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. Willa

    Someone once said "Too many cooks spoil the broth".
    Presumably the stimulus is like an investment and is supposed to pay for itself by generating new jobs, more wealth, new taxes, more prosperity etc. etc. President Obama has been in office for a month and already faces fierce opposition from the House and the Senate on this bill. I lean towards trusting the recommendations of his economic advisors much more than those of House politicians and Senators who are not subject matter experts. A politically motivated tug of war between economists and politicians is not the way to go. Too much intervention and the end result will likely be an adulterated version of the original stimulus..... Incomplete, overextended and woefully inadequate.

    February 10, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  2. Amy

    Where were Dorgan's request for transparency during the Bush era?

    February 10, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  3. Lilly

    "Hypocrite" – The truth is, it was a joint effort; the democrats have succeeded in pulling the wool over your eyes. They could have stopped the financial meltdown but they chose not to. You know their thinking, " a house for everyone; even those who don't hold jobs." Good grief, stop defending the democrats stupidity. They will give all the special interest groups whatever they want as long as it guarantees the votes.

    February 10, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  4. PAST 8 YEARS

    GROG OF OHIO, YOU ARE SO RIGHT! SOMEONE SHOULD ALSO INVESTIGATE THE MANUFACTURER OF THE PROTECTIVE ARMOR THAT WAS SUPPLIED TO OUR SOLDIERS, UM I WONDER WHO WAS IN CHARGE OF THAT ONE. NOT TO MENTION IT DID NOT SERVE IT'S PURPOSE OTHER THAN THE RICH GOT RICHER AND DID'NT PROTECT OUR SOLDIERS. I HATE TO CONTINUE TO BEAT A DEAD HORSE, BUT THE GUY IN CRAWFORD TEXAS REALLY DID A NUMBER ON US. AND THE REPUBS WANT PRESIDENT OBAMA TO HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS IN 3 WEEKS WHAT TOOK THE PAST ADMINISTRATION 8 YERAS TO SCREW UP EVEN WITH THE $350 BILLIONS THEY JUST HANDED OUT WITHOUT QUESTIONS.

    February 10, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  5. Baaaa... Baaaa... Baaaa ......

    To...... Pat C..... I think there are a lot of folks out here that would go along with your suggestion...... BUT... that would be only if the states recieving the so-called stimulus would be the only ones paying the taxes that fund it.

    You okay with that plan, sparky?

    February 10, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  6. Nola

    The time has come for every elected officials (Rep) to shout up and come with some creative ideas of how to solve this financial hole this country is falling into. At least the Dem and Indep have presented something – it might not be perfect but at least they took some form of action -

    February 10, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  7. chelle

    Do politicians sit up nights thinking up these cutsie terms for things? "ohhhhhh let's call it theft...that will stir up the voters". This is not about the Republicans getting re-elected but that seems to be their driving force.

    February 10, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  8. Larry Houston Texas

    LOL.......I don't what to say, except to agree with the majority of these comments on here !!!

    February 10, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  9. rena

    What? We should listen to crazy McCain who stopped his campaign during the election to go push bully Bush packet thru for 700B, which we haven't seen any results from this packet but more banks getting big bounses, spa treatments, and jets.

    McCain and his whole clan need to be kicked out!!!! But those stupid repugs will continue to vote them in. Those of you who voted for these losers, if you are losing your home or have lost it and your money, you deserve it!!! That's how I see. Conservative my but these don't care a hoot about the average people nor does Pelosi and Reid. They need to fire them both.

    February 10, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  10. Cori

    The American people have been getting ripped off for the last 8 years, and suddenly the GOP wants to cry about it. Where were their protesting voices just a few months ago when the banks asked for a handout? Amazing how Bush gave those banks $700 billion right before he left office, with NO oversight by the way, and suddenly the GOP wants to blame Obama for the mess they created? The banks spent millions on bonuses, parties etc. and the GOP wants to blame Obama! F&ck you GOP.

    February 10, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  11. littleone

    Now it's theft right but what they are really saying they stoled from us with the first bail out, but now that's it's for american folks it's really really theft. So does that mean you are not going to give us a plan to get us out of this mess, just threats, well we heard it all before this time its not going to work. America has woken up! Thank God

    February 10, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  12. Becky, Midwest

    Bush and Company were not alone in creating this disaster that we are in. What is wrong with you people? It is the CONGRESS members who make the laws. This chaos was created by Bush and a lot lot of democrats who gave in to Bush with every single thing Bush wanted. I have no sympathy for them. This is a bad bill. This will only put us deeper in debt. Democrats clearly can't relate to what is happening in the real world.

    February 10, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  13. mark

    You can't spend money you don't have. We don't have the $800 billion to spend.

    In three weeks time, Obama is spending more then anyone in history. And all people can say is Bush...republicans.... war...Blah Blah Blah.

    The bipartisan war had more support in congress then this spending bill.

    You think Bush lied? Obama is lying his A$$ off. Tax cuts had nothing to do with this problem. Tax cuts would fix this faster then anything.

    The Republicans did have a plan, so did the CBO. Obama chose not to listen.

    You think things are bad for you now....just wait

    February 10, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  14. obama-mama

    If it's not the republican's way, it's the highway. They are just pissed they weren't allowed to include their rich cronies in this bill. It's going to be a long and entertaining 4 years.

    February 10, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  15. ANGIE-OH

    bush and cheney are theives. mcsame i think you can only repeat what you hear. do you have any good ideas (other than a tax cut that would only benefit the rich once again)? probably not.

    February 10, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  16. Soccer Nana

    McCain and Dorgan = 2 oldsters campaigning to keep their seats. They are no more concerned either way this stimulus work; they want their sheeples to "think" they are working against this plan in order to garner votes for 2010.

    Two oldsters who really should retire and let younger citizens run for the seats they have "cemented" to their butts.

    February 10, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  17. Matt

    Theft is spending 10 billion a month on a war that shouldn't be fought and one that mccain wanted to continue! Go away McCain we voted for obama, u lost! Go home!

    February 10, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  18. MEP

    What about the money that has been spent needlessly on the WMD threat -based war ? The Republicans handily made this economic mess,too, and now they cannot legitimately shift the blame less than thirty days after Obama takes over. Where was this penetrating insight six months ago ( the first bailout helmed by none other than George W Bush( Republican, yes?)? Please.

    February 10, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  19. FreeNLovIt

    To Pac C... I agree with you. Let's experiment. Give fundings to those that say 'Y' and leave out those senators that said 'N'. It makes sense.

    February 10, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  20. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Hey CNN this was one of my more positive comments, please do not censor me again?

    Free Michael Phelps!

    February 10, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  21. David in KC

    "Theft" is the cost of the GOP war on Iraq. Theft is the deaths of almost 5,000 soldiers. Theft is subsidizing Israeli apartheid. Once again the Right needs a dictionary.

    February 10, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  22. ConsiderThis, FL

    What do you call the trillions of dollars in tax cuts for the wealthy, billions in non-compete contracts for Halliburton, billions for Wall Street executives and corporate CEOs, and trillions for pharmaceutical companies served up on a silver platter by the Bush administration and Republicans; RAPE AND PILLAGE?

    February 10, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  23. Kevin

    THEFT?!? Is that what I'm hearing from the Republican Party? They're calling the Stimulus Plan a "theft"? Isn't that like the cat calling the kettle black!! YOU JOKERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MESS THAT WE ARE IN!!!!! What part of that statement don't you get?

    First, you AND the previous administration got the wild burr up your tails to OUTSOURCE EVERY JOB that decent Americans would've taken to stimulate the economy, then you squandered the goodwill the world gave us after 9/11 to go after oil in Iraq, not mentioning ignoring the the warnings about it and having a dangerous terrorist organization get back their strength 10 fold their pre-9/11 numbers, then YOUR BOY Greenspan says" OOPS" about deregulating Wall Street and McCain had the audacity to say that "The fundementals of our economy are strong", only to panic mid campaign and goto D.C for an embarrasing impromto Senate Hearing to vote on a STALLED Bailout plan, AND NOW YOUR FRIENDS ON WALL STREET ARE GIVING THEIR EXECS $18 BILLION IN BONUSES!!! And the final indignation: NOT ONE OF YOU BASTARDS VOTED FOR THE BILL, HYPOCRITICALL SIGHTING THAT YOU WANT TO SEE SOME BI-PARTISANSHIP FROM THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION!!!

    UNLESS YOU WANT TO SEE WASHINGTON FROM THE INSIDE OF A TOURBUS, I ADVISE YOU TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT AND HELP FIX THIS MESS THAT YOU CREATED, AND GO ALONG WITH WHAT OBAMA WANTS TO DO WITH THIS COUNTRY, OR YOU WILL FIND YOURSELVES LINED UP WITH YOUR MASTODON FRIEND IN THE MUSEUM, AND WE LEAVE ALL UP TO THE DEMOCRATS!!!

    February 10, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  24. Chill out

    The only thieves are republicans. Ask Bush and company.

    February 10, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  25. SH

    Really? Really? How about getting the chip off your shoulder and think about our country right now. There's plenty of blame to go around on both sides of the aisle. Libs, you gotta stop living in the past. You're willing to sacrifice our children's future because of anger and hurt feelings? Seriously? Contraception, funding for the arts, restoration of the national mall, stop-smoking programs – this is stuff that will help the economy? All while Americans lose their homes, their jobs, and their savings. Pride, simple pride is what will cause our country to fail. Libs, for the sake of all things holy, please start living in the now! Focus, focus, focus!!!!

    February 10, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
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