Promises are sometimes hard to keep...
He promised everything during the campaign.
So everybody is now waiting for him. Here, we will try to remain objective, and to say it frankly if he achieves good things.
So regularly, like today, we will assess what he does, and compare it to what he promised.
So first, let's make a list of the most important things he said he would do if elected president :
Health care: Obama has promised to find a way for the 46 million uninsured Americans to get coverage and to lower the average health care premium for a family by $2,500. Although Obama talked a lot during the campaign about his ability to walk and chew gum at the same time, I'm not sure the same is true for Congress. While the wheels are already in motion in committees to start work on health care, this is a massive undertaking and I wouldn't hold my breath that it will get done soon. Everyone remembers what happened to Hillary in 1993 and how COngress resisted her project of universal coverage, so I don't see why things would be different today. This is not in the American mentalities, and nothing can be done in this field, according to me... But let's see what Obama does : he is the Messiah, after all. With him, nothing is impossible !
Education: He's promised to invest $10 billion in early childhood education, help rebuild crumbling schools and increase federal scholarship money for college. Obama will try to make good on some of that by directing some stimulus money in particular to school construction. We'll see if that ends up in the final stimulus bill.
Taxes: Candidate Obama talked about rolling back the Bush tax cuts on the rich. And middle class tax cuts of $500 for individuals and $1,000 for families. As the recession deepened he backed off on tax cut repeal and will likely let the Bush cuts expire, rather than repeal them. Obama and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle seem to be supporting the middle class tax cuts.
Iraq: Obama promised to get combat troops out of Iraq in 16 months. He had high-level meetings with his military team on his first full day in office. Obama has pulled back a little on his promise to get troops out, saying a "residual" force will have to be left. The fact that he has kept the same Defense Secretary proves that nothing is going to change in Iraq, unfortunately.
Foreign policy; This is probably the most promising field, thanks to Hillary, the new chief diplomat.
Obama promised to expand the use of diplomacy and rebuild U.S. stature around the world. He also promised to engage in the Middle East. Thursday Obama named former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, who brokered the peace deal in Ireland, and former U.S. Ambassador Richard Holbrook as envoys to the Israeli-Palestinian region and for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Now, concerning the first decisions he has just taken :
-best decision : appoint Hillary as Secretary of State
- two other wise decisions were made concerning torture and abortion
BUT OTHER DECISIONS ARE SPECTACULAR BUT THEY DO NOT MEAN ANYTHING :
- Concerning Guantanamo, I don't understand why the MSM is saying he has kept his promise :
he said he would close the camp immediately, and he asserts that it is going to take some time, at least one year...
- Candidate Obama promised to lessen the influence of lobbyists, guarantee transparency and lead by example.
President Obama signed memorandums on Wednesday freezing the pay of his senior staff – although I'm not exactly sure how you freeze pay when all of them are new executive employees. But maybe they won't get raises next year.
He also issued a memo making it clear that administration officials should err on the side of releasing information when it comes to the Freedom of Information Act. FOIA is the law that allows all of us to get access to government information. And his memorandums on "transparency and open government,'' will, he said, make it more difficult for people who work in the federal government to lobby once they leave.
Speaking of the economy, Obama has wasted no time on working on his number one issue – economic recovery.
But, concretely, what does he propose except spending more and more money and increasing the budget deficit ?
How could America become economically healthy with such a debt growing and growing ?
And finally, concerning his promise to create 4 million jobs (probably thanks to his magic wand), he does not need to worry : everybody knows this will be impossible to achieve, so he won't be criticized by his friends from the media...
He said that two weeks ago, before being inaugurated.
In a few months, he will certainly tell American people that in fact this promise is impossible to keep since the recession is worsening all over the world, and he is not the one to blame...
But, as usual, nobody will resent him...