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. Alan

    It's interesting to watch the Republicans objecting to the new stimulus plan by pointing to how the LAST attempt was handled - by THEIR president - and saying that's what we can expect again.

    Things HAVE changed. They just don't get it. This time around those handling the money will be RESPONSIBLE and open to us about how it goes and what it's being used for.

    Complete turnaround.

    February 10, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  2. Elly

    pardon me but McCain and his republican buddies Bush and Cheney
    made this mess by giving to their rich friends and driving the economy down with their illegal war
    Obama is just the guy trying to FIX the mess you guys made and left behind
    how these guys could ever think they could relate to an average american out their working their butt off and trying to stretch a dollar
    is beyond me
    They dont get it nor they never will!!!!!

    February 10, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  3. Irony

    Mc Keating 5 needs to look in the mirror. Republicans have been the theives calling others theives, the liars calling others liars, the traitors calling others traitors, the bully saying "he hit me first", the obstructionists calling others obstructionists, the terrorists calling others terrorists.

    Republicans are either evil, stupid, or both. The US is done with you lot. You shame our great country with your actions. You blame others for your failings. You claim to be people of faith, but commit indescribable sins against the world. Greed of the few at the expense of many is your way, but it is not the way of the US.

    February 10, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  4. Grog in Ohio

    It is stunningly perverse for Republicans to declare efforts to create jobs by spending is theft when we heard nothing about no-bid contracts for Halliburton and KBR. Wow.... I repeat my oft stated premise that to be a Republican one must have a missing irony detection gene.

    Grog

    February 10, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  5. Al, NY NY

    The only theft that JM is referring to is the $ that will no longer be going to big corporate executives who contribute to the GOP. Too bad John. Lets here some real solutions. The "tax cut. Tax cut. Tax cut" diatribe doesn't work

    February 10, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  6. Jamara in Los Angeles

    Im so sick of hearing all of this fight between the repubs and dems. When are these politicans going to get it!!! The american people are out here struggling and all they're doing is crying like babies, pointing fingers, and continue to drag their feet. Congress needs to work it out!!!!

    February 10, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  7. pat C.

    i think the stimulus money should only go to the states that voted and supported the plan. that will be a great marker to see which politician was right. if the dem states pull out of this mess and the red states continue to spiral downward then president obama has a mesure to say...see i told you so!
    the republicans should suffer at their own hand on this one. not one of them can come up with a better plan. pleeeese republicans just shut up!!

    February 10, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  8. THAT ONE/BIDEN 08

    I am so tired of Republicans talking about how the plan will doom us all. You fools had your chance for 8 years and look at what happened. The Republicans have absolutely no room to talk about the economc disaster they created. The American people are tired of the Republicans. It's time for them to go away for good in 2010 and 2012!

    February 10, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    If the likes of Dorgan/Mccain had done their jobs the last 8 yrs. we would not be in the mess we are in. I was happy to see Obama throw down the gauntlet to the Republicans in last night press conference. Tax cuts and trickle down economics has never work since Reagen,another of our worst president, first introduced it. The rich are the only ones who gain from the Republicans' economics policies. I wish the senate had reached the magic 60 then the republicans could just go home for the next 8 yrs. because it is clear they will do all they can to obstruct our getting out of this mess they got us into.

    February 10, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  10. Bruce

    It's more than theft. Democrat or Republican, Conservative or Liberal, it doesn't matter. They are all selling us down the river. This is counterfeiting, it is the writing of hot checks, it is the act of putting our great-great-grandchildren in debt. Our descendants will hate us for actually electing people who sold our nation down the river.

    This is not just theft. If that were all it was, we could recover. This is a destruction of our economic base, and most of it will be poured down the drains of corporate and government programs.

    Bush should be ashamed of himself. If Mr. Obama lets the Demos in congress get away with this, he should be two. The three Pseudo-Republicans in the senate should resign and run again under another party name. McCain should decide what he's for and what he's against.

    This is not about tax dollars. All the taxes collected in the US in the past two years cannot pay for these packages. The two stimulus packages together, at 1.5 trillion, will cost every one of the 300 million Americans 5000 dollars each. That's more than theft. Theft is way too weak a word.

    February 10, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  11. TX_Obama

    Give the plan a chance to work, including President Obama and his team. We all need to PRAY it does!

    February 10, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  12. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    To all you people complaining about "Republican theft" over the last eight years, you're right. But why compound that theft with even more "Democrat theft?"

    When you're in debt up to your eyeballs–which we, as a country are–do you borrow even more money and go on a spending spree? That's exactly what this so-called "stimulus package" is–a trillion-dollar spending spree.

    The country is close to bankruptcy already–this idiotic spending spree will push us right over the edge.

    February 10, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  13. J.P.

    How can you create "economic recovery" by stealing from babies and babies who haven't even been born yet, and the babies and grandchildren of the babies who haven't been born yet?

    The economic insanity of this bill reaches criminal levels, and THOSE WHO VOTE FOR IT WILL BE PUNISHED SEVERELY IN 2010.

    February 10, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  14. RLE

    Finally a president who is not only intelligent but cares about America, my fellow Americans let's hang in there help is on the way; stand firm and when election time comes let's get rid of all those who are obstructing progress... not all republicans are obstructing progress i.e. Chris from Fla but there are a whole lot of them and we need to get rid of them. Apparently they don't think we mean business even after 11/2008 election so let's get their attention again...vote them out

    February 10, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  15. Laverne

    Well Sir, tell that to the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs, home, retirement, etc. and they will tell you they feel like they have already been ROBBED! You can take that politically motivated speech and of yours and save it for somebody who does not know any better! Maybe just maybe if you suffered a fraction of how some are on main street than perhaps you would feel different. I bet there is not one person who has lost their livihood who would agree. If you have not been directly affected by this mess then I guess you can sit back and make such statements. If we don't get this mess right now, it won't matter what happens 30, 40, 50 years from now!

    February 10, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  16. RU Kidding Me?

    OMG what planet to Republicans come from!?!?!

    What about THIS THEFT!?!?

    http://www.nationalpriorities.org/costofwar_home

    February 10, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  17. Glennis

    Two words: we're screwed.

    February 10, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  18. RU Kidding Me?

    OMG what planet to Republicans come from!?!?!

    What about THIS THEFT!?!?

    http://www.nationalpriorities.org/costofwar_home

    February 10, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  19. Jon in CA

    Pat C,

    You write, "i think the stimulus money should only go to the states that voted and supported the plan."

    FINE... and the states that did not support the plan don't have to pay taxes. I'd gladly keep my tax dollars and let you socialist-wanna-be's give up YOUR income to fund condums-for-kids type programs.

    February 10, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  20. jason, tx

    I'm tired of cry baby repuglicans (no, I didn't misspell that). They need to get off their butts and get to work instead of being obstructionists. Amazing. Perhaps we should vote all of them out of office and see how they like that...

    February 10, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  21. Lilly

    Wynter – Don't get your hopes up. The democrats want to remain in power so they will do all they can to make it appear that things are getting better. Things won't get better until we stop spending what we don't have. The economists that are advising Obama are in on this for what they can get and you can be sure they will be paid off handsomely with not only our tax dollars but generations to come. We need to bite the bullet and suffer so our great-grandchildren won't have to eat bugs to survive.

    February 10, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  22. kendal

    This is from someone who voted 98% of the time for Bush's theft. Talking about being out of touch!!

    February 10, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  23. Chris from NY

    They are the ones who've stealing from us. They should resign their seats and go look for a job. Otherwise we will fire them so they can joing the club of the unemployed and know how it feels.

    February 10, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  24. I voted for change!!!!!

    Senator McCain should be the last person to cry theft, when for the past eight years they have stolen from the American people. How do you say IRAQ!!!!!

    February 10, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  25. WhoCares?

    Do all Republicans have a cord on their back that if you pull spouts
    "Tax cuts for the Rich! Tax Cuts for the Rich!".

    February 10, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
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