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. AADem

    Michael Steele, the new Chair/RNC has the gall to say this when he arranged for his 2006 Senate campaign to pay a defunct company run by his sister (was married to boxer Mike Tyson) for services that were never performed., his finance chairman from that campaign has told federal prosecutors last Friday.

    What hypocrosy coming from the Repub Chair.

    February 7, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  2. Thadd

    This is all B.S. It has nothing to do with government but has more to do with politics. It is all a big game whether you are a Dem. or a Rep. $900 million in spending? How many pages or items does it contain? I wonder if Congres has actually read this bill line by line. Has Mr. Steele and the rest of his band wagon (band wagon because it is surprising that they all voted against the bill without a single person saying yes, where is the independence, free-thinking instead of just going along with everyone else). Since they are making a big deal about this bill, the American people should demand that Congress make the bill draft available online in its entirety for the American people so that they could go out and "READ IT" for themselves and draw their own conclusions instead of relying on Hush Limbaugh, Shan Hannity and Keith Olberman and company to spoon feed you. Dems have only been "in power" for one month and its "going to their head?" Well Republicans, prior to this, were in power and they created all these mess while Dems sat there with their hands between their legs and Mr. Steele just became the RNC chairman like two weeks ago? I do not care how you spin it. Tax cut is not the answer and whatever happend to the bills that went to Wall-Street? Remember how that was suppose to stimulate the economy?I guess that did not work and did not triggle down to the American people so that they could go out and spend.

    It is call the law of supply and demand. If the demand is not there, I don't care what business you open, your product will not move. Instead of tax cut, how about spending cut like the rest of us are doing?

    Lastly, since the Congressional bodies can't seem to get it right and I question their incompetency level, why don't we have the American people vote on which provisions should stay or go like?

    February 7, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  3. Billy

    At least the Dems have got realistic, effective plans and economic strategies in their heads. All the Repubs have is a broken recording that doesn't work–"tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, ..."

    February 7, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  4. man of steele

    Good luck with the scavenger hunt, Mr. Steele. I for one have never heard of a "reasonable democrat". Most are spending-happy, power hungry egomaniacs with OUR new president being the biggest one of all. So, once again sir, the best of luck to you.

    February 7, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  5. John

    What's good for America Uncle Mikey?

    February 7, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  6. AM

    Do Republicans not get it?! For goodness sake, do they live in an alternate universe!? It is true tax cuts worked for Ronald Reagan, but that does not mean they will work now. They did not work for the past 8yrs. They think maybe if they "ask the mirror" long enough, it will say they are "tax cuts are the prettiest of them all" again. NO! Snow white grown up now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Oh btw, GOP, If you think makes you cool, IT DOES NOT!!! So far, what made you lose the elections was mostly your hardheadedness. Masquerading yourselves with a black leader will not help you (It is as insulting as the whole Hillary/Sarah Palin saga) Majority of America does not agree with you anymore and unless you change your ways, 2010 and 2012 are going to be a bloodbath for your party!

    February 7, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  7. Bull Moose

    Isn't this the guy who made payments of tens of thousands of dollars to his sister's non-existant company using campaign funds? Did he not illegally transfer over a hundred thousand dollars form one account to another to hide it from his fellow state republicans, so that he could make a run at national office using stste campain money (which by the way is also illegal)? Wow!!! Talk about arrogance ...

    Hah(gasp)hahahhah ... Republicans.

    February 7, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  8. Mike k

    Oh my, this has to be one of the most hilarious if not delusional statements of recent time. Where has this man been the last eight years? How does he refer to the Republicans of the last eight years, selfless servants of the people? Yeah, right. Republicans need only look to the last eight years to fully understand the meaning of ego, they have this in spades.

    February 7, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  9. Jeff of Peoria

    Did you see the CRAP they pulled out of this bill. There's a lot left that's not STIMULAS as all. Just payoff for electing Obama and the DEMS. This is the same thing the GOP did after Bush was elected. NOBODY learns. Just amazing

    February 7, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  10. nick

    Mr. Steele. You got this job as chair of the RNC through your bull throwing and your falsehoods.
    So you want to give the people a tax break or keep more of what they earn. I have to questions, 1 how do you keep more of what you earn if you are not working or earning? 2 Didn't you oppose the plan to give tax breaks to those who don't earn enough to pay taxes?
    In other words, your plan is anti -democrat in words only. So you are against it because it provides the same results as your plan, but you didn't originate it.. You are still a Republican who says NO, and are only able to alter or amend a plan offered by others... The people will remember your party come 2012.

    February 7, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  11. In Texas

    blah..blah..blah..liberal democrats...blah..spending...blah...tax cuts...blah..quit whining and come up with new ideas besides tax cuts. Regan economics did not work and the economic crisis going on just proves it. This way of thinking does not work anymore and I did not see the Republicans whining when Bush was spending money. Tax cuts are SPENDING and adds to the deficit. America is already in a big deficit, but we need solutions not rhetoric that does not make sense anymore. STIMULUS IS SPENDING!!!! What part of stimulus don't you understand? No ideas and no substance. I did not see that McCain's plan was very good...70% on tax cuts and 30% on spending..yeah this is a good plan I see or what about Mel Martinez and their plan..$430 billion in tax cuts that will add the the deficit . I don't see anything good about these two Republican plans doing anything to stimulate the economy. Democrats did win the majority in this election year...more power to them!!!

    February 7, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  12. Bill in Ct.

    just like a Rethug, always lying on the other party. I guess Steele doesn't realize that the American people have seen what the Rethugs have done to this country in the last 8yrs. His party has done this to this country in 8yrs: a deficit more than any other president, 2: thousands killed in Iraq b/c they lied to the world about Saddam, 3: 2million people misplace in Iraq, 4: KBR and Halliburton robbing billions of dollars from the tax payers of this country, thinks to Chaney, 5: hated all over the world, 6: Kidnapping people from their home land and locking them up without being charge with anything, just calling them a terrorist, 7: TORTURE, 8: Hurricane Katrina, where 1800 people died, 9: banking system collapse b/c of their greed, 10: mortgage crisis 11: Department of Justice corruption 12: More job lost in history b/c of their policies 13: Fear, use pictures of Bin Lidin to scare Americans 14: if you didn't play their game, that Rethug party label you anti-American. But let Steele tell you, the Dems are letting power go to their heads b/c the Dems are trying to help the average American get ahead and help them out. Just like a Rethug, (((((((( OUT OF TOUCH )))))))

    February 7, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  13. Mike, Syracuse NY

    @Chris. Gee, thanks for the nice sentiment, but I think we'll just stick around. Someone has to be there to tell you 'I told you so' when this stimulus adds to the debt but does nada to create jobs.

    @janetlaw. About 2 minutes of research would tell you that under Bush the economy grew and added jobs for the first 6 years of his presidency. It was only after the Dems took Congress in 2007 that things went to hell. But then, don't let the facts get in your way.

    February 7, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  14. Bobby

    Has anyone else notice that republicans project their flaws onto others.

    February 7, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  15. kbird

    INCREDIBLY, Michael Steele has proved that there is ZERO credibility for him and the republican party! In case he has not been keeping up with current events we just went through 8 MISERABLE years of "deciders" who had nothing but huge egos (turns out that's about all they had). The American people were told how great everything was and the "the decider" turned up on the television in September to let everyone know the country was bankrupt! THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES! What is really evident is that republicans are MORALLY bankrupt!

    February 7, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  16. Steve

    This guy is joking, right? Tell me again WHO has the big egos? Eight years of Republican mismanagement have gotten us where we are today. I'm not sure the "good ideas" Mr. Steele refers to are proven to be bankrupt. The Republicans had their chance. They blew it. The only big egos around Washington right now are those who still don't realize that they did blow it, even though their party got spanked in the last election. Suck it up.

    February 7, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  17. Rob Stumpf


    Utterly false. Tax cuts DO work. The housing bubble and banking crisis have NOTHING to do with tax cuts. Even Obama advocated tax cuts as part of the stimulus package.

    Stimulus happens when the government invests in projects that create jobs – give a stimulus check to the public and what will they do? SAVE IT AND NOT SPEND IT <<<

    Again, you're wrong. You're confusing one shot stimulus checks with PERMANENT tax relief.

    February 7, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  18. John

    walter walter, I think you have lost your mind along with the election of 08

    February 7, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  19. AP

    These guys are complete frauds. Dummy you need a job in order to pay taxes! 600k people got a cut last month, not a tax cut but a job cut. I'm sure they are pushing for a tax cut on their unemployment income, if they can get unemployment insurance (let alone an extension).
    When rich people or companies get a tax cut they don't hire people, they save that money to shore up their balance sheets.
    People are hurting out there and these guys don't care. They spend more on their kids private schools every year that what the average AMERICAN earns. They live off of dividends while we live off income. So TAXES matter to them, while a job matters to us.

    February 7, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  20. chuck


    February 7, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  21. Pam for America & Obama

    Hint Mr Steele: The Republicans lost the election!
    You are saying if President Obama just acts like a Republican and gives you everything the Republicans want then you will sign it!
    Americans elected the Democrats for a reasons and it was not so they could act like Republicans.
    Your party had a stimulus bill, remember. The Bush bank bailout didn't work out so well did it? There were billions of dollars given with no questions to the wealthy bankers and the little people got screwed.
    I will remind you the your party was not fair minded when you were in power so now it is time for you to sit back and let our President clean up this awful mess you left us.

    February 7, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  22. renee

    Michael Steele was selected NOT elected so here we go again; the GOP trying to divided this country AGAIN.

    women: Sarah Palin
    Minority: Michael Steele

    February 7, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  23. Stephen

    This view is exactly why I voted Democratic. I am a life long republican, conservative, and a veteran. The Republicans had the better part of a decade to make the world a better place and they failed miserably. If the Republicans have any earth shaking, brilliant ideas to make Amercica better and stronger, they should present their plan now. If they can not present a plan, they should keep their pathetic whining to themselves and dream of the next election cycle. If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem.

    February 7, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  24. Karin

    "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.

    With an unprecedented deficit after unprecedented spending (courtesy of the Bush administration and the Republican party), that the Republican party is still selling themselves as the party of fiscal responsibility leaves me speechless. After spending billions in the name of "democracy," they refuse to make the same investment in America. I can't believe Republicans actually want us to believe that THEY know what is good for us after the last eight years!! So who's got the ego problem?

    I can only conclude: Republican in Washington = impaired short term memory, delusional, arrogant, as stubborn as a two and a half year old.

    February 7, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  25. MaryanneAZ

    Bad first move, Mr. St.eele. If you want to attract new Rep.ublicans or some of us who have left the fold, then you have to be FOR something and provide solutions, not criticisms and name-calling. Nothing Stee.le has said so far has me one bit interested in rejoining the Rep.ublican party. Not even a good try so far.

    February 7, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
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