He took office at a time when the U.S. economy was on its worst slide in 75 years, but pushed policies using borrowed money that were more meant to preserve government jobs than broadly help the private sector where the great majority of Americans work, ensuring the jobs crisis continued.
He railed against the heavy spending and big deficits of his predecessor, but blithely backed budgets that had triple the deficits ever seen in American history.
He promised a smart, sweeping overhaul of the U.S. health care system, but ended up giving us a Byzantine mess promoted to the public with myths: that offering subsidized care to tens of millions of people would save money; that people would keep their own doctors; that access to care wouldn’t change; and that rationing would never happen.
He promised a more sophisticated approach to the economy than that of his predecessor, but had so little common sense that his health law actually gave businesses a big financial incentive to discontinue providing health insurance to their employees.
He offered hosannas to genius entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs in his prepared remarks, but when speaking off the cuff betrayed his faculty-lounge view of the world, saying of businesspeople, “if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own.”
He swore to bring overdue oversight and honest accounting to the corporate world, but made flagrantly dishonest claims about General Motors paying back its government loans that would have triggered a criminal fraud investigation in the private sector.
He promised to set a high new standard for ethics in the White House, but used a baffling claim of executive privilege to shield his embattled attorney general from the repercussions of a cover-up involving the death of a federal law enforcement officer.
Need another illustration of what America was promised, but got instead?