Friday, August 28th, 2015

Tracking politicians' promises

The Obameter

Tracking Obama's Campaign Promises

GOP Pledge-O-Meter

Tracking the promises of the GOP Leadership in Congress

Promises we’ve rated recently

Help restore Gulf Coast wetlands that protect against hurricanes

The Promise:

“Barack Obama will help the Gulf Coast restore the wetlands, marshes and barrier islands that are critical to tamping down the force of hurricanes. He will work with local governments to develop the best strategies for protecting and expanding wetlands. As president, Obama will immediately close the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, which experts say funneled floodwater into New Orleans.”


Update August 20th, 2015: Unexpected aid from Deepwater Horizon

Restore housing in New Orleans

The Promise:

"Will work with the state to establish a goal for approving all Road Home applications within two months...Will also work to increase the supply of rental property, which is particularly important in New Orleans where 57 percent of pre-Katrina residents were renters."


Update August 20th, 2015: Demand for rental property has not been met

Direct revenues from offshore oil and gas drilling to increased coastal hurricane protection

The Promise:

"Will also direct revenues from offshore oil and gas drilling to increased coastal hurricane protection."


Update August 20th, 2015: A campaign promise long since abandoned

Improve transportation in New Orleans

The Promise:

"Will help the New Orleans area develop regional transit partnerships so that public transit can be integrated across parish lines, providing seamless transportation options, including a possible light rail line to connect New Orleans and Baton Rouge through the petrochemical corridor in between."


Update August 20th, 2015: Transportation isn't better, state partly to blame

Establish special crime programs for the New Orleans area

The Promise:

"Will finish rebuilding the region's criminal justice system so that we do not have to rely on the National Guard to patrol city streets..Will establish a special "COPS for Katrina" program to allow communities impacted by the storm to hire and retain new officers and community prosecutors, develop community-based crime fighting strategies, and rebuild their lost infrastructure... Will strengthen Drug Enforcement Administration efforts to stop the reestablishment of drug gangs across the region...Will help local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies come together to establish an integrated regional crime control partnership so that each police chief and sheriff doesn't have to face these crime problems alone."


Update August 20th, 2015: COPS money and a consent decree for New Orleans police

Strengthen the levees in New Orleans

The Promise:

"Will ensure that New Orleans has a levee and pumping system to protect the city against a 100-year storm by 2011, with the ultimate goal of protecting the entire city from a Category 5 storm."


Update August 19th, 2015: Improved, but not Category 5 level protection

Rebuild hospitals in New Orleans

The Promise:

"Will rebuild broken facilities and provide incentives, such as loan forgiveness, to lure medical professionals back to the region. They will fight to establish a major medical complex in downtown New Orleans that will serve the entire community. They will also push to quickly build a new, state-of-the-art Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in New Orleans so that the city's veterans can get top-quality care."


Update August 19th, 2015: Some setbacks, but more progress

Rebuild schools in New Orleans

The Promise:

"Will help communities in the Gulf make necessary school infrastructure investments so all kids from all backgrounds have safe and supportive environments to learn."


Update August 19th, 2015: Ten years later, billions from FEMA for New Orleans schools

Support repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)

The Promise:

Will support "repeal (of) the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions."


Update June 29th, 2015: SCOTUS ruling means last vestige of DOMA falls

Urge states to treat same-sex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws

The Promise:

As president, "will use the bully pulpit to urge states to treat same-sex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws."


Update June 29th, 2015: Obama has promoted marriage equality, adoption rights

Recognize the Armenian genocide

The Promise:

"Two years ago, I criticized the Secretary of State for the firing of U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, John Evans, after he properly used the term 'genocide' to describe Turkey's slaughter of thousands of Armenians starting in 1915. … as President I will recognize the Armenian Genocide."

Update April 24th, 2015: For seventh year in a row, no mention of Armenian 'genocide'

We will crush al-Qaida

The Promise:


“What I have said is we're going encourage democracy in Pakistan, expand our non-military aid to Pakistan so that they have more of a stake in working with us, but insisting that they go after these militants. And if we have Osama bin Laden in our sights and the Pakistani government is unable or unwilling to take them out, then I think that we have to act, and we will take them out. We will kill bin Laden. We will crush al-Qaida. That has to be our biggest national security priority.”


Update April 2nd, 2015: Islamic State and al-Qaida affiliates still growing

Sign a "universal" health care bill

The Promise:

"I will sign a universal health care bill into law by the end of my first term as president ... ."


Update March 25th, 2015: 5 years later, Medicaid opt-outs create holes in ‘universal’ bill

Support network neutrality on the Internet

The Promise:

"Support the principle of network neutrality to preserve the benefits of open competition on the Internet."


Update February 26th, 2015: FCC approves Obama's net neutrality proposal

Create a tax credit of $500 for workers

The Promise:

Enact a Making Work Pay tax credit that would equal 6.2 percent of up to $8,100 of earnings (yielding a maximum credit of approximately $500). Indexed for inflation.


Update January 20th, 2015: Obama announces new $500 tax credit for two-earner households