A friend (Republican, of course) recently expressed his “disappointment” about President Obama’s unbroken promises. He named one: the president promising to cut the deficit in half in my 1st four years or not run again. Well, first I asked him if there were any more broken promises that he could think of, or if that was his only example. I always give them a chance to wriggle away, though this particular friend never does. Then, I presented the facts. Here you go:

Image courtesy of Politifact.com
Image courtesy of Politifact.com



President Obama made 508 promises during his 2008 presidential campaign. Politifact has tracked them carefully. Of course, many of my righties reject anything Politifact does because…well, just because. They consider them liberal-biased. Never mind that these facts are easily enough checked. But no…anyhow.

From Politifact via Tampa Bay Times:

Top 10 Promises Kept (so far)

1 End the use of torture.

What happened? Obama said he would stop the torture of terror suspects, and human rights experts say he did.

2 Seek verifiable reductions in nuclear stockpiles.

What happened? In 2010, the Senate ratified a new START treaty for the United States and Russia to verify reductions in nuclear weapons.

3 Create new financial regulations.

What happened? Obama signed a massive overhaul of financial regulations in 2010. It included a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to look out for the little guy.

4 Sign a “universal” health care bill.

What happened? Republicans may hate the individual mandate, but it allows Obama to make a credible case that the health care law will lead to universal coverage.

5 Extend the Bush tax cuts for lower incomes.

What happened? A rare compromise with Republicans at the end of 2010 left in place current tax rates for middle-class Americans. What happens when they expire in 2013 is the great unknown.

6 Fully fund the Veterans Administration.

What happened? It doesn’t get much attention, but Obama kept his promises on veterans, sending more money and resources to programs that serve them.

7 Direct military leaders to end war in Iraq.

What happened? Obama did as he said, bringing the Iraq war to its conclusion. A Promise Kept for a huge campaign issue.

8 Repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

What happened? The policy that stopped gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military ended in 2011.

9 Raise fuel economy standards.

What happened? Obama won increases for the required miles-per-gallon in cars, reducing oil consumption and carbon emissions.

10 We will kill bin Laden.

Top 10 Promises Broken (so far)

1Create a foreclosure prevention fund for homeowners.

What happened? Obama created a fund, but it failed to meet its own benchmarks for helping homeowners. A special inspector general deemed the program “a colossal failure.”

2 Repeal the Bush tax cuts for higher incomes.

What happened? In 2010, Obama agreed to a deal with Republicans to extend the current tax rates for another two years. Obama will get another shot at keeping this promise if he wins re-election.

3 Close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center.

What happened? Obama has consistently said he wants the facility closed, but he hasn’t found a way to get Congress to agree. Guantanamo Bay remains open.

4 Create cap-and-trade system with interim goals to reduce global warming.

What happened? A bill for cap-and-trade passed the U.S. House of Representatives in 2009, but the Senate wouldn’t bite. Now Republicans control Congress, and it’s considered dead.

5 Sign the Employee Free Choice Act, making it easier for workers to unionize.

What happened? This didn’t get done when Democrats controlled Congress, and now it looks as if it won’t get done at all, thanks to Republican opposition.

6 Allow imported prescription drugs.

What happened? The White House dropped this pledge as it lured drugmakers to get on board with the president’s health care law. The promise hasn’t been heard from since.

7 Sign the Freedom of Choice Act.

What happened? Candidate Obama said one of the first things he wanted to do was sign abortion rights legislation. President Obama said he had other priorities and wanted to tamp down anger surrounding the issue.

8 Create a public option health plan for a new National Health Insurance Exchange.

What happened? Congress rejected the idea for a public health insurance option open to everyone. Obama downplayed the fact that it was left out of the final version of the health care law.

9 Introduce a comprehensive immigration bill in the first year.

What happened? Obama said he would introduce legislation that included a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. But other priorities — health care and financial regulation — seemed to run out the clock.

10 Bring Democrats and Republicans together to pass an agenda.

What happened? On matters large and small, partisanship is worse than ever.

For more, visit Politifact.

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