Glenn Beck on Promises, Kept and Unkept.

Tonight’s State of the Union address is apparently going to focus on those “kitchen table” topics we all care about, things like Education, Energy, and Healthcare, instead of that pesky war in Iraq or the anti-Christ buying a three bedroom ranch in Iran. But even though the President will announce all sorts of really impressive sounding programs tonight, the Real Story is that most of them will never even get off the ground.I’m not just trying to play Scrooge on Christmas morning, but history has proven that the State of the Union is way more pep rally than reality. For example, last year the President proposed something that sounded really simple, “I ask you to join me in creating a commission to examine the full impact of baby boom retirements on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.” A year later we’ve got commissions to analyze our commissions, but this baby boomer one went nowhere fast.

But that’s not the only idea that that was dead-on-arrival. According to ABC News, just 1/3 of the promises made in last year’s speech have been kept. But for everyone out there saying, “see, I told you…he lied, they died!” come on down from the soapbox because Bush didn’t exactly invent State of the Union exaggerations.

In 1971, Richard Nixon said, “I propose…that we reduce the present 12 Cabinet Departments to eight.” That worked out well, we now have 15.

In 1977, Gerald Ford was mad at how much foreign oil we were using, “Today, we are 40-percent dependent (on foreign oil). Such vulnerability…is intolerable and must be ended.” Well good job putting your foot down on that one — we now import at least 60 percent of our oil.

In 1990, George Bush decided to focus on schools. “By the year 2000, U.S. students must be first in the world in math and science achievement. And every school in America must be drug-free.” I didn’t even waste time checking how that one worked out.

In 1999 Clinton proposed committing 60 percent of the budget surplus for the next 15 years to reform Social Security. Uh, not so much — I guess they should’ve figured out what to do when there aren’t any surpluses.

But just in case you’re starting to feel a little down, let me leave you with one promise that was kept. In 1998, Bill Clinton stood up in front of Congress and made this pledge: “Saddam Hussein has spent the better part of this decade…developing nuclear, chemical and biological weapons…I know I speak for everyone in this chamber…when I say to (him)…’We are determined to deny you the capacity to use them again.'”

It took a few years, and another President, but at least one promise was finally kept.


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