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. Trysh in Los Angeles

    TAX CUTS WORK....for those who own businesses, multiple homes, have trust accounts and tax shelters. For the other 90% of Americans its just imaginery, because unless it's INCOME tax cuts, it doesn't give us anything.

    February 7, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  2. Jim S

    Where was Mr. Steele while the few moderates in his party were working with the Democrats to arrive at a compromise? Instead of attacking the stimulus plan America needs (remember Herbert Hoover, Mr. Steele) he should be part of the solution. Good for Arlen Specter and Susan Collins for not being afraid to work with the majority!

    February 7, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  3. LK in Atl

    First, if you remove the payroll taxes from my paycheck I would get an additional $450 per pay-period. Not $25. And no, I'm not talking about a $100,000 per year salary.

    Second, the Democrats have controlled Congress for the past two years. Appropriations are through Congress. The President has an all or nothing proposition. There isn't any line item veto. Therefore, by definition there was bi-partisanship.

    Lastly, it is the height of arrogance to tell me that you can spend my money better than I can. I don't deserve a tax cut because I may spend it internationally (that is what the illustrious Sen. Kerry stated on the floor today) and not on a hybrid or a product that will do the environment some good. Astonishing!

    February 7, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  4. DB25

    Didn't power go to the Republican's heads over the past 8 years? Michael Steele is nothing but a patsy for the same old Republican party. Nothing has changed about them. He just saw an opportunity to climb to the top of a group that has about 4 black supporters. And he thinks he's going to bring people into the Republican party with this kind of rhetoric??? More of the same, Republicans.......

    February 7, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |

    Talking about EGO. This guy neds to deal with HIS own EGO and REALITY.
    Where do these people come from?

    February 7, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  6. AM

    Elections have consequences. Americans were presented with two visions for how the country should be run for the next 4 years and they have clearly chosen the democratic vision so shut up and quietly run your party – a party which hopefully will become a minority party in a decade or two!!

    February 7, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  7. A republican who voted for Obama

    Mr. Steele, is it possible that most Republican ideas are either proven to be ineffective or incomplete?

    February 7, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  8. DIZIZI31

    CNN – please bring back fact check. At this desperate state of affairs in the US Economy can we really afford to listen let alone print the RNC's rhetoric? Or should "we the people" continue to let congress both Dems and Reps go after "Steroids" in baseball. When will it end!!

    Steele would have been a powerful candidate and opponent in the 2008 Election.... OMG if the RNC (better yet John McCain) had thought him versus Sarah Palin just think it might have had a different outcome, but the economy would still be in the tank. Instead Steele sat back and watched the character attacks on Obama and said nothing. Sure you're RNC chairman but their hopes are on those rookie senators in Congress. Get ready to take a back seat again Mr. Steele.

    February 7, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. Annie, Atlanta

    Walter, were you not paying to last year's campaigns? The hatred and divisiveness that came from the Republican side, in line with the same stuff from Bush for 8 years, scared even those of us who are moderate, as far away as possible. I thought riots and mayhem would ensue from some of the hate rallies Sarah Palin held. Throwing out one line slogans to rev up some of those same people won't help their cause one bit. Neither will picking a leader of color, with the same small mindedness.

    February 7, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  10. Art in Chicago

    I went to a taping of Bill Maher a few years ago and Michael Steele was on of the guests. This guy is so out of touch with what an average American goes thru. His statement paraphrasing "The average family making $300,000/year..." got laughs from the audience.

    Nice try Republicans, but simply because you put an African American as the head of your party doesn't mean anything. He is to the RNC what Clarence Thomas is to the Supreme Court.

    February 7, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  11. Annie, Atlanta

    That's paying attention, not paying. My bad.

    February 7, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  12. martha allen

    Good Grief! The American public overwhelmingly voted for change and for Obama's message. Why does McCain, Graham and Boeuner continue to think that the trickle down economics is something the American public want? Do they not pay attention to the mess that they (republicans) got us into? TRICKLE DOWN does not WORK..it has been proven a faulty methodology. As for Democrats, come on, you used Obama to get votes for yourselves. You also went along with the Republican mess, so step aside and support the change that the American Public voted on...and quite being so afraid!! sincerely and with all due respect, Martha

    February 7, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  13. SM

    Vanilla or chocolate, a greedy, selfish republican is still the same...

    February 7, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  14. joe magaratz

    Last week was a learning curve for President Obama.

    He now understands that "bipartisanship" for Republicans is their codeword for "my way or else!"

    His staff needs to go for their jugular and let them know who really won the election.

    February 7, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  15. snuggs

    This guy is obviously a puppet and a tool.

    February 7, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  16. limbolew

    How curious! Everything he says of the Democrats–whether true or false–was certainly true of the Republicans over the past 8 years (at least).

    February 7, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  17. republicans hate america

    ummm you should know what ego feels like mr Token Steele

    February 7, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  18. Julia

    This has to be a joke. Is he KIDDING? Where were these good ideas for 7 years? As a matter of fact, where was MICHAEL STEELE in the last few years with these good ideas? We all understand why he has been made head of the RNC at THIS time. If Steele were all that valuable to the GOP, he'd have been there leading them during the Bush administration. His skin was not good enough then. But since Obama has been elected, he's good enough now? Give us a break. Enough of this sham.

    February 7, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  19. Bill

    EXCUSE ME!??? What right, Mr. Steele, have you to talk about power going to someone's head when the Republicans' power went to their heads for years? The Democrats have been in power for three weeks and they have done a lot more in terms of working and talking with the Republicans than the Republicans ever did with the Democrats. Obama is correct. The Republican leadership is throwing out the same old ideas that got us into this mess and to make matters worse, they continue to take the "my way or the highway" approach to policymaking. Their concept of compromise is to do it their way or they will block it. Until your party actually comes up with a new idea and is willing to work with Obama and the Democratic leadership in good faith, don't talk about power going to their heads.

    February 7, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  20. Deb

    Steele if you think this stupid approach is going to win over independent voters you are sadly mistaken. Try throwing something else against the wall to see if it sticks

    February 7, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  21. A College Teacher

    Who has the ego?

    We are in this mess because of a runaway belief in complete self-interest at the expense of the country and all its people.

    We are in this mess because of an insane belief that a nation can run on low taxes and little government.

    We are in this mess because financial institutions, in their attempt to get fees, lent unsafe loans that were encouraged by attractive tax laws.

    We are in this mess because of a bankrupt foreign policy that is bent on war at any expense.

    I'm willing to spend money on education, science, health, and neighborhoods because I know it will put a floor under the economy and begin a much needed lift. I will not support tax cuts that go to people already making lots of money. I'm still scratching my head about this housing tax credit. Who actually has $15,000 in taxes to credit?

    Come on. Egos?

    February 7, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  22. Why

    Pack of leftist fools. MOST PEOPLE STILL HAVE JOBS. If they get a tax break it helps them and the economy. This country is going to hell in a hand basket because most schools are run by Democrat people and they don't teach crap about economics, morals, or jack.

    February 7, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  23. Scott

    Get real buddy. After the great job that the GOP has done leading America down the path to it destruction, what do you think they are going to do? They have very little choice but to spend large sums of money trying to undo the damage that the GOP has done. The ego problem belong to you for believing that you have anything left to offer America. All you have left is one lie after another. Go away.

    February 7, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  24. Joe

    Did any of you read what was excluded from the stimulus packgage? Can you believe the democrats actually wanted to waste that kind of money on that stuff? It's unbelievable that we are in this economic crisis and they want to put money towards nonsense. UNBELIEVABLE.

    February 7, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  25. Sue

    So. His party got us into this trouble. Now they know how to get us out?

    Ah, Shaddup.

    February 7, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
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