President Barack Obama lands in Milwaukee on Wednesday as he continues traveling the country on his quest for re-election. But before he makes more promises to Wisconsinites on what he would do in a second term, he should answer for the broken promises of his first term. He should explain to the residents of the state whose motto is “Forward” why he has taken our country backward for the past three years.
The list of broken promises is long – and growing. Most recently, the president failed on his chief responsibility: to uphold the Constitution. He issued a health insurance mandate that required religious organizations, most notably Catholic charities and schools, to violate their religious beliefs. Ultimately, Obama sacrificed religious freedom in pursuit of his government takeover of health care.
Then, of course, there’s the economy. In February 2009, Obama promised that if he didn’t have the economy fixed in three years, then his presidency was “going to be a one-term proposition.” It’s been three years, and few Americans would say the economy is healthy.
In fact, the national unemployment rate has been above 8% for a record 36 months – even though Obama promised it would be different. He promised his $825 billion stimulus would keep unemployment below 8%. But instead of creating jobs, it just created debt.
Obama, however, once vowed to slow the growth of debt. He promised to cut the deficit in half by the end of his term. Instead, he produced record annual deficits for the past three years. Each exceeded $1 trillion.
In total, he has added over $4.5 trillion to the national debt — debt that takes a toll on the economy and threatens our children’s future. This is a sharp contrast with congressional Republicans, who, under the leadership of Wisconsin’s own Rep. Paul Ryan, last year passed a budget and a plan for long-term fiscal solvency.
On health care, the president promised that Obamacare would bring down premiums “by $2,500 for the typical family.” But just last year, health care premiums for families rose by 9%. That’s a pretty dramatic failure for a bill called “the Affordable Care Act.” Instead of lower costs, Americans got bigger government.
In 2008, Obama said now was the time to end our addiction to foreign oil. But just last year, he called his own energy policy “just a hodgepodge.” Last month, he blocked the Keystone energy pipeline, a project that would have provided affordable, reliable, secure energy to Americans, while creating thousands of jobs. The president prioritized the special interests over Americans’ interests.
It’s not the first time. Obama vowed that lobbyists would not “find a job in my White House,” but he has since hired nearly 100 current or former lobbyists. He criticizes Wall Street executives as “fat cats,” but his campaign actively solicits donations from them.
Hypocrisy has become an Obama specialty, and Americans deserve better. They deserve a leader who keeps his word and governs like he campaigns.
Wisconsinites have a leader like that in Gov. Scott Walker. Walker had to make tough choices and difficult decisions, but he kept his promises to Wisconsin voters. One year after taking office, he has balanced the budget, reformed government and saved teachers from layoffs. Unemployment in Wisconsin is lower, and property taxes are lower.
The contrast with Obama is stark. America is decidedly worse off – our government is bigger, our debt is larger, our economy is weak and Americans are dispirited. The promise of “hope and change” has been broken.