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. nclaw441

    I don't know who you think is going to give people jobs. It certainly isn't those who don't have one for themselves, and it isn't government redistribution programs. It is BUSINESSES who hire people, and they are the ones who should get the tax breaks and spending programs. If you want jobs, you have to make it easier for businesses to hire people. Reduce regulation (OSHA, environmental regulations) and yes, taxes. Why do you think business look overseas for hiring? Because they cannot do it efficiently here. This is not a democrat/republican thing. It is all economics– even JFK knew that cutting tax rates increased revenues, and employment.

    February 7, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  2. amt

    I think the power has gone to Steele's head. Repubs do not bring anything new to the table, they just criticize that's all they do & want the same old ideas that created this mess. They are all stuck in the past, as far as I am concerned they should all just dissolve & I would not miss any of them ( I can dream can't I)?

    February 7, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  3. Elvis

    If you say anything against Mr. Steele, then you're a racist.

    February 7, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  4. Judi Baller

    Uh, and this from the guy whose first utterance was "look at me now"?
    This is definitely the pot calling the kettle, uh oh, can't go there, can I?

    February 7, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  5. rich

    This guy is a sad joke. Egos? He should look around the party he leads before pointing fingers. Stelle, you are no Obama! Indeed you are the complete opposite, and history will prove what a token looser you will turn out to be.

    February 7, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  6. jay

    Republicans support the troops went they are in Iraq, but it wasteful spending to support them when the came home.
    Republicans want tax cuts for the rich but it's wasteful spending to build schools.
    Republicans support Oil companies who buying oil from the Middle Eastern countries but call the same Middle Eastern countries terrorist nations, and justify going to war in the Middle East but call energy independence wasteful spending

    February 7, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  7. Winston Smith

    It's amazing that the Republican Party had NO PROBLEM sticking the American People with a 1.8 TRILLION DOLLAR price tag for "OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM".
    John Boehner – the GOP House Leader said in June 2008 "I know it's a lot of money but, you can't put a price tag on freedom".
    Okay so...according the The Republicans, you can't put a "price tag" on Iraqi freedom – yet somehow...they...the Republicans have decided to put a "price tag" on the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
    Steele, McCain, Graham are just LUNATICS baying at the moon right now.
    The GOP is in danger of being downgraded to "cult" status.
    What happened to the decent Grand Old Party that (probably) once existed ?

    February 7, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  8. Irishny

    This has to be said.Well done Mr.Steele.
    Throwing around tax payers money like confetti at a wedding isnt going to fix Americas economic problems.
    Its just loading up even more debt for Ameriucas children.
    Basically they're just kicking the can down the road

    February 7, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  9. Ken in NC

    Mr. Steele said Republicans are ready to work with “reasonable Democrats to do what is right for America,” but when Republicans had control of the House and Senate they did the exact same thing Republicans are accusing Democrats of doing now.

    My respomse is if the power has going to the heads of Democrats, it was transferred from the heads of Republicans. Both parties need to stop being so childish and power hungry and do something. Even if it is wrong, I think every American knows that when you are heading down the road towards a cliff you have to do something before you go off the cliff. I suspect that no one alive today knows what to do but we all know that to do nothing is wrong too. Our other problem is that while we do not know when we will go off the cliff, Congress is acting like there is plenty of time to act and usually when you act that way, you soon find that you were wrong and then it is to late.

    Please Members of Congress, stop acting like an unorganized bunch of children and think about the survival of our nation as something that has to be done quickly because none of you know how close we are to that cliff.

    February 7, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  10. Linda in WI

    This is just more of the same from the Republican Party. They need to shut up and sit down and let the Dems have a reasonable chance to right our toppled economy. We're all in this together so it's about time the Republicans get on the train and work WITH the Dems to restore this country's economic health.

    February 7, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  11. irene


    February 7, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  12. agill

    Will some one remind Mr Steele that republican ideas got America into the mess it is in.

    February 7, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  13. tired of republicans crying

    stop hating

    February 7, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  14. Anna, ATL

    I don't mind increasing corporate tax cuts if there is regulation on how their savings is spent. Like incentives to use pieces of that pie to create jubs, increase wages and better pensions/health plans, implement ways of doing business that is more ecologically sound when possible (which also can create jobs), etc.
    Ah yes, and a sliver of profit pie for themselves, just for being good sports about it.
    If corporations did this on their own, it would reduce the need for governmental systems to do it for us/them, which reduces taxes/increases profit. And would likely be far more efficient that some of these federal programs.

    Why don't people just get it? Why are we so selfish?

    February 7, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  15. jre

    Just what we don't need right now....a politician making incendiary accusations rather than attempting to work together. Same-ole, same-ole republican strategy of slash and burn. Pathetic

    February 7, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  16. mary,florida

    Power gone to someones head.Novel concept for the republicans since they wrote the book on partisan politics.They still mostly vote for the opposite of what the average joe needs.The cuts the republicans made to the bill were all programs that help the little and poor guy.And once again they prove to be the party of the rich.

    February 7, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  17. Chris from NY

    Stupid. When has it ever been that Republicans cared for the little man. None. So go figure.

    February 7, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  18. Fabian

    Right on Steve. Michael Steele is not offering anything but a tax cut for the nobility while the peasants wait for jobs and opportunity to sprinkle or should I say, trickle down from their ivory towers. These clowns are killing me.

    February 7, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  19. Tracy-Oakley

    Blah, blah, blah...Republicans have such big egos for the last 10 years that now they're still stuck in the past. Republicans are so washed up that their only solution was to elect big idiot Micheal Steele as their party chair.

    I suggest that every state the Republicans represents and vote against the stimulate bill gets no part of it. Give their share to the states (districts) that did vote for the bill. And the Republican States (districts) that vote against the bill gets only tax cuts for the rich like they've been getting for the past 8 years. Lets see how that turns out.

    February 7, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  20. Lise T

    SHUT UP!!! Stop disrespecting us with that same old nonsense. The only thing we should concentrate on cutting is you and your party out of the political arena.

    February 7, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  21. MM from Canada

    Mr Steele is a party pooper.

    February 7, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  22. Pat

    Bev I agree with you completely and watching C-span today it is just more of the same. Mr. Steele why don't you try reining in your party because your party did the same when it was in power and we have done so well with that haven't we.. Heres a good one for you, Sen. Jon Kyl R Arizona said today that we have to start from the bottom up because we can't wait for the money to trickle down.. go figure... My how times have changed in just 2 weeks..

    February 7, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  23. Carolyn Greene

    Mr.Steele, Do you realize that there are members of ypur party who want to derail President Obama at any cost ? Lead your party but please don't lead a group of thugs who only want power. And remember how it was when the republicans were in power. The democrats did not have an ice cube"s chance in hell in getting anything done.

    February 7, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  24. A. Bachman

    Remember in THEIR arrogance and lack of concern to people other than the very wealthy in 2010 and 2012!!

    February 7, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  25. Fred Reyes

    Hi Steele...you are one Republican that will never ever get it. We need that stimulus package. Remember Steele you Republicans create this problem and we Democrats are trying to clean your mess. It's a good thing that we have elections every four years so that Democrats can clean your mess every four or eight years. Be thankful Steele. And please next time, please get it. ENOUGH!!!!

    February 7, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
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