Obama’s Campaign Promises

by Jimmy on November 5, 2008 · 2 comments in 2008 Presidential Campaign

Per guidance from my wife, I’m going to try really hard not to be sarcastic here. But I really do want to commit to the public record the promises Barack Obama made during his historic run to the White House. I do this for several reasons: 1) so that I can know what to expect for myself and my country with the election of Obama, and 2) so that I can have something to refer back to four years from now when Obama runs for re-election.

I scoured Barack Obama’s Web site this morning. I thought I should hurry and do this before he takes down his Web site and tries to erase from our memory all the promises he has made. What I found I divided into two categories: 1) promises to individuals and families, and 2) promises to and for the nation overall. Directly below, I summarize his promises in some quick bullet points; further below is more detailed quotes pulled directly from Barack Obama’s Web site this morning.

Promises to Individuals and Families:

  • $1,000 per working family from a new “Making Work Pay” tax credit
  • $1,000 Emergency Energy Rebate to American Families
  • Simplify tax filings so Americans will be able to do their taxes in less than five minutes
  • A $500 Universal Mortgage Credit
  • Expand the Family and Medical Leave Act to allow parents up to 24 hours to participate in their children’s academic activities
  • Guaranteed health coverage for every American
  • Lower the cost of health care for the average American family by $2,500
  • Raise the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour
  • Completely eliminate taxes for seniors making under $50,000 per year
  • Provide home visits by trained registered nurses to low-income expectant mothers
  • Guaranteed seven paid sick days per year for low-wage workers
  • A new American Opportunity Tax Credit worth $4,000 in exchange for community service, making community college tuition completely free for most students
  • Protect Social Security, provide cheaper prescription drugs, and strengthen Medicare
  • Reduce homelessness among veterans

Promises to the Nation Overall:

  • Save more than 1 million jobs through a $25 billion State Growth Fund
  • Create 5 million new “Green” jobs
  • Create a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank that will create two million new jobs and stimulate $35 billion per year in new economic activity
  • Cut both taxes and government spending
  • Lower the federal deficit by reducing wasteful spending
  • Increase the supply of affordable housing
  • Reduce crime recidivism (i.e. repeat offenders)
  • Establish 20 Promise Neighborhoods which will provide early childhood education, violence prevention and after-school activities to entire neighborhoods from birth to college
  • Put 1 million plug-in hybrid cars on the road that can get 150 miles per gallon
  • Defeat terrorism worldwide
  • Secure our borders
  • Increase stability in Iraq and the Middle East
  • Support small business development
  • Put broadband Internet in every community in America

Now even Barack’s supporters must admit, this is a pretty tall order. But hey, I’m looking forward to it. I mean, we’re talking at least an additional $5,000 a year for me and my family due to his various tax credits and rebates. Government spending is going to be reduced. Terrorism will be defeated worldwide. Our borders will be secured. This is a conservative’s dream.

Okay, you can see that sacarism is starting to seep in. I just couldn’t resist. Below is the detail on each of our President Elect’s promises. It’s pretty lengthy, but again, I’m just putting it here for the record.


Barack Obama will provide a tax cut for working families: Obama and Biden will restore fairness to the tax code and provide 95 percent of working Americans the tax relief they need. They will create a new “Making Work Pay” tax credit of up to $500 per person, or $1,000 per working family.

Provide tax relief for small businesses and startups: Obama and Biden will eliminate all capital gains taxes on startup and small businesses to encourage innovation and job creation.

Fight for fair trade: Obama and Biden will fight for a trade policy that opens up foreign markets to support good American jobs. They will use trade agreements to spread good labor and environmental standards around the world.

Jumpstart the Economy: Enact a Windfall Profits Tax to Provide a $1,000 Emergency Energy Rebate to American Families: Barack Obama and Joe Biden will enact a windfall profits tax on excessive oil company profits to give American families an immediate $1,000 emergency energy rebate to help families pay rising bills. This relief would be a down payment on the Obama-Biden long-term plan to provide middle-class families with at least $1,000 per year in permanent tax relief.

Provide $50 billion to Jumpstart the Economy and Prevent 1 Million Americans from Losing Their Jobs: This relief would include a $25 billion State Growth Fund to prevent state and local cuts in health, education, housing, and heating assistance or counterproductive increases in property taxes, tolls or fees. The Obama-Biden relief plan will also include $25 billion in a Jobs and Growth Fund to prevent cutbacks in road and bridge maintenance and fund school repair – all to save more than 1 million jobs in danger of being cut.

Simplify Tax Filings for Middle Class Americans: Obama and Biden will dramatically simplify tax filings so that millions of Americans will be able to do their taxes in less than five minutes. Obama and Biden will ensure that the IRS uses the information it already gets from banks and employers to give taxpayers the option of pre-filled tax forms to verify, sign and return. Experts estimate that the Obama-Biden proposal will save Americans up to 200 million total hours of work and aggravation and up to $2 billion in tax preparer fees.

Invest In A Clean Energy Economy And Create 5 Million New Green Jobs: Obama and Biden will invest $150 billion over 10 years to advance the next generation of biofuels and fuel infrastructure, accelerate the commercialization of plug-in hybrids, promote development of commercial scale renewable energy, invest in low emissions coal plants, and begin transition to a new digital electricity grid. The plan will also invest in America’s highly-skilled manufacturing workforce and manufacturing centers to ensure that American workers have the skills and tools they need to pioneer the first wave of green technologies that will be in high demand throughout the world.

Create a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank: Barack Obama and Joe Biden will address the infrastructure challenge by creating a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank to expand and enhance, not supplant, existing federal transportation investments. This independent entity will be directed to invest in our nation’s most challenging transportation infrastructure needs. The Bank will receive an infusion of federal money, $60 billion over 10 years, to provide financing to transportation infrastructure projects across the nation. These projects will create up to two million new direct and indirect jobs and stimulate approximately $35 billion per year in new economic activity.

Create a Universal Mortgage Credit: Obama and Biden will create a 10 percent universal mortgage credit to provide homeowners who do not itemize tax relief. This credit will provide an average of $500 to 10 million homeowners, the majority of whom earn less than $50,000 per year.

Expand the Family and Medical Leave Act: The FMLA covers only certain employees of employers with 50 or more employees. Obama and Biden will expand it to cover businesses with 25 or more employees. They will expand the FMLA to cover more purposes as well, including allowing workers to take leave for elder care needs; allowing parents up to 24 hours of leave each year to participate in their children’s academic activities; and expanding FMLA to cover leave for employees to address domestic violence.

http://www.barackobama.com/issues/economy/ on November 5, 2008

As President, Barack Obama will guarantee health coverage for every American and will lower the cost of health care for the average American family by up to $2,500.

Barack Obama will ease American’s burden at the pump, giving American families $1,000 in rebates. Barack will also create five million new jobs by investing in clean energy technologies.

Barack Obama will end tax breaks for companies that send American jobs overseas, and reward companies who create good jobs here at home.

Barack Obama will cut both taxes and spending, implementing a responsible budget that lowers the federal deficit by reducing wasteful spending.

http://www.barackobama.com/issues/economy/sidebyside.php on November 5, 2008

Barack Obama will expand access to jobs: Obama and Biden will invest $1 billion over five years in transitional jobs and career pathway programs that implement proven methods of helping low-income Americans succeed in the workforce.

Make work pay for all Americans: Obama and Biden will increase benefits for working parents, raise the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by 2011, and provide tax relief to low- and middle-income workers.

Support rural and urban areas: Obama and Biden will invest in rural small businesses, improve rural schools, and attract more doctors to rural areas. And they will work with urban leaders to increase the supply of affordable housing and address the unique challenges of every metropolitan area.

Reduce Crime Recidivism by Providing Ex-Offender Supports: Obama and Biden will work to ensure that ex-offenders have access to job training, substance abuse and mental health counseling, and employment opportunities. Obama and Biden will also create a prison-to-work incentive program and reduce barriers to employment.

Provide Tax Relief: Obama and Biden will provide all low and middle-income workers a $500 Making Work Pay tax credit to offset the payroll tax those workers pay in every paycheck. Obama and Biden will also eliminate taxes for seniors making under $50,000 per year.

Support Parents with Young Children: Obama and Biden will expand the highly-successful Nurse-Family Partnership to all 570,000 low-income, first-time mothers each year. The Nurse-Family Partnership provides home visits by trained registered nurses to low-income expectant mothers and their families.

Expand Paid Sick Days: Today, three-out-of-four low-wage workers have no paid sick days. Obama and Biden support guaranteeing workers seven paid sick days per year.

Establish 20 Promise Neighborhoods: Obama and Biden will create 20 Promise Neighborhoods in areas that have high levels of poverty and crime and low levels of student academic achievement in cities across the nation. The Promise Neighborhoods will be modeled after the Harlem Children’s Zone, which provides a full network of services, including early childhood education, youth violence prevention efforts and after-school activities, to an entire neighborhood from birth to college.

http://www.barackobama.com/issues/poverty/ on November 5, 2008

Obama and Biden will complete the effort to increase our ground forces by 65,000 soldiers and 27,000 Marines.

http://www.barackobama.com/issues/defense/ on November 5, 2008

Make college affordable to all Americans: Obama and Biden will create a new American Opportunity Tax Credit worth $4,000 in exchange for community service. It will cover two-thirds the cost of tuition at the average public college or university and make community college tuition completely free for most students.

http://www.barackobama.com/issues/education/ on November 5, 2008

Put 1 million Plug-In Hybrid cars — cars that can get up to 150 miles per gallon — on the road by 2015, cars that we will work to make sure are built here in America.

http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/newenergy on November 5, 2008

Restore Work-Family Balance: Obama and Biden will double funding for after-school programs, expand the Family Medical Leave Act, provide low-income families with a refundable tax credit to help with their child-care expenses, and encourage flexible work schedules.

http://www.barackobama.com/issues/family/ on November 5, 2008

Barack Obama will defeat terrorism worldwide: Obama and Biden will find, disrupt, and destroy al Qaeda; prepare the military to meet 21st century threats;

Prevent nuclear terrorism: Obama and Biden will lead the effort to secure nuclear weapons materials at vulnerable sites within four years and help our allies stop the smuggling of weapons of mass destruction.

Strengthen American biosecurity: Obama and Biden will work to prevent bioterror attacks and mitigate consequences by improving U.S. intelligence collection and response management.

http://origin.barackobama.com/issues/homeland_security/ on November 5, 2008

Barack Obama will secure our borders: Obama and Biden want to preserve the integrity of our borders. They support additional personnel, infrastructure, and technology on the border and at our ports of entry.

http://www.barackobama.com/issues/immigration/ on November 5, 2008

Increase stability in Iraq and the region: Obama and Biden will launch an aggressive diplomatic effort to reach a comprehensive compact on the stability of Iraq and the region. They also will address Iraq’s refugee crisis.

http://www.barackobama.com/issues/iraq/ on November 5, 2008

Barack Obama will ensure economic opportunity for family farmers: Obama and Biden will fight for farm programs that provide family farmers with stability and predictability. They will implement a $250,000 payment limitation so that we help family farmers – not large corporate agribusiness.

Support small business development: Obama and Biden will provide capital for farmers to create value-added enterprises, like cooperative marketing initiatives and farmer-owned processing plants.

Improve rural quality of life: Obama and Biden will combat methamphetamine use, improve health care, improve education, and upgrade infrastructure in rural areas.

http://www.barackobama.com/issues/rural/ on November 5, 2008

Integrate service into learning: Obama and Biden will set a goal that all middle and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year, and will establish a new tax credit that is worth $4,000 a year in exchange for 100 hours of public service a year.

http://www.barackobama.com/issues/service/ on November 5, 2008

Barack Obama will protect Social Security: Obama and Biden are committed to ensuring Social Security is solvent and viable for the American people, now and in the future. They are strongly opposed to privatizing Social Security.

Provide cheaper prescription drugs: Obama and Biden will allow the federal government to negotiate for lower drug prices for the Medicare program. They also support allowing seniors to import safe prescription drugs from overseas.

Protect and strengthen Medicare: Obama and Biden are committed to the long-term strength of the Medicare program. They will reduce waste in the Medicare system and will tackle fundamental healthcare reform.

http://www.barackobama.com/issues/seniors/ on November 5, 2008

Deploy a modern communications infrastructure: Obama and Biden believe we can get true broadband to every community in America.

http://www.barackobama.com/issues/technology/ on November 5, 2008

Help returning service members: Obama and Biden will improve the quality of health care for veterans, rebuild the VA’s broken benefits system, and combat homelessness among veterans.

http://www.barackobama.com/issues/veterans/ on November 5, 2008

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Greg November 5, 2008 at 5:08 pm

I’m glad someone did this before they took down the site. I really doubt we’ll see any real change however. With the economy going down the drain (with pressure from China no less) and with Russia flexing its muscles a day after the election, it’s starting to look like the perfect storm. Thanks to the fiat money that the Fed pumps into our financial system, it seems like a political candidate can promise anything and win an election.

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Larry Richman November 8, 2008 at 12:38 pm

Nice summary, Jimmy. I’ll link to it from my blog at http://RichmanRamblings.blogspot.com so I can refer back to it later. Let’s keep him honest by insisting he deliver on all the freebies!

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