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. G.R.I.T.S - Girl Raised in the South

    Wonderful post, Steve! Great points, you really told it how it is!

    February 7, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  2. Evan

    the Republicans have acted like spoiled babies. the last election was about setting a new agenda. and here we have the Republicans running around like throwing tantrums because the Stimulus Bill is not all tax cuts. Stimulus is about SPENDING MONEY TO CREATE JOBS. Trickle down economics got us into this mess. People want change. They just don't get it. AT ALL.

    February 7, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  3. Gee in Wash

    Doesn't any one want to mention Bush's "Stimulus" Bill from a couple of months ago. Money that went to banks who are not using it to create jobs, lending. The only thing they have done is give themselved huge bonuses and lavish parties. That bill has no oversight and no one can say where it went. Well we know where it went. Into the pockets of those CEO's and the very wealthy. This bill will help the other 95 percent of the country. The Republicans have bankrupted this country and sacked the Treasury for the last 8 years. Now they are crying because this money is not headed for their pockets. Sore losing cry babies! The big egos are theirs. Oh, let's just spend all this money to continue building infrastructure in Iraq and screw this country as it falls apart. That's been the Repub mentality for 8 years. Americans are done with their crap.

    February 7, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  4. Mary

    Oh that's a hoot, I guess he had his hands over his ears for the last 8years. Mission accomplished, bring it on, I'm the Decider.......and on and on and on.

    February 7, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  5. chris

    hmm, how are theose those campaign finance issues working for ya Mike?

    BTW, Moodys even sides with the those who say Gov't spending gets more bang for the buck than tax cuts

    It is amazing to me that they will not quote facts or cite specific examples. What he cited is not in the Senate bill and hopefully will not be in the compromise bill. Yes I agree things that do not stimulate should not be in there, but as the President said this will not be a perfect plan.

    When the economy turns around, just stay in the back of the bus, the same old ideas are no longer welcome as was evidence in the last election and if you keep getting in the way of America getting back on track you will sorely regret it in 2010!

    February 7, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  6. kuriya

    Mr Steel is an angry man. I used to watch him on fox news when he comes out with anger in his face bashing Obama. At times I want to write him and ask him why does he come across the television so angry. I remember him saying Obama is selling out of black race to win the election. I don't think the election has go into democrat head. I think Mr Steel Chairmanship has gone to his head. Republicans keep saying cut taxes for who? those who have lost their job. How can you cut tax on people when they do not have a job? I think democrat should tell the republican we put people to work then cut tax.

    February 7, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  7. Jeff W.

    A Republican accusing Democrats of having big egos? HAHAHAHAHAH. The Republicans, if nothing else, are large blow-hards with nothing but ego. My God, look no further than the Bush administration and you won't find a more selfish, self-important group of people. It was the Bush ego that ruined this country. I love that the Republicans are smarting so badly over their recent terrible defeat in Washington – at least we finally have 8 years of non-Bronze Age thinking, woo-hoo!

    February 7, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  8. belle

    who is this uncle tom and why is he questioning anything? when his party was in control, they let the power get to their heads and created this fiasco that the country is in now. dems are not being cocky...they have a big ego and they can back it up! mr. head of rnc still has to prove that he can turn his party around and send them in the right direction. all he's done so far is fire people!

    February 7, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  9. Ron - IV, NV

    Anyone stop to think of what they would do with a $1-2K refund/rebate. The obvious answer today is that we will pay off current debt or save it. The one thing we will not do is spend it! If we don't spend this money, the GOP plan will not work! We need to create jobs. People with job security will begin to spend again.

    February 7, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  10. paul

    I agree with Mr Steele in that there is way too much questionable spending in this bill and no CLEAR answer to how it will help me, my brothers, their families, my friends and my fellow struggling Americans! All too often the president, the house speaker, senators and representatives on the Democratic side say Americans need help now and when pressed answer with "we need this bill" but don't give a clearer answer of how the money will trickle down to help those I mentioned.

    I am a Democrat. My whole life one. But I disagree strongly with my party on how this stimulus will STIMULATE anything. I am disheartened that "pork" made it into the bill, EVEN if according to Pres Obama it equals less than 1% of the total bill which I question as truthful, when the Democrats are supposedly the party of thoughtful action not RECKLESS abandon! That was always the handle for the republicans.

    Give that back mantra back to the republicans, trim this bill down, make money come to us QUICKLY so I along with others can sleep at night not worrying about our job or money. Make me believe that change is here and that the democrats are different than the last 8 years. So far, you guys of the donkey party have shown me your more Jack-(insert the 3 letter word) than saviors.

    February 7, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  11. Get Real!

    Yo Mike,


    Nuff Said!

    February 7, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  12. Steve - Montana

    Oh my goodness – he doesn't know what a fish barrier is!

    February 7, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  13. Perusing-through


    The Republican's counter-proposal was led by John McCain and his idea of an economic stimulus package was a 100% tax-cut for the mostly rich and corporation already receiving tax-payer bailouts. YOU STUPID IDIOT!!! THIS IS THE VERY SAME POLICIES BUSH USED THE PAST 8-YEARS THAT BROUGHT US TO THE BRINK OF CATASTROPHE.

    February 7, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  14. Sophie

    Steele–where have you been?! The Democrats need to realize they have the power and own it. Remove the silly tax cuts from the bill and put all of that in infrastructure. Eight years of Bush/Republican policies got us here–it's time to do a totally Democratic bill.

    Unfortunately, we Democrats are stuck with Obama who is too busy trying to prove to Republicans that he's bipartisan to get around to governing the country. Let's see, the economy is tanking, but he's having cocktail parties for people who are going to screw him, then he's reading to school children (because that worked out so well for GWB on 9/11), and whew! time for a Camp David break.

    February 7, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  15. shoegazer

    You can cut personal taxes by 75% if you want,but 75% of nothing still leaves nothing.People have to be earning a taxable income to have those taxes cut.Have the GOP checked out the job loss numbers this past while?They stem from the eight years of horrendous policies of their party.

    February 7, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  16. Realist.

    I am glad somebody here is thinking along the same line as myself. You can not give tax cut to someone who has no job. I was watching Sen. Thun yesterday, as handsome as he is, he is sure brain dead. Even if you give every individual $5000 tax cut or credit, but the person has no job, how in the world can the person get another money?

    You have to create job first you idiots. Maybe you are talking about tax cut to the rich and wealthy like you have been doing in the last 8years and hoping for a trickle down. I hope one of these people lose their jobs and maybe, just maybe that will force them to think.

    I think not.

    February 7, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  17. Dee

    Keep yapping Steele until Feds indict you for paying a defunct corporation run by your sister out of your campaign funds - as much as repugs love corruption if you think they will support you, good luck.

    February 7, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  18. Spencer

    "Steele . . . 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."

    Huh? What's he talking about? Did he miss the point that we chose a democrat and rejected the republicans because we don't think they had any ideas worth pursuing?

    They have "lots" of good ideas? Really? Well then, let me be the first to tell you Mr. Steele, the problem the rep. party has is getting the word out, because for all of the good ideas you've got, I haven't heard ONE.

    I've heard Rush hoping for Obama to fail (yes, let's hope that America fails and we all go broke and lose our homes and livelihoods, YES! That would be wondeful). Nice.

    What are your ideas, please, share them with me. I'll be STUNNED if it goes beyond anything more than the same, tired old tax cuts for the wealthy. Seems unlikely to get us where we need to be.

    February 7, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  19. Beekay

    How about Republicans egos? After 8 years of Republican policies, why can't they support the president?

    February 7, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  20. Ann

    How many times do economists have to inform republicans that tax cuts DON'T work. The last time a tax rebate was sent out to Americans by the Bush administration, the rebates went toward reducing their debts. When will the republicans learn?

    Then again, their self-righteous talk by the likes of Michael Steele will serve as a constant reminder to oust more republicans in the upcoming election in 2010. I can't wait!!

    February 7, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  21. Julia

    Perhaps, Mr. Steele. You're being used. We are not fooled.

    February 7, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  22. Emma, San Jose

    Definitely not a statement that advocates for unity between the two parties!

    February 7, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  23. Former Republican now Libertarian

    Yup yup....same repub leadership. I left the GOP for the Libertarian platform because of the attitude of the GOP leadership. The dems have a long way to go to match the ego's of the Bush administration. That is an absolutely ridiculous statement on his part.

    Bush added more to the National debt than ALL ADMINISTRATIONS PRIOR TO HIM COMBINED!!!!!

    And I have a question for those repubs that keep calling everyone else sheep......why do they call you "dittoheads"?

    February 7, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  24. tishoogle

    CNN...Why are you reporting on another JERK of a republican! Palin, McCain, loud mouths with no SUBSTANCE!!!!!

    February 7, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  25. Willy Brown

    Let the Ego party run Mike. It's going to be good red meat in 2010 and 2012.

    February 7, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
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