February 10th, 2009
10:30 AM ET
9 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. RW

    Well, what else should we do? Let our banks fail? Let the housing market sink deeper into the abyss? I don't like the idea of a stimulus package one bit. I hate to think that we're rewarding the idiotic choices made by these greedy corporate pigs, but what's the alternative?

    And let's not kid ourselves. $800 billion is chump change compared to how much Bush, Inc. spent to finance its personal vendetta.

    It's time for all the free marketeers to swallow the bitter pill once and for all. The market will NOT police itself; it NEVER has. Show me one instance of the market truly policing itself in the history of American capitalism. Can't be done. We need regulations. We need oversight. And we need proper, careful, and measured guidance. But first we need to stop our entire country's economy from going over a cliff.

    February 10, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  2. Had It

    How about that old traitor? What has he offered? NOTHING

    February 10, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  3. gt

    we will be sick to our stomach after all the crap comes out about this bill,,,,,nearly a trillion dollars ... come on america wake up ,, this is financial suicide

    February 10, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  4. ran

    If the likes of Dorgan/McCain had done their job the last 8 yrs. we would not be in the mess we are in now. Tax cuts/trickled down economics has never worked since introduced by Reagen, another of our worst president.The rich are the only ones who gain from Republicans' economic policies. I was happy to see Obama throw down the gantlet to the Republicans. I just wish the Senate had gotten to the magic 60 then the Republicans could go home for the next 8 yrs. because it is clear they only want to be obstructionist. Party/power/antiabortion/no gay rights/give to the rich is all the republicans can offer.

    February 10, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  5. Viv, Utah

    To Rita:
    The conservatives did offer an alternative. It would create more jobs and cost about half. Obviously not worth exploring. Also why are there laws hidden in the bill. I thought it was stimulus. All of these senators are voting for something they have not read.

    February 10, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  6. Mari





    (Sorry for yelling, folks, the GOP-liars make me seethe with anger!)

    February 10, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  7. 1/20/13

    Look at all the liberals eating up the government hand outs.......Must feel like Christmas in february for all of you. Of course when 40% of the population will never be affected by this plan (since you dont pay taxes) you want to spend, spend, spend.

    Makes me sick

    February 10, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  8. donna

    More scare tactics...still no answers from the Republicans..as Obama said their credibility on the economic issue is pretty much nonexistant..the fact that he is even TRYING to include them shows that he is bipartisan...but that only lasts for so long..then the Republicans will whine about that too....

    February 10, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  9. Angela

    I cannot believe what I just read!!!! I guess the bankers are paying them under the table to say that!! Since our bailout money is going to CEO pay!!!

    While the rest of us watch our jobs, our homes and our lives go right out the window.

    God help us!!

    February 10, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  10. Carla B.

    Spending a trillion $$$ on the Iraq war is 'THEFT". These old farts of Repugns are obscene.

    February 10, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  11. Independent Dave, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

    You didn't hear any conservatives crying theft when Ronald Reagan ran the national debt from 700 billion to 3 trillion.

    February 10, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  12. Angela


    February 10, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  13. frank , pennsylvania

    Some republicans want to score political point at the expense of the future of this country. It is time to have them recalled by their contituencies!

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

    The stimulus plan is either going to work or it's not going to work. Nothing in life is guaranteed. I would rather take a risk and try something, than to look back and say would'a, could'a, should'a.

    February 10, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  15. Casey | Sebastopol, CA

    Where were those claiming theft when they robbed the American public of $1.3 TRILLION dollars and thousands of American LIVES in their stupid Iraq war?

    What hypocrites! They went along with thievery while it benefited them, but now want to pretend they are "fiscal conservatives"... puleeze... don't pee on me and tell me it's raining, John.

    YOU LOST and the REPUBLICANS LOST the election... remember that? America said "thanks, but NO THANKS!"

    February 10, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  16. john

    We should be listening to John McCain!!! afterall didn't he tell us a few months ago the economy was strong??? plus I wonder how much his 100 years in Iraq would have cost the USA.

    February 10, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  17. Jon

    It is theft. It is theft from the generatins of Americans that have not yet been born, but will get to pay for this socalled stimulus bill.

    February 10, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  18. Sandra Day

    No, McCain. Theft is what we had from the Bush administration the last eight years. That is really theft. President Obama is simply trying to correct the situation in the only way he can at this point.

    February 10, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  19. Obama 2.0

    What is theft is the inacation of the GOP with the mandate from the American people, McCain and friends lost the election and they still want to take that away from the American people with their obstruction votes of no. But I will hand it to McCain it is consistent with his votes on VA benefits.

    February 10, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  20. Hammer

    Totally out of control.

    February 10, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  21. Nola

    It would be so nice if the "know it alls Republicans" would take a good hard look at the financial status of this country and shut their mouths and join with the Dems and Independents to come up creative ideas to help solve this financial sink hole that this country is falling into. I will give President Obama create for at least trying to resolve the problem.

    February 10, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  22. TexasBob

    The real "theft" here is the theft by George W. Bush of America's trust in the word of its leaders, specifically GWB, who lied again and again about the economy in a self-serving attempt to burnish his own image, at the expense of America's economic health – even denying that the economy was in trouble, when the most fanatic Republican rightists were admitting we were in trouble. Republicans should not be talking about THEFT at this point!

    February 10, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  23. carmela

    I hope President Obama did all these explaining point by point about the stimulus bill earlier. That way the citizens were well informed first hand and were not misinformed by the attention-seeking critics GOP.

    February 10, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  24. gwen

    Seriously the republicans have handed us THE largest deficit EVER and they don't want to spend a penny more to get us out of THEIR mess????? I would trust Obama's plan over anything the republicans have to say a million times over!!!! These people have no place to talk after eight years of failure!!!!!

    February 10, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  25. Independent Dave, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

    And thanks again, Mr. McCain, for opening the Pandoras Box that is Sarah Palin. Look what she's doing for future generations, it's not good.

    February 10, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
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