Washington Examiner Senior Writer Conn Carroll has five questions for President Obama to address in his press conference this afternoon. Here's a look:
1. Mr. President, more than four years ago, in March 2009, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton proudly presented Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with a "reset" button meant to symbolize your administration’s efforts to makeover U.S. relations with Russia. How is that reset going? Are U.S. relations with Russia better or worse today than they were then?
2. Mr. President, throughout your reelection campaign you personally and repeatedly promised the American people that, thanks to your leadership, al Qaeda was “decimated” and “on the path to defeat.” In light of the successful terrorist attack on Benghazi on the anniversary of Sept. 11, as well as the recent and ongoing closures of 19 diplomatic facilities in the Middle East, Northern Africa and Central Asia, are you still willing to tell the American people that al Qaeda has been “decimated”?
3. Mr. President, according to the most recent Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking Poll, your signature domestic accomplishment, the Affordable Care Act, has only gotten more unpopular since your reelection. The inspector general of your own Department of Health and Human Services has said your administration will not be able to adequately protect Americans’ privacy when the health exchanges come online this October. You have already delayed the employer mandate for a year, and more than 20 House Democrats voted with every House Republican to extend that delay to the individual mandate. If your goal is to best protect and promote the health and well-being of all Americans, why not delay the implementation of the ACA for another year so that your administration is better able administer the program without violating Americans’ privacy and encouraging fraud?
4. Mr. President, just days after you were first inaugurated, you promised that your Home Affordable Mortgage Program would help “between 7 and 9 million Americans” refinance their mortgages and stay in their homes. More than four years later, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program reports that just 1.6 million Americans have been helped by the program and even then the re-default rate among that group is as high as 46 percent. Do you consider this program a success, and if not, why are you insisting on continued federal dominance of the mortgage industry?
5. Mr. President, the American economy is currently suffering through the weakest economic recovery since the Great Depression. Taxes, including payroll taxes on working Americans, are rising faster under your administration than they have under any president since FDR. Do you still believe that the answer to our long-term fiscal deficits are still more tax hikes?