February 7th, 2009
02:32 PM ET
6 years ago

Steele questions if Democrats’ power ‘has gone to their heads’

CNN

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. Tiff of Lithia Springs

    Wow! This guy doesn't get it.

    It's time for the Republicans to dissipate. The omission of funds for education was the last straw for me. Education and hard work for this country and it's economy. And they just sunk the first half.

    February 7, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  2. Sleepless in Colorado

    Mr. Steele,

    I understand that you are not the leader of the RNC. That is fantasic! However, nobody cares. A majority of Americans voted over the past three years to get your sorry butts out of office. We do appreciate the lovely mess that your party has created. Now we have a job to watch every move that politicians make from now on. If the Democrats do poorly then we will vote their butts out. This stimulus bill is filled with a lot of pork and I hate it. I will voice my opinion to Congress and the Senate and so will millions of others.
    In conclusion, we don't care about your sorry Republican ideas. As my daddy says, "Build a bridge and get over it!" Your party lost but if you do better next time then you'll have another try at screwing this country over.

    Yours truly,
    Independent in Colorado :)

    February 7, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  3. Diana

    Everyone has something to say about the Republicans...don't you know this was going on with Clinton.... READ UP ON IT .....befor you write about something you know nothing about...its always easier to blame the other side

    February 7, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  4. danille garrison

    the dems ego....thats all they have...worthlesss...just like thier ideas,which they have none of...they would love to screw this country up more than it is...thats thier useless plan...tax...tax.tax

    February 7, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  5. MK

    The only party that let the "power" go to their heads was YOUR PARTY Mr. Steele, now get to work fixing this mess or step aside and let the people's party figure it out on our own. At least President Obama cares that my son lost his job and my college graduate is out looking for a job, the hospital I work for has laid off people and suspended all capital improvements for the forseable future. Anyone want to get sick and go to a substandard facility? Maybe you, Mr. Steele? I didn't think so, so get going, times a wasting!

    February 7, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  6. judesuper

    This from the head guy of the party that got us into this mess.

    February 7, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  7. Paula

    One would like to think that you would step up and bring the Repbulican Party in to the current America. But I see you are continuing down the same on path. Same old stuff, with no interest in all Americans...just Americans that think like you. You want your ideas to be included and considered, but your party has no consideration for any ideas different than their own. It was your party that had control of the white house for the past eight years and control of congress for the past 6 and you did NOTHING to bring about the great change and opportunity Republicans like to talk so much about. But that is just it...Republicans like talk about what needs to be done, whine about what others are actually doing....in the end DO NOTHING.

    February 7, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  8. RANDY

    I THINK THAT CONGRESS GOT TO STOP THINKING ABOUT THERE PROBLEMS IN THERE OWN STATE AND START WORKING ON THE WHOLE PROBLEM IF IT TAX CUTS OR INFRASTUCTURE. THEY ALL NEED TO SIT DOWN AND WORK TOGETHER AS WHOLE WE THE PEOPLE ARE COUNTING ON THEM TO DO THIS. I WOULD LIKE TO SEE MORE INCENTIVES LIKE $15,000 FOR HOME BUYERS. AND THE CAR BUYER THEY SHOULD GIVE BIGGER TAX DEDUCTION FOR MORE FUEL EFFICIENT VEHICLE YOU BUY THAT WOULD HELP ON GREEN ENERGY. THEY NEED TO GIVE BIG TAX BREAKS ON SOLAR AND WIND POWER ENERGY ON HOMES THAT DON'T NEED BIG TRANSMISSION LINES TO FEED SOLAR AND WIND FARMS. AND THEY ARE NOT VERY PRETTY. THIS WOULD STIMULATE THE ECONOMY.THEY NEED MORE STUFF LIKE THIS. RANDY

    February 7, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  9. David from NC

    I agree the Bush didn't do the Repubs any favors. Nevertheless, for all of you that say cutting taxes doesn't work, look at how Reagan turned the economy around in the early 80s. It sure wasn't by spending on the National Mall or updating federal buildings.

    February 7, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  10. Cindy

    This man want so badly to be news and no one wants to hear what he has to say because he is full of HOT AIR!!!
    Poor Nancy and her comments are as ridiculous as Steeles. If you think that Steele is tryingto protect the average America then I have some land to sell you.

    February 7, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  11. Proud American

    Oh my God, now we have the male verison of Sarah Palin another complete Idiot. Steele should lock himself and all republicans in a closet, shut up and allow democrats to do the job they couldn't. Ego and ability are 2 different things. Moron

    February 7, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  12. jason, tx

    Steele, idiot.

    February 7, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  13. abc ~ anything but california hugh

    We be as good as Obama Steele, is just a fake, put on display by the republicans to try to convince the American people the GOP is fighting for conservative party values without regard to race, color or creed. OK, good luck with that.

    February 7, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  14. Dennis

    It's amazing. Sometimes I wonder if Republicans have the same DNA as you and I. After a torturous 8 years and Washington and this country left in smoking rubble, democrats have had little to no say of the direction of this country. They were never included in Republican meetings and were rarely asked their opinion. Bush made sure that all Republicans followed a simple plan..."Do what I and the other Republican leaders do and you can keep your job next year” because, as we all know republicans fund republicans campaigns" For years all republicans lined up for their entitlements. The American people had had enough of these politics and a lack of concern for their constituents. Many of them now voted out of office, clearing the way for democrats.
    Round Two:
    Recently, I have heard democrats on many occasions call for republicans to help in this stimulus plan (our desperate last chance to save this economy) and republicans still festering over the elections. Few have lost the power they were so drunk with. Still determined to ambush the democrats any way they can. Even Obama must be scratching his head right now. This has got to change and perhaps the election next year will clean out these "Good 'ol Boys" once and for all and the American people will trust the democrats to do the right thing. This country is amazing, proud and a superpower. Let the republicans complain, they had their chance and they ruined it. Now give the democrats a chance to rebuild our infrastructure and reputation in the world. If they blow it, there are always elections next year.

    February 7, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  15. Joel

    Economics 101: Government spending and temporary tax cuts don't help the economy. Government gets its spending from taxpayers and loans, so it draws money from the economy to inject less of it back into the economy. Americans know that deficit spending leads to higher taxes in the future, so they will save more of the money they get. Tax cuts can help the economy, but only if people believe they are permanent; if not, Americans will save more of the money. None of the tax cuts proposed sound like they will actually be permanent. Increasing the national debt today will do nothing to help our economy today and will have grave consequences tomorrow.
    Government intervention didn't help in the 30's, the 70's and Japan in the 90's. Keynesian economics(spending to stimulate the economy) is a disproven theory. But, unfortunately, politicians know that they can window-dress their proposals and sum them up well in a stump speech.

    February 7, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  16. Larry

    I Wish the Democrats knew how long they have had a MAJORITY in CONGRESS,they should be vary proud of them selves because they TOOK OVER CONGRESS over TWO YEARS AGO,so the Republicans lost control 2 years ago(That's when gas prices went up,and that's when the Republicans,and Greenspan was WARNING the DEMOCRATS about what might happen in the HOUSING and BANKING industries-to no avail) So will you please try to get it right , and say "The Repubs and Bush screwed up for SIX YEARS" .

    The Democrats can take credit for the last two years !!!

    February 7, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  17. indepenvoterpa

    This guys is joke...He needs to provide answers for his campaign spending first then he can mock Democrats...you picked a real winner Repugs...Election for 2012 looks great for Obama.

    February 7, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  18. Susan

    nclaw441, are you serious?

    "If you want jobs, you have to make it easier for businesses to hire people. Reduce regulation (OSHA, environmental regulations) and yes, taxes."

    In order to create jobs, businesses must be free to foul the environment and make the workplace less safe for workers?

    As for taxes, large companies (like Exxon, Bank of America and Citigroup) are already getting plenty of tax breaks by doing business in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.

    February 7, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  19. Central Scruitinizer

    Chris Manno... Im right there with you ... Im beginning to hate everything that reeks REPUGLICAN... Im not really a hater but this is ridiculous... Steele is Palin with a suit ...pitiful attempt to embrace ethnic variety.... I still think of how many AAs we saw at the RNConvention....8-9 all week.?

    February 7, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  20. Marc

    Laughable.
    His party was in full power for six of the past eight years, and any new idea that the Democrat ruled Congress had had in the past two that GWB didn't liked he vetoed it so, basically, for the past eight years it was the Republican way or nothing.
    Now he is the chairman of the minority party, and the first attempt of the new majority to put fort their own ideas as to how to deal with the crisis HIS party wasn't able to handle, the 'power has gone to their heads' AKA 'they are out of their minds.
    Laughable.
    But no one is laughing Mr. Steele...

    February 7, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  21. Gail

    What has been slow and inefficient has been the GOP obstruction in getting this stimulus into the hands of the states which in turn will create jobs for honest Americans. This Steele was put into position because he is black – much the same way McShame put in the putbull to appease women. Ain't gonna work my man, Americans by a majority, have voted for change – change the way Gov't does business and that doesn't mean playing politics while we lose our jobs, homes, and lives. Get a grip and get in touch. What is so hard to understand – create jobs – people will have more money – they spend it that creates more jobs. It's frankly brilliant and I don't know why it hasn't been done already – oh yea, the GOP was in control – the GOP doesn't want to do anything that doesn't benefit people who already have money – nothing for people who are hurting

    February 7, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  22. Don

    Power gone to their heads... you mean like when the Republicans were the majority and the power went to theirs heads, is that what you mean?

    February 7, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  23. The Facts

    I watched the Senate activity and listened to the speeches this week and even Saturday about this stimulus bill so here are the facts for those who did not:

    1. This bill has the following kinds of stimulus in it...millions for repairing statues in federal cemeteries...millions for job training (yeah, I know, we need jobs first then training, right?)....600 million for construction of new ports....new ports? I wasn't aware that building more ports (for a slow economy) was even a need....what am i missing about this being an emergency provision needed in the bill to create jobs and stimulate the economy....?

    2. The California Democratic Senator, Feinstein, said she doesn't support this stimulus and yet her state is slated to get all kinds of "extra" money. That says something significant to me as a citizen...that a senator in the party behind this large bill has issues with many components of it, even though she is getting some of the money.

    3. It looks like the Republicans are saying that they don't support it because it has too much of these things like repairing statues in the federal cemetary. They aren't being very clever with their terminology is why I think some of the citizens don't understand their reservations.

    They don't say what they should like , "hey taxpayers, we don't think that the director of the National Science Foundation should get all those millions for his projects when he had one employee watching porn on his office computer for 20hrs of his work week for a year and since that employee makes over $100,000 a year that is $58,000 wasted of tax payers dollars last year..."

    No, they don't tell us like it is....they don't tell us that investigation into that led officials to realize that porn watching on the job is kind of the culture at the National Science Foundation right now...so who knows what they will do with those stimulus funds we give them....they just say, "Oh, we feel it has too much pork in it."

    Are the Repubs trying to play nice? They need to speak up and tell us what they really know about some of the stimulus projects being proposed. The Dems should tell us but since they are the ones asking for the money, we can't count on them to spill the beans.

    February 7, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  24. Beverly, NYC

    Mr Steele, different color, same message. Is he serious, "Individual empowerment: that's how you stimulate the economy", most of the individuals you want to empower have already shown themselves to be irresponsible. From homeowners to big business. Homeowners who used their home as a cash cow to buy gas guzzling Hummers and flat screen tv's, and big business who thought the economic good times would keep rolling, and if it didn't the gov't would be there with cash to bail them out like they did the saving & loans. We've tried it the Republican way hoping the crumbs from the rich would trickle down.

    If the Republicans are worried about gov't waste and bridges to nowhere, put strings on the money , any state government found to be using the taxpayer funds improperly will have their siphon of cash cut off plain and simple. Transparency in the age of the internet and whistleblowers should not be hard.

    Tax cuts are another gimmick, without tax revenue how is the deficit to be lowered and loans to our allies repaid. Just one I would like to see some big picture thinking, than what's needed tp put a bandaid on the problem now. Bush shortsighted thinking is what got us here.

    February 7, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  25. dennisk

    This article is a joke, the GOP is a joke, and Steele is a joke. Stop whining, and help put our country back together after the total, miserable failure of the Dubyah years.

    February 7, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
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