July 11th, 2009
01:14 PM ET
3 years ago

Obama defends $787B stimulus bill


WASHINGTON (CNN) – After a week of increasing Republican criticism of Democrats’ $787 billion stimulus bill, President Obama is using his weekly address to defend the massive piece of legislation which has in many ways come to define his young administration thus far.

“In a little over one hundred days,” Obama says in Saturday’s address, the stimulus plan “has worked as intended.”

“As a result of the swift and aggressive action we took in the first few months of this year, we’ve been able to pull our financial system and our economy back from the brink,” Obama also says.

The nearly $800 billion bill “wasn’t designed to restore the economy to full health on its own, but to provide the boost necessary to stop the free fall,” the president says in his weekly address.

Answering attacks on the stimulus bill in the last week for failing to create as many jobs as projected, Obama says the bill is still the process of yielding projects and employment.

“[I]t’s led to new jobs building roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects, thousands of which are only beginning now. In the months to come, thousands more projects will begin, leading to additional jobs,” the president says.

In Saturday’s address, Obama also responds to critics who believe the $787 billion bill is not sufficient to turn around the economy and who are, therefore, pushing for another stimulus package.

“[A]s I made clear at the time it was passed, the Recovery Act was not designed to work in four months – it was designed to work over two years. We also knew that it would take some time for the money to get out the door, because we are committed to spending it in a way that is effective and transparent. Crucially, this is a plan that will also accelerate greatly throughout the summer and the fall. We must let it work the way it’s supposed to, with the understanding that in any recession, unemployment tends to recover more slowly than other measures of economic activity.”

Obama’s defense of Democrats’ stimulus package comes on the same day that Republicans’ used their weekly address to slam the Obama’s economic recovery plan.

"Simply put, this is now President Obama's economy and the American people are beginning to question whether his policies are working," House Minority Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia says in Saturday’s GOP address.

Cantor’s dig topped off a week that included the release of warring online videos about the stimulus plan and a House committee hearing where Republicans and sometimes even Democrats were critical of the stimulus bill’s effectiveness.

soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    I Got a Job – ha ha ha ha ha

    July 11, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  2. Steve in PA

    With in the last 2 months, I've also saw them rip up handicap side walks to fix them to Government standards. The same side walks the Government put in the previous year, since there are so many handicap citizens in a town of less then 2000. The new sidewalks are not even level, and when it rains, water sits there for days before it drys up. They also look stupid as all heck, with curbs where there should not be curbs. They lower to street level 2 sections before the corner and are flat at the intersection with a small brown mat-like square for traction in the middle. Too bad I can't post a picture of how bad they look. The really sad part is, they only did 4 intersections one 1 street and left the rest of the towns side walks alone, even skipping some intersections on the same street. This was not needed at all and was more Government waste at work. I guess the only good thing is that least they look NEW.

    July 11, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  3. Kevin

    "The nearly $800 billion bill “wasn’t designed to restore the economy to full health on its own, but to provide the boost necessary to stop the free fall." "We must let it work the way it’s supposed to, with the understanding that in any recession, unemployment tends to recover more slowly than other measures of economic activity.” *****If you Mr. President were one of the laid off workers you my have a little greater urgency in you approach to this problem. Kinda like the urgency you had when you were pressing to pass this Spending package. This spending is only delaying the inevitable because it continues to increase our indebtedness to the corrupt private bankers of the Federal Reserve. 3000 jobs in claifornia and 2600 jobs in Michigan is nothing compared to the job losses." It ain't working Mr. President and it won't until manufacturing jobs come back home.

    July 11, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  4. skyhawkdriver

    If members of congress had actually read this load of hogwash they never would have voted for it..until these 435 clowns are held accountable for their actions garbage like this spending spree are going to continue to happen

    July 11, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  5. NYC REPUB

    I support you President Obama, i'm not a fair weather voter.......I do believe you have good ideas, that will help, & change America in the long term.

    July 11, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  6. Matt

    Obama is a failure. 16% unemployment right now. It has gone up 7% since he took office and burdened us with his "stimulus". The White House likes to play games with the numbers. They say it is only 9.5% (more than the 8% they said was the max) but they do not include all the people after 6 months who no longer recieve unemployment. That makes unemployment 16% not 9.5%.

    Obama is a FAILURE. Wake up America.

    July 11, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  7. European-American

    I do not care which party you support, ask yourself if you could run your own household the way the government is running the country?
    For all you folks who keep saying the free market is the problem, the problem did not start until W. started acting like a commie too.

    July 11, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  8. aware

    Obfuscation no longer works for the majority of Americans Mr. Obama. Walk the talk or resist the really big show! :(

    July 11, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  9. annie for Palin

    This 'so-called' president lies with every breath he takes and the government run news media such as msnbc, cnn, abc backs those lies with every breath they take.

    July 11, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  10. madjillmom

    The intent of the Stimulus according to Pres. Obama and crew was that it would keept unemployment under 8% if it was enacted quickly. It hasn't done what they promised it would do. It wasn't a stimulus to the economy, it was a payoff to Dem interests. Could you try looking past the White House spin and check the facts and what was promised? Nah, I guess not. Live in the bubble.

    July 11, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  11. T22

    It's absurd to think that a stimulus bill would have backloaded spending. Do nothing at all and the economy is likely to turn around in two years, without getting the country in further debt. With all these billions, they should set up the money for any business that wants to add an employee or two but can't due to the economy and fund that position for two years. It could be keeping on a waitress at a restaurant, it could be for keeping an additional worker on at some place other than GM, it could be for hiring some new sales help to drum up new business. Give it to small businesses and make them prove they've added the job. Spend that money and spend it now. It also raises tax revenues from all the additional employed. Using $500B in stimulus to pay an average salary of $50K for two years adds 5 million jobs.

    July 11, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  12. Allen in Hartwell GA

    I know several people who have a job today because of the stimulus bill. Since my job is as a contractor with the US Army Corps of Engineers I can imagine that many people nationwide also have jobs because of the stimulus bill. It is working, people.

    July 11, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  13. Party Purity will never bring Political Power!

    Your doing a great job President Obama!

    It was no less than little Mikey Steele the head of the RNC that stated "bi-partisanship is over-rated".

    Ignore the "pure" party of redneck "christians", and show them that we Dems now agree!

    The Party of No only gets so many chances before the majority gets to completely ignore the temper tantrums with no substance!

    July 11, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  14. renea

    To the Rebublicans say what you want but whether its working or not you already failed because you and your contieuents didnt offer any solutions. So dont complain now. By the way you may fool some people but i know that its working yes people are out of work the employement rate is high but that was expected. So i Thank GOD for this President because a lot have been done since he took office. You might not see it for being in denial but i know things will get better by and by.

    July 11, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  15. in NJ

    With only 11% of the stimulus spent, these democrats are clearly playing politics with American livelihoods.

    The economy is probably going to turn around but only when almost all the stimulus is spread to the people and small business…which will probably be around November of 2010 just in time for the midterm elections. Meanwhile, Americans are still suffering now. The idea of the plan was good, but the implementation has been horrible. Not well planned, and not well executed.

    I voted for the President, but will not do so again. His execution of this plan as our chief executive has left much to be desired. While the Democrats in Congress and the President will claim victory for this when it takes full effect, the people will have needlessly suffered from the political greed that they thought they rejected last November.

    July 11, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  16. Georgia

    Sen. Boehner said that his dog couldn't find any jobs from the Stimulus bill last week. There is something else much larger that that dog could find!?!

    July 11, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  17. Chad

    Before the far right hate mongers get going with this one, please remember that it took 8 years to make this mess and will probably take at LEAST half that time to fix it.

    "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."

    -Albert Einstein

    July 11, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  18. Lord Insidious

    Hey, CNN, if it only cost $787, probably nobody'd care about it!

    July 11, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  19. Fair is Fair

    Hey Obama... what happened to 8% unemployment if porkulus wasn't passed? What's that? You "misread" the economy?

    So how are we to have any confidence you're reading it correctly now?

    July 11, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  20. Henry Miller

    “In a little over one hundred days,” Obama says in Saturday’s address, the stimulus plan “has worked as intended.”

    Obama intended unemployment to hit 10%? Gee, that's not what he said when trying to convince people that his imbecilic notion to waste a trillion bucks was actually a good idea.

    “As a result of the swift and aggressive action we took in the first few months of this year, we’ve been able to pull our financial system and our economy back from the brink.” The brink of what? An even worse disaster? Yeah, right... But I agree it was "swift action." So swift that the members of Congress being strong-armed into passing this idiocy were given, what?, three hours to read a 1300 page document that guaranteed decades of inflation and debt.

    In Saturday’s address, Obama also responds to critics who believe the $787 billion bill is not sufficient to turn around the economy and who are, therefore, pushing for another stimulus package.

    So having gotten a good start on ruining the American economy, and mortgaging our kids' futures in the process, Obama wants to finish off the country completely. This man needs to be stopped. Now.

    July 11, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  21. barry in las vegas

    How quickly Mr. Obama forgets his first promise to create 1.5 to 2 million new jobs, then it was to SAVE and create 1.5 to 2 million new jobs.

    Now its falling back to saving firmen, policemen and teachers jobs and at that the number they quote and can't even verify is 150,000. He just could figure out how to through the Senior Citizens into the pot.

    What happens next year when the states don't have the federal bailout money to balance their budgets?

    This stimulous is a joke and sadly so is Mr. Obama along with Harry Reid and stupid Nancy Palosi.

    July 11, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  22. Milton

    President Obama has made the same point he's made since the administration proposed the stimulus: no wavering, no changing his stance at all to help him politically, a la the GOP. That's the measure of a leader, not just keeping his stance on an issue, but explaining why one is keeping that stance while educating the audience on why keelpng that stance is essential. no flip-flopping here. The stimulus will work as intended, slowing the free-fall while getting some down-to-earth (literally) American work done.

    July 11, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  23. Keith in Austin

    Who does Obama think he's kidding? Unemployment at 9.6 percent and going higher, pork barrel spending beyond comprehension and programs like, cap and trade, stimulous II and healthcare reform coming. This President is an embarrasment and will never see a second term. Wake up America!

    July 11, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  24. JFUJ

    “As a result of the swift and aggressive action we took in the first few months of this year, we’ve been able to pull our financial system and our economy back from the brink,” Obama also says.

    ___

    It has??? Unemployment continues to rise, state budgets (California, Pennsylvania, etc.) continue to be in total disarray, prices are soaring. How has the stimulus package helped, other than to continually provide bonuses for government employees?

    Change – I think not!

    July 11, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  25. Chuck in CSG

    OK - first it was "shovel ready" – then "some months" – now, "over two years". Are you Kool Aid drinkers getting this yet, or do I have to do the math for ya?

    July 11, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
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