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. More of the Same

    What is most amazing is that the Repubs still dont get it. This mess was their creation. Yet now that want to stand on a high horse and scream the sky is falling. It was THEM that created this problem. It was their greed and lack of oversite. Two unchecked wars. Rebuilding a country we shouldnt have invaded on a lie. Destroying the basic fabric of this country. Lies Swindlers and cheats. Have they no shame. And now they want to scream the sky is falling and give us more of the same. I think NOT! I will go with the guy that at least makes sense when he speaks. I may not agree with all Obama does. Yet at least he explains what he wants to do. I do not think he is perfect, nor do I think he wont make mistakes. But at least I think hes Honest. So until such time I find out different. I chose NOT to listen to More of The Same!!!!!

    February 10, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  2. Gianni Vlacich

    On another note why do these senators recieve a full pension after serving a term in office, should they not be treated similar to the rest of the American public. That is a theft.

    February 10, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  3. Hypocrite...

    As if the GOP hasn't already stolen thousands from Americans' savings, 401ks, housing values, etc. etc. etc.

    Someone let Old Man McCain know that our memories don't go back only 3 weeks.

    We'll never forget who got us into this mess.....

    February 10, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  4. Sam Sixpack

    This robbery is old news. Why wasn't CNN out in front on this story?

    February 10, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  5. Charles Atlanta

    When I looked my financial portfolio last December, I have to say, Rebpulica party has been a thief for last 8 years.

    February 10, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  6. Wynter

    "Theft?" theft is what you guys on the hill have been doing for years! This is called "Triage"! Fixing the Republican's Economic Mess from the past eight years of SPEND, SPEND, SPEND!!!!

    Let the Democrats lead us out of the GOP's MESS!

    February 10, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  7. Ram

    Mr. McCain should be honest enough to reflect on the fact that the theft he refers to had begun eight years ago with his colleagues in his party as witnesses. Please spare us the psuedo moral hugh ground that you and your colleagues seem to take when convenient.

    February 10, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  8. nom deplume, esq.

    It's only theft if the future generations are taxpayers. And under this plan, there are going to be a lot fewer of those.

    BTW, that giant sucking sound is money going offshore before the feds slam the gates shut on cross-border finance.

    February 10, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  9. Turning the page

    "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."

    ______________________________________________________

    Just wondering; can the money be "hard-earned" dollars by future generations who haven't worked yet?! Sen. McCain is now back to the future. I wonder if he knew that Sen. Obama would beat him in the elections months before they took place.

    February 10, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  10. ttofast70@comcast.net

    OMG what was all the money you filthy trash gave out to Halliburton on you bs hunt for WMD. ROT. Sue sixpack-have another.

    February 10, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  11. Robert

    I don't need you or anyone else to tell me what CAN or MAY, or WILL happen. If you don't have a valid workable plan – shut up and let the country move on.
    I want to keep the job I have long enoug to delay my retirement until I am 70 thanks to you Republican morons. I don't need or want any more of you idelogical crap. I want action. Go home and chew your cud while people who want to work do work!

    February 10, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  12. obama all the way

    the main THEFT in America is how THE REPUBLICANS have STOLEN and DESTROYED EVERYTHING THAT AMERICA STANDS FOR, will we ever be back to our honor and intergity??

    February 10, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  13. PAST 8 YEARS

    AND I ASK SENATOR MCCAIN AND OTHER REPUBS, SHOULD WE CONTINUE WITH THE LAST 8 YEARS PLAN? UNDER THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION AND REPUBS THEY GAVE $350 BILLIONS WITHOUT RESTRICTION AND TO DATE WE HAVE NO IDEA HOW THE MONEY WAS SPENT. GENERATIONAL THEFT, HE IS RIGHT THE BUSH ADMIN PUT THE CURRENT AND FUTURE GENERATION IN A MESS THAT THE CURRENT ADMIN IS TRYING TO FIX. HAVE THEY FORGOTTON HOW WE GOT IN THIS MESS. MCCAIN AND OTHERS ARE JUST TRYING TO PUT FEAR INTO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND STOP PRESIDENT OBAMA AT ANY COST. WHAT DOES MCCAIN CARE WITH HIS 7 MANSIONS AND VACATION HOMES. HE WILL SIT PRETTY. THE TAX CUTS HE WANTS IS BECAUSE HE AND HIS WIFE MIGHT HAVE TO PAY IN TAXES THEIR FAIR SHARE, OH MY GOSH HOW CAN THAT BE, THEY ARE RICH AND WANT TO STAY THAT WAY

    February 10, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  14. KH

    Dorgan didn't seem to mind all the theft before two weeks ago, when he and his buddies were committing it. In fact, he voted FOR Duh's socialist takeover of the banks.

    February 10, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  15. Voted for change in Texas

    CNN – Forever in moderation heaven

    Voted for change in Texas February 10th, 2009 11:30 am ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    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 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  16. Steve

    This is past the point of being ridiculous. The members of Congress that sat idly by for the last eight years should be ashamed of their hypocrisy. The seeds to this garden of doom were sown under their watch. Senator McCain was happy to support the billions of dollars for the war, the high-priced Wall Street thieves and the media moguls who lined his campaign war chest. But, now that there is an opportunity to help America and Americans, he is up in arms. The basic flaw in this bill is that it doesn't dedicate enough for infrastructure jobs. This would serve the country threefold: jobs for the unemployed, an influx of American's money into the economy and taxes into the treasure and rebuilding our aging water mains and roads. What the Congress is doing is politics, not policy.

    February 10, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  17. wwf

    To all Republicans. If Obama was one of you, you would be foaming at the mouth calling the stimulus package the greatest thing since Regan. Linbaugh and Co. would be kneeling everytime they saw him.
    However, he is not, so the plan stinks. No matter what shape Bush left the countty with BOTH parties help.

    To all Democrats. If it was the reverse, you would be the ones saying the plan stinks.

    Both of you need to get a grip and do what you were put in office to do. That is to work for the people, not your ### party. Some of the bill needs to be changed, no doubt. I would like to see the banks get what is left over from a dry oil well. However, sitting back and doing nothing, which is what the Rep. want is nuts. You think this bill is stealing from future generatiions? What the hell do you think you did for the last 8 years?

    February 10, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  18. bob in LA

    Other than criticism, I still haven't heard McCain give any other solution.
    It's easy to complain, but after nearly 30 yeras in Congress, what;s he done?

    February 10, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  19. Franky

    I just wanna make it perfectly clear for people in this country that geography, is very, very important...in other words, which state you live can determine whether you in fact need help or not, so when you hear politicians talk about the bill, question the bill, and so forth, to give you an idea, look at their respective states and do some work...NOT ALL STATES ARE CREATED EQUAL!! So, no matter what part of location you are, you can be against it Mississippi BUT someone across the country in Florida may have different opinions. Geography is very important and I'm telling you, look at your state and decide what you know before deciding what other state you don't wanna help...

    It is a very, very complicated issue...

    February 10, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  20. Chris from Va. Beach

    Where were all the so theft sceptics when the first $700 billion was stolen? No one says ANYTHING about that. I guess it's okay because it was George Bush. I don't hear not one of the Senators offering any better solutions. They talk about tax-cuts, that was the Reagan era. Reagan didn't have the credit markets frozen, nor did he face the banks not offering any credit. The times are TOTALLY different. Give me tax cuts, but guess what, I will pay my bills. My family needs would come first, food , power etc. When you have JOBS and millions more people working, that stimulates the economy, not sitting on your hands doing nothing and blaming Obama for trying to do just that, CREATE JOBS.

    February 10, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  21. JJ12345

    More of the Same February 10th, 2009 11:43 am ET

    What is most amazing is that the Repubs still dont get it. This mess was their creation.
    _____________________________________________________
    Pretty short sighted to blame only republicians, many of the problems we face are very long term issues. Do you not think Barny Frank and Chris Dodd and many other Dems have absolutely no blame in any of this. They are politicians they all LIE, CHEAT, and STEAL. Additionally, the president gets too much of the blame and accolades for the condition of the economy, really it is congress.

    February 10, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  22. M J

    Since the Republicans are complaining and crying about this stimulus plan, I wonder what plan do they offer other than "NO"? They pretty much burned the house down, but do not want to help carry the water hose it takes to but the fire out. I am sorry but we are paying for GOP mistakes in office. Ask yourself were we would be as a country if Bush had been fiscally responsible and handle the economy with care?

    February 10, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  23. Eric

    I heard that one of senator sleeps in his office to save money for his family of three.I think he is earning more than 100K. Now think of families of 3.6M laid out Worker? The issue at is not the size of the money spent rather how to save further layout and stabilize the economy.

    February 10, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  24. JJ12345

    Rita of Dallas February 10th, 2009 11:42 am ET

    I have yet to hear a Republican plan on how to fix the economy.
    _________________________________________________
    Where were you last week when there was a draft Senate plan on this website.

    February 10, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  25. FreeNLovIt

    Look, W left us with 5 trillion dollars of debt and until the ELEPHANTS pay every penny of it, they have no credibility to call anyone a thief.

    February 10, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
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