5 Broken Democratic Promises from 2008

As the party gets set to re-convene, take a tour through the ghosts of broken DNC vows past.

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1) Creating Five Million "Green Jobs"

In his acceptance speech, echoing scores of similar claims throughout the 2008 DNC, candidate Obama vowed that, "I'll invest 150 billion dollars over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy—wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels; an investment that will lead to new industries and 5 million new jobs that pay well and can't ever be outsourced."

The investment part of the pledge is well-spoken for—$80 billion in the stimulus alone. But as The New York Times concluded one year ago (and as Reason has long predicted), "Federal and state efforts to stimulate creation of green jobs have largely failed." Central planning of the alternative energy business was a disaster under Jimmy Carter, and it has been a wipeout under Barack Obama.

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  • wareagle||

    millions more are unemployed than when Obama took office, median income is down, gas costs $2 more a gallon, the actual size of the labor force has shrunk making the jobless rate appear far lower than it actually is, the Muslim world no more likes us today than it did under the evil Booosh, and based on Isaac, doesn't look like the waters are receding, either.

    But other than all that, of course, we're better off, if by better you mean closer to becoming just another spot on the map.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    But our President won a Nobel peace prize for being "inspiring".

  • ThatSkepticGuy||


  • John||

    The renewable energy obsession is flat out religous superstition. It is as if a fundamentalist Christian were elected President and decided to base national health policy on prayer circles. Renewable energy is just as stupid and even more counter productive.

  • tarran||

    I agree wholeheartedly with your analysis, John.*

    *Post heavily altered to make it past the effing squirrels gatekeeping.

  • sarcasmic||

    How can you be such a cold rationalist?

    Renewable energy feels good! It's about saving the planet! I mean, how cool is that?
    By forcing people to use higher priced renewable energy against their will, you can save the planet!
    So what if the Chinese are building a coal fired power plant every week, if you do your part you can save the planet!
    Why don't you want to save the planet, John? What kind of corporate monster are you? How much is Big Oil paying you?
    Shill! Shill! Prove you're not a shill, you shill!

  • tarran||

    You can't save Holy Mother Gaia without dicing a few migratory birds as a sacrifice.

  • jacob the barbarian||

    but diced migratory birds, especially waterfowl, on a baguette, with arugula (BHO loves arugula) are tasty. So fuck the planet, I want my lunch.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    1) Creating Five Million "Green Jobs"

    Presidents can't create private sector jobs, as we know. They can remove their own impediments to job creation. Obama has failed to do this. The green part is irrelevant.

    2) Balancing the Budget

    If only the country would let him raise taxes to meet his spending.

    3) Refusing to Raise Taxes on the Middle Class

    Well, raise more taxes.

    4) Reforming Immigration

    Unions don't like the cheap labor competition, what can he say?

    5) Restoring America's Moral Standing in the World

    As soon as the drones kill everyone who doesn't like us, America is going to smell like roses.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Well, raise more taxes.


  • wareagle||

    They can remove their own impediments to job creation.

    sadly, that statement reflects a minority viewpoint. I don't know how many liberals I've heard saying "if only a jobs bill had been passed......" If that's all it took, there would never be unemployment.

  • Sevo||

    "if only a jobs bill had been passed......"
    Jobs Bill:
    All excavation shall be done with teaspoons.
    That's about as good as we could expect from the federal government.

  • Jesse James Dean||

    A 3 word law that would eliminate unemployment:

    Farm equipment illegal

  • WTF||

    Well, he was apperently thwarted by the rethuglicans in his entire first term. It will be different this time around, we promise!

  • jacob the barbarian||

    How did the Rethugs stop him when they were a super minority in the Senate and a minority in the house? Er. Uh. Wait. Never mind.

  • Mumu Bobby||

    With laser beams of hateful hate.

  • Ken Shultz||

    He made promises about warrantless wiretapping that were broken.

    For one thing, under an Obama presidency, Americans will be able to leave behind the era of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and "wiretaps without warrants," he said.


    It's hardly a new stance for Obama, who has made similar statements in previous campaign speeches, but mention of the issue in a stump speech, alongside more frequently discussed topics like Iraq and education, may give some clue to his priorities.

    In our own Technology Voters' Guide, when asked whether he supports shielding telecommunications and Internet companies from lawsuits accusing them of illegal spying, Obama gave us a one-word response: "No."

    ----c|net January 8, 2008


    So that's what he promised. What did he do once he got in office?

    On January 23, 2009, the administration of President Barack Obama adopted the same position as his predecessor when it urged U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker to set aside a ruling in Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation et al. v. Obama, et al.[43] The Obama administration also sided with the former administration in its legal defense of July, 2008 legislation that immunized the nation's telecommunications companies from lawsuits accusing them of complicity in the eavesdropping program, according to testimony by Attorney General Eric Holder.[44]


  • ||

    Gitmo, rendition, warrantless wiretapping, indefinite detention, and assassination without trial were only bad because we didn't have Top Men at the helm. We can trust Barack.

  • Ken Shultz||

    So, what happened between January 8, 2008 and January 23, 2009?

    Obama got elected, and that changes everything! ...as far as Obama's concerned. When he gets reelected, that'll change everything, too.

    If Obama lied about that promise to get elected, he'd lie about all the promises he's making now to get reelected, too.

  • DJF||

    Not a fan of Obama but it seems strange to criticize him for both not attacking Syria and for attacking people in other countries. Is the criticism suppose to be for attacking too many countries or not enough countries?

    Another lie was Obama telling the voters in Ohio that he would renegotiate NAFTA. Of course the good news was that Obama kept his promise given at the same time to the Canadians that he would not renegotiate NAFTA

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Always a possible view that he isn't attacking the right countries.

  • ||

    As was pointed out in the final couple sentences of the article, the point wasn't to criticize the results of his broken promises, but merely to point out which promises he made and then did pretty much the exact opposite.

  • ||

    Matt, your first link in the second paragraph of the 6th page, "Going through that list, the war in Iraq is ongoing and the U.S...." is from 2009, and hardly mentions the war in Iraq at all, let alone that it's still going on. Did you mean for that to link to something else?

  • Barack||

    Busted! Nobody ever clicks the damned links!

  • ||

    "...campaign strategist David Axelrod countered, "We're in a better position than we were four years ago in our economy."

    What the fuck does that mean Dave? I am being held down in an uncomfortable position and ass raped, but I manage to squirm a bit and relieve some of the discomfort of my position so I am in a better position while I am being ass raped? What a gratuitous sophist. I think you need your ass kicked Dave, then you would be in a better position to shut the fuck up.

  • josh||

    i guess i know why president say they're going to create "x" amount of jobs, but has anyone ever done it....actually met that number? i won't even get literal and will ignore the argument that presidents don't create jobs, only business does, etc. also, i don't count clinton because he got lucky with the tech boom and that's just too much of a helping hand.

    anyone ever met their number that we know of in the time they promised?

  • sticks||

    Please for the love of God could you give us back the single page view!!!!

  • ||

    You damn socialist. Each promise gets it's own page, but you don't like that, do you? You want them to share some sort of socialized page? A communal page, where none of them get their own space, but they have to share it? Screw you, fasco-anti-colonialist-socialist you.

  • Loki||

    Well, after creating a tobacco tax and a tanning tax, prohibiting deductions for over-the-counter medications, and imposing the individual-mandate tax—all of which apply to people earning well under $250,000—Obama had the chutzpah to tell Bill O'Reilly, "I haven’t raised taxes once."

    Depends on what you mean by raise. Creating new taxes such as the tobacco and tanning taxes, and the healthcare penaltax technically don't count as "raising" taxes. Prohibiting deductions on over the counter meds could also be spun as him closing a loophole. I don't think he ever promised not to create entirely new taxes out of whole cloth.

  • triclops||

    So then the only thing that counts as raising taxes is changing the federal tax bracket %s?
    I would say that is disingenuous, to say the least.

  • jason||

    In 2008 the Obama make too much promises to comes into the power and some of them are not completed yet,

  • Heartless Bastard||

    Yep, that's basically the theme here. Good work.


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