President Barack Obama’s presidency is quickly coming to an end, and he is concerned about his legacy. While he and his administration are crowing about every so-called accomplishment they can think of, America won’t forget the promises he made that he failed to fulfill.
Here are five of Obama’s biggest failed promises.
1. Closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay
Obama promised throughout his presidential campaigns that he wanted to “close Guantanamo and restore habeas corpus,” a feat he has yet to conquer. While he attempted to issue an executive order in 2009 calling for the closure of the facility in Cuba within the year, Congress banned his efforts to relocate the dangerous terrorists to facilities within the United States.
Gitmo has remained open, holding 59 prisoners — and with President-elect Donald Trump heading into office, chances are slim that the facility will be closed during his term.
2. Ending combat missions in Afghanistan
During a speech in New Hampshire during the 2008 primary, Obama said, “We will end this war in Iraq. We will bring our troops home. We will finish the job – we will finish the job against Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.” He then again spoke with troops on Christmas in 2014, claiming he would end the combat mission the following week. “We’ve been in a continuous war now for over 13 years. Next week we will be ending out combat mission in Afghanistan.”
He we are, exactly two year later in the final days of his presidency and there are still 9,800 boots on the ground in Afghanistan. According to Military Times, “the military is on track to reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan by another 1,400 over the next month, military officials said.”
But even with that reduction, the number is nowhere near the zero that Obama had promised for years.
3. Strengthening Cybersecurity
In 2009, Obama announced a pursuit for, “a new comprehensive approach to securing America’s digital infrastructure.” He continued, “Protecting this infrastructure will be a national security priority. We will ensure that these networks are secure, trustworthy and resilient. We will deter, prevent, detect and defend against attacks and recover quickly from any disruptions or damage.”
Looking back on this promise today is almost laughable. 2016 has been marred by repeating cyberattacks, including hacks on Twitter, PayPal, Yahoo, the Democratic National Convention, and the enormous attack on Dyn, a major Domain Name System provider. The attack caused a massive Internet blackout, even affecting The Horn News.
4. “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.”
As Obama was pushing for support for the Affordable Care act, he attempted to eliminate Americans’ hesitation with his repeated promise, “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.”
But the Obama administration knew this was a false statement as he was saying it. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicted that millions of Americans would lose their plans — and they were right.
Obama’s “keep your plan “statement was dubbed, “Lie of the Year” by Politifact in 2013, and Obamacare has since continued to unravel. Premiums have skyrocketed and co-op programs across the country continue to close. Obamacare is no longer affordable for all Americans. Trump has vowed to repeal and replace Obamacare as president, a promise he can hopefully keep.
5. Taking care of our nation’s veterans
Starting during his presidential run in 2007 until now, Obama has repeatedly promised “comprehensive reform” and a “21st century” Veterans Affairs. In a 2008 speech he called the situation at the VA an “outrage,” and promised, “no more delays.”
Since these promises, stories have piled up of increased wait times and Veterans not receiving the care they deserve. Since August of this year, The Horn News has reported NINE separate instances of major issues at the VA.
Among them, the corpse of a veteran being left in a shower to decompose, a VA dentist resigning due to allegations of using unsanitary tools, allowing the wounds of a veteran to become infested with maggots, concealing wait lists, bodies being left to decompose in morgues for months, and ignoring more than one-third of calls from suicidal vets on the suicide hotline.
Since Obama has ignored the needs of veterans throughout majority of his presidency, it can be assumed that our nation’s heroes will not be a focus of his final days.
What a legacy…
– The Horn Editorial Team