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Empty Promises Will Not Restore Our Economy


Location: Washington, DC

Since taking office in January 2009, President Obama has spoken of a sweeping agenda with promises of a stronger economy, fiscal discipline, improved health care and cheaper energy from the full-range of our energy resources. Unfortunately, these were empty promises.

The promises started with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or the "stimulus" bill, which the President's economic advisers said would hold the unemployment rate below eight percent. Instead, the unemployment rate has stayed above eight percent for forty straight months.

By the first half of 2012, the Administration expected the stimulus-fed economy to have unemployment at six percent and falling. Despite an $831 billion dollar stimulus binge, the unemployment rate is still 0.6 percent higher now than it was in January 2009.

The stimulus has hardly been the President's only unfulfilled promise with a steep price tag. In February 2009, he said, "I'm pledging to cut the deficit we inherited by half by the end of my first term in office." What we got instead was four consecutive years with deficits of more than $1 trillion.

During the 2009 State of the Union address, the President stated his belief that we have a "responsibility to ensure that we do not pass on to [our children] a debt they cannot pay." Instead of following through on that commitment, he has persisted in proposing unserious budgets that have not garnered a single vote in Congress the last two years. His most recent budget calls for new spending, raising taxes by nearly $2 trillion, and adding $11 trillion to our national debt. By failing to address our debt burden, the President has overseen more than $5 trillion in new debt in fewer than four years. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that our debt will reach a crushing $16 trillion this year.

The President also told us that "if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan" under his new health care law. But according to the CBO, the health care law's regulatory burdens will actually force three million Americans off of their employer-sponsored coverage by 2022. A recent survey of seventy-one Fortune 100 companies found that they could save nearly $30 billion in 2014 by eliminating employer-sponsored insurance. The President's health care reform law actually creates incentives to take away employees' health care.

In his 2012 State of the Union, the President said, "This country needs an all-out, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy." Instead, he has actively opposed coal, as well as opportunities to increase our supply of oil. According to the Environmental Protection Agency's own numbers, his regulatory onslaught against coal will cost utilities and consumers billions of dollars. His repeated denial of the Keystone XL pipeline leaves 20,000 direct jobs, 118,000 spin-off jobs and 500,000 daily barrels of oil on the sidelines.

Actions speak louder than words. The President's broken promises have led us down a failed path. The House has passed legislation laying out another direction to empower our economy, impose fiscal discipline and promote energy independence by using our resources.

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