Obama's First Inaugural Speech: Promises Kept, Promises Broken
As for electric grids, the Congress approved $80 million, which is small change relatively speaking, in the stimulus to begin the research and planning stages of an enhanced electrical grid that accommodates renewable energy. The multi-agency coalition called the Rapid Response Team for Transmission is still in the very beginning stages of pilot programs.
"We will restore science to its rightful place and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its costs."
Taking two years to do it, the president passed comprehensive health care reform. While all of its components are not yet implemented, including the central component - health exchanges, it has expanded access to health care in other ways. The law prohibits insurance companies from refusing consumers with preexisting conditions and the law requires coverage of additional preventative services, including mammograms for women, flue vaccines, obesity counseling and children's vision screenings. But access might not equate to quality.
As for the cost of health care, it continues to rise. A 2012 report by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that health care premiums for individuals rose 3 percent from the previous year and 4 percent for families. While the cost of premiums for individuals have not risen as quickly, for families, the cost of premiums is 30 percent higher than it was in 2007, costing an average of $15,745 last year.
"We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories."
While Mr. Obama issued new rules in August that doubles the fuel efficiency standards of cars to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, up from current standards of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016, there are no rules requiring cars be fueled by renewable energy.
While he has promoted clean energy to run factories, there has been no funding provided or legislation requiring factories operate from renewable energy.
The United States has nearly doubled its productin of renewable energy since 1973 - a time when most of renewable energy came from hydroelectric power and the U.S. used negligible amounts of solar, wind and geothermal energy. But while the president's budgets have focused on investment in renewable energy, his budget priorities have not passed. The stimulus bill is where the much of the funding for clean energy cleared Congress.
"But this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control. The nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous."
The president came into office on the tip of the worst financial recession since the Great Depression. Many, including the president, blamed the deregulation of the financial industry. In response, the Congress passed the Dodd-Frank act, which aimed to impose more regulation of Wall Street and reign in the markets.
"We'll begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan."