Can Americans Believe President Obama?

Rep. Lamar Smith Chairman, House Science Space, and Technology Committee
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Americans rely on the promises of their elected officials. Elected officials who repeatedly break their promises quickly lose the trust of the people. The question is: Can Americans believe the promises made by this president?

Upon taking office, President Obama swore to “execute the office of the president of the United States faithfully” and to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.”

But when it comes to immigration, it seems the president’s personal views on the subject have trumped his constitutional duty to enforce the laws of the land.

In March, he told the American people, “I can’t ignore [immigration] laws any more than I can ignore any of the other laws that are on the books.” But his administration has done just that. It has halted the deportation proceedings of tens-of-thousands of illegal immigrants and has released dangerous criminal illegal immigrants into our communities where they have committed more crimes.

It doesn’t stop with immigration. When it comes to Obamacare, the president’s broken promises are piling up.

He promised that “no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase.” Obamacare broke this promise. It includes over a half-dozen taxes that affect Americans of all incomes.

The president also promised that Americans who liked their current doctor and healthcare plan would be able to keep them. But for millions of Americans, that turned out to be false. In March, President Obama admitted that “many folks who don’t have health insurance initially, they’re going to have to make some choices. They might end up having to switch doctors…”

President Obama also promised not to “touch” Medicare. But less than a month after Obamacare passed, the chief actuary for Medicare found that Obamacare would cut Medicare by $575 billion in its first 10 years.

The president said that Obamacare would help make health insurance more affordable. But across the country, premiums are going up not down. The president said the law would “lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family per year.” But Medicare actuaries found that in its first 12 years, Obamacare will increase health spending for a family of four.

And the president’s commitment to transparency has proved to be hollow. President Obama promised an “unprecedented level of openness in government.” But according to the Associated Press, “The Obama administration more often than ever censored government files or outright denied access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.” This is hardly an example of an open and transparent government.

The Obama administration promised to lighten the regulatory burden, which hinders job growth and stifles innovation. But according to the Heritage Foundation, the administration has issued 157 major regulatory rules that cost nearly $73 billion annually. We need to encourage small businesses to expand, not tie them up with red tape.

Perhaps the most obvious broken promise was the president’s commitment to reduce the national debt and “cut the deficit … in half by the end of my first term.”  Instead, excessive spending under President Obama has led to five of the six largest deficits in U.S. history. So instead of cutting the deficit in half, the president has nearly doubled our national debt.

No family, no community, no country can sustain this kind of excessive spending. It’s the road to bankruptcy.

Americans depend on the promises of elected officials. But time and again, the president’s broken promises have let them down. The American people deserve more than just empty promises. They deserve a leader they can trust.

Congressman Smith represents the 21st Congressional District of Texas.