Reality Check: Has Obama Come Through On Promises?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — One year to the day before the 2012 election, President Obama is already being judged on his handling of the economy.

There’s little doubt the President inherited a very bad economy. The political debate is about whether he made it worse.

There is some good news: The gross domestic product contracted by 6.2 percent just before Obama took office. It’s the worst contraction since the Great Depression. Now it’s trending up 2.5 percent higher in the last quarter. The stock market a big success story, and personal income is up from a negative 3 percent to a positive 1.1 percent.

But there’s also plenty of bad news. Housing starts are down significantly: more than 30 percent. Personal bankruptcy is high. In 2008, as the economy nosedived more than a million people declared bankruptcy.  In 2010, that number rose to more than 1.5 million.

But the most troubling indicator is jobs. About 4.4 million jobs disappeared in the last three months of the Bush presidency, and 4.3 million more in Obama’s first year.

Bush left office with a 7.3 percent unemployment rate. Under Obama it’s consistently above 9 percent, and it was 9.1 percent last month.

Economists argue a president has limited effect on the economy. But in politics, the blame or credit goes directly to the Oval Office. That’s the reality check.

The sources used for this Reality Check are in links below.

Gross Domestic Product
Economy Contracted Severely In 2008
Job Losses: Bush Compared To Obama
September 2011 Unemployment
Bankruptcy Records
Stock Market Averages 2008-2011
Personal Income
Housing Starts

More from Pat Kessler
  • Walter

    Is Gitmo still open?
    Is the budget balanced?
    Is unemployment below 8 percent?

    Is Pat Kessler on drugs?

    Incredibly stupid story. He should be fired and so should his editor.

    • Sue J

      Your so right Kessler should be fired

    • Mike

      President did one thing more important than all the other great accomplishments. He saved us from the Republicans who intentionally ran up deficits, started two illegal wars, deregulated the financial sector and started the third great depression with tax cuts.

      • jjj

        Mike: you, obama and this writer of this article are all that is wrong for this country. And one year from now the people will speak and vote your sorry faces out of control.

      • Carl

        Ran up deficits? Obama has spent more money in the past 3 years than in all the Bush years. Good point, too bad you missed the facts!

      • Savage

        A. The housing crisis began under the Clinton Administration with their encouragement and incentives to banks to allow for subprime mortgages, that of which led to our deficit problems. Banks did it knowing the risks but knowing they would be bailed out if it bit them. And knowing the gains they would make in those few years would outweigh the losses.
        B. Obama didn’t start either war, but he sure as heck didn’t end them. Iraq is “technically” over because the Iraqi Parliament and US Gov couldn’t come to an agreement on how to carry out the rest of it. So they’re telling us to leave. However, private contractors backed by the US gov will still remain. Thanks for ending that war Obama. Afghanistan, we have a long history there, several decades. Obama escalated that war. So whoever started it doesnt really matter.
        B. The same companies and organizations that put Obama into office also put Bush and Clinton their too, and will put Romney or Cain in as well.
        C. The president acts on behalf of the Fed. Every president since its inceptions has. The fed pushed the bailouts and stimulus plans that run up the debt. Just like Bush signed off on them, so did Obama.

        In sum, party has no bearing on our situation. Its the ignorance of the American people that cant read between the lines to see that those they vote for are sold to them. You vote for whoever is put on a platter for you by your media favorites. The same people who are funded by the great web of political power that is Wall Street. All backed by the same financial organizations. Republicrat Democran, one party system. Wall street elects your presidents. The people just vote for them. Who do you think the president is going to act on behalf of first, the companies that paid for his election bid, or the voters who marked a box next to his name?

      • B0008

        tsk tsk. sure, you can have an opinion, but please base ir on FACTS. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were initiated by the Commander in Chief, and fubded by the congress. HOW is that “”Illegal,”” sonny?!?

      • hymieg

        This is one of the more inane comments I have read in a while. You liberals always conveniently forgot who took control of Congress in 2006. It was Dodds/Frank legislation (both Dem’s I believe) that led to the housing/credit crisis. Only a liberal would force banks to lend mortgage money to people who they knew could not repay the loan. It was your liberal POTUS Barry O that threw away tons of money on bailouts, Solyndra and others, gave the unions ownership in GM (that was not his to give away), etc, etc, etc. It was liberals who forced passage of a law (“you have to pass it to see what’s in it!”) that is costing American’s their health insurance plans and driving up medical care costs in the process.

        And only a liberal would buy votes by allowing illegals access to our healthcare/educational systems instead of enforcing our immigration laws.

        It’s gonna take a big broom to sweep them all out, but I think the day is coming.

  • johnnycmoun

    Name one thing that has come through on any of President Obamas “change” campaign promises! One, Uno, Single or anything he promised that had an actual impact on America, Economy, Society, Income, Unemployment, Healthcare, Senior Drug Prescriptions, EMPLOYMENT-JOBS, Gas Prices, Military promises in Iraq, Afghanistan and NOW Libya. How is Obama-Care going for ya, does anyone understand it including our Congress persons? Why is he using Executive power constantly? Please replay his promises before he became President then answer your question in this article goofball!

    • Mayhem

      name anything your bush did………..

      lets see…Obama…got rid of Binny, getting the troops out of Iraq by end of year…seeeeeee, already did two more things than your bush ever did.

      oh ya, he caused the mess Obama had to spend almost his entire presidency cleaning up to spend any time worrying about anything else.

      well king goofball…your up………………………..

      • Cindy

        a real odumbo flag waving looser.I’ll bet you got a George Sorros picture in you little room that you pray to every night. Yes little room as some on like you could never have a a house or a big boy job…right! Who supports you? Mom, the government?

        • Mayhem


          “looser?” ya, definitley another republican moron who needs spell and grammar check in their lives. And I believe you need a ‘?’ at the end of “…right!”

          Im sorry you were allowed access to a computer keyboard without your football helmet and drool cup, buttercup.

          You represent the GOP well.

      • BS

        Obama didn’t get rid of Osama. The SEALs did. Out Intelligence people found him, sent in the SEALS and got him. All Obama did was OK the plan that someone else came up with.

        But if you do want to go the route and say Obama got rid of Osama, then Bush got rid of Saddam.

      • Carl

        Ah, I think the article is about what Obama has accomplished in 3 years. That would be nothing except spend more money than he can print..

      • Paul

        What did Bush do…

        1. Led a country to overcome the single largest attack on our mainland in the countries history.
        2. Instituted policies that led to the death of Osama Bin Ladne
        3. Not one terrorist attack on Ameircians after 9-11 under Bush. Have had Fort Hood and Times Square (saved by a hot dog vendor not HHS) under Obama
        4 Passed tax cuts for ALL Americans with the greatest percent decline in taxes to the poorest of Americans.
        5 Increased tax revenues each year after the tax cuts until the Dems took over Congress
        6. Passed “no chlide left behind” to help raise the level of education for challenged kids. Clearly a leftist program with questionable results, but passed it.
        7. Helped strengthen our relationship with countries such as Russia, Israel, England others.
        8. Passed TARP (which I personally hate) that saved many banks and has been PAID BACK!!!!

        That’s just some off the top of my head.

    • MIke

      He saved us from more Republican failures that got us into the mess we are now facing.

  • kalberer

    President Obama is doing a great job considering where the economy was when he took Office in Jan. 2009. The economy was like an SUV that had been driven off of a cliff. It was in a free fall and dropping rapidly. You have to first stop dropping before you can start going up. Give the guy a break. Today CBS asked President Obama the are you better off today than 4 years ago question at the White House. I think that he should have cut the interview off short for asking a trick question like that. On Election Day in Nov. 2012 you can ask the 3 year and 9 month question. Today it is a 2 year and 9 month question. Reality is that the economy has now stoped dropping and is heading back up. Rome was not built in a day, but we will be better off next year than we are now. Look who is going to be running againist the President. None of them have knowlege, or expirence necesary to improve the job outlook which is slowly getting better.

    • Sam I am

      God you have swalllowed hook line and sinker. I bet you think that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid should be nominated for sainthood.

      Know way is Obama going to be re-elected with an under 40 percent approval rating.

      • Dave Soule

        The BUSH Recession lost 8 million jobs.

        4 million in 2008 and 4 million in 2009.

        They are not Obama jobs lost.

        • Carl

          Again, for you drones, the article is about what Obama ha saccomplished in the past 3 years. Pretty simple question. I guess you just dont like the answer.

          • Mayhem

            ahahhahahahaha……way to side step the point and avoid the REAL facts. Bush failed this country as much as YOU think Obama did….THATS REALITY CHECK.


            • B0008

              Bush is history, doorknob! It’s Obummer’s bus now. Time for him to stop campaigniong against GWB and DO SOMETHING!!!

      • Mayhem

        @Sam I am

        Well no one is going to elect a grab ass in Cain, a racist in Perry, a candidate named…Mitt, or a lunatic in Bachman and the rest of the clan so your choice is limited to writing yourself in.

        Obama really has nothing to worry about. His competition finds ways to smear themselves without him having to do any digging himself.

        And who wants to elect a party that cant behave themselves.

    • Blake

      Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!!! You’re a good joke teller!!! I have some swampland in FL I can sell you for a mere 3 million an acre and with Obamy’s financing, you should be able to buy the whole state of FL!!!! Give me a call! You’re easy!! BTW-Santa-not real. Sorry!!

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  • Jake

    I’d say so, proposing AMNESTY for ILLEGAL ALIENS ACROSS tht BOARD (Oh, spare me the newsclips about how he has deported more illegals since any president in recent memory, I don’t believe WORD ONE of it), he’s given the gays just about everything they could have imagined, he’s shutting down Iraq AND Afghanistan, he’s started all of these ‘successful’ “green” jobs, like with Solyndra, and such, shut down domestic oil production to almost a trickle (except in N. Dak.).
    only because the FEDS don’t own the FRICKIN LAND UP THERE, the FARMERS DO, so HE CAN’T STOP IT. Then he signed ‘free trade’ with columbia, panama, and s. korea (great, just great). Has destabilized the mideast at unbelievable proportions. If he’s right — GREAT, but if he’s wrong, he’s wrong big time.

  • Jake

    No, according to obama, Bush drove the economy into the “ditch”. What obama did was tow it out of the ditch, put a poorly rebuilt engine into it, and drove it off the north face of the GRAND CANYON at about 120 MPH. That’s what he did. He asked ‘us’ to trust him, so we did, and what he did was put us one step closer to what is happening in Europe, especially Greece. He is out of ‘ammo’ to fix the economy, his handouts to the the unemployed, his ‘reparations’ to the ‘historically disadvantaged’ have run out, and the nation as a whole is now vulnerable to the slightest, dumbest and most destructive diplomatic “slip”. We could be on the verge of WW III, people, if we are not careful. Just go back in time and understand how WW I and WW II got started, and you will understand.

  • Kar.

    What a joke, this is the worst president ever. You can’t even put lipsick on this pig and sell it.

  • johnnycmoun

    This isn’t up for debate – Obama is a failure! Left or Right he sucks as$!

  • johnnycmoun

    A great job? A great job? A great job? He has one year from tomorrow to run this country & once he is voted out on the first Tuesday of 2012 there will be a lame duck time before the new Republican President is Sworn into office! Do you know he spent more money in 2.9 years than Bush did in 8 with two wars! Name one thing honestly your proud of that he accomplished and promised all of us! You can’t! You don’t have to be lefty or righty to figure that out. Be true to yourself and be honest with your answer. We are all Americans – it doesn’t have to be Dems vs Reps everytime on these issues. What Leadership & Experience had Obama have before the Office Kalberer? A community service worker???????? Do you really think he was qualified? G Bush was the Gov. Of Texas, President of Texas Rangers, MIlitary Background, Yale Graduate (probably not the best grades I”m sure you will come back with) but he was a qualified… I know it wasn’t good during his last four years and American Citizens chose the Annointed one Obama who made promises to all Americans and not one, not ONE has been delievered. I’m mad as heck at what he did in office, heck he wasn’t even invited to the Wedding of our most friendly ally country. Believe what you want too but when he took office he had full control of congress for TWO whole years and not one, not ONE thing was accomplished! Rome wasn’t built in one day, but many people were killed building it and wait and see where this country is going in the next few years! WWIII… I served in the Military and my Country – did you?

    • frozenrunner

      yes I did serve my country. In my group you might have been sent out to point on the patrol.

    • tom

      I served my country also and we would have found a liberal and put them on point, but the problem is, not to many liberals in the military. No balls for that.

      • Blake

        You got that right tom. Liberals are never found where bravery is needed. Too self centered. Obama took out Osama because he had to. The Seals found him and Obama didn’t want to look like Slick Willy and say no so he reluctantly said yes and then took all the credit. Frankly if you compared Obama’s soul with Osama’s soul, you wouldn’t find much difference.

  • KM

    Okay, so if income is up from a negative 3% to 1.1%, tell me how family members who happen to be PCAs are taking a 20% pay cut!

    • Adam

      Because too many PCA’s are scamming the system….not to say their all bad. But to make what…12-20 bucks an hour to take care of a family member? Come on!

  • A Voter

    If the GOP hopes to unseat Obama they need to come up with a new list of candidates. The ones they have now couldn’t make a pimple on Obamas behind.

    • Bingo

      That is indeed the problem.

  • TomK

    Hmmmm…..what I am seeing is an awful lot of the same thing this Super Committee is dealing with……..PARTISANSHIP!! This debt crisis we find ourselves in did not JUST APPEAR during this administration. Its roots run much deeper, maybe back into the late Cinton Whitehouse. Two wars did not help, and the housing bubble just added fuel to the fire. But if WE don’t find some common ground and resolve this thing……WE are ALL GONNA pay BIG TIME. Common ground, common sense, common cause.

    • rokkitman

      If you want to seriously address the debt problem, you have to go back to the King of Debt, Ronald Reagan. Every President since Reagan has started with an unbalanced budget, overloaded with interest payments on the Reagan Debt.

  • tom

    Impeach that commie socialist

  • Owebama is a failure

    Mr. Kessler you forgot your cheerleader uniform with a big O for Owebama on it. President Barack Hussein (Barry Soetoro) Owebama is worse than Bush. Bush is behind 9-11 but Owebama keeps it going and keeps spending more money we don’t have. I don’t know who is worse. It is so bad that I left the country and took my business overseas. I will never come back.

  • james2

    Finally we are learning the difference in running for President, and actually being President. Talk Talk Talk (called debates), then reality sets in once elected. Simple.

  • I'm Just Sayin'

    Mr. Kessler, Will you really put us through a full year of “blame Bush” and being an Obama Apologist? He lied, no open meetings, no CNN broadcast, no workign across the isle (when the dems held all control anyway). Obama lied and our future died…. To be clear, spend and not tax Biush was no better, but at least he did not take us this deep in the manure.

  • read kessler for laughs

    Bank bailouts. Auto bailouts. Help for homeowners. Student loan bailouts. Millions on foodstamps. How about us elderly and disabled? $4 gas. $40 copay for medicine.You look like a fool Kessler.

    • rokkitman

      So you’re saying what? Let the banks fail? Let the auto companies fail? Let the homeowners fail? The last time the Republicans created this sort of mess (1929), we let Herbert Hoover take that advice. The result was the Great Depression. You’re advocating another Great Depression? That would make everything right in your book? I hope you’re just blowing smoke and don’t really believe that.


    The government has never taken care of me. Neither side. I work hard. I appreciate my life and say THANK YOU to all who have served in the military.

  • Murph

    Ya der Newt vil fix it ,yu betcha! Da Cain Mr.666 might turn everything else upside down too! Flipper Flopper will promise something before he takes that and more away.Crazy Hoarse ,the sceamin demon lady just ain’t rightBut the fire bug governor with a low I.Q ain’t much of an option either!In the end,it will be Obama II ;and the GOP will lose it’s say nonsense free card forever! Along with it’s party of NO status.No help for anyone but the rich, no jobs exceppt minimum wage jobs, no future for the elderly except as Soylent Green wafers.They just could’nt let people let people live with comfort and dignity.That is reserved just for the super rich!!

  • David Farr

    Yeah, I’d say the author of this article missed many other legitimate unfulfilled promises. What do you expect when you’re dealing with the MSM. Check out for what the Mainstream media misses.

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