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Promises by Obama - Can He Deliver? What Are Those Promises?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

President Obama set the tone of his administration with lofty promises that he plans to keep to the American people. He reiterated them in a speech in a joint session of Congress that was viewed by approximately 40 million people on prime time television.  Time will tell if President Obama can keep his promises. But, as was reiterated on CNN, he has all the right goals, but what the country needs is results. It is a very ambitious agenda, one that I believe this country needs right now. Republicans mostly agree that the private sector and business can solve the economic issues we presently face today, but top economists will tell you that the economy is so far out of control right now, that the only way to rescue it would be to have a stimulus bill that would provide the funds to handle the problems we are facing today.
President Obama is taking action, and so much more action than the previous President George Bush, that you can only wonder why President Bush allowed the economy to crumble during his Presidency. President Bush waited until a crucial time in the elections to finally admit that we were on the brink of an economic disaster. With his announcement at that time, he sent a devastating blow to his once rival campaigner John McCain. He effectively put him out of the race with his crazy timing to announce that the economy was in disastrous shape. I can recall that at that time, John McCain put his campaign on hold, to travel to Washington, and almost missed a debate with Barack Obama. President Bush not only hurt the Republican's chances to keep the White House, but gave Barack Obama excellent opportunities which he took to smear Bush, and compare John McCains policies like that of George Bush. You never once saw President George Bush campaign with John McCain, as he was actually a living poison to John McCain's chances for election. At times during the race, you could witness how McCain changed the tone of his campaign, also calling for change, away from the policies of George Bush.
Now that Barack Obama is the President, he is playing out "one of the greatest political dramas of our time." according to CNN political analyst David Gergen. The 'first 100 days' will be filled with action by a President that plans to fulfill his promises to the American people. The only thing to know now is can he fulfull one promise 'YES WE CAN', and how soon can he fulfill that promise.

As reported by CNN, the following are some of the promises that he has made.

Economy
Promise: "To ensure that a crisis of this magnitude never happens again, I ask Congress to move quickly on legislation that will finally reform our outdated regulatory system."
Promise: "I held a fiscal summit where I pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term in office."
Promise: "My administration has also begun to go line by line through the federal budget in order to eliminate wasteful and ineffective programs. As you can imagine, this is a process that will take some time, but we have already identified $2 trillion in savings over the next decade."
Analysis: Democratic strategist Lisa Caputo said so far, Obama is taking the right steps to revive the economy, but the country needs to see his plans put into action. He's already passed a massive stimulus bill, and he has a housing bill and a banking regulatory reform bill in the works.

Education
Promise: "By 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world. That is a goal we can meet."
Promise: "It will be the goal of this administration to ensure that every child has access to a complete and competitive education, from the day they are born to the day they begin a career. That is a promise we have to make to the children of America."
Analysis: Rollins pointed out that this is the first time the federal government is taking a such a major role in education.
"We have $59 billion in this year's education budget. We added another $100 billion to build schools and do those things. That's never been the role of the federal government. So it's a whole new way to go, and obviously if it works, it may benefit the country," he said.
CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley said Obama's proposals are just the start of a new direction.


Energy
Promise: "We will invest $15 billion a year to develop technologies like wind power and solar power, advanced biofuels, clean coal, and more efficient cars and trucks built right here in America."
Promise: "Thanks to our recovery plan, we will double this nation's supply of renewable energy in the next three years." Video Watch Obama say, 'It begins with energy' »
Analysis: Lakshman Achuthan, managing director of the Economic Cycle Research Institute, said Obama laid out a "tall order" of what needs to be done, and tried to show how everything is connected.
"So he showed, here's the short term, which is stimulus, banking, housing. Here's the longer term: If we want to own the century, we have to deal with energy, education, health, for example, and connecting those things," he said.
"And one of the critical things is that it's not clear -- you know, the stimulus is great, we passed it, but it doesn't work unless the banks lend. The banks won't lend unless the housing sector stabilizes. So, it's -- this is much tougher than chewing gum and walking at the same time," he said.

Health care
Promise: "[The recovery plan] makes the largest investment ever in preventive care, because that's one of the best ways to keep our people healthy and our costs under control."
Promise: "To preserve our long-term fiscal health, we must also address the growing cost in Medicare and Social Security. Comprehensive health care reform is the best way to strengthen Medicare for years to come, and we must also begin a conversation on how to do the same for Social Security, while creating tax-free universal savings accounts for all Americans." Video Watch Obama explain his plans for health care reform »
Analysis: Larry Elder, a libertarian commentator, thought that Obama gave a "great political speech" but Elder questioned the president's economics.

Military
Promise: "To relieve the strain on our forces, my budget increases the number of our soldiers and Marines. And to keep our sacred trust with those who serve, we will raise their pay and give our veterans the expanded health care and benefits that they have earned."
Analysis: Patricia Murphy, editor of Citizen Jane Politics, said she thought Obama's speech was strong, but she didn't follow Obama's math. Video Watch: How to cut defense spending »
"The problem in this speech, I think, is his promise to cut the deficit in half and layering on program after program after program, saying we'll pull the troops out of Iraq, but we'll increase the size of the military. Those numbers don't add up," she said.
CNN contributor Roland Martin on Tuesday compared Obama to rapper Kanye West. Martin: Obama's ambitious agenda is a good thing
All of the president's promises -- fixing health care, fixing the economy, halving the deficit, boosting funds to troops, curing cancer, achieving energy independence and solving Pakistan's problems, to name a few -- are just the markers in terms of his presidency, Martin said.

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