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Second Inauguration: Obama Vows to “Finish What We Started”

On Sunday, in a private ceremony at the White House, Barack Obama was sworn in as President of the United States for the second time, officially ushering in his next term. Yesterday, Obama publicly took the oath of office on the steps of the Capitol, gave his second inaugural address, then sent a message to supporters vowing to “Finish what we started.” As we close one chapter of American history and open another, we should reflect on Obama’s first term as President and take note of exactly what was started on those steps four years ago to get an idea of where we are headed as a nation.

Healthcare

  • Promise: Obama vowed to provide affordable healthcare for all
  • In 2010, Obama signed the Affordable “Taxcare” Act into law, providing “affordable” healthcare for all by making you buy it
  • The average annual premium for family health coverage through an employer increased by 3% in 2010, and by 9% in 2011.
  • An estimated 48.6 million Americans are still without health insurance today, and the CBO projects that 31 million people will remain uninsured once Obamacare is fully rolled out

Jobs

  • Promise: Obama vowed to create good-paying jobs for Americans
  • The unemployment rate at the beginning and end of Obama’s first term was 7.8%, signalling no net new jobs added
  • Over 5 million Americans have left the workforce since the recovery began
  • 43% of college graduates are jobless or underemployed
  • The number of people in poverty increased from 43.6 million in 2009 to 46.2 million in 2011

Peace

  • Promise: Obama, by winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, vowed to promote peace across the globe
  • Obama deployed US forces into Libya in 2011, without Congressional authorization, and used Al-Qaeda-linked forces to overthrow Gaddafi
  • Obama committed to ending the war in Afghanistan by 2014, yet the number of troops deployed is increasing, with 34,400 troops deployed in 2009 vs. 66,000 troops deployed today
  • By the end of his first term, Obama had been engaged in conflicts in six Muslim countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and Libya

Transparency

  • Promise: Obama vowed to run “the most transparent administration in history”
  • Obama allowed lobbyists to work in his administration, breaking a key campaign promise
  • Obama promised to post bills on the Internet 5 days before a Congressional vote, which never happened
  • “Fast and Furious”
  • “Benghazigate”

The Constitution

  • Promise: When Obama was sworn in, he took an oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States
  • Obama announced 23 executive orders on gun control, all in direct violation of the Second Amendment
  • He signed a 5-year extension to warrantless wiretapping bill in direct violation of the Fourth Amendment
  • He signed an amended version of the NDAA into law, giving him legal authority to detail and kill American citizens without charge or trial, in direct violation of the Fifth, Sixth, and Eight Amendments

Balanced Budget

  • Promise: Obama vowed to cut annual budget deficits he inherited in half by the end of his first term
  • Instead of cutting budget deficits in half, he more than doubled them, running trillion-dollar deficits 4 years in a row
  • The US national debt increased from $10.6 trillion to $16.4 trillion under Obama’s first term
  • The US debt-to-GDP ratio under Obama went above 100% for the first time since WWII

Energy

  • Promise: Obama vowed to create a sound energy policy for America and promote energy independence
  • The US increased its dependence on oil from Saudi Arabia, raising its imports from the Kingdom by more than 20% in 2012
  • Obama promised to create five million “new energy” jobs alone, but electricity generated by renewable energy sources accounted for only 4,700 private sector jobs in 2012
  • During Obama’s first term, the price of gasoline increased 77%, from $1.84 to $3.26 per gallon

Financial Reform

  • Promise: Obama vowed to hold Wall Street accountable
  • Obama picked top Wall Street executives and government officials responsible for destroying the economy to run his economic transition team
  • $1.6 billion in customer funds were embezzled from MF Global by CEO Jon Corzine, top Obama campaign bundler, who avoided any criminal charges
  • Obama signed the impotent “Dodd-Frank” bill into low, which did nothing to reform Wall Street

Middle Class

  • Promise: Obama vowed to help middle class families
  • Obama imposed the largest tax increase in history on the middle class through the taxes levied by Obamacare
  • Median household income fell from $52,195 in 2009 (adjusted for inflation) to $50,054 in 2011
  • Obama further raised taxes on the middle class as a result of the Fiscal Cliff “deal” with Congress

President Obama promised to bring about change during his administration. Based solely on this criterion, it is not difficult to see that Obama’s first term in office delivered a staggering amount of change to the American social, political, and economic landscape. If past is prologue, then Obama’s second term promises to be equally as transformational.

One wonders what Obama’s third term will be like…

 

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