Problem

Broken government promises

Other Names:
Broken election promises
Unrealistic election promises
Extravagant political promises
Broken government pledges
Breach of administrative pledges
Government reneging on public pledges
Incidence:
US President Clinton warned of the dangers of climate change in 1993, on his first Earth Day in office. In fact, he solemnly promised to make sure that America produced no more greenhouse gases in 2000 than it had in 1990. But he did not keep his word. The USA United States will emit 15 percent more carbon dioxide in 2000 than it did in 1990. In a report to the United Nations explaining why it did not keep its promise, the US State Department cited as its first two reasons "lower-than-expected fuel prices" and "strong economic growth." The simple explanation is that to keep the promise the USA would need to raise the price of fossil fuel. If gasoline cost twice as much, Americans would drive smaller cars, drive electric cars, take buses -- and elect a new President.
Claim:
In a political environment in which it is necessary to be seen to respond to the latest events, there is little time or inclination to honour past commitments which tend only to be remembered by the few. Laws, contracts and terms of agreement become short-lived. The greater the number of past commitments to be fulfilled, the greater the amount of future time to be set aside to do so. But time being at a premium, decreasing amounts of time can be allocated to the fulfilment of such earlier commitments, whilst more must be allocated to facilitating new options and agreements. Political debts, like legal tender, are continually being cancelled in the inflation-ridden policies of the present. The past is believed to place decreasing limits on the future, the devaluation of history being a prerequisite for the exercise of power.
Counter Claim:
In the USA, contrary to what journalists say, politicians tend to kept their promises. Exhaustive studies point to the conclusion that presidential candidates try to fulfil nearly all their campaign promises and do succeed in fulfilling most of them.
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update
08.05.1998 – 00:00 CEST