemployed people.
78: Put people back to work rebuilding run-down neighborhoods.
79: Give tax credits to businesses that hire and invest.
80: Remove financial deterrents to marriage for low-income couples, and encourage fatherhood.
81: “By the end of next year, our war in Afghanistan will be over.”
82: “Our government should not make promises we can’t keep, but we must keep the promises we’ve already made.”

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