Washington Post Gives Obama Great Grades for Promises 'In Progress'

The Washington Post launched an interactive page this week to profile President Obama's record on his campaign promises after one year in office. The Post put promises into three categories: "To Do," "In Progress" and "Completed."

Based on the president's record, most people would be surprised to learn the Post put most of the promises in the "In Progress" category -- and didn't even include a "Broken Promises" category. Many recent promises made as president would belong in that category. 

"In Progress" according to the Post includes "reversing" the Bush tax cuts, while the "To Do" list includes "enact a windfall profits tax" on oil companies. 

James Valvo, government affairs manager for Americans for Prosperity, offers the following additions to the Post's analysis:

  • Promise: Not to raise taxes "one dime" on families making less than $250,000 a year.
  • Reality: Obama signed a bill that increased the federal cigarette tax to $1.01 per pack. Smokers are disproportionately low-income earners and will bear the brunt of this new tax. 
  • Promise: Eliminate earmarks "line-by-line" in the federal budget process.
  • Reality: Obama signed a $410-billion omnibus bill full of earmarks in March 2009.Promise: Provide transparency to the health care debate by allowing C-SPAN cameras to broadcast the negotiations.
  • Reality: The president himself admitted it was a mistake not to allow cameras into the backrooms where Democratic leaders were hashing out the difference between the House and Senate versions of the health care bill.

The Post falsely claims Obama has "Completed":

  • Promise: Banning registered lobbyists from working in the administration.
  • Reality: Numerous registered lobbyists work in high-profile positions in the Obama administration, including the recent addition of Mark Patterson, a lobbyist for Goldman Sachs.
  • Promise: Implement permanent tax cut of $500 for individuals and $1,000 for families.
  • Reality: The tax cuts were part of the stimulus package passed early in the administration and the cuts were temporary, expiring after 2010. Additionally, the tax credits were for $400 and $800 respectively, less than was promised.
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