February 10th, 2009
10:30 AM ET
6 years ago

Stimulus plan is 'theft,' some lawmakers warn

Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan wants more transparency in how stimulus money will be spent.
Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan wants more transparency in how stimulus money will be spent.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - As President Obama warned of "catastrophe" if the government doesn't spend more than $800 billion to recharge the failing economy, some lawmakers equated the measure to "theft."

"This is more money that's ever been contemplated in the history of our country," said Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan.

Republican John McCain calls the bailout "generational theft," a transfer of wealth from future generations to today's leaders.

"We are robbing future generations of Americans of their hard-earned dollars because we are laying on them a debt of incredible proportions," he said.

The numbers are staggering. Obama's package is more than $800 billion. President Bush's bailout plan was $700 billion. Add to trillions promised by the government in loans and potential spending to soothe the financial crisis. It all equals a mind-boggling sum, not including the interest on all that money.

President Obama appeared before a national audience Monday night to make the case for the roughly $838 billion economic stimulus plan.

Full story


Filed under: economic stimulus
soundoff (185 Responses)
  1. The Voice

    Look who all of sudden grew a "soul". McCain wants everything to fail, he sure didn't oppose the Bush policies. Now he's concerned about future generations.

    Give me a break! Get ready for the GOP opposition machine for the next four years!!

    February 10, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  2. MAUREEN

    MY QUESTION IS MR. MCCAIN IF YOU THINK IT'S SO BAD WHAT WOULD YOU DO OTHER THAN COMPLAIN – I HAVEN'T SEEN YOU CONTRIBUTE ANYTHING POSITIVE OR HELPFUL TO THE SITUATION EXCEPT COMPLAIN

    February 10, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  3. Andy J, Upstate NY

    STOP SPENDING OUR MONEY

    STOP MORTGAGING OUR CHILDREN'S AND GRANDCHILDREN'S FUTURE.

    STOP SPENDING OUR MONEY.

    February 10, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  4. JOHN WHITE

    Umm maybe because Bush did this to the economy. How can we listen to Mccain when he knows nothing about the economy. Its real scary that all they care about is politics and re-elections. Let us save the economy give Obama a chance!

    February 10, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  5. p davis

    McCain can say nothing to me about economics, period

    February 10, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  6. Jim D, IL

    OMG, that's rich coming from a bunch of hypocritical Republicans who turned a surplus into a trillion dollar deficit. Republicans who approved every single spending bill that Bush asked for. Republicans who wasted a trillion dollars on an uneeded war in Iraq, that also cost the lives of 4,219 American soldiers....and counting.

    I have a better word that 'theft' for what the Republicans did:

    CRIMINAL.

    February 10, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  7. Mag

    McCain is a hypocrite! After Obama extended a hand to him, he paid back by these nonsensical rants. What is theft?

    Do we invest now and get the ecomy back on track for the future generations or we sit back like McCain and GOP are saying and use this same billions to pay EI and food stamps for the growing number of unemployed.

    Fools! How does an unemployed benefit from tax cuts?

    February 10, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  8. Robert

    Where were all these lawmakers over the last 8 years where $6 trillion was added to the national debt? Since when is it theft to invest in one's country. I'm fairly certain, that $6 trillion dollars wasn't invested.

    February 10, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  9. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    If you want to talk about theft, just look at what was stolen from us during the past 8 years of Republican rule. The Bush crowd stole our our rights, our moral authority and standing in the world, and they stole our future by running the economy into the ground. Now that's theft!

    February 10, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  10. NY republican

    A campaign promise kept! Crossing generations is "spreading the wealth around" on a whole new scale. More like spreading the "about to set new records in deficit spending" around.

    February 10, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  11. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool

    Well what do you know, someone is listening. The spending may very well be required, but we need to have a commitment of reduced spending to counter balance this package (or three legged stool as it was stated).
    Where is our Government going to balance this spending and how? I do not even believe in the tax cuts, unless you have real reduction in spending there can be no real tax reduction.
    Our president has said in the past, that he will cut the programs that do not work for the people, when do we start to hear about the program cuts, so we can afford this without enslaving our children, grandchildren and great grand children?

    February 10, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  12. Bret

    Theft?

    What about the $5 trillion spent on a war that was based upon unfounded reasons? Moreover, those reasons were provided by an Administration whom had ample intelligence to the contrary.

    What about Cheney's ties to Halliburton, the largest private contractor in Iraq, and all of the other stakeholders to large Corporation that provide military equipment?

    What about Bush Sr. and Bush Jr.s ties to oil industry, and the fact that Iraq has some of the largest and cheapest oil reasons to tap?

    What about Bush's tax cuts, that targeted the top 1%, while his Administration cut social services for the other 99%, such as increasing the interest rates of Educational loans?

    Theft? Actually, it is better to think of the American people getting conned.

    February 10, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  13. Charlie in Maine

    Not so fast John McCain the theft here is George W Bush spending 12 million dollars an hour on your war. I can see from you point of view that the stimulus bill will be a disaster though. I much the same way that the new deal was a disaster for your party.

    It will help the economy for sure, but by doing so it will doom those who do not support it to the political wilderness for some time.

    February 10, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  14. manhandler

    Obamas' slogan while he was running should have been "Dollars We Can Believe In." Jack Cafferty says this is all Pelosis' fault. Didn't Obama read this porrk bill before he started pushing it down our throats? Obama opened up the fire extinguisher box and read the directions. "In case of fire, dig up all the liberal programs and throw money at them before anyone notices." Get under a wet blanket folks. It's gonna get hot in here

    February 10, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  15. Mike in Columbus

    Republican John McCain calls the bailout "generational theft," a transfer of wealth from future generations to today's leaders.

    Can anyone give me a figure on how much the IRAQ war has cost our future generations? John???

    February 10, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  16. jesus was a liberal

    Pork is relative.

    February 10, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  17. Lynn

    Wasn't CNN harping on the fact that John McCain was defeated due to economics? Now he is quoted as an expert??

    His plan was more tax cuts and more defense spending which was resoundly defeated.

    The biggest problem is Senators and Congresspeople on both sides of the aisle who have been around too long who are fighting old grudges at the exspense of America.

    February 10, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  18. jesus was a liberal

    I rather future generations inherit a debt then a bankrupt, broken down, depressed country.

    February 10, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  19. Beverly, NYC

    John McCain calls the bailout "generational theft," : Is he serious, he helped Mr. Bush spend 10 Billion a month in Iraq for the last 7 yrs, thats 840 billion and counting Senator? What did the generations get for that investment ? Even the Iraqi people are not better off after 7 years of occupation. Please spare me with your phony new found sense fiscal responsibility, Mr. Fundamentals of the economy are strong. At least these funds will be spent here on Americans. Stop scaring the low information people among us, if this plan works and jobs can be saved we will get towns and people back on the tax rolls . Maybe we can pay back our loans and get the bought by China sticker off America.

    February 10, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  20. James in Tx

    I don't remember McCain calling Bush's budget deficit's "theft". I don't recall McCain calling the federal spending that he voted for in the last 8 years, "theft". If tax cuts create budget deficits then the tax cuts are also "theft". Please, Sen. McCain, tell us what federal spending you want to cut so we can stop this "theft"; your silence on this subject is deafening.

    February 10, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  21. Independant Vet

    OBAMA IS SO USE TO HAVING HIS OWN WAY . AND EVERYTHING HANDED TO HIM . AN HIS TRAINING IN CHICAGO POLITICS . THEN NOW HE IS MIRING THIS NATION INTO DEBT THAT NO LIVING AMERICAN WILL EVER SEE THE PAST ERA.
    HIS 1.17 TRILLION SHOPPING LIST OF [PORK GOODIES.
    600 MILLION FOR A FLEET OF NEW CARS FOR HIS STAFF.
    75 MILLION FOR A PROGAM TO HELP HIM STOP SMOKING.
    21 MILLION TO RESOD THE NATIONAL MALL, THAT PEOPLE TRAMPLED ON TO SEE HIS FACE. 5.2 BILLION T0 ACORN.

    THEN HE IS GIVING EVERY ILLEGAL $500. AN A FAMILY $1000. IN TURN FORGHET ABOUT THOSE THAT ARE HOMELESS OVER IKE.

    THEN IT WILL BE BACK TO WALL STREET. AFTER ALL THEY POURED MONEY INTO HIS CAMPAIN. WRIGHT!!
    ###################################################

    February 10, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  22. kristen

    Obama said it best last night: what right does the GOP have to lecture us on debt when their party oversaw the largest defeceit spending ever the past 8 years? Obama walked into office 2 trillion in the hole because of the GOP. The GOp had no problem tossing money at banks, but God forbid we spend some money on food stamps, unemployment, and a new energy policy. Spare us GOP. You lost for a reason

    February 10, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  23. Mike in Ca

    Is it the media that is not reporting it, but all I hear is such as "pork, theft, " etc. I haven't heard anything else that these so called critics suggest other than tax cuts or doing nothing...

    February 10, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  24. babs68

    Would someone , please remind John McCain that he has sided with this crazy spending with Bush for 8 years...Now all of a sudden he has a conscious....giv eme a break!

    February 10, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  25. NEL E BELL

    OLD SAY NO ONE SCREAMS LOUDER THAN A THIEF WHEN THEY GET ROBBED. NOT TO REVISIT HISTORY, BUT GEORGE W. AND COMPANY WERE NOT AMATURES WHEN IT CAME TO GENERATIONAL THIEFT, PAL.....

    February 10, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
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