January 23rd, 2009
11:45 AM ET
11 months ago

Obama: Recovery to be multi-pronged

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) – President Barack Obama offered more detail on his plan to restore economic growth Friday, saying the economic stimulus program being debated in Congress is just one of at least three parts to his recovery plan.

In a meeting to discuss the stimulus proposal with Vice President Joe Biden and Democratic and Republican congressional leadership, Obama said America also needs an improved financial system stability program as well as financial market regulation reform.

"The recovery package that we're passing is only going to be one leg in, at least, a three-legged stool," said Obama. "We are also starting to put in place the kinds of reform elements – oversight, transparency, accountability – that's going to be required in order for the American people to have confidence in what we're doing."

The president cited a Government Accountability Office report released Thursday that said the government's regulation of the financial markets had "major weaknesses" that can lead to wasteful government spending.
He also said financial institutions that get bailout funds from the government must manage those funds appropriately.

Obama made an apparent allusion to reports that former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain spent over $1 million renovating his office after he was hired as an executive at Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500), to which he sold Merrill late last year.

He cited reports about companies "going out and renovating bathrooms or offices" and "the lack of accountability and transparency in how we are managing some of these programs to stabilize the financial system."

As for the first leg of the stool – the economic stimulus package – the president said he stressed swift and aggressive movement to pass the bill. Though he said the plan appears to be on the path towards reaching his desk on Presidents Day, much more maneuvering to reach a bipartisan agreement on the expensive and sweeping recovery plan appears likely.

The president has received some pushback from both sides of the aisle on his stimulus plan, as he tries to sell a plan that includes tax cuts and massive spending efforts.

After Friday's meeting, House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said he was concerned about the size of the bill, arguing that less spending and more tax cuts were needed to have a real and fast impact on the economy.

"At this point we believe spending nearly $1 trillion is really more than we ought to be putting on the backs of our kids and their kids," Boehner said. "[With tax cuts], the American people can invest it, spend it or save it, all of which are good for the economy."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., countered that the cost of the stimulus plan is less important than the quality of the recovery it creates.

"It's not just about how big the package is," Pelosi said. "It's about how fast jobs are created and how those initiatives that were added in the spending will contribute to long-term stabilization of our economy."

Those negotiations are set to continue next week, as the House is expected to hold a vote on its stimulus plan on Wednesday. The Senate is set to begin its own deliberation over its stimulus proposal next week, after announcing its own plan on Friday to meet Obama's goal of creating three to four million jobs.


Filed under: President Obama • stimulus plan
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. SF Serg

    The only way the stimulus will work is if the package is garnered completely to the left in order to undo the Bush approach which has been completely to the right the last 8 years. Once the economy is stimulated and stabilized, the President can then commit to the bipartisanship he promised and allow Republican economic policies. There has to be a shift now! The problem that led us to this mess is that the Republicans went completely to the right with their economic policies. There has to be a balance of oversight and free market. I think the President understands that, but right now only a complete shift to the left will stimulate the economy. The Republicans are just going to have to wait. The President should'nt worry about them anyway because even if he finds favor with them, they will still turn on him and try to defeat him in 2012.

    January 23, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  2. geraldine

    If he would just give me the right folks addresses I could send them checks directly. Instead I've got to give him a dollar so he can give people that need it 10 cents.

    And no, I will not blindly support him just because he's president, as long as he's promoting Robin Hood economics.

    January 23, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  3. Save My Hard Earned $$

    This is a govornment created problem to begin with. Get your hand out of the banking industry and let us get on with our lives.

    January 23, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  4. Steel Curtain

    It IS going to be multipronged.

    Prong 1: Increase corporate tax rates.
    Prong 2: Increase individual tax rates.
    Prong 3: Reduce the number of tax deductions available.
    Prong 4: Increase payroll taxes.
    Prong 5: Increase social security taxes.
    Prong 6: Increase Medicaid Taxes
    Prong 7: Redefine what constitutes the budget deficit
    Prong 8: Repeat Steps 1 – 7

    January 23, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  5. Bill

    Dear "Barack wins and we collectively lose",

    Your friend Bush has us in $10 trillion debt. Nice work, fiscally responsible Republicans. Did you write in crying about THAT when it was happening or were you busy waving a flag, yelling at people who care about this country?

    January 23, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  6. Lisbon

    The god king, our lord and savior Barack Hussien Obama, does not know his rump from a hole in the ground. CNN should be indicted for conspiracy for participating in the fraud of elevating this Marxist thug to POTUS.

    January 23, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  7. JIM...TX

    I find it quite amusing that the Right is bitching about what Obama's plan will cost...didn't hear much from them when Dubya was spending upwards of 10 BILLION dollars a month on the War on Terror in Iraq! Any huge deficit we have was started the past 8 years of mismanagement by the Republicans!!!

    January 23, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  8. Baze

    Allying with the Blue Dog Democrats will get these plans initated well. Combined with new avenues of making money (infrastructure management, cap and trade, industrial advanacements in clean energy) and we have a stand up plan, by a stand up man, for a stand up America .

    January 23, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  9. Dont blame me

    Way too much PORK in this bill.

    If your going to spend my money, at least spend it where it will create some jobs and not on somebodies pet PORK project.

    From the estimates that I have heard, about 60% of this money is FAT that is going to PORK projects.

    God help us all..

    January 23, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  10. WELCOME TO THE OBAMA SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

    SOCIALISM HERE IT COMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 23, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  11. WELCOME TO THE OBAMA SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

    SOCIALISM HERE IT COMES!!!!!!!!!!!

    YOU VOTED FOR HIM NOW YOU CAN LIVE WITH IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 23, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  12. Larry C. in Houston TX

    I Totally Agree w/ you, Matt...........and take back the billions that they gave to AIG, & the rest of the Wall Street Crooks...

    January 23, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  13. J.P.

    Yes, multi-pronged, Barry says.

    Prong 1 – Wealth Confiscation
    Prong 2 – Wealth redistribution
    Prong 3 – Watch the USA quickly become the new USSR

    You clowns voted for Change, alright. And socialism IS INDEED change. It's just not change for the better.

    You want to fix the economic problems? Real easy. Take note:

    Step 1 – Cut the budget of EVERY federal government entity, department, office, branch, etc. Not a cut in the rate of growth, but AN ACTUAL CUT of 15 percent. When I was in the military during Clinton's years when he gutted the DoD to "reinvent" government, this was called "doing more with less."

    Step 2 – Declare a federal tax holiday of three to six months. The reaction among investors will be immediate and robust. The reaction among the Joe SixPack set will be equally as robust. Imagine having your ENTIRE paycheck for a change?

    Step 3 – Dismantle and eliminate the Ponzi-scheme (and Congressional Slush Fund) of Social Security and let people keep their own money to invest as they see fit.

    Step 4 – Dismantle the IRS and go to a flat tax... every American over the age of 18 pays the same XX percent of their income regardless of how the income is produced (work, investment, inherited, etc.).

    It's time to have LESS government, NOT MORE. The government can't deliver the mail and are, in fact, responsible, for the current mess we find ourselves in. Do we really think they'll do a better job with healthcare or the economy in general, when delivering your mail is a challenge?

    January 23, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  14. AndyL

    It's where he is going to stick us with those prongs that worry me. We may not be able to sit down for years!

    January 23, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  15. DAVE IN CA

    I personally love how obama told the country there will be no "LOBBYISTS" my administration... guess what after two days there is already a free pass for a lobbyist that we (AMERICA) have to have in this administration....... OHHH BOY.... kind of reminds me of a TRICKY DICK move....... can't wait to see what is next

    January 23, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  16. Mike G

    Does congress have any credibility?? I mean when has the current congressional squad of seat preservationists done anything helpful for the american people???

    January 23, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  17. Arden

    I agree with alot of the above comments. I am a middle-class senior. Right now I think what would help stimulate the economy is to raise the hourly wage, follow through with the tax-cuts suggested, cut the taxes for senior citizens, get money to small business', and get those big infrastructure jobs moving. One of my son's is on unemployment, has two chicldren to support and he is hoping to get back to work with the Masons union real soon. He hates not being able to support his family. He also no long has health care. So there are a few of ideas. Also, besure the troops are being taken care of while we are still in Iraq. I feel very strongly that the abortion thing can wait for six months to a year. Please get the money back from the B of A for the eighty five million dollars that jerk spent on his office.

    January 23, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  18. DAVE IN CA

    you democrats knew with who you had in place what would happen with these morons.....SPEND OUR MONEY LIKE THERE IS NO TOMORROW.... you all act really surprised.... your getting what you asked for... reap the whirlwind cuz it is gonna really get crazy

    January 23, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  19. Dan, TX

    We will spend a lot on economic recovery. After the economy recovers, we will need to pay back the debt. How can the debt be paid off. Grow our way out of it? That will help. Increase taxes – I expect some of that. Accept a level of inflation – I expect some of that.

    January 23, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  20. Annette

    For those folks who are still dealing with the title President Obama, he is President Obama. If you can put up with George Bush and respect his title. God knows, hello, let's respect.

    January 23, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  21. Pelosi Lartisan Politics

    From what I hear of some of the spending items proposed in the House version, this looks like a 3 legged pig -- as in pork barrel spending. The Democrats are doing what they always do - pork spending. This is NOT what the nation needs at this time, and this is not the Change I voted for. Please, President Obama, get you spend happy colleagues in the House under restraint before they bankrupt us all, and put an unteneable burden of debt on our children and grandchildren. and another thing Mr president, Not one member of the GOP in the House voted for this early version..... this smacks of Pelosi Partisan Politics, and not the Bi-Partisan approach you promised us. Please intervene and get this back on track before Pelosi Reid and others bankrupt us all

    January 23, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  22. DAVE IN CA

    turnabout you should not talk about LOBBYISTS in bed with politicians..... your man obama just gave a free pass to a lobbyist in his administration.... so much for change

    January 23, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  23. Dont blame me

    I see where a GITMO releasee is now one of the leaders of Alqiada in Yemen.

    I wonder how many more will go back and fight us once Obama finishes closing GITMO??

    January 23, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  24. Blogging is the legacy I leave behind!

    "We may not have much of a standard of living when we bankrupt this country with trillions upon trillions upon trillions of dollars of debt. "

    Um..... in case your not up to speed this has already happened.

    January 23, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  25. Angie in Pa

    Obama is right we need more Accountibilty, oversight ,and regulation something we have not had for 8 years under Bush! Bravo Obama!

    January 23, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
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