Obama Progress Watch

Posted by Arkady K. On 1/20/2009

Originally posted: 1/20/09

It is easy to forget how things were just a short one year ago, let alone 4 years ago. Promises are forgotten, statistics become fuzzy.

Introducing, Obama Watch!! This is a collection of economic vitals and a list of key campaign promises designed to fix our ailing nation. This will be updated on a per-need basis to reflect the most up to date tracking. All data is as of January 20th, 2009 EOD unless stated otherwise.

I also recognize the difficult of campaign promises because unlike the data below, they are typically just words. I will track only those that we can measure.

Finally, there other sites that are tracking Obama's performance like (Politifact), but the list is excessive and includes things like whether or not the family get a puppy. I would prefer instead to focus on more important issues.


Inflation: .1% (Annual measurement for 2008)
Note: 2007 Inflation rate: 2.8
Unemployment: 7.2%
GDP: .52 (Estimate IMF)

Price of Oil: 38.74
Price of Gold: 855.20

Dow Jones Industrial: 7,949.09
S&P 500: 805.22
US Dollar Index: 86.25

Major Campaign Promises


  1. Cut taxes for 95 percent of working families 
  2. Remove capital gains taxes for small businesses
  3. Ensure taxes don't go up for families with incomes lower than $250,000 FAILURE: Signed legislation that increased federal taxes on cigarettes.
  4. Provide $4,000 education tax credit (Tuition and fees)
  5. Provide homeowners tax credit (Will cover 10% of mortgage payments)

Foreign Policy

  1. Withdraw U.S. combat troops from Iraq COMPLETED
  2. Provide $30 billion to Israel (Over next 10 years)
  3. Not build permanent bases in Iraq
  4. Expand U.S. forces in Afghanistan COMPLETED: Obama approved 17,000 additional troops to Afghanistan on February 18th.
  5. Provide more non-military aid to Afghanistan (additional 1 Billion/year promised)
  6. Tie strings to aid to Pakistan (Makes aid conditional)
  7. Increase aid to the Americas (Plans to end global poverty by 2015)
  8. Work for two-state solution to Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  9. Stop genocide in Darfur

Other Major Promises

  1. Restore earmark spending to pre-1994 levels
  2. Cut federal contract spending by at least 10 percent (equals to 40B/year)
  3. Provide universal health care (insurace cuts of up to 2,500)
  4. Increase minimum wage every year
  5. End American dependence on foreign oil in ten years
  6. Double renewable energy within four years
  7. Create new green-collar jobs (150B investment, 5 million new jobs over 2 decades)
Sources: National Journal
"It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.” - M. Rothbard