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. George Ennis, Toronto, Canada

    A great speech Mr. Steele. Now if only reality would conform to your view of how the economy actually functions! If you were taking an introductory economics course you would receive a failing grade.

    What is clear is that the Republicans vision of Americans is only one of potential consumers. Citizenship, which is a much higher calling, requiring people to make sacrifices to a greater good is totally a foreign concept.

    I have never heard a coherent theory from the Republicans of how they will address oil dependence, climate change, trade deficits, budget deficits except through cheap slogans about American ingenuity and shouting "USA" whenever anyone tries to engage in a substantive discussion of ideas.

    February 7, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  2. Arzell

    How much money did we spend in Iraq?

    February 7, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  3. Jeff

    Repbulicans are one of the main reasons we are in this mess. Look what you have done to us over the last 8 years. If you want to talk about big heads, look at yourself. There is hard proof that your philosophy is the reason we are here and why don't we try something new. Or maybe we should continue to give the tax breaks to the wealthy and give 100 million dollar bonus to the people that do not need them.

    February 7, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  4. Kathy

    Steele, are you kidding me when you say -"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?'
    Surely, you are not talking about the poor and the millions of jobless? If no money is coming in, or if meagre amounts are earned, WHAT MONEY IS THERE TO KEEP? HOw do tax cuts help folk who have no jobs Michael Steele? Has your election to the new position addled your once decent brains?

    The GOP is acting like a dog in a manger, because it IS a dog in the manger- kicking up stink to get news headlines instead of doing the people's business. If you guys can overpay the banks under W Bush by 78 BILLION, why are you trying to cut out money for building schools and giving money back to the poor? Tax cuts is reaganomics, never worked and never will, since we all know, all the GOP do when they give tax cuts is help their rich buddies on Wall street and the CEO's who fill up their war chests.

    February 7, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  5. Christopher E.

    Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Put down the fiddle, Republicans, and help put out this fire.

    February 7, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  6. serah

    Mr Steele Can you first explain where your good ideas were when president Bush messed up the economy. How come you were not giving him the ideas at that time. If you as a republican could not sell your ideas to your fellow republican leader how do you expect the American people to trust your ideas as good. By the way, which ideas are you talking about that you republicans have which can work magic which you never used for eight years.

    February 7, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  7. aware


    Democrats always over-reach – including Obama! 😦

    They will pay in 2010 and 2012 if they don't fix this spending orgy of a package! 🙂

    February 7, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  8. John Anthony

    Power will NEVER go to the Dems' heads as badly as it did the REPUBLICANS' heads in the Bush era of Tom DeLay, Dick Armey, Bill Frist, or the rest of those neocon yahoos! Looks like Steele is just another loudmouth crybaby Republican to me.

    February 7, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  9. JR

    We've had a fill of republican ideas for 8 years, isn't that enough?

    February 7, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  10. Blue

    Oh please. This is nothing but a puppet with Cheney and the like pulling the strings, a negative photo image of Mortimer Snerd and not anywhere near as funny. Where do they get these people???

    February 7, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  11. southerncousin

    Dems are so simplistic, look at Brian's remarks, hey Dems, get a job from a poor person. You just don't get it. Nothing but a bunch of ACORN inspired, George Soros Kool Aid dring, union attack dogs. Turning the country communist will not bring what you desire, mama's boys.

    February 7, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  12. aware


    Obama is same old – same old! Corruption, cronies, palm-greasing, pork spending and pay to play! 😦

    February 7, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  13. Rachel in Nebraska

    Now I am convinced, Steele is a complete moron. I do NOT understand the Republicans! They don't even let history be their guide. Tax cuts on their own are NOT going to lift us out of these troubled times. Why do they cling to outdated ideas! I am also disappointed in the Democrats for letting them change the bill so much to suit the Republicans. It has what 42% tax cuts now and that is still not enough for the Repubs? It is obvious that the Repubs are playing politics and want Obama to fail. That is their main goal as well as padding the pockets of themselves and donors. They are a gross bunch and I hope the rest of them will be voted out. Those of you who support them-please open your eyes! Read about Hoover and the depression and how FDR brought the country out of the depression......Know your facts. We have had lots of tax cuts and look where we are! Please don't blindly support just because you grew up Republican.
    I left the party because of their foolishness and unwilingness to change with the times!

    February 7, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  14. BillH

    Cutting taxes is, for conservatives, more of a mantra than a philosophy. They don't seem to have any ideas, so they keep repeating their mantras, i.e., "cut taxes," "free trade," "war on terror," etc. And, of course, they know that they are right because Rush told them so. Ask them how their mantras would help solve the problem, you get a deer-in-headlights look.

    February 7, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  15. And yet...

    And yet, not a single word about the criminal investigation into Steele misusing $75k of campaign funds by paying them to his sister for law services that were never delivered...because her firm had closed six months prior.
    This guy is a piece of hypocritical work.

    February 7, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  16. Big Ed

    You are kidding, right? The ego to end all egos is "W"! Last time I looked he was a Republican and no one questioned him when he picked and chose what laws he would abide by!

    If anyone needed proof that the Republicans are in then midst of a severe identity crisis, here it is from the Chief Republican himself!

    Mr. Steele, you may want to report to your doctor for a barrage of tests to make sure these hallucinations are only short-term.

    February 7, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  17. Florida for Obama

    I lived in Maryland for many years when Michael Steele was Lt.Gov., didn't hear squat out of him and now he's here to SOS....get real!!! He did nothing for Maryland and he'll continue to do nothing...all talk.

    February 7, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  18. William Chapman

    Steele remind me of Allen Keyes

    February 7, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  19. Sye the Pychic

    A good colonic and he will be whit.

    February 7, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  20. Will

    Elitist libs who are the most hateful people in this nation, maybe the world, saying a republican has an ego is beyond hillarious, maybe Ahmadenijad can call someone an anti-semite next.

    The racism from almost every lib in America against Steele for being his own man and a true independent thinker is to the point that it is making even the kkk blush. I guess that is to be expected from the party of Robert Byrd.

    Face it, as long as the party in power is one that only benefits when people are poor and dependent upon others to take care of them, we will not have a recovery. Things have gone downhill since the Democrooks took over congress and will get only worse now that a socialib is president. The democrats want this, they want the worst for all Americans so they can keep power, the charecter and values of those who support them is probably the most disapointing and disgusting thing in America today. I don't know how such hateful people can ever right their wrongs and show some conservatism, such decency, honesty, and respect is not in their hearts.

    February 7, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  21. FreeNLovIt

    Dont you all know... It's the same YUGO engine, just different top.

    February 7, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  22. Annie

    The Republicans and Steele have gotten the media to repeat the word, "pork" in every article about the President trying to repair the damage done by the Republicans the last 8 years. It is treasonous what they have done to this country, yet we are having to hear all of this garbage from them, still. They want to continue to implement their destructive ideas for their special interest groups and themselves. There must be a Rep. memo to use the word, "pork" in every other sentence. How about using the word "pigs" instead, to characterize the behavior of the Republicans.

    February 7, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  23. rick

    I'm an independent and voted for Obama but the Deomocrats seemed to forget that Dodd and Franks and their buddies are the ones that got us into the housing crisis in the first place by pushing banks to loan mortgages to lower income people who obviously couldn't qualify.
    As far as the stimulus bill, why in thew heck is there still 4.1 billion dollars in it for ACORN, the organization that is being investigated in over a dozen states?
    I have been leaning Democrat but I must say with responses from the readers here make it seem like they are trying to get back at the Republicans for their mistakes which does nothing for trying to bring the country together.

    February 7, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  24. Wake Up Please

    Are you kidding me???

    Man o man, we have to stop the right wing wing-nuts from ruining this country.

    Oh wait, they have ALREADY ruined our country.

    Now we have to stop them from getting in the way of fixing things.

    They think if they get louder, dumber, and more shrill, they can rehash the same nonsense they've been saying all along as if it were new?


    February 7, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  25. Leslie Kratz

    Power has gone to their heads? Power has gone to their heads? Mr. Steele, both you and the rest of the Republican politicians still hanging out in Washington should know a great deal about "Power going to the head!" LOOK at the MESS your party has MADE OF THIS COUNTRY.
    You have absolutely no business - chastising anyone, any other party.
    LOOK IN THE MIRROR... Where have you been? How could you have missed the serious abuses of POWER and EGO by your very own party.
    My advice to you... roll-up your sleeves and get to work! The Democrats have gained the power they now have because you and your party totally abused and ignored the power and responsibility that you had to the American People.

    February 7, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
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