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)

    There is no such thing as "bipartisanship". That is a farce. It does not exist. This whole charade is just grand-standing on BOTH sides.

    If a Democrat said that the sky was blue, the Republicans would jump up and down and scream that it's "aqua", not "blue". The Democrats would say, "the reason why it is not blue anymore, is because the Republicans made it aqua!" Meanwhile, the American people are smart enough to look out their own windows and see for themselves, while Congress continues to bicker about it.

    You cannot say "The Democrats did this!" or "The Republicans did this!" It's a ridiculous argument. And while they're still arguing live on CNN or C-SPAN about whose fault it is, tic-toc, goes the clock.

    You cannot increase spending and cut taxes at the same time. The Bush tax cuts would have been a great idea if the spending didn't skyrocket at the same time. Skyrocketing spending is appropriate occasionally (Iraq/Afghanistan) , as long as it's paid for. But like with a normal family, you can't kill your income and then go out and finance a bunch of new stuff (cars, boats, clothes, etc.) You go bankrupt.

    Just like our economy. So let's not cut a whole bunch of taxes and then go blow a bunch of cash at the same time. Let's cut a little, spend a little. None of us can have it all when we want it.

    February 7, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  2. Pete

    Chairman Steele has a great point, especially since Democrats don't pay taxes.

    February 7, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  3. Mike

    Amen to that. I agree with CIC Obama that the American people did not vote in 06 or 08 for partisan bickering. That being said, if its "smashmouth in the cage" time, believe me I (for one) feel like its long overdue.

    February 7, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  4. Champx

    Has anyone told him he's a token to the Republican party and they really didn't give any power and won't support him. Nothing better than to watch the Repubes cry and whine. Can't get enough.

    February 7, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  5. Yellow Dog in Little Rock

    Wake up! The Democrats truly won this election, unlike Bush who squeaked into office and then said he had "political capital" to spend. Americans want change. The Democrats offer it. The Republicans need to get on board or get out of the way.

    February 7, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  6. ib

    Everone keeps saying this country needs to pull together and yet all we see is the liberals blasting the conservatives on everything and anything. Obama blasts them for not going along with whatever he wants; liberals keep the Bush hate going and we are suppose to unite. I guess being united only means if conservatives give completely into the liberal and far left agenda and not have any ideas of our own. I'm sure one of them will say look what the conservatives have already done to us and go off on the Bush hate again. Only when Obama starts listening and govering from the central will you see this country starting to pull together again. With his past voting record I have my doubts but I would be the first to brag on him if he would do this.

    February 7, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  7. Billy

    These Republicans are nuts. They are the ones with the egos. If it were Bush trying to push through a stimulus and the Dems were blocking they would be un-patriotic and supporting terrorism. I hate the arrogance and shallowness of the Republican Party.

    February 7, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  8. mom for "real' change

    This bill shows Washington hasn't a clue how ecnomics work....my 11 year old gets it better than them. The trickle-down economics doesn't work..right on that, but NEITHER WILL the thrickle-up ideoloy work either.
    We need long term job security
    We need to cut wasteful spending
    We need to lessen government
    etc etc etc
    This isn't a Rep or Dem issue folks...cuz its us little voiceless Amercians, or our kids really, that will have to pay for all this mess that WAS CREATED BY DEM AND REP ALIKE.
    Stop being so onesided...get out of these useless labels...

    February 7, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  9. (Former) Lifelong Republican for Obama, Columbia, TN

    Different skin color...same old bulls***!

    If the GOP ever hope to regain relevance again, they don't need to change the surface mascot of their party, they need to change and nurture the earth underneath the surface.

    February 7, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  10. Cire

    I could have sworn that Democrats won the election, and by a convincing majority. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the will of the people being expressed in the way the stimulus is working, especially if a huge majority voted in people who espoused the ideals of this stimulus during the election? Let them have a chance to do it their way, and if it doesn't work, let them do it another way. Republicans are crazy to think that they get to determine policy, especially after the trouncing they got in the election.

    February 7, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  11. Brian, Detroit, MI

    Wow, just like the republicans have been doing for the PAST 8 YEARS, oh, let's force through more tax cuts for the rich, let's get rid of more environmental legislation to sicken the poor.
    Stop whining.

    February 7, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  12. FactCheck

    This coming from the party that drove this country into recession, two wars, religious division and a moral corruptitude that will take decades to recover from? Really??

    February 7, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  13. jane

    I don't care if the democrats' power has gone to their head or not as long as they can clean up the mess republicans left in their wake. I surely trust them to govern more sensibly than the disaster we've endured for the past 8 years.

    February 7, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  14. Another CNN reporter goes semi-negative

    Ha ha ha ha ha ...thats the best quote of the day from Steele. I wonder if he thinks Bush is still in power lol.

    Keep railing against the democrats...more seats to loose in 2010, and more expanded majority.

    No New Ideas, No Solutions, No Help, Anti-Buy America (McCain)...The Republican Party approves of this message

    February 7, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  15. Independent Black Woman!!!

    @walter February 7th, 2009 2:04 pm ET
    Micheal Steele IS our new Ronald Reagan!! We will be with you for the fight to win Republican mid-term election victories in 2010 and beyond!! Keep hammering .......Micheal Steele is no Ronald Reagan
    He is Rush and Sean and a House Ni____

    February 7, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  16. kitty

    so now we have added more tax breaks for the wealthy ...15,000 for each home no matter how many you have once again the republicans sticking it to the little guys ...we are the economy you cannot get rich without us stop trying to stick it to us

    February 7, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  17. EVOLVE


    – Record deficits
    – Big profits for the rich and corporations
    – Everything for wall street and nothing for main street
    – Violating our country's constitution


    February 7, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  18. befmed

    Apparently Mr. Steele still doesn't get it. Americans voted against Republican ideas including the nonsense that every ill in government can be corrected by lower taxes. We have had taxes lowered a number of times in the last eight years and the economy is now in terrible shape. How is lowering taxes even more going to reverse the effects of lowering taxes for the last eight years?

    February 7, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  19. case

    Stay divisive and you will get your but handed to you, we in the middle are watching

    February 7, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  20. M. Taylor

    Mr. Steele should look to himself when it pertains to ego. If he thinks that because he is Black that the American Blacks are going to listen to him denigraqte the President, who happens to be Africaqn American, he can guess again. I am sure he won the RNC Chairmanship because the republicans believe that through his boasting and bombasity he can reach out to minorities. Well, let him continue in the vein of the speech and he will quickly realize that he is on the wrong path. When the republicans were in power for the past eight years, they listened to none. Now the President is trying to get both sides to work together and this man, gets out of bed on the wrong side, and decide to attack. The President is trying to run a country; the Republicans have started to run their campaign for 2010. God Bless President Obama, the Administration and the innocent people of the United States.

    February 7, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  21. GOP = Grumpy Old People

    Steele...is that really his last name, or does it refer to the structural content of head? Apparently it must be the latter, because not much news or enlightenment is soaking into the cranium of the new Republican chairman. Great volumes of history will be written about the excesses of the Bush administration; he has the GALL to make comments about power outreaches by the Democrats! Please, Mr. Steele, just continue burying your head into the sand, make your party even more narrow-minded and isolated than it already is; and then YOU will enable the Democratic party to remain in POWER for many years yet to come!

    February 7, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  22. gPraz

    He's right it "has gone to their heads" with good reaon. A "war" which has ticked off everyone in the world killed thousands and 5 thousnad americans for no good reason. Osama Bin Laden still on the run, a failing FDA that can't even keep penaut butter safe, an EPA destroyed by a Mr Johnson who sided with industry focing his own scientists to change data and Wall street so corrupt that a man could steal 50 Billion and the SEC didn't know. The Bush administrationwas soooooooooooooo bad and backed by the current republican congress that now that they have some power they are "high" Can anyone blame them. I can't and I'm Republican-we stink period.

    February 7, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  23. dormar

    Go pay your bills and stop the name calling Mr.steale

    February 7, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  24. Steele is a Douche

    Michael, Obama has already included Repub members of congress more times than Bush did for Dems in 8 years. This is more grand standing from an outdated party. Tax cuts? Are you serious? We have had more tax cuts under Bush than in any other part in our history. How did that work out for us? Until you remove Reagen picture from your moralistic nudie mag you will continue to be lost in the darkness. Your so called ideas are now proven wrong, why would we even consider them?

    February 7, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  25. Steele's A Loser

    New face with the same old b.s. Coming to a country club near you.

    February 7, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
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