Issues & Insights

World’s Shortest Book: ‘The Promises I Kept,’ By President Joe Biden

During his 2020 presidential campaign, Joe Biden tweeted that “we need to restore honor and decency to the White House.” On his first day in office, he promised to “bring transparency and truth back to government.”

For anyone keeping score, both of these promises bit the dust after cocaine was discovered in the White House and the Secret Service started stonewalling the public about the details. This comes days after Biden let “transgenders” parade around topless on the White House lawn while he desecrated the American flag, and years into running what is widely described as the most opaque administration in history.

Decency and transparency? What a laugh.

They are just the two of the growing list of campaign promises – big and small – on which Biden has failed to deliver. If anything, he’s on track to set an all-time record for broken promises.

Here are a few of the big ones:

Unity: In his victory speech in November 2020, Biden said that “It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again. And to make progress, we have to stop treating our opponents as enemies.”

Biden would go on to compare his political opponents to fascists and laws he disagreed with as Jim Crow 2.0. His language and actions have managed to deepen divisions across the nation. The latest I&I/TIPP Poll finds that 74% of Americans now say the U.S. is divided, up from 61% in April 2021, when the index launched.

‘Build Back Better’: Biden promised to rescue the economy, boost wages, restore the middle class. But wages have been on the decline, thanks to Bidenflation. The economy is teetering on the edge of another recession. As we’ve pointed out in this space, job growth has been wildly exaggerated, and the middle class is more financially stressed than it was before COVID. Rather than getting a $5,000 income boost as promised, households are more than $7,000 worse off, thanks to Biden.

Opioid crisis: Biden said during his campaign that he had a plan to end the opioid crisis. Step one “is to defeat Donald Trump and then protect and build on Obamacare,” he said. How has that worked out? There have been more opioid overdose deaths in the past two years than ever in history. This year will probably continue the trend. During the first five months of 2023, for example, San Francisco saw a 40% increase in the number of fentanyl deaths over the same time last year.

Border security: Biden swore he would “direct federal resources to smart border enforcement efforts, like investments in improving screening infrastructure at our ports of entry, that will actually keep America safer.” He also claimed that dealing with “root causes” would reduce the number of illegal border crossers. Since he’s been in office, illegal border crossings have been at all-time highs, as have deaths among illegal border crossers and the number of missing migrant children.

Gun violence: Biden assured us that he would “end our gun violence epidemic,” by implementing “proven strategies for reducing gun violence in urban communities without turning to incarceration.” But violent crime rates are on the rise, and the number of gun deaths was higher in 2021 and 2022 than it had been in the previous seven years.

Honesty and integrity: While the press has attempted to paper them over, Biden is now embroiled in a series of scandals that make anything Trump was accused of doing pale by comparison. Plus, it is becoming increasingly apparent that a politicized Justice Department has been protecting the president while targeting conservatives. Our I&I/TIPP poll finds that voters by a 2-to-1 margin think Biden took bribes while vice president.

We won’t even bother to mention Biden’s failure to “stop COVID,” and could go on and on and on with other broken campaign promises, plus the ways Biden has failed to live up to the promises of his backers, which would probably result in the world’s longest book.

Just as a reminder, here is what Tom Ridge, who was Homeland Security secretary under President George W. Bush, said in 2020 when he announced he was backing Biden: “I believe the responsible vote is for Joe Biden. It’s a vote for decency. A vote for the rule of law. And a vote for honest and earnest leadership.”

We’d love to see someone ask Ridge how he feels about those words today.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

We Could Use Your Help

Issues & Insights was founded by seasoned journalists of the IBD Editorials page. Our mission is to provide timely, fact-based reporting and deeply informed analysis on the news of the day -- without fear or favor.

We’re doing this on a voluntary basis because we believe in a free press, and because we aren't afraid to tell the truth, even if it means being targeted by the left. Revenue from ads on the site help, but your support will truly make a difference in keeping our mission going. If you like what you see, feel free to visit our Donations Page by clicking here. And be sure to tell your friends!

You can also subscribe to I&I: It's free!

Just enter your email address below to get started.


I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • That’s one of the many reasons why Ridge couldn’t get elected Dog Catcher today.

    What a despicable sellout.

  • To be fair, two of the promises he kept:
    No more drilling.
    Appointing an unqualified, but otherwise non-male identifying person of color to the Supreme Court.

About Issues & Insights

Issues & Insights is run by the seasoned journalists behind the legendary IBD Editorials page. Our goal is to bring our decades of combined journalism experience to help readers understand the top issues of the day. We’re doing this on a voluntary basis, because we believe the nation needs the kind of cogent, rational, data-driven, fact-based commentary that we can provide. 

We Could Use Your Help

Help us fight for honesty in journalism and against the tyranny of the left. Issues & Insights is published by the editors of what once was Investor's Business Daily's award-winning opinion pages. If you like what you see, leave a donation by clicking on donate button above. You can also set up regular donations if you like. Ad revenue helps, but your support will truly make a difference. (Please note that we are not set up as a charitable organization, so donations aren't tax deductible.) Thank you!
%d bloggers like this: