by Hans Bader
It’s been a year since the president was elected, and he’s already piled up an impressive list of lies and broken promises.
The broken promises include his pledge to enact a “net spending cut,” his promise not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 a year, and his promise not to sign bills without first giving the public five days of notice.
The Congressional Budget Office says that Obama’s proposed budgets will explode the national debt through massive spending increases, increasing the already large deficits left behind by the Bush administration from $4.4 trillion to $9.3 trillion. His record-setting budgets flagrantly violate his promise to propose a “net spending cut.”
Obama broke his campaign promise not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 a year by signing into law a regressive excise tax increase to expand the SCHIP program, and by proposing a cap-and-trade energy tax that could charge up to $2 trillion, a massive cost that Obama himself has said will be passed “on to consumers,” as well as homeowners and motorists. (In 2008, Obama privately admitted to the San Francisco Chronicle that if he was elected, electricity bills would “skyrocket” under his administration, but it didn’t report that).
He also broke his promise not to raise taxes by backing health-care bills that would impose a laundry list of new taxes on the middle class, including a tax on uninsured people. Americans for Tax Reform earlier summarized the tax increases in ObamaCare: an individual mandate tax of $900 per individual or $3800 per family (if you don’t have health insurance); an employer mandate tax of $400 per employee if health coverage is not offered; an “excise tax on high-cost health plans”; a “medicine cabinet tax”; capping Flexible-Spending Accounts (FSA’s); abolishing most HSAs; and increasing tax penalties for HSAs.
The costly cap-and-trade energy bill supported by Obama would lead to big tax increases, administration officials privately have conceded, even though they publicly claim otherwise. “Officials at the Treasury Department think cap-and-trade legislation would cost taxpayers hundreds of billion in taxes, according to internal documents circulated within the agency and provided to the Washington Times” by CEI. It could raise household taxes by $1761 per year, equivalent to a 15 percent tax increase. It would also result in “loss of steel, paper, aluminum, chemical, and cement manufacturing jobs.” (Obama earlier admitted that “under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket”).
Although cap-and-trade backers claim it will cut greenhouse gas emissions, it may perversely increase them and also result in dirtier air, as well as harming forests and water supplies. It would enrich politically-connected corporations, and result in massive destruction of the world’s forests. By expanding ethanol subsidies and mandates, it would cause enormous “damage to water supplies, soil health and air quality.” Ethanol subsidies have already resulted in forests being destroyed in the Third World, and by diverting cropland to fuel production away from food production, they have already caused famines that have killed countless people in the world’s poorest countries.
Over and over again, Obama has broken his campaign promise to give the public five days of notice before signing bills into law, including his very first law, the trial-lawyer backed Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Obama also repeatedly made false claims about the Supreme Court decision that the Ledbetter law overruled, misstating the facts of that case and how long it gives employees to sue over pay discrimination (the Court did NOT say that employees have to sue even before discovering discrimination).
Obama broke seven campaign promises dealing with transparency and clean government in signing the $800 billion stimulus package, much of whose contents were secret until shortly before Congress voted on it, and whose 1400 pages went unread by most Congressmen who voted on it. (It repealed welfare reform and contained loads of welfare, pork, and waste, while wiping out jobs in the export sector).
Obama’s broken promises are part of a larger pattern of dishonesty. Obama claimed his $800 billion stimulus package was needed to avert “irreversible decline.” But the Congressional Budget Office concluded before and after its passage that the stimulus package will actually cut the size of the economy in the long run. Obama’s budgets don’t add up, either, piling up $9.3 trillion in red ink, according to the Congressional Budget Office, a staggering $2.3 trillion more than Obama claimed.