February 10th, 2009
10:30 AM ET
5 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. Super D

    I don't know why all these people on the blog are accusing the Republicans of stonewalling and being obstructionist against this horrible bill.

    Listen Dems, it's all on you now. You don't need Republican votes, you can do anything as you please. But you sure would like some Republican votes so this can't totally blamed on Dems when this is sure to fail.

    Dems...the economy.....You own it....

    Iraq/Afgan.....You own it.....

    Terrorism......You own it.....

    Start owning these issues! The Bush bashing is over! You thought you were so smart all these past years, now is the time to show it.

    February 10, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  2. Bruce

    i'LL TELL YOU WHAT THEFT IS, " DOING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER LIKE THE REPUBS HAVE BEEN DOING THE PAST 8 YEARS.Then they have the nerve to say we can't spend that amount of money now.You had no problem giving Bush a blank check and look where we are now.I say the senate needs term limits just like the President and some Governors have.

    February 10, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  3. David

    Where were these people when the Bush administration was doubling the national debt from 5 trillion to 10 trillion dollars? They have ZERO credibility after the last eight years of borrow and spend.

    Yes, the stimulus bill has a large price tag and that's more than unfortunate. Doing nothing will cost us far more though. Once the economy is out of the free fall, we can think about cutting spending.

    February 10, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  4. Phil

    Time for McCain to call it quits. Where was this talk when the first half of TARP was wasted. Your administration did not even track it Mr McCain.

    February 10, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  5. Natasha/Ohio Democrat

    You mean to tell me you don't have a clue. Well Senator I think you should read all 700 plus pages and get the transparency you will need. I suspect that you as a democrat senator approve the package Bush wanted and didn't see transparency. I trust this administration will do more good than harm. Now that Washington has screwed the American people they don't want to help us. This is money that will save our country in the true form of building America stronger. Especially our roads and bridges.....Remember they are falling all over the place.

    February 10, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  6. OHIO MAN

    Funny .. the Repubs.. didnt mind the 750 Billion to banks with no over sight to how that was spent and the American people didn't get a dime of that ... but hey that's not called a spending bill to the repubs.. but when we try to give money to the american people its called a theft bill ... i lol at these statements .... but hey if the repubs say it then it must be tru as they see it ... lol

    February 10, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  7. Voted for change in Texas

    Is this what they have left to say? Generational theft? Really?!? This should be the last thing they can say after the last 8 years....Oh my, this drama is better than the Real Housewives of Atlanta.

    February 10, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  8. nik

    It's the republicans who have robbed future generations....the democrats are, AGAIN, left with the incredible economic mess to clear up, not to mention the less safe, more intolerant planet they've played a large role in stirring up. John McCain and Cindy-Doll could try giving up a couple of their surplus houses to the needy..............

    February 10, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  9. Tom in Delaware

    Now my Democratic Senators Carper and Kaufman (Biden's replacement) are lying that ACORN is going to receive 5.2 billion dollars because of the Spendulus Bill.

    At least my Repuplican Congressman, Mike Castle is willing to speak the truth.

    Can CNN speak the truth?

    February 10, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  10. anthony

    Senator McCain, what should we call the 5 trillion dollars that the Bush administration added to our national debt? Robbery? Grand larceny?

    February 10, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  11. Bill (Florida)

    I just can't help from laughing and shaking my head. After spending money like drunken sailors for 8 years, as well as signing off on 700 billion just last fall, all of a sudden these hypocrites act as though they're concerned about the debt to our future generation. If they really think the public is oblivious to these blatant partisanship acts and comments, they're dumber than I thought.

    February 10, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  12. Linda from Prescott AZ

    John McCain is a scum sucking, bottom feeding opportunist. We have got to do something, the American Dream is lost and most of us don't have 9 houses to go to or a wealthy wife to bail us out. We are hard working americans and this stimulous package will help those who are going through the worst. We are fortunate that our family is okay, but I live in Prescott AZ and jobs are being lost right and left.

    February 10, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  13. Roy Gresham

    It is theft of American values and old fashioned work ethics. This country will fall because of such staggering debt.

    February 10, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  14. Chris from NC

    Wow, what a turnaround from the bunch that has literally been doing that exact same thing to us for the past eight years!!!!

    February 10, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  15. Ginnie

    This reasoning flies in the face of economic logic (and in the faces of all economic experts)- Who are these guys? Wait we know who McCain is, he was the loser of this election.

    After 8 years of an obscene amount government spending, a trillion dollar deficit, these idiots come out of the woodwork.

    February 10, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  16. JPM

    What do you call what BUSH has already done! I didn't see you calling it 'theft' then! A trillion in deficit to fund his war in Iraq. Where was the republican outrage then? Hypocrites!

    February 10, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  17. S Callahan

    John , you're the last one to talk about theft...don't you have some storeis to tell? Keep in mind, the first monies were distriubted under the Bush watch....which you had no problem with. Stop being a hypocrit.... no one WANTS this to happen, at this point it's a necessity and you know that.

    It irks me to nomans land to see this policital postureing while 'real' families are struggling...for the first time sending their children to school without lunch money, for the first time going to food pantries. Thank God he is still supreme..because I think the greedy rich are going to get a taste of their own medicine for a change.

    February 10, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  18. Phillip Bunn

    But John McCain didn't have a problem backing the Bush plan, which we now know was misappropriated. He's just pissed because he and "Blanko Barbee" didn't get elected.

    February 10, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  19. itbeme

    where were these idiots when bush baby was handing out money a couple months ago?? you know, the money that is now paying for trips to Vegas......

    Do these people really think the American public is stupid enough to listen to them anymore?

    well, yeah, you're right....there are a few repuks out there that will still believe this crap.

    February 10, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  20. R in Maine

    Just as Obama said, you can propose anything you want as long as it leads to 4 million new employed. But calling it theft without proposing any alternative action to means you are an idiot or a traitor, your choice. Theft is what the republican tax breaks for the rich have been for eight or more years.

    February 10, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  21. Lee in TN

    It is ironic that John McCain and all of his cohorts can keep a straight face and try to convince the American people that they are fiscal conservatives. During their control of Washington, they oversaw the largest deficits in history and the doubling of the national debt!!! Also, when they speak of the re-distribution of wealth, they are against giving the working people of America a fair shake, but are in favor of giving more tax cuts to the wealthy who invest these gains in China and other foriegn countries. Check it out, most of the republicans in Washington are millionaires, and couldn't care less about anyone else!

    February 10, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  22. Mike in Houston

    Judging from the markets reaction to the spending bill and the bailout package proposed this morning, the market thinks it is theft too.

    February 10, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  23. Gianni Vlacich

    We the American people have been ripped off for the last eight years and it is about time that someone stands up for the little guys. Enough tax breaks for the wealthy which do nothing to stimulate the economy. I would hope the conservative states bounce the clowns voting against this stimulus package, out of office!

    February 10, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  24. Rita of Dallas

    I have yet to hear a Republican plan on how to fix the economy. It was also theft that we, the taxpayers are still paying for a war that never should have happened. They had 6 years to do what is right for the country and failed. The one (McCain) yelling the loudes has already stated he knows little about the economy, so why would anyone listen to him. Wasn't he the one who stated the fundamentals of the economy were strong, while banks are failing the market drops. This is not a game and everyone needs to work together or get the hell out.

    February 10, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  25. Mark Ferbet

    I'm still waiting for the great John McCain to offer something more than media soundbites with regards to this bill. He calls this generational theft, however, he is a member of the Party that put us in this situation to begin with.

    IF he has some ideas... by all means, let's see them. I am still waiting for something other than typical political name calling and finger pointing.

    Of course, his credibility should be questioned, he is a member of the party of Fiscal Irresponsibility.

    February 10, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
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