February 8th, 2009
04:45 PM ET
9 years ago

Stimulus will lead to 'disaster,' Republican warns

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Leading Republicans warned Sunday that the Obama administration's $800 billion-plus economic stimulus effort will lead to what one called a "financial disaster."

"Everybody on the street in America understands that," said Sen. Richard Shelby, the ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee. "This is not the right road to go. We'll pay dearly."

Shelby, of Alabama, told CNN's "State of the Union" that the package and efforts to shore up the struggling banking system will put the United States on "a road to financial disaster."

But Lawrence Summers, the head of the administration's National Economic Council, said Republicans have lost their credibility on the issue.

"Those who presided over the last eight years - the eight years that brought us to the point where we inherit trillions of dollars of deficit, an economy that's collapsing more rapidly than at any time in the last 50 years - don't seem to me in a strong position to lecture about the lessons of history," Summers told ABC's "This Week."

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soundoff (400 Responses)
  1. obama all the way

    shelby, i don't know what road you are on, but our country is in a financial disaster, thanks to all you republicans and the last administration, but that's right you and your friends have NEVER had to travel that road, it's time to support our President, or get the heck out of the way.

    February 8, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  2. floridajack

    .....and their solution to the problem is????

    February 8, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  3. lou-dallas

    ...the senator is correct. What a snow job the democrats are fixing to force down the country's throat with this stimulus thing. And someone please inform the democrats that George Bush is no longer president. The republicans in the last two years, not eight, had to try to overcome the do-nothing leadership of the democrats...and it was too much to accomplish. Besides, the damage done under the democrats had already been done.

    February 8, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  4. Stephen, Missouri

    The hypocrasy of these Republicans is striking...they ran up the most deficit and now they are suddenly for deficit reduction?? No wonder they were rejected at the polls. They have no ideas and they risk being irrelevant to this whole process. If we make it out of this without their support, we should remove them.

    I am fully behind Obama...he knows what he is doing and I know that down the line he will reduce the deficit. This guy is a true Lincoln understudy and I know he will do his hero proud...don't mess with Presidents from IL...they know what they are doing...Texas...hmmm not too good.

    February 8, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  5. Rick

    Golly, sounds like an echo, I said our kids would pay for this, If the Republican and Democrates that vote for this put our kids and grandkids in debt, its time for them to be VOTED OUT OF OFFICE...put people in their that actually care and have paid their taxes...

    February 8, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  6. Angie

    Republicans should be ashamed of themselves with the way they have been spinning the package. They are too happy to sit on the sidelines, offer no fresh ideas, and pray this package fails. They want take the house in 2010. Hey, I will remember this the next time I am in a voting booth. I would rather have a congressman who does something and fail than nothing and fail. They owe it to the American people to try something, show us you are worth our vote.

    February 8, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  7. Matt

    This is basically a chess game. They see that heir only move is to completely oppose the stimulus plan and hope that our economy gets worse so they can have some ammunition. Republicans over the last 8 years double our deficit turning 5 trillion into 10 trillion. And now they care about spending ?

    The Republican party has lost it's credibility. They're really in no position to say anything. The American people have made it that way.

    February 8, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  8. in Oregon

    And the Republicans want to do what, exactly?

    If they have a better plan than giving corporations more tax cuts and relying on Trickle Down economics-proven again and again to fail miserably-I'm ready to hear it.

    Until then, I'm all for the current stimulus plan. Too bad they already cut so much from Head Start programs. We'll be paying for that move for the next 50 years...

    February 8, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  9. debbie

    "We'll" pay dearly? Dear Mr. Fat Cat Republican: it's time to wake up and realize that YOU haven't paid squat, and you won't! You'll get your salary, your great government bene's, your speaking honorariums and your lobbyist kickbacks. It's US who ARE paying dearly for the disastrous policies of the most incompetent administration in recent memory, and maybe of all times. Cutting the taxes for rich people and corporations ONLY works if you're rich, or if you're a big corporate executive and/or major shareholder. You are perfectly right to voice your dissent, but the Republican party has ZERO credibility – you've ruled America for the most part for forty years, and what have we got to show for it?

    February 8, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  10. MK

    That's all the GOP can peddle, fear. Oh and jobs for their buddies, more oil profits for their friends, and tax cuts for the weathly. I forgot the unions, they are afraid of them so they have to bust them too.

    February 8, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  11. Sandy

    They still can't even try to go along, can they? Obama and the entire Democratic party has reached out to Republicans several times on this bill, and still, all they can do is say stuff like this, and echo Limbaugh's hatred "I hope he fails."

    No wonder they're not the majority party anymore.

    Good Riddance.

    February 8, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  12. Kristina

    Why is it that the republicans have all the headlines at CNN? Are you trying to outdo Fox network? Why the headline isn't something like that:
    GOP fights back for the failed ideaolgy which resulted in trilon in debt, economic calamity and two messed up wars. Be fare CNN. Give us a break – you will not outdo Fox propaganda show. Kristina

    February 8, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  13. rose

    Republicans are in no position to speak on this issue. As memory serves me, they have been in charge for the past 8 years and we are in this position. It is about time we tried something different. There are no guarantees in life but we try something different until we find what works.

    February 8, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  14. kerry

    Lou Dobbs, sean hannity and the rest of the media hit job.....

    Now Obama is 66% percent approval rating!

    February 8, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  15. Eric

    The last eight years were a disaster, have the GOP completely lost their minds?

    February 8, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  16. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    The idiot who claims the problem was caused by the Republicans running up trillions of dollars of deficit–and he's probably right–thinks the solution is to add more to the deficit?

    Only a half-witted politician could think that way.

    February 8, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  17. Anne

    Hello! We are already on the road to financial disaster, courtesy of many of you Republicans. I agree with Lawrence Summers – you have no credibility. The time to have been financially conservative was during the last 8 years. You didn't do that, so here we are in an unprecedented financial mess. How to get out is a mystery to everyone, but I'm guessing that using the same Republican ideas will not do the trick. Try something else.

    February 8, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  18. tjaman

    What, seriously? Worse than the disaster their disastrous policies have gotten us into already? Is that even likely? Hell, is that even _possible_?

    February 8, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  19. Heather in WA

    aren't we already in the middle of a financial disaster?

    February 8, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  20. Ryan

    Why does shelby hate America? He wants to increase our taxes by reducing the tax cuts we get by over 50%. Why does shelby think the government can spend my money better than I can? Why does he want the government to keep more of my money that Obama does?

    February 8, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  21. Wally

    I'm confused here. Haven't we already arrived at financial disaster? And, weren't we under a Republican administration during the time that led up to this financial disaster?
    All well and good Senator Shelby, but where have you been during the previous 8 years if you claim this current stimulus legislation will lead us to disaster????
    At this point your statements appear more like lame Republican theatrics.
    Step away sir, you were no where to be seen when the catastrophe was in the making so don't think you get a voice now.
    For those of you living in Alabama, would you please get this guy out of office at your first opportunity!

    February 8, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  22. paul oregon

    mr shelby seems to have forgoten that it was a repub. president that stated on t.v. that the banks were in a finanacil crises we the tax payers had to help them out.
    this inter net is great if mr shelby will look back to this day in 2010 he will find out what the american people think of the gop.

    February 8, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  23. kerry

    It amazes me that the same republicans that got us into this mess are the ones now saying that their ideas are better??!!?? Give me a break. You broke America and now you want to fix it? You can't!!! That's why America voted you republicans out of office. You have no answers. You had EIGHT YEARS to come´╗┐ up with answers and all you did was break America. Now step aside and give the party with the brains the opportunity to fix this country.

    February 8, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  24. Bill_ MA

    Republicans are going crazy from the thought of helping working people.At best republicans tolerate workers. They do not mind giving tax cuts, and spending billions on their rich friends though. The big business lobbyists must be scratching their heads to find ways to smother the republicans with whatever they want. Working people who vote republican are digging their own financial graves. The republicans didn't mind the billions going to fund the bush war. Maybe it eased the guilt of most of them not serving in the military. To hear them spew the "I dedicated my life to public service" makes me gag.

    February 8, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  25. Mike M.

    Hmm...It's telling that CNN chooses this story for the headline on its home page. They could have headlined the opinion of a Nobel winning economist, the President, or the leadership of the majority party, but go instead with an opinion from the recently defeated minority. I'm not saying that CNN shouldn't report the views of minority; of course, they should. But why should they stuff the opposing views of Larry Summers, head of the National Economic Council, while giving headline coverage Sen. Richard Shelby? As has been widely reported, CNN and other cable news outlets have given twice as much coverage to Republican speakers than the majority. Is this an effort to enlighten viewers or to influence public opinion?

    Economics is not simply a matter of opinion. There is plenty of historical economic data available in which to compare the effectiveness of various policies. As the Washington Post reported in a front page article today, "While economists remain divided on the role of government generally, an overwhelming number from both parties are saying that a government stimulus package - even a flawed one - is urgently needed to help prevent a steeper slide in the economy."

    Shouldn't similar news, using CNN sources, be a headline for CNN as well? The fact that it isn't leads me to conclude that CNN isn't taking its role as a news organization very seriously. Talk Radio, after all, does just fine filling the airwaves with partisan noise.

    February 8, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
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