Talk is cheap: campaign promises and the economy

The promises made during any presidential candidate’s campaign should truly be called proposals. After all, running for the president of the United States is essentially a marketing process, in which candidates present themselves as products, distinguish themselves from other products, and make recommendations on their performance after getting the job. This is why campaign promises are such an important part of the election process, especially if they revolve around issues that divide the country or generate emotional interest. In most cases, these issues involve money.

Although campaign promises may be tempting, conversations are cheap and difficult even for a well-meaning president. Let’s take a look at some of the most common campaign promises made by presidential candidates and evaluate how to make these promises a reality.

Key points

  • The presidential candidate made many promises during the campaign. However, these promises are often used as persuasive voice bytes rather than actual promises.
  • The two most common campaign promises revolve around tax cuts and job creation.
  • Bill Clinton’s universal healthcare system promise and George HW Bush’s promise to never raise taxes backfired against both of them, once they were elected.

Reasonable campaign promise

Campaign promises may change slightly due to elections, but they are almost always related to changing current issues in the minds of voters. Some may be ideological in nature, such as “fulfilment of government fiscal responsibilities,” or more specific, such as proposing precise tax cuts. No matter what kind of promise is made, there are credible and reasonable promises, and some are just shot in the dark.

Tax cuts

Although taxes are unavoidable, you will not see candidates proposing tax increases during the campaign; usually the opposite is true. However, most of the new president’s fiscal commitments, including tax cuts, will be fulfilled through fiscal policy.

The President does have important powers to use fiscal policy with Congress, and monetary policy is controlled by the Federal Reserve Board. In other words, the president does have the right to directly influence the tax rate. However, while the tax cuts promised by the campaign sound like candidates can reduce taxes with just a few buttons, it is more complicated and requires legislation and offsetting legislation to increase revenue or reduce spending. In other words, tax cuts should ideally be budget-neutral, especially if they are proposed outside the annual budget decision process (although in reality, some tax cuts ultimately increase the budget deficit). Campaign promises of tax cuts are very common and attractive, but tax cuts are rarely proposed without offsetting legislation or solutions. Therefore, as a promise, tax cuts are reasonable in order to achieve any desired results other than attracting voters. Tax cuts need to be far-reaching and based on reasonable expectations.

create career opportunities

For candidate candidates, the promise of job creation is very welcome, especially in the current weak economic environment and serious unemployment problems. The promise of job creation can be reasonable or unreasonable. To be reasonable, the commitment should include how the candidate proposes to achieve results and fall into the realm of fiscal policy. Direct government intervention and expenditure can create jobs. President Roosevelt (President from 1933 to 1945) successfully deployed this strategy during his first 100 days as President, when he established public works projects such as the Project Progress Administration and Civilian Protection Corps. These projects have created job opportunities for a large number of unemployed citizens. This is an extreme example and there is no shortage of controversy, but it did succeed in reducing the high unemployment rate and bringing great hope to the troubled economy.

Past campaign promises

Let’s take a look at the past campaign promises of Democratic and Republican candidates and why they have not been implemented.

Presidential candidate Bill Clinton’s universal healthcare system pledge

During his 1992 presidential campaign, Bill Clinton promised to establish a national healthcare system, and he tried to implement the system during his administration. On the contrary, he was strongly resisted by Congress and made the Democratic Party pay a heavy price in the 1994 Congressional elections. It also indirectly caused a sharp drop in health care stocks, after which the plan was quickly stopped.

Presidential candidate George HW Bush’s “Read My Lips: No New Taxes” Promise

President George HW Bush created this famous voice byte at the Republican National Convention in 1988. Unfortunately, once in office, he has no choice but to raise taxes to reduce the budget deficit and provide the necessary funds. This failed campaign promise was used against him by his Republican opponent Pat Buchanan during the primaries and Bill Clinton used this against Bush as part of his successful campaign to win the White House in 1992. The promise that may have helped him get elected backfired, costing His second term.

Bottom line

It is interesting to see how history tends to repeat itself and how short our memories can be. With good intentions, the presidential candidate stage and the campaign promise stage aimed at swaying voters’ opinions and choosing. Some commitments are ideological in nature and difficult to quantify, while others are more direct and responsible. In an ideal world, every campaign promise would be presented with a complete story, but the political process does not seem to promote this concept. Campaign promises can cause controversy, trigger emotions, and make elections favor the candidates who have the most hope or the most propaganda ideas. For all presidential candidates, it’s best to just tell us that we will have to increase taxes and cut spending to make ends meet, but unfortunately, the candidates’ promises and what they can achieve may be very different, especially when candidates After taking office, people encountered unforeseen political or economic obstacles.


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