February 7th, 2009
02:32 PM ET
9 years ago

Steele questions if Democrats’ power ‘has gone to their heads’


Watch Steele give the Republican address.

(CNN) - Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, questioned whether Democrats’ power “has gone to their heads.”

In the weekly Republican address, Steele said of Congressional Democrats:

"For the last two weeks, they've been trying to force a massive spending bill through Congress under the guise of economic relief.”

Steele said Republicans are ready to work with “reasonable Democrats to do what is right for America,” but he charged the Republican ideas have not been included.

"Good ideas - lots of them - all left out of this plan by the Democrats in Congress,” he said.

(Full text after the jump)

"This is Michael Steele, Chairman of the Republican National Committee. Democrats have controlled both branches of government for less than a month. And you have to wonder if all that power has gone to their heads.

"For the last two weeks, they've been trying to force a massive spending bill through Congress under the guise of economic relief.

"All of us – Republicans and Democrats – agree the government must act to kick-start the American economy. American families are doing their best to balance their own budgets and pay their mortgages.

"The fastest way to help those families is by letting them keep more of the money they earn. Individual empowerment: that's how you stimulate the economy.

"But the Democrats have a different philosophy. Instead of leaving money in the family checkbook, they want to send it to Washington, run it through a slow and inefficient government, and hope that does some good.

"When families keep the money, they spend it, save it, or invest it. And the private sector economy benefits when families and businesses buy consumer goods or invest it for the future. But when Washington spends the money, some of it may flow into the economy, but all too often, much gets wasted.

"Democrats in Congress want a one-trillion dollar spending bill. You've heard about the pork-barrel programs they want to fund - 45 million dollars for ATV trails and removal of fish passage barriers is one that caught my eye. Exactly what is a fish passage barrier and why does it cost 45 million dollars to stimulate the economy with it?

"That's why Republicans in the House voted against uncontrolled spending. This is not a bragging point, but rather a statement that at least Republicans would stand with the American taxpayer.

"But voting 'no' is not enough... and Republicans have offered innovative ideas to help struggling families and small businesses. We've offered plans to spark job creation and investment through lower taxes, to stop the taxation of unemployment benefits, and to help Americans keep their jobs and their homes.

"The comprehensive Republican plan would lower taxes for all working American families. If you're married, the first $16,750 you make this year will be taxed at ten percent. Why don't we cut that rate in half to give instant buying power to every working American family?

"Good ideas... lots of them... all left out of this plan by the Democrats in Congress.

"Republicans stand ready to work with reasonable Democrats to do what is right for America.

"But it will take more than bipartisan words from the President. It will require fair-minded action from Democrats in Congress.

"Thanks for listening."

Filed under: Michael Steele
soundoff (775 Responses)
  1. Nathan

    Where were all these good Republican ideas when Bush and his Republican stooges were running these country to the ground? And of course we all know that Steele is in his current position because of BO.

    February 7, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  2. al/Alabama

    Steele is apparently drunk with his own sense of power. Tax cuts are great for those who still have a job. For those whose jobs have vanished, tax cuts don't matter.

    February 7, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  3. Gerry, Eugene, OR

    When Michael Steele and his fellow moron Republicans were in power they were able to destroy the national economy, squander a national budget surplus and enmesh the USA in two foreign wars, one of which was clearly based on the ego needs of one man who needed to compete with his father. Mr. Steele and his fellow traveler idiots would do better for themselves and the nation if they retired from public life for a while and contemplated their failures of leadership, vision and inability to produce results.

    February 7, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  4. Benjamin

    Where was he when his friends were destroying the country for the past eight years?

    February 7, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  5. Gayla

    And the definition of "reasonable" is? Do I hear whinning here? Or the beginning of a slap fest...If you don't have anything new to add to a party's rhetoric, why did you step up to the plate? The GOP lost the election because they did not have ne innovative ideas to help struggling famlies and small businesses. I've listened to what they now see as new and innovative. BUT THE PACKAGE IS THE SAME! It's their way or nowhere. The GOP needs to be quiet for a couple of years, see how things are going and then mount a new offense. But chances are, the American people will realize that the GOP is GONE.

    February 7, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  6. Daniel, Atlanta, GA

    Just because the GOP found Steele to represent them does mean that the GOP/RNC has suddenly become a "party of the people" or sensitive to the needs of most Americans from all races, creeds, or cultures. Steele is a puppet for the OLD, still disconnected, GOP which does not have to fear losing a job or home. McCain is a good example, because if he lost a home, he'd still have several to choose. You repugnats are still out-of-touch regardless of who you get to be your spokesman: Steele or Rush! I, for one, am one former Republican that is glad that the Dems are in power. Hey GOP? What is a trillion dollars, if millions of people lose their jobs? The loss of millions of jobs will cost tens, if not, hundreds of trillions in loss of tax revenues! You OLD GOP guys need to go back to school!

    February 7, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  7. Kevin Holcomb

    It is appalling that the Democrats and 3 Republicans are falling for the same "doom and gloom" tactic President Bush used to go to war with Iraq. Voters (especially republican voters) will not be content with the outcome of this huge tax bill and excessive spending. In reviewing the bill it is obvious the various committees have shirked their responsibilities – looking at the O&M in DOD is a good example (billions upon billions) which should have been appropriated in the subcommittees). Another major concern of mine is the transparency issue – staffed by Obama's Performance Officer and then folks he picks – we already have no clue about the $700 Billion TARP Fund – now we'll up this total to $1.480 TRILLION - This is NOT what the American's want. It won't solve a thing and ultimately will just raise what I pay, my children pay, my grandchilderen pay, my great-grandchildren .... You should reconsider – this is doomed to failure and ultimately will result in a 1-term president and a cast of elected officials voted out of office.

    February 7, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  8. AJ

    This man is a total fool. After "my way or the highway" Geroge, the last thing republicans should be critisizing is the ego of the democrats.

    February 7, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  9. Mary from Kentucky

    Steele just told his first lie. GET LOSS

    February 7, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  10. joe mett

    You are a typical one. When President Bush and the Republicans allowed power to get to their heads, you were not complaining. Off course you were nobody in the Republican party then so you had to keep your mouth shut.

    The Democrats are in power for four years and they intend to flex their political muscles whether the Republicans like it or not. The era of voodoo conservative economics and politics is over. Obama's election is the 21st century equivalent of the French People's Revolution and we intend to make it so. Goodbye to tricle down economics, excessive corporate and wall street greed, wedge issue politics and you are on your own political ideologies.

    Too bad you are a symbolic RNC Chairman. Your chairmanship would not dramatically change the political landscape in the country.

    February 7, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  11. teacheng

    Wow. What a bunch of hooey. They included all sorts of juicy tax cuts that the Republicans wanted in the House bill, and none of them voted for it anyway.

    Republicans think that bipartisanship means doing everything they want. Their policies have failed and they want to try the same stuff? What world are they living in?

    February 7, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  12. Ginny CA

    I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat and I agree completely with Michael Steele. Congressional Democrats need to step back, take a deep breath, and tackle the problems we face with thought and consideration. . .really look at the legislation and evaluate whether the American people are going to get enough bang for the billions of taxpayer bucks they are being asked to cough up. Our backs are already strained. We want some responsible legislation that will really stimulate the economy, not some padded bill that wastes our money and will ultimately fail to do the job. How much more waste and stupid legislation can the American taxpayers take?

    February 7, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  13. Elizabeth Iledare

    Michael Steel is being used as a tool for the Republican party. Though I'm sure his resume is flawless, simply placing a black man in republican leadership doesn't make the party's ideals any more diverse or representative of America. Good try republicans...

    February 7, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  14. Jim Doyle

    These guys are a joke. More tax cuts? Really? Are these the only "ideas" you can come up with? The Democrats have big egos? Judging by the way Republicans have run things forever, I'd say that's the pot calling the kettle beige. President Obama and the Democrats have tried to be bi-partisan, and look where it's gotten them. You people are nasty!

    February 7, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  15. Pete N PA

    This spending bill it total garbage. It seems to be one big "lets" pay for every project we can in on- fell-swoop. If the government wants to stimulate this economy, suspend the payroll tax. That will put money in everyone’s pocket the soonest. The other long term items should go through the appropriate processes. I think some of the ideas are good, but shouldn’t be bundled in with this important bill.

    February 7, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  16. Another Republican Gimmick

    Why does the RNC think all Americans are stupid? Why does blaming democrats for working tirelessly to form a plan to jumpstart the economy seem to be their own platform of relevence?

    I used to vote Republican, and now this party sickens me with the way they take advantage of the country's vulnerabilty to be malicious to those doing their job. News flash – the American people are expecting to see teamwork, not pointing fingers for a crappy job by you all for the past 8 friggin years!

    February 7, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  17. TP

    Can you be anymore original, Steele/GOP. Now stealing President's weekly web address. On top of it, you are continue to use divisive tactics, did you ever think for moment, that is why you lost the election. Same old GOP, nothing new. Whine, whine, whine, whine. Grownups acting like two year olds.

    February 7, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  18. Rusty Steele

    first the GOP ruined Collin Powel, now they have tasked Mr Steele with the job of "official naysayer" to Obama so they don't look biggeted. Whenever we get out of this recession and there is enough blood left in the country to suck out, the blood suckers from both sides will dig in again as before........until then, both parties need to do real work at fixing the country.

    Stuff has to happen in a positive way no matter what. The GOP knows this but are trying to stonewall cause the success will be seen as Democratic..........THAT IS ARROGANCE !!!

    February 7, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  19. Daniel, Atlanta, GA

    Just like the GOP to "major on the minors" and "minor on the majors". Look forward to losing more seats in 2010!

    February 7, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  20. Griff

    Instead of telling Kids to go to Church... Tell them to go to College...

    February 7, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  21. jeremiah phx

    TO ALL REPUBLICANS..... I can respect you not agreeing with Obama.... but if you dont have a solution to go with your complaint SHUT UP.... complaints will get everyone no where.... solutions to the complaints will

    February 7, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  22. steve billey

    I am furious about the tone being directed at people who think wasteful spending should be questoned. The last part of the stimulus package doesn't appear to have accomplished much as far as turning the economy. When did it become the right of our government to borrow on my behalf, tell me I have to pay for it and not have the means to pay it back. The very situation that is trying to be fixed is a situation our government is creating. Credit and cash flow without any income. It's the ponzy on a grand scale.

    Why shouldn't we all grab now and use credit to do it? There's not going to be anything left. I also want to know what happens after this fails? We've exhausted our credit.

    February 7, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  23. C.T.


    February 7, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  24. Kwesoe

    Me thinks the Republican have dressed their window with Steele.

    February 7, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  25. Mike

    I am sorry but maybe the RNC should be asking themselves the same question. They ARE the party that lost the last two elections. They ARE the party that left us with a depression! They ARE the party that allowed that doesn't mind tax cuts, as long as they go to cooperate America instead of struggling families so that wall street losers can redecorate the executive bathroom instead of creating jobs!

    February 7, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
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