Washington: Stop Toying With Broken Promises

Just weeks after Christmas, the new toys and gadgets we received can start to lose their luster. Likewise, Washington starts each year with fresh promises of fiscal responsibility and accountability that quickly fade. Bankrupting America’s new ads feature broken toys as visual metaphors for Washington’s broken promises and also use quotes from lawmakers and the president to remind them of their own promises to reduce the deficit and rein in wasteful government spending.

The “Stop Toying” campaign will provide perspective and keep Americans grounded in reality as the president lays out promises and his vision in the State of the Union address on Jan. 28. The campaign is ongoing in the coming months as Washington takes on another debt ceiling debate and makes appropriations in the fiscal year 2015 budget.



President Obama, June 15, 2009: “If you like your healthcare plan, you’ll be able to keep your healthcare plan, period.”1
FACT: According to The Associated Press, at least 4.7 million Americans have received healthcare cancelation notices.2

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, September 22, 2013: “The cupboard is bare. There’s no more cuts to make.”3
FACT: Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) released his 2013 “Wastebook” highlighting “100 examples of wasteful and low priority spending totaling nearly $30 billion.”4

President Obama, March 16, 2006: “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure.”5
FACT: Under President Obama the debt limit has been raised seven times.6

House Speaker John Boehner, August 26, 2013: “I’ve made it clear that we’re not going to increase the debt limit without cuts and reforms that are greater than the increase in the debt limit.”7
FACT: Commenting on the debt limit deal, Boehner noted, “We fought the good fight, we just didn’t win. I know this isn’t everything we want, but we’re going to live to fight another day.”8

President Obama, November 25, 2008: “We will go through our federal budget – page by page, line by line – eliminating those programs we don’t need, and insisting that those we do operate in a sensible cost-effective way.”9
FACT: A 2013 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report suggested 31 areas where agencies may be able to achieve greater efficiency to reduce overlap and eliminate duplicative programs. Yet, few have been implemented.10

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, March 19, 2013: “In the last two years, we have reduced the deficit by $2.5 trillion.”11
FACT: Politifact labeled this statement as false.12

President Obama, July 3, 2008: “The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents – #43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back — $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic.”13

FACT: President Obama added nearly $6 trillion to the national debt during his first term.14

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, June 30, 2012: “And everybody will have lower rates, better quality care and better access (to healthcare).”15
FACT: The Washington Post reports many Americans are experiencing “sticker shock” as they face higher insurance costs under President Obama’s healthcare law.

President Obama, September 2008: “Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase.”16
FACT: “Nearly 6 million Americans — significantly more than first estimated— will face a tax penalty under President Barack Obama’s health overhaul for not getting insurance, congressional analysts said Wednesday. Most would be in the middle class.”17

President Obama On Entitlements, January 15, 2009: ”’What we have done is kicked this can down the road. We are now at the end of the road and are not in a position to kick it any further,’ he said. ‘We have to signal seriousness in this by making sure some of the hard decisions are made under my watch, not someone else’s.’”

FACT: According to CNBC, the Medicare trust fund will be exhausted in 2026 and Social Security will be depleted by 2033.18

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, January 9, 2009: “There will be no earmarks in the economic recovery package that passes the House.”19
FACT: “With or without earmarks — and despite what Obama said — special-interest spending has found its way into the stimulus in massive doses, budget watchers contend.”20

Again and again we’ve seen Washington make promises it doesn’t keep when it comes to eliminating wasteful spending in the federal budget and being responsible stewards of Americans’ tax dollars.

Americans are tired of the empty rhetoric and the broken promises of restoring fiscal sanity to the federal budget. That’s why we’re telling Washington to Stop Toying with us and get to work.

  1. President Obama, Remarks By The President At The Annual Conference Of The American Medical Association, The White House, 6/15/09 
  2. Editors, “Policy Notifications And Current Status, By State,” The Associated Press, 12/26/13. 
  3. Elizabeth Titus, “Pelosi Says ‘The Cupboard Is Bare’,” Politico, 9/22/13 
  4. Press Release, “Coburn Releases Annual Wastebook” Highlighting Most Egregious Spending Of 2013,” Senator Tom Coburn, 12/17/13. 
  5. Senator Obama, S2236, Congressional Record – Senate, 3/16/06. 
  6. Mindy Lewit, The Debt Limit: History And Recent Increases, Congressional Research Service, 10/15/13. 
  7. Dan Popkey, “Boehner Visits Boise; Vows To Succeed With Entitlement Reform This Fall,” Idaho Statesman, 8/26/13. 
  8. Leigh Ann Caldwell, “In Defeat, Boehner May Live To Fight Another Day,” Cnn, 10/17/13. 
  9. Foon Rhee, “Obama Vows Line-By-Line Budget Review,” Boston.Com, 11/25/08. 
  10. Actions Needed To Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap, And Duplication And Achieve Other Financial Benefits, Government Accountability Office (Gao), 4/9/13. 
  11. House Majority Leader Harry Reid, S1914, Congressional Record — Senate, 3/19/13. 
  12. Louis Jacobson, “Harry Reid Says Deficit Has Been Reduced By $2.5 Trillion In Past Two Years,” The Truth-O-Meter, Tampa Bay Times Politifact, 3/21/13. 
  13. Glenn Kessler, “Is Obama Responsible For A $5 Trillion Increase In The Debt?,” The Washington Post, 5/16/12. 
  14. Debt On 1/20/13 – Debt On 1/20/09,”Debt To The Penny”, Treasury Department, Accessed 1/9/14. 
  15. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Meet The Press, Nbc, 6/30/12. 
  16. Catherine Rampell & Binyamin Applebaum, “In Obama’s Plan To Tax Rich, $250,000 Figure May Mislead,” The New York Times, 12/6/12. 
  17. Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, “Tax Penalty To Hit Nearly 6m Uninsured People,” Associated Press, 9/20/13. 
  18. “Medicare Will Be Exhausted In 2026, Social Security In 2033,” Cnbc, 5/31/13. 
  19. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, The Situation Room, Cnn, 1/9/09. 
  20. Matthew Bandyk, “Finding The Pork In The Obama Stimulus Bill,” U.S. New & World Report, 2/19/09. 

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