February 4th, 2009
03:57 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama warns of turning a 'crisis into a catastrophe'

 President Obama says Congress must act without delay on his economic plan.
President Obama says Congress must act without delay on his economic plan.

(CNN) - President Obama warned Wednesday that failure to act immediately on his economic aid plan "will turn crisis into a catastrophe and guarantee a longer recession."

"Millions more jobs will be lost. More businesses will be shuttered. More dreams will be deferred," Obama said, as Senate debate continued on amendments to the stimulus package.

Watch: President, Geithner discuss the economy

The House last week passed an $819 billion version of the plan, but no Republican voted in favor of it. The president has been trying to gain Republican support before the Senate votes on its version of the bill.

Debate on amendments to the bill is expected to last all week in the Senate. A vote could come as early as Friday.

Republicans are calling for a plan with more tax cuts and less spending. They also want more emphasis on helping homeowners. One Republican proposal could double the tax credit for home buying from $7,500 to $15,000.

Obama has said he wants to make sure Republican ideas are incorporated into the final legislation, but he said Wednesday that Congress should "not make the perfect the enemy of the essential" and brushed off recent criticism of the plan.

Full story


Filed under: Congress • economic stimulus • President Obama
soundoff (232 Responses)
  1. Ian

    The only way government gets it's spending money is to tax, borrow, or print it. The last two are obviously taxation, just at a later date. The only options the government has is to move money around, take the country (and our children) further into debt, or print the money and we all pay later with very high prices.

    The government makes plans and economic law laughs.

    February 4, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  2. petchia-FL

    Hey...you Just Shut the hell Up! You should tell that to your republican party clowns,,who whine all the time, lies, distort, cheat, steele, and killed our economy, they are, their the ones responsible for making this great country what it is today. And if you don't like it , please make like a leaf and leave.....by the way it's President Obama!

    just
    reply....Shut up Obama. Read about the great depression and learn that what you're saying isn't true.

    February 4, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  3. fella from Chicago

    Barack, you are the catastrophe. Pork barrel b.s is all you and the Dems have put into this so-called stimulus plan.

    February 4, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  4. norman

    So, Obama limits your pay if you get help from the government, and he wants to distribute "help" to just about everyone via the Porkubus Bill and his is wild about wealth redistribution. And its all legal. My friends, its time for a Tea Party.

    February 4, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  5. barack obama is still just B.O.

    @ Just shut up!

    You've hit the nail on the head!
    One of the few informed comments I've ever read on a CNN blog.

    Nice knowing there are people who are not sheep still out there.

    Thank you.

    February 4, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  6. Maggie from Virginia

    I hope the GOP and their supporters keep underestimating Obama. That's why he's our 44th president. This is one highly intelligent man. He will get his way, yet again.

    February 4, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  7. Linda in MS

    I cannot see the logic behind offering tax cuts to help people to buy cars and new houses when few of them will have jobs in the near future, or are uncertain if they will continue to have a job for long.
    The only way to help the economy is to create jobs now, through public works programs, and small business loans. In their small field of vision, Republican lawmakers see only a short term fix for a long term problem. Their fiscal conservatism merely boils down to a lack of regard for the little guy, and utter disdain for anything they blithely call part of the liberal agenda.

    February 4, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  8. Patrick

    Conservatives want all to fail. It's all about power. The "jobs" they really want to save is their own. On to ending the tax cuts for the top 1% and end the subsidies to the oil companies.

    February 4, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  9. michael

    I am from Texas and prey we never elect anyone from texas as president again.McCain is behind this for the rep. party with a rich wife he has no problem with letting the average person suffer.If the Rep. party is so smart HOW did we end up in this mess.George B

    February 4, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  10. Shirley in California

    I honestly don't know if this plan will work or not. None of us knows- but I do know something has got to be done and fast. Most of us have at least one qualified family member out of work. I hope this works and if it fails-I hope limbaugh (I refuse to capitalize his unimportant name) fails first along with ALL the haters.

    February 4, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  11. darryn

    yes, there is some pork there but will a stimulus plan this size be without? we need to look long term and say 5 years from now did we spend the money correctly,what going turn it aroung is getting people back to work there is no way around it.

    February 4, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  12. GM

    What we happen if we don't get that hunny bee insurance? I know it's on all of our minds.

    February 4, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  13. Colorado Teacher

    How can we keep cutting taxes????? Our government is so stretched right now. Just leave taxes the way they are and create jobs so people can start to spend money again. This will have a domino effect and then all will prosper. Cutting taxes is cutting jobs.....like education. I am a teacher and getting ready to go to a meeting that says we are going to have to cut positions. How does this help the economy????? It's those tax cuts at work! Thanks so much.

    February 4, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  14. nclaw441

    Those who say tax cuts don't help those out of jobs to buy a home are correct. The purpose of tax cuts, especially for small business, is to free up cash so that more jobs can be created, thus giving jobs to the jobless, who, in turn, CAN buy homes. The key is jobs. The jobless don't create jobs, business does.

    February 4, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  15. bob twain

    1 Family buys a lot of stuff that they can't afford
    2 Credit card bills aren't paid off monthly so interest is paid every month
    3 Bills start to pile up and the final straw is placed on the camel
    4 Off the record, family is advised to run up their credit cards before
    5 Family is advised to declare bankruptcy

    I think the United States is in phase 4 now.

    Why are we fixing the problem with more problem?

    Bob

    February 4, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  16. Cheap Talk

    Words do not matter, we want action, numbers, and details, Sir. Can't fool anyone.

    February 4, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  17. GOP hates you and me

    Republicans hate America and seek first and foremost to finish destroying our country.

    Yeah, that's right. I said it.

    Keep it up and see what it gets you come 2012 – better yet, take a look at what is happening in Kentucky and Ohio right now. The seats will turn blue – mark my words.

    February 4, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  18. Independant Vet

    WITH HIS BIG SPENDING BILL , THAT ADDS UP TO $11,000.00 PER FAMILY OF 4 .

    WHY DON'T HE FORGET ABOUT ACORN FOR 3 YEARS , BUT NO HE HAS TO KEEP BULIDING A WAR CHEST , FOR THE NEXT COMING ELECTION . UHH HUHHH

    AS I SEE IT THEY CAN NOT PRINT MONEY FAST ENEOUGH . NEXT THEY WILL BRING OUT MILLION DOLLAR BILLS .

    AS IS WHAT A WASTE . AN NOT GOING TOO SEE THAT BOTTOM FOR A MANY A DAY .

    REMEMBER WHEN THEY ALL SCREAMED ABOUT KATRNIA . THEN WE HAD IKE , LIKE JOE B , WHEN HE SLIPPED AT ONE OF HIS SPEACHES, JUST WHEN SOME ONE ASKED HIM ABOUT iKE, ' HIS REPLY WAS , TO HELL WITH THEM TEXANS, NEVER LIKED THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE . YET THE MEDIA'S DARLINGS , NEVER EVER REPEATED THAT COMMMENT.

    NOW I ASK WHAT ABOUT THE HELP FOR THE VICTIMS OF IKE ? WE ALL KNOW WALL STREET COMES FIRST . THEN , PAT CHARVEZ ON THE BACK . THAT'S OUR BIG CHANGE .
    #####################################################

    February 4, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  19. michael

    We the people have spoken Obama is our leader!The Rep. party is out to punish the peole who elected him.If you can't lead then get out of the way.And we all know the Rep. party can"t lead just follow the same old boys.Time to get the dead wood off the tracks and move forward.Just remember who is in the way next time they run for office.McCAIN has an axe to grianed and it will cut us all.Please get us HELP!

    February 4, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  20. bob in LA

    Mr President- if you want a stimulus bill , then get the garbage out of it.
    As the candate of change, make changes!
    There is no reason to support the package your fellow Dems asked for- just say no and let them know you are for us little guys!
    I can't afford a hybrid, and neither can our congress.

    February 4, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    How many Dittoheads does it take to screw up an economy?

    41.

    Good luck in 2010 GOP, you are REALLY gonna need it.

    February 4, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  22. Lesley L.

    Republicans, step aside. If you don't want to participate, go home. We told you this in November. Keep up this behavior and the American voter will remember you when it's time for re-election. James Carville is correct......people are suffering and these republicans in Washington are out of touch. You had your chance, go home.

    February 4, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  23. In Houston, TX

    Obama may have single handedly brought the GOP to the brink of utter destruction. They believe that in order to survive they must make Obama fail and the American people must suffer for choosing him and the Democrats. They don't have any new ideas, the ideas they do have don't work and all they are left with is this pathetic game of politics. They are so inurred to this system they willing to sacrifice you the people in order get back into power.
    They believe that the government is separate from the poeple while the Dems truly believe that this is a government of the people, by the people, for the people. The Democratic party is the people. Obama has reached out to the Repugs and his open hand of friendship and cooperation was slapped away.
    Let the Dems bare the burden of this stimulus package. We should stop looking for GOP support. We should stop looking for bipartisanship and go to war with the GOP and stay there. They are not here to help poeple, they are trying to maintain power.
    They have no intention of working with us

    February 4, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  24. Vegas

    Best way to stimulate the economy? Take the $350 Billion, divide it equally among TAXPAYERS, and send out the checks to us. We'll be glad to take the money and stimulate the economy by paying our mortgages, credit card debt, buying new goods and services etc. Obviously, giving it to the banks hasn't worked. Congress needs to try giving it back to the TAXPAYERS.

    Plus–don't tax any stimulus checks. It won't be income...it will be giving the taxpayers back their money!

    February 4, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  25. Annie the Democrat

    As a Democrat I wish that my party would of handled this better and not included all these Political Agenda and pork items into the Stimulus bill.

    We need to focus ONLY on those items that will provide jobs and more importantly they should not settle for any jobs but the MAXIMUM NUMBER OF JOBS PER DOLLAR SPENT.

    It's time the Democrats and Republicans think smart not partisan, not agenda and certainly not how they can help their buddies who provided campaign contributions.

    Get it together folks.....and STRIP THE STIMULUS OF GARBAGE AND FOCUS ON JOBS!

    We don't want a stimulus bill that is going to fail......take your time and DO IT RIGHT!

    February 4, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
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