Campaign Promises

Cabinet/Departments -> Treasury


ItemTreasury
Corporate TaxesGrade
TY-1
The Promise: "Eliminating special tax breaks for oil and gas companies: including repealing special expensing rules, foreign tax credit benefits, and manufacturing deductions for oil and gas firms."
When/Where: Barak Obama's "Comprehensive Tax Plan" dated 08/20/08.
Source: http://halebobb.com/Obama/Factsheet_Tax_Plan_FINAL.pdf
Status:This promise is related to Promise EN-41.

President Obama's FY2010 budget proposal sought to reduce oil and gas industry tax break incentives by $31.5B. Congress did not go along.

On 06/15/10, the Democrat-led Senate rejected (35 for, 61 against) an amendment introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) that would have ended tax breaks for oil and gas producers over the period CY2010 through CY2020.

In his FY2011 budget proposal, President Obama again called for repealing $38.8 billion worth of tax breaks for oil, natural gas and coal companies over a decade.

On 09/09/10, President Obama stated that by simply eliminating manufacturing tax breaks received by oil and gas companies, the U.S. budget deficit could be reduced by $15B.

On 04/26/11, President Obama urged Congress to take immediate action to end tax subsidies for oil and gas companies. In response, Senate Democrats announced a plan on 05/10/11 to eliminate tax breaks for the nation's top five oil companies, a move that would reportedly have saved $21B over 10 years. On 05/17/11, a procedural motion received only 52 of the 60 Senate votes needed to move the bill forward and it saw no further action.

While initial progress had been made toward promise fulfillment, it appeared that this initiative died as of end-CY2011 when a supercommittee failed to deliver on its mandate to trim $1.2T from the national budget deficit.

Since then, Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) introduced the "Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act" (S.2204) on 03/19/12, dovetailing on his "Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act" (S. 258) introduced on 02/02/11. He went further by introducing the "Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act" (S. 940) on 05/10/11.

On the House side, the "Clean Energy Jobs Act of 2012" (H.R. 4108) was introduced by Congresswoman Shelley Berkeley (D-NV) on 02/29/12. None of the above bills progressed beyond preliminary committee reviews and they expired with the 112th Congress at the end of CY2012.

As of early-CY2013, this promise has not been fulfilled.
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TY-2
The Promise: "Will eliminate all capital gains taxes on investments in small and start-up firms."
When/Where: Barak Obama's "Comprehensive Tax Plan" dated 08/20/08.
Source: http://halebobb.com/Obama/Factsheet_Tax_Plan_FINAL.pdf
Status:Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, signed into law 02/17/09, investors in small businesses were able to exclude 75% of their gain from capital gains taxes -- not 100% ("all capital gains taxes") as promised.

The Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010 (H.R. 5297), signed into law by President Obama on 09/27/10, exempted 100% of the taxes on capital gains for angel and venture capital investors on small business investments if held for five years. This was a short term solution to spur investment in small businesses immediately and applied only for stocks bought prior to the end of CY2010.

On 01/01/11, the exclusion rates return to 50% for C-Corporations with less than $50M in assets and 60% for select businesses in empowerment zones.

President Obama's promise to eliminate "all" capital gains taxes on investments in small and start-up firms has not been fulfilled.
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TY-3
The Promise: "Raise the small business investment expensing limit to $250,000 through the end of 2009."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Revitalize the Economy," dated 11/07/08.
Source: http://www.asbl.com/documents/Economy_Change.pdf
Status:Section 179 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) stipulated that small businesses could elect to expense up to $250,000 of the cost of qualifying property. The $250,000 amount provided under the new law is reduced if the cost of all section 179 property placed in service by the taxpayer during the tax year exceeded $800,000.

These provisions were repeated in Section 201 of the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act (H.R. 2847) signed into law by President Obama on 03/18/10 and remained in effect until 12/31/10.

Promise fulfilled.
1.00
TY-4
The Promise: "During 2009 and 2010, existing businesses will receive a $3,000 refundable tax credit for each additional full-time employee hired."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Revitalize the Economy," dated 11/07/08.
Source: http://www.asbl.com/documents/Economy_Change.pdf
Status:This promise sounded good at the time but was probably not fully thought out by the Obama-Biden team. Initial estimates were that this promise would have cost $40-50B over a two year period.

This promise was excluded from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, signed into law 02/17/09. The promise was also excluded from the President's FY2010 budget proposal.

Unemployment increases since 02/09 may have forced reconsideration, as President Obama proposed raising the tax credit level for each newly hired person to $5,000 during his State of the Union address of 01/27/10. At that time, he said that the $5,000 per-worker tax credit he proposed would be available to businesses of any size, and would be retroactive to the start of 2010. Sounded good.

On 03/18/10, reality set in and President Obama signed the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act (H.R. 2847) into law. Section 101 of this bill provides a tax exemption for non-federal or state employers for qualified employees hired between 02/03/10 and 12/31/10 who have not been employed for more than 40 hours during the 60-day period prior to employment.

The non-refundable tax credit was limited to the "lesser of $1,000 or" 6.2% of wages paid during the 52-week period following employment. The estimated cost of this initiative stood at $30-100B, reportedly to be funded from left-over Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds.

Thus, the tax credit did not apply to CY2009 as promised, was not refundable, and in principle was limited to $1,000, not $3,000.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
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TY-5
The Promise: "Will extend the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) for 5 years to encourage the production of renewable energy."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "New Energy for America", dated 09/06/08.
Source: http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/edg/media/Obama_New_Energy_0804.pdf
Status:The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, signed into law 02/17/09, extended the PTC for 3 years to CY2012, not 5 years as promised.

On 08/02/12, the Senate Finance Committee added an additional one-year extension of the $12B PTC as part of a larger tax credit extension bill.

On 01/01/13, President Obama signed the "American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012" (H.R. 8), extending the PTC for facilities producing energy from renewable resources by one additional year to 01/01/14. In the aggregate, PTC extensions equaled five years during President Obama's first term in office.

This promise has been fulfilled.
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TY-6
The Promise: "Require publicly traded financial partnerships to pay the corporate income tax."
When/Where: Interview with Tax Policy Center of Urban and Brookings Institutions dated 08/15/08.
Source: http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/UploadedPDF/411749_updated_candidates.pdf
Status:Participants in Publicly Traded Partnerships (PTP) are taxed on the money distributed by the partnership. Unlike a corporation, a PTP itself does not pay taxes on its income. Income is only taxed once when it is distributed to general and limited partners.

This is why businesses organized as PTPs are known not to pay one penny in federal corporate income tax. Rather, they rely on "pass-throughs," meaning that they pass profits to investors. It is these investors who pay taxes through their individual tax returns on monies received.

As of early-CY2013, this promise has not been fulfilled.
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TY-7
The Promise: "...will also create a new Small Business Health Tax Credit to provide small businesses with a refundable tax credit of up to 50 percent on premiums paid by small businesses on behalf of their employees."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "To Lower Health Care Costs and Ensure Affordable, Accessible Health Coverage for All" dated 10/03/08.
Source: http://courses.ischool.berkeley.edu/i202/f08/lectures/Obama_Healthcare-1.pdf
Status:First, the definition of a "small business" in the United States is one that has less than 500 employees and meets regulatory requirements established by the Small Business Administration under 13 CFR Part 121.

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148) signed into law by President Obama on 03/23/10, small businesses with no more than 25 employees receive a non-refundable tax credit of 35% of contributions made toward the health care premiums of their employees during the period CY2010-2013. That percentage increases to 50% starting in CY2014.

First, the tax credit does not apply to all businesses classified as "small business", and secondly, the tax credit is not refundable as promised.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
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TY-8
The Promise: "Will target tax incentives to lure businesses to the hardest hit areas of the Gulf Coast including downtown New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Rebuilding the Gulf Coast and Preventing Future Catastrophes", dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://blatantreality.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/obama_factsheet_katrina.pdf
Status:The Gulf Opportunity Zone (GO Zone) Act of 2005 was signed into law on 12/22/05 by President Bush. It provided tax relief for recovery efforts in the states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, devastated by Hurricane Katrina, for a period of five years. It also provided incentives and tax relief to states affected by Hurricanes Rita and Wilma, similar to the assistance provided under the Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act (Public Law 109-73) signed into law by President Bush on 09/23/05.

Since these CY2005 initiatives, there have been no new tax incentives or credits introduced by the Obama Administration to lure businesses to the Gulf, New Orleans, and/or Saint Bernard Parish other than the one-year extension of the above bonds under the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Authorization and Job Creation Act of 2010.

Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) introduced a bill (S. 30) on 01/25/11 to amend the Internal Revenue code of 1986 to provide an additional year (through end-CY2012) for the incentives found in the GO Zone Act. Congressman Cedric Richmond (D-LA) introduced a virtually identical bill in the House (H.R. 559) of 02/08/11. Both bills expired without action with the 112th Congress at the end of CY2012.

The New Orleans and Saint Bernard Parish areas have benefitted from the "New Market Tax Credit" (NMTC) since its inception in CY2000. For FY2011, Louisiana was the beneficiary of $295M in NMTC, all of which, except for $53M for Baton Rouge, went to New Orleans.

In addition, Louisiana has benefited from pre-CY2009 federal-level Rehabilitation Tax Credits, GO Zone Bonus Depreciation, and GO Zone Bonds programs as well as other state-level tax incentives/credits.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
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TY-9
The Promise: "Make permanent R&D credit and renewable energy production tax credit."
When/Where: Interview with Tax Policy Center of Urban and Brookings Institutions dated 08/15/08.
Source: http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/UploadedPDF/411749_updated_candidates.pdf
Status:The Research and Development Tax Credit Act of 2009 (H.R. 717) was introduced by Representative Eddie Johnson (D-TX) on 01/27/09 and was referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. One of its provisions was to make this tax credit permanent, but no further action was taken by Congress on this bill, resulting in R&D tax credit expiration on 12/31/09.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided a 3-year extension of the Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) through 12/31/12 -- a long way from making it permanent.

President Obama's FY2010 budget proposal included $75B to make this tax credit permanent. Congress didn't go along. On 09/08/10, President Obama proposed to expand and make permanent the R&D tax credit at a cost of about $100B through CY2020. The 111th Congress did not act on this proposal before it expired at the end of CY2010.

On 11/02/11, Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA) introduced the "American Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit Extension Act of 2011" (H.R. 3307) which proposed to extend those tax credits from 01/01/14 to 01/01/17. On the Senate side, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) introduced the "American Energy and Job Promotion Act" (S. 2201) on 03/15/12 which would have extended the renewable energy credit to 01/01/15. Neither bill progressed beyond initial committee reviews and expired with the 112th Congress at the end of CY2012.

On 01/01/13, President Obama signed the "American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012" (H.R. 8), extending the PTC for facilities producing energy from renewable resources by one additional year to 01/01/14. But the promise was to make these tax credits permanent.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
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TY-10
The Promise: "...provide a 20 percent tax credit on up to $50,000 of investment in small owner-operated businesses."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan for Small Businesses, dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://obama.3cdn.net/18bdb8988efb99208a_vtt5mvfkt.pdf
Status:Notwithstanding considerable assistance provided to small businesses under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which did not provide for a 20% tax credit on up to $50,000 of owner-operator investments, an opportunity to deliver on this promise presented itself when President Obama signed the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (H.R. 5297) on 09/27/10. The Democrat-controlled Congress and he did not seize this opportunity.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
Individual TaxesGrade
TY-11
The Promise: "Will eliminate all income taxation of seniors making less than $50,000 per year. This will eliminate taxes for 7 million seniors -- saving them an average of $1,400 a year-- and will also mean that 27 million seniors will not need to file an income tax return at all."
When/Where: Barak Obama's "Comprehensive Tax Plan" dated 08/20/08.
Source: http://halebobb.com/Obama/Factsheet_Tax_Plan_FINAL.pdf
Status:This promise was not addressed in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, signed into law 02/17/09. Nor was it addressed in the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, signed into law by President Obama on 12/17/10.

Seniors qualifying for the 10%, 15%, and 25% tax brackets, where all categories of filers earning less than $50,000 fall, will continue to pay taxes at those rates.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
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TY-12
The Promise: "Extend aspects of the Bush tax cuts such as child credit expansions and changes to marriage bonuses and penalties."
When/Where: Interview with Tax Policy Center of Urban and Brookings Institutions dated 08/15/08.
Source: http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/UploadedPDF/411749_updated_candidates.pdf
Status:The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, signed into law 02/17/09, increased existing credits for children by reducing the minimum earned income used to calculate the tax credit from $12,550 to $3,000 and is applicable for tax years 2009 and 2010. President Obama's FY2010 and FY2011 budget submissions proposed to make the child tax credit permanent starting in CY2013.

The law that eases the "marriage penalty" (forcing married couples with two incomes to pay more tax than two single people living together) would have sunset on 12/31/10, affecting 36M couples.

The Tax Relief, Unemployment Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4853) signed into law by President Obama on 12/17/10, extended and expanded the child tax credit and eased the marriage penalty through CY2012.

Promise fulfilled.
1.00
TY-13
The Promise: "Freeze the 2009 estate tax law, which exempts the first $3.5 million and has a top rate of 45 percent."
When/Where: Interview with Tax Policy Center of Urban and Brookings Institutions dated 08/15/08.
Source: http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/UploadedPDF/411749_updated_candidates.pdf
Status:Estate taxes with the rate of 45% for anything above $3.5 million (individuals) and $7 million (couples) were left to expire at the end of CY2009. President Obama promised to maintain the CY2009 exemption and maximum rate levels beyond CY2009.

For 2010, the total gift and Estate Tax exemptions were unlimited and estate taxes were expect to revert back, in CY2011, to where they were in the pre-Bush era: exemption only on the first $1 million and anything above that would be taxed at 55%.

Under the The Tax Relief, Unemployment Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4853) signed into law by President Obama on 12/17/10, the first $5M per person ($10M for married couples) of an estate is exempt from taxes and a rate of 35% is assessed against any estate amount exceeding $5M for individuals and $10M for married couples.

By signing the "American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012" (H.R. 8) on 01/01/13, President Obama again changed the estate tax law. Under this law, the maximum tax rate for estates over $1M is $345,800 plus 40% of anything over that amount.

President Obama's promise to freeze estate taxes at the CY2009 level has not been fulfilled.
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TY-14
The Promise: "Extend the Bush tax cuts for those making less than $250,000 (couples) or $200,000 (single)."
When/Where: Interview with Tax Policy Center of Urban and Brookings Institutions dated 08/15/08.
Source: http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/UploadedPDF/411749_updated_candidates.pdf
Status:This promise was addressed in President Obama's FY10 budget submission, particularly in Tables S-2, S-5 and S-6. Again in his FY2011 budget submission, President Obama proposed to allow Bush tax cuts for "families earning more than $250,000" to expire at the end of CY2010.

If action had not been taken by Congress by the end of CY2010 on the Bush-era tax cuts, everyone's taxes (income, dividends and capital gains) would have gone up, even for individuals earning less than $200,000 or households earning less than $250,000.

Under the Tax Relief, Unemployment Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4853) signed into law by President Obama on 12/17/10, Bush-era tax cuts for families earning less than $250K and individuals earning less than $200K were extended for tax years 2011 and 2012.

On 07/09/12, President Obama called for a one-year extension through end-CY2013 of the Bush-era tax cuts for families earning less than $250,000, arguing that 98% of all U.S. taxpayers earn less than $250,000.

By signing the "American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012" (H.R. 8) on 01/01/13, President Obama made permanent Bush-era tax cuts for taxpayers earning less than $400,000.

This promise has been fulfilled.
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TY-15
The Promise: "Repeal the Bush tax cuts for those making more than $250,000 (couples) or $200,000 (single)."
When/Where: Interview with Tax Policy Center of Urban and Brookings Institutions dated 08/15/08.
Source: http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/UploadedPDF/411749_updated_candidates.pdf
Status:Bush tax cuts on the "wealthy" are set to expire in FY2011. The FY2010 budget recommendation presented by President Obama to Congress on 02/26/09 (Table S-6) proposed to raise those in a 33% bracket to 36% and those in a 35% bracket to 39.6%. The FY2011 budget submission (Table S-8) had a similar line item.

The Tax Relief, Unemployment Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4853) signed into law by President Obama on 12/17/10 extended Bush-era tax cuts for everyone, including those earning more than $200K (individuals) and over $250K (couples).

On 10/04/11, President Obama's own party (Senate Democrats) canned his proposal to raise taxes on families making over $250K, instead proposing to raise the threshold to $1M. Further, Senate Democrats wanted to impose a 5% surtax on the tax liability of millionaires, a move that by some accounts could have potentially raised $445B over 10 years. This proposal also did not gain any bipartisan traction.

On 01/01/13, President Obama signed the "American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012" (H.R. 8) into law. This law did not repeal Bush-era tax cuts for those making more than $250,000 (couples) or $200,000 (single). Rather it raised the bar to $450,000 for couples and $400,000 for individuals.

This promise, as stated, has not been fulfilled.
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TY-16
The Promise: "Phaseout personal exemptions and itemized deductions for those making more than $250,000 (couples) or $200,000 (single), with thresholds indexed for inflation."
When/Where: Interview with Tax Policy Center of Urban and Brookings Institutions dated 08/15/08.
Source: http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/UploadedPDF/411749_updated_candidates.pdf
Status:Under President Obama's FY2010 budget proposal (Table S-6), upper income tax payers (those earning above the $200,000 (individuals) and $250,000 (couples) thresholds) would have seen a gradual reduction of personal exemption and reduced itemized deductions, in addition to the reductions needed to help finance health care reform.

The above proposal was repeated in the President's FY2011 budget submission (Table S-8). Under that proposal, such phaseouts were projected to bring $78B to the government coffers during the FY2011-15 period and over $208B during the FY2011-20 timeframe.

However, the Tax Relief, Unemployment Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4853) signed into law by President Obama on 12/17/10, extended Bush-era tax rates, including exemptions and deductions, for individuals earning more than $200K or couples earning more than $250K through end-CY2012.

The "American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012" signed into law by President Obama on 01/01/13 increases the overall limitation on itemized deductions from $250,000 for couples to $300,000 and from $200,000 for individuals to $250,000. It re-instituted phase-out limitations for itemized deductions at 3% of adjusted gross income for amounts above these thresholds, and 2% for each $2,500 above the thresholds.

This promise has been fulfilled.
1.00
TY-17
The Promise: "...codifying the economic substance doctrine (requiring that transactions qualifying for tax benefits have economic justification beyond those benefits)..."
When/Where: Interview with Tax Policy Center of Urban and Brookings Institutions dated 08/15/08.
Source: http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/UploadedPDF/411749_updated_candidates.pdf
Status:President Obama's FY2010 budget submission included a line item in Table S-6 entitled "Codify Economic Substance Doctrine".

According to Treasury Department documentation, the law prior to CY2010 contained an accuracy-related penalty that applied to an underpayment of tax attributable to a substantial understatement of income tax. The penalty equaled 20 percent of the tax underpayment. The penalty rate increased to 30 percent if the taxpayer had not disclosed the transaction as required by law.

The proposed change to the Economic Substance Doctrine would clarify that a transaction satisfies the economic substance doctrine only if it changed in a 'meaningful way' the taxpayer's economic position, and the taxpayer had a substantial purpose (other than a federal tax purpose) for entering into the transaction.

The codification of these changes took place under Section 1409 of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, signed into law by President Obama on 03/30/10.

Promise fulfilled.
1.00
TY-18
The Promise: "Increase capital gains and dividends taxes from 15 to 20 percent for those making more than $250,000 (couples) or $200,000 (single)."
When/Where: Interview with Tax Policy Center of Urban and Brookings Institutions dated 08/15/08.
Source: http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/UploadedPDF/411749_updated_candidates.pdf
Status:Under President Obama's FY2010 budget proposal (Table S-6), upper income tax payers (those earning above the $200,000 (individuals) and $250,000 (couples) thresholds) would have paid a 20% rate on capital gains and dividends. This did not happen.

By signing the Tax Relief, Unemployment Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4853) into law on 12/17/10, President Obama extended the 15% capital gains and dividend tax rates until the end of CY2012 for high income earners.

Under the "American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012" (H.R. 8) signed into law by President Obama on 01/01/13, the capital gains and dividend income taxes for single filers with taxable income exceeding $400,000 ($450,000 for married filers) increased from 15 to 20 percent.

Although the income thresholds were increased, the basic tenets of this promise were fulfilled.
1.00
TY-19
The Promise: "I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes."
When/Where: Obama Campaign Speech "On Taxes", Dover, NH 09/12/08.
Source: http://www.asksam.com/ebooks/releases.asp?file=Obama-Speeches.ask&dn=On%20Taxes
Status:Raising federal excise taxes on consumer goods that one may or may not purchase (i.e. cigarettes) is not to be confused with raising income, payroll and capital gains taxes where one would have no choice but to pay it. However, Candidate Obama did promise not to raise "any of your taxes".

On 02/04/09, President Obama signed the Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA, Public Law 111-3), increasing excise taxes on tobacco products such as cigarettes.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148) signed into law by President Obama on 03/23/10 contains two dozen new or higher taxes, including the individual mandate tax.

The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act signed into law on 03/30/10 goes further and imposes a "High Cost Plan Excise Tax" (Section 1401), and imposes a fine of up to $695 or 2.5% (Section 1002) on an uninsured individual's taxable income even if less that $250,000 -- which is in essence an additional tax theoretically collectable by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This means that an uninsured individual with a taxable income of $27,800 would pay a fine/an additional tax of $695.

Using the just the above examples as a basis, this promise has not been fulfilled.
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TY-20
The Promise: "Expand the earned income tax credit for workers without children and taxpayers with more than three children. Equalize thresholds for married filers and head of household filers."
When/Where: Interview with Tax Policy Center of Urban and Brookings Institutions dated 08/15/08.
Source: http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/UploadedPDF/411749_updated_candidates.pdf
Status:The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, signed into law 02/17/09, increased the credit for people with three or more children and for married people. This earned income tax credit was extended through CY2012 under the Tax Relief, Unemployment Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4853) signed into law by President Obama on 12/17/10.

For CY2012, single filers (head of household) with three or more children and married couples with three or more children could each receive a maximum credit of $5,891 if income was less than $45,060 and $50,270 respectively.

Also in CY2012, a worker without children but working full time at the minimum wage level was ineligible to receive Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) benefits. Childless workers earning less than $13,980 ($19,200 for married couples) could receive a very small (about $475) EITC, an increase of $37 over the CY2008 rate.

For CY2013, childless workers earning less than $14,340 ($19,680 for childless married couples) can receive an EITC of $487, a $12 increase over CY2012. Single and married tax payers with three or more qualifying children and earning less than $46,227 and $51,567 respectively can receive an EITC of $6,044.

This promise has been fulfilled.
1.00
TY-21
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."
When/Where: Interview with Tax Policy Center of Urban and Brookings Institutions dated 08/15/08.
Source: http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/UploadedPDF/411749_updated_candidates.pdf
Status:A "Making Work Pay" maximum tax credit of $400 for working individuals (and $800 for working married couples) was funded in the amount of $116.2 billion by Congress under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, signed into law 02/17/09.

For single filers in CY2010, this credit started phasing out at $75,000 of adjusted gross income and terminated at $95,000. Phase-out for joint filers started at $150,000 and ended at $190,000 of adjusted gross income.

President Obama has often referred to this Schedule M tax credit as a signature initiative and the cornerstone of his economic stimulus plan that reduced taxes for 95% of Americans.

Instead of the Making Work Pay tax credit which expired at the end of CY2010, all American workers received a 2% break on their payroll taxes in CY2011 and CY2012, a reduction from 6.2% to 4.2% on wages up to $106,800. This tax break expired on 12/31/12 and payroll taxes reverted to the 6.2% level.

When this promise was made, then-Candidate Obama did not specify how long the Making Work Pay tax credit would remain in effect. Nonetheless, this promise has been fulfilled.
1.00
TY-22
The Promise: "The child and dependent care credit is a nonrefundable tax credit available to individuals paying for child care needed so they can either work or look for work. Senator Obama's tax plan would make the credit refundable and increase the maximum rate from 35 to 50 percent. It would also increase from $15,000 to $30,000 the threshold at which the credit rate begins to phase down and reduce the rate by 2 percentage points (rather than the current 1) for each $2,000 or fraction thereof above that level."
When/Where: Interview with Tax Policy Center of Urban and Brookings Institutions dated 08/15/08.
Source: http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/UploadedPDF/411749_updated_candidates.pdf
Status:The Child and Dependent Case Tax Credit (CDCTC) is currently a non-refundable tax credit designed to help defray the expenses of providing care for children under 13 years of age or disabled dependents as long as a parent or care-giver is working or looking for work.

Under the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (EGTRRA) of 2001, the CDCTC's top credit rate was set at 35%, boosted the maximum childcare expenses eligible for the credit to $3,000, $6,000 if a family had two or more children, and increased the threshold above which the credit rate declined from $10,000 to $15,000.

Under the Tax Relief, Unemployment Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4853) signed into law by President Obama on 12/17/10, the provisions of the EGTRRA were extended through CY2012 -- thus the rates remained the same and the credits remain nonrefundable.

As of early-CY2013, the CDCTC has not been extended. This means that it will revert to its pre-EGTRRA maximum credit rate of 30% for families with incomes less than $10,000. That rate would fall by 1% for each additional $2,000 of income until it reaches 20% for families earning more than $28,000.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
TY-23
The Promise: "Tax carried interest as ordinary income."
When/Where: Campaign Interview with Tax Policy Center dated 09/12/08.
Source: http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/UploadedPDF/411749_updated_candidates.pdf
Status:An example of carried interest: a share of profits that general partners of a private equity fund receive as compensation, despite not contributing any initial funds. This method of compensation seeks to motivate the general partner to work toward improving the fund's performance.

President Obama's FY10 budget submission (Table S-6) proposed to tax carried interest as ordinary income instead of at the lower capital gains rate. His FY2011 budget submission includes similar language.

This means that the income in question would be taxed at 35% (may soon jump to 39.6%) instead of the capital gains rate of 15%, a 157% tax hike.

The Carried Interest Tax is one of several dozen changes to the tax code included in the Tax Extenders Act of 2009 (H.R. 4213) passed by the House on 12/09/09.

On 03/31/10, the Senate passed its version of H.R. 4213 entitled the "American Workers, State, and Business Relief Act (AWSBRA) of 2010" which did not contain a provision for taxing carried interest as ordinary income. These two bills were reconciled by Congress and became the "Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2010," signed into law by President Obama on 07/22/10 -- with no mention of "carried interest."

This promise has not yet been fulfilled.
0.00
TY-24
The Promise: "Extend and index the temporary fix to the Alternative Minimum Tax that was passed in 2007."
When/Where: Campaign Interview with Tax Policy Center dated 09/12/08.
Source: http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/UploadedPDF/411749_updated_candidates.pdf
Status:Without annual "patches" to raise the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) income exemption consistent with inflation, the AMT exemption amounts would return to CY2000 levels -- $45,000 for joint filers and $33,750 for singles. This would result in the imposition of an AMT on a large percentage of the tax-paying population the AMT program was never intended to tax.

A feature of the AMT for qualified taxpayers is that it eliminates standard tax brackets. Instead, it applies a 26% tax rate to the first $175,000 earned and 28% on any earnings above $175,000.

An AMT patch was included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. In late 12/10, the CY2010 levels were set at $74,450 for joint filers and $48,450 for singles through CY2011.

On 01/01/13, President Obama signed the "American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012" (H.R. 8). This bill provides a permanent patch to the AMT at the $78,750 level for joint filers and $50,600 for single filers, to be indexed for inflation.

This promise has been fulfilled.
1.00
TY-25
The Promise: "...calling for legislation that would allow withdrawals of 15% up to $10,000 from retirement accounts without penalty (although subject to the normal taxes). This would apply to withdrawals in 2008 (including retroactively) and 2009."
When/Where: Stated in Obama-Biden Economic Plan.
Source: http://change.gov/agenda/economy_agenda/
Status:Penalty-free withdrawals from Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and 401(k) accounts are permissible prior to the age of 59 1/2 for one or more of the following: (1) education purposes, (2) first-time home buyers (up to $10,000), (3) unreimbursed medical expenses less than or equal to or less than the expenses minus 7.9% of one's adjusted gross income, (4) if one is a military reservist called to active duty for at least 180 days, (5) health insurance premiums if unemployed for 12 weeks, (6) qualified as disabled by an insurance company or the Social Security Administration, and (7) victim of a natural disaster.

On 10/05/11, Senator John Isakson (R-GA) introduced the "Hardship Outlays to Protect Mortgagee Equity (HOME) Act" (S. 1656) to permit penalty-free distributions from retirement accounts to make mortgage payments. Withdrawals would be limited to $50,000. A similar bill (H.R. 3104) with the same name was introduced on the same date in the House by Congressman Tom Graves (R-GA). Neither bill progressed beyond initial committee review and expired with the 112th Congress at the end of CY2012.

The "Unemployed Worker Assistance Act of 2011" (H.R. 3234) introduced by Congressman Todd Platts (R-PA) on 10/14/11 would permit penalty-free withdrawals from pension plans for unemployed individuals who no longer receive unemployment compensation. This bill also died with the 112th Congress.

Congressman Todd Young (R-IN) introduced the "Veteran Self Relief Act of 2012" (H.R. 4279) on 03/28/12 to waive the 10% early distribution penalty for withdrawals by unemployed veterans from certain retirement accounts, to include the Thrift Savings Fund. This bill also died with the 112th Congress.

This promise was to apply to withdrawals in CY2008 and CY2009. That didn't happen.

As of early-CY2013, no legislation has been signed into law by President Obama to change the above.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
TY-26
The Promise: "...closing loopholes in the corporate tax deductibility of CEO pay."
When/Where: Interview with Tax Policy Center of Urban and Brookings Institutions dated 08/15/08.
Source: http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/UploadedPDF/411749_updated_candidates.pdf
Status:One of several loopholes affecting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) pay is that businesses can deduct CEO pay as a business expense up to $1M. Beyond that amount, CEO's can be paid with stock options or other performance-based pay that can be exempted from taxation.

Another popular loophole is "carried interest" income that can be taxed as capital gains at up to 15% instead of at the top income tax rate of 35%. See Promise TY-23.

Despite numerous opportunities to address this promise during the four years of his first term in office, President Obama has (to date) elected not to challenge non-salary compensation for CEOs.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
TY-27
The Promise: "Currently, the IRS receives Americans' financial information directly from employers and banks. Obama will ensure that the IRS uses this information to give taxpayers the option of a pre-filled tax forms to verify, sign and return to the IRS or online."
When/Where: Obama's Economic Agenda "Keeping America's Promise," dated 01/29/08.
Source: http://obama.3cdn.net/8f478c5e1bb07ca0b1_sh1umv2zy.pdf
Status:Representative Jim Cooper (TN-D) introduced the "Simple Return Act of 2010" (H.R. 5050) on 04/15/10 that would allow the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to automatically fill out basic tax return (i.e. W-2, 1099) information for every American citizen, based on information it receives from employers and financial institutions. This bill expired with the 111th Congress but was reintroduced to the 112th Congress (H.R. 1069) on 03/14/11. No action beyond initial committee referral was taken on this bill by the 112th Congress and it expired at the end of CY2012.

Under the above bill, use of the IRS-generated data and forms would have been optional. Approximately 40M Americans would have potentially benefited from this initiative.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
TY-28
The Promise: "Create a refundable tax credit equal to 10 percent of mortgage interest for nonitemizers, up to a maximum credit of $800"
When/Where: Interview with Tax Policy Center of Urban and Brookings Institutions dated 08/15/08.
Source: http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/UploadedPDF/411749_updated_candidates.pdf
Status:Tax reductions for payment of home mortage interest still requires itemization on annual individual tax filings.

Despite opportunities to address this promise, President Obama has elected not to do so, either in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, in his four first term annual budget proposals, or in tax-related bills signed into law during his first term.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
TY-29
The Promise: "Barack Obama believes that the first place to look to strengthen Social Security is the payroll tax system. Obama believes that one strong option is increasing the maximum amount of earnings covered by Social Security by lifting the payroll tax cap on earnings above $250,000."
When/Where: Obama Plan: "Helping America's Seniors" dated 08/13/08.
Source: http://obama.3cdn.net/f6f6e3259bb8cf1554_6xlnmvr35.pdf
Status:By some accounts, Social Security will be paying out more than it is taking in by CY2017.

The wage base for Social Security taxes for CY2009 was $106,800, unchanged for CY2010 and CY2011. For CY2012, the wage base increased to $110,100.

Keeping this promise would have created another "doughnut hole" for those earning between the established wage base and $250,000.

Nonetheless, Senator Bernard Sanders (I-VT) introduced the "Keeping Our Social Security Promises Act" (S. 1558) on 09/14/11 to apply payroll taxes "to remuneration in excess of $250,000," as does the "Act for the 99%" (H.R. 3638) introduced by Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) on 12/13/11. Both bills expired with the 112th Congress at the end of CY2012.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
TY-30
The Promise: "Through the Exchange, any American will have the opportunity to enroll in the new public plan or an approved private plan, and income-based sliding scale tax credits will be provided for people and families who need it."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "To Lower Health Care Costs and Ensure Affordable, Accessible Health Coverage for All" dated 10/03/08.
Source: http://courses.ischool.berkeley.edu/i202/f08/lectures/Obama_Healthcare-1.pdf
Status:The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (Public Law 111-148) signed into law by President Obama on 03/23/10, addresses sliding scale tax credits for individuals and families whose earnings are between 133% and 400% of the poverty level.

For CY2012, the poverty level is defined as $11,170 for an individual and $27,010 for a family of five in the contiguous States and D.C. These rates are $13,970 and $12,860 for an individual in Alaska and Hawaii respectively, and $33,770 and $31,060 for a family of five in Alaska and Hawaii respectively.

Although some of these benefits do not kick in until CY2014, and assuming the ACA will not be repealed by then, this promise has been fulfilled.
1.00
TY-31
The Promise: "...will support the Artist-Museum Partnership Act, introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. The Act amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow artists to deduct the fair market value of their work, rather than just the costs of the materials, when they make charitable contributions"
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Champions for Arts and Culture", dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://www.artsdel.org/advocacy/Obama_Arts.pdf
Status:Initially, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced the Artist-Museum Partnership Act (S-548) on 02/12/07 during the 110th Congress. This bill did not get beyond the Senate Committee on Finance and died at the end of CY2008 with the 110th Congress.

Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) introduced a similar bill (H.R. 1126) to the 111th Congress on 02/23/09. His version of this bill was referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means the same date and no further action was taken toward its passage by the time the 111th Congress expired at the end of CY2010.

Congressman Lewis introduced a new bill, the Artist-Museum Partnership Act of 2011 (H.R. 1190) on 03/17/11. On the Senate side, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) introduced the "Art and Collectibles Capital Gains Tax Treatment Parity Act" (S. 930) on 05/10/11.

Both of the above bills aimed to provide a tax deduction equal to fair market value for charitable contributions of literary, musical, artistic, or scholarly compositions created by the donor. Neither bill progressed beyond preliminary committee before they expired with the 112th Congress at the end of CY2012.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
International ProgramsGrade
TY-32
The Promise: "...creating an international tax haven watch list of countries that do not share information returns with the United States (and potentially enacting sanctions against those countries)..."
When/Where: Interview with Tax Policy Center of Urban and Brookings Institutions dated 08/15/08.
Source: http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/UploadedPDF/411749_updated_candidates.pdf
Status:The G-20 meeting of 04/03/09 led the United Nations Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to publish its most recent report on countries that agree to exchange tax information.

The OECD report includes a listing of countries that exchange such information, countries that agree to exchange tax information but have not yet implemented the process, and countries that have not committed to share tax information such as Malaysia, Philippines, Costa Rica and Uruguay.

But the OECD tax haven monitoring initiative has existed since the G20 Finance Ministers meeting held in Berlin in CY2004.

What is still missing is a U.S. international tax haven watch list, which would come under the purview of the Department of the Treasury and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Reference to such a list is made in the country-by-country reporting requirements contained in the "Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act" (S. 1346) introduced by Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) on 07/12/11, and H.R. 2669 by the same name introduced by Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) on 07/27/11. No action was taken on either of these bills and they expired with the 112th Congress at the end of CY2012.

Further, no action was taken on the "Cut Unjustified Tax Loopholes Act" (S. 2075) introduced by Senator Levin on 02/07/12 which also had country-by-country tax haven listing requirements. It too died with the 112th Congress.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
TY-33
The Promise: "...want to see 100 percent debt cancellation for the world's heavily-indebted poor countries. They are committed to living up to the promise to fully fund debt cancellation for Heavily-Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC)."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Strengthening Our Common Security by Investing in Our Common Humanity", dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://www.training-vanzari.ro/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/plandeafaceripoliticobama.pdf
Status:Pre-dating this promise at the 07/05 G-8 Summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, G-8 leaders pledged to cancel the debts of the world's most indebted countries, many of them located in Africa. Following this declaration, the Board of Governors of both the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank endorsed the principles of the 100% debt cancellation deal, formally called the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI), in 09/05. The MDRI provides 100% debt cancellation on eligible multilateral debts to countries that have completed the Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) Initiative process.

There are two major milestones that must be reached before an HIPC country's debt can be cancelled:

Decision Point: when a country is considered to be eligible for HIPC initiative assistance by (1) having a track record of macroeconomic stability, (2) having prepared an Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), and (3) having cleared any outstanding arrears. As of end-CY2010, Chad, Comoros, Cote d'Ivoire, and Guinea had reached the Decision Point and were between that point and the Completion Point.

Completion Point: a country can receive full reduction in debt available under the HIPC initiative and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) by (1) maintaining macroeconomic stability under an International Monetary Fund (IMF) Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PGRF) supported program, (2) carrying out key structural and social reforms as agreed upon at the Decision Point, and (3) implementing the provisions of their PRSP satisfactorily for one year.

For FY2011, the Treasury Department requested $1.235B for the second of three installments of $1.235B plus $50M to clear a portion of U.S. pledge arrears for a total of $1.285B payable to the IDA, representing 20.12% of pledges made to the MDRI by the donor community. Only $1.235B was appropriated by Congress under State Department funding.

In FY2010, the estimated amount of eligible country debt was approximately $75B. The U.S. appropriated amount for the HIPC Trust Fund was $56M, far below the $90.63M Administration request. An amount of $20M was diverted to allow developing countries to redirect funds from debt payments to forest conservation programs under the Tropical Forest Conservation Act (TFCA).

For FY2011, the estimated amount of eligible country debt was approximately $72B. The Administration's budget proposal for the HIPC Trust Fund was $50M (with another $20M going toward forest conservation under the TFCA). Treasury Department documentation indicates that this $50M in FY2011 was "to be used to make a substantial contribution towards meeting the $75.4M in pledges to the HIPC Trust Fund that have not yet been fulfilled," thereby acknowledging that the U.S. was in arrears in honoring its HIPC Trust Fund pledges.

For the African Development Fund (AfDF) in FY2011, the Treasury Department requested $155.9M to cover the third of three installments. Congress appropriated only $110M under State Department funding.

100% debt cancellation for HIPC-eligible countries is a multi-decade untaking involving not less than 35 donor countries. Some of these countries such as Greece, Ireland, Spain and Portugal are experiencing their own severe budget deficits. Their sustained contributions to the HIPC Trust Fund is therefore questionable.

On 12/16/09, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) introduced the "Jubilee Act for Responsible Lending and Expanded Debt Cancellation of 2009" (H.R. 4405) for "expanded cancellation of debts owed to the United States and the international financial institutions by low-income countries." This did not progress beyond initial committee review and expired with the 111th Congress at the end of CY2010. It was not renewed during the 112th Congress.

As of end-CY2013, 35 of 39 eligible countries reached the Completion Point and received debt relief under both the HIPC Initiative and MDRI. MDRI contributions are made through the International Development Association (IDA) and the AfDF). Three countries remain potentially eligible for debt relief as of end-CY2013: Eritrea, Somalia and Sudan. One country is classified as being between the decision and completion points: Chad.

In view of the extreme national debt and budget deficit the U.S. has experienced since CY2010, full funding of the HIPC Trust Fund did not occur during President Obama's first term in office and likely won't during his second term.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
Regulatory ReformGrade
TY-34
The Promise: "...a critical step in restoring fiscal discipline is enforcing pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) budgeting rules which require new spending commitments or tax changes to be paid for by cuts to other programs or new revenue."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan for America "Blueprint for Change" dated 10/09/08.
Source: http://www.setav.org/ups/dosya/28460.pdf
Status:Without fanfare, President Obama signed the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 into law on 02/12/10. The basic premise of PAYGO is that any new spending or tax relief is to be offset through reductions in spending elsewhere or increase in other taxes in order to hold the national deficit at bay.

The law also raised the government's debt ceiling from $12.4T to $14.3T. Since signing the PAYGO bill, new spending measures such as the American Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 signed into law on 03/23/10 (and its counterpart Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, signed into law by President Obama on 03/30/10) are not offset by "reductions in spending elsewhere".

Under the Tax Relief, Unemployment Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4853) signed into law by President Obama on 12/17/10, there are no PAYGO provisions for tax cut extensions for those earning more than $250K ($200K for single tax filers).

So, the typical American citizen considers that PAYGO, as signed into law, is ineffective as a means to balance new government spending with comparable cuts elsewhere. Another method to arrive at the stated goal would be via a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a move advocated by the majority of Congressional Republicans. On 11/25/11, the Republican-led House failed to obtain the 290 votes needed for a balanced budget amendment, obtaining only 261 such votes. This initiative therefore expired with the 112th Congress at the end of CY2012.

In general terms, it appears that the American people can expect Congress to be selective and largely ineffective in its application of PAYGO law provisions when they pass spending bills for the remainder of President Obama's first term in office. This promise to enforce PAYGO budgeting rules has not been fulfilled.
0.00
TY-35
The Promise: "I'll put in place the common-sense regulations and rules of the road...rules that will keep our market free, fair, and honest; rules that will restore accountability and responsibility in our corporate boardrooms."
When/Where: Campaign Speech, Saint Louis, MO, 10/18/08.
Source: http://www.asksam.com/ebooks/releases.asp?doc_handle=355503&file=Obama-Speeches.ask&query=common-sense&search=yes
Status:Department of Treasury document "Financial Regulatory Reform: A New Foundation" was released on 06/17/09. That document provided the framework for future legislation to (1) promote robust supervision and regulation of financial firms; (2) establish comprehensive supervision of financial markets; (3) protect consumers and investors from financial abuse; (4) provide the government with the tools it needs to manage financial crises; and (5) raise international regulatory standards and improve international cooperation.

President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 4173) into law on 07/21/10. This law reshaped oversight of the U.S. financial industry, included the creation of a new consumer protection agency, set new limits on banks using capital for trading and investing in hedge funds, and gave the government power to close down troubled financial firms.

Under H.R. 4173, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was set up by former Harvard contract law, bankruptcy and commercial law professor Elizabeth Warren, appointed on 09/17/10 as "Consumer Czar" for President Obama and Special Advisor to the Treasury Secretary.

After it opened on 07/21/11, President Obama nominated Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to head the CFPB. Mr. Cordray's confirmation was blocked by at least 44 Republican senators who believed that a single director would have too much unaccountable, unchecked power and authority to set his/her own budget and agenda. The Republican senators preferred that the CFPB be headed by a board or commission.

President Obama went against the will of Congress by appointing Mr. Cordray to head the CFPB on 01/04/12, without Senate confirmation, while the Congress was technically and constitutionally in "pro forma" session (the Senate often holds pro forma sessions specifically to prevent the President from making recess appointments to fill vacancies in federal offices that require the approval of the Senate. The Senate eventually confirmed Mr. Cordray's appointment on 07/16/13 for a five-year term.

Since its inception, the CFPB has been credited with (1) collecting over $11.7B from credit card companies, bank and mortgage companies for abusive practice as of end-CY2016; (2) creating a user-friendly website for consumer complaints; and (3) making information on mortgages, student and auto loans more accessible and understandable.

On 10/11/16, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the structure of the CFPB was unconstitutional because its director (Mr. Cordray) was only loosely accountable to President Obama and could only be removed from his position for cause. The court directed an amendment to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act so that a president could remove the CFPB Director at will. Predictably, the CFPB disagreed with that ruling and is expected to elevate the matter to the Supreme Court where, the CFPB argues, the Director's removal solely for cause has precedent. If this occurs, it will be after President Obama vacates the White House in 01/17.

Nonetheless, this promise was fulfilled.
1.00
TY-36
The Promise: "...will protect workers who fall into bankruptcy as a result of a medical crisis...will create an exemption from the new law's requirement that middle class families extend their debts rather than have them forgiven."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Supporting Urban Prosperity," dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://blatantreality.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/urbanfactsheet.pdf
Status:As of early-CY2013, no exemption has been created to forgive debts that led to bankruptcy as a result of medical crises.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
TY-37
The Promise: "...believes that we need to ensure that all Americans have access to clear and simplified information about loan fees, payments, and penalties...he'll require lenders to provide this information during the loan application process..."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Supporting Urban Prosperity," dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://blatantreality.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/urbanfactsheet.pdf
Status:The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 4173) signed into law by President Obama on 07/21/10 offers expanded mortgage loan terms protection to the home buyer, but does not provide the other simplified application protections for all types of loans reflected in this promise.

No rule is known to have been published by the new Consumer Financial Protection Board (CFPB) that would cover all loan types for all Americans.

Legislation such as the "SAFE Lending Act of 2012" (S. 3426) introduced by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) on 07/24/12 or a bill by the same name (H.R. 6483) introduced by Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) on 09/21/12 fell far short of mandating the provision of information about loan fees, payments, and penalties on all types of loans as intended by this promise. Both of these bills died with the 112th Congress at the end of CY2012 anyway.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
TY-38
The Promise: "...will work with his Secretary of Treasury and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to encourage banks, credit unions, and Community Development Financial Institutions to provide affordable short-term and small dollar loans -- and to drive the sharks out of business."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Supporting Urban Prosperity," dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://blatantreality.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/urbanfactsheet.pdf
Status:In CY2010, according to JMP Securities of San Francisco, "about 35% of the $32B in small-dollar loans" originated on the Internet. That percentage is expected to grow to 62% by CY2016.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) estimates that interest rates charged by payday loan sharks can reach as high as 521% for loans made to the underserved. "Underserved" refers to those without checking or savings accounts with an insured depository institution or has such accounts but cannot secure personal loans from insured depository institutions for whatever reason, formally referred to as the "unbanked" or "underbanked." Oversight of short term loans, under current laws, is assured by state level regulators. The U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) desires that regulator responsibilities remain at the state/local level.

To enhance the OCC's oversight responsibilities, Congressmen Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) and Joe Baca (D-CA) and others introduced the "Consumer Access, Innovation and Modernization Act" (H.R. 6139) on 07/18/12 to amend the "Truth in Lending Act" of 1968. This bill expired with the 112th Congress at the end of CY2012.

Other related legislation that would have helped fulfill this promise, but which also died with the 112th Congress are as follows:
- Safe Lending Act of 2012 (S. 3426); and
- Protecting Consumers from Unreasonable Credit Rates Act of 2012 (S. 3452).

Despite additional funding provided to Community Development Financial Institutions during President Obama's first term in office (see Promise TY-42), we see no trend in the reduction of loan sharks and providers of "payday" loans to the unbanked or underbanked as of mid-CY2012. Further, this issue was not addressed in the "Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act" (H.R. 4173) signed into law by President Obama on 07/21/10.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
Special FundsGrade
TY-39
The Promise: "Obama and Biden will create an Advanced Manufacturing Fund to identify and invest in the most compelling advanced manufacturing strategies. The Advanced Manufacturing Fund will provide grant funds to foster greater collaboration between academic scientists and engineers with businesses in their communities, and support early-career innovators who seek to implement their job creation proposals in states that have been hardest hit by the decline of U.S. manufacturing."
When/Where: Obama's Plan to Invest in High-Productivity Manufacturing, dated 05/13/08.
Source: http://obama.3cdn.net/63b5b75c9975289277_ftjhmvsfx.pdf
Status:Much money has been dedicated to the manufacturing sector under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, signed into law 02/17/09. On 12/09/09, for example, Governor Granholm of Michigan (one of the hardest hit states during the economic decline of 2008/09) announced the award of five "Clean Energy Advanced Manufacturing" contracts valued at $15.5M.

On 06/24/11, President Obama announced the creation of an Advanced Manufacturing Partnership between government, industry and academic entities to fund new technology initiatives. This partnership was to be funded initially at the $500M level.

On 03/09/12, he announced the creation of a new $1B National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, to be started with a $45M federal investment in a pilot institute for "Additive Manufacturing," an initiative that is to receive matching funds from industry and participating states.

Grant programs for advanced manufacturing existed long before the Obama Administration started in 01/09 but were not the object of this promise.

The Obama-Biden plan called for the creation of a very specific "Advanced Manufacturing Fund." Despite the nonexistence of such a specific fund as of early-CY2013, points are granted for the initial progress made for the new initiatives reflected above.
0.65
TY-40
The Promise: "...will also direct revenues from offshore oil and gas drilling to increased coastal hurricane protection."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Rebuilding the Gulf Coast and Preventing Future Catastrophes", dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://blatantreality.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/obama_factsheet_katrina.pdf
Status:Coastal states are in line to receive direct revenues from offshore oil and gas drilling for hurricane protection -- but not until the CY2016-CY2017 timeframe.

Lots can happen between mid-CY2012 and CY2017, not the least of which is the declining ability to reverse coastal erosion in Louisiana's wetlands -- an area that nurtures about a third of the nation's seafood.

To mitigate the above, Congressman Anh Cao (D-LA) introduced H.R. 5267 on 05/11/10 to amend the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 to accelerate the increase in the amount of Gulf of Mexico oil and gas lease revenues paid to Gulf states. This bill expired with the 111th Congress at the end of CY2010.

The above bill was replaced in the 112th Congress by the "Strengthening Our Share (S.O.S.) Act" (H.R. 1759) introduced by Congressman Jo Bonner (D-AL) on 05/05/11. No action was taken on this bill beyond initial committee review and it expired with the 112th Congress at the end of CY2012.

This promise to increase coastal hurricane protection beyond what is currently possible with current oil/gas revenue sharing has not been fulfilled.
0.00
TY-41
The Promise: "...will work closely with the state to distribute critical infrastructure dollars...will ensure that no unnecessary red-tape or burdensome regulations are holding up state and local plans, while retaining the need for public accountability."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Rebuilding the Gulf Coast and Preventing Future Catastrophes", dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://blatantreality.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/obama_factsheet_katrina.pdf
Status:In view of the urgency surrounding the need for more liberal interpretations of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) rules regarding the disbursement of funds to areas affected by Hurricane Katrina, some red tape was removed as a result of interventions by dispute resolution teams.

These were exceptions to FEMA rules that cleared nearly 100 projects otherwise hung up by FEMA. But the red tape and "burdensome regulations" still exist.

Nearly eight years after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 08/05, for example, city and Obama Administration officials are still trying to negotiate grants to repair fire and police stations, recreational facilities, and New Orleans' massive and badly damaged sewerage system.

With very few exceptions, this promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
TY-42
The Promise: "...will also strengthen Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), which are engaged in innovative methods to provide capital to urban businesses."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Supporting Urban Prosperity," dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://blatantreality.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/urbanfactsheet.pdf
Status:Not counting a $90M plus-up under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, the CDFI Fund was appropriated $107M in FY2009.

For FY2010, the total appropriation for CDFIs was $246.7M, more than twice the regular appropriation for FY2009. This was followed by a President's request for $250M for FY2011 which was funded at the FY2010 level under Continuing Resolution procedures. The President's request for FY2012 was $227.2M, which was enacted at the $221M level. His FY2013 budget request was for the same amount ($221M).

President Obama has significantly strengthened the CDFI Fund during his first term in office.

This promise has been fulfilled.
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Treasury GPA0.33