August 2nd, 2009
09:21 AM ET
5 years ago

Obama's stimulus plan 'has had some effect,' says McCain


WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. John McCain says his former rival for the White House deserves some credit for the beginnings of an economic turnaround in the short term, but adds that the long-term consequences of the Obama administration’s spending could be “devastating.”

The Arizona Republican spoke to CNN Chief National Correspondent John King Sunday in a wide-ranging interview on CNN’s State of the Union.

Asked whether President Obama deserves some credit for recent indicators that the recessionary economy has stopped its freefall, McCain said: “I think it’s very clear that the stimulus has had some effect. But, what I worry more than anything about is the long-term effects, because we are committing generational theft.

”We have put trillions of additional debt on future generations of Americans,” he added.

“In the words of the Congressional Budget Office and others, it is ‘unsustainable,’” McCain said.

“The long-term consequences, I think, are going to be, unfortunately, devastating unless we do something about it,” McCain also said.

McCain’s comments come as Democrats have been ratcheting up their efforts to demonstrate the effectiveness of Obama’s $787 billion stimulus plan which Republicans say has not benefited the economy or eased unemployment as Democrats promised.


Filed under: economic stimulus • Economy • John McCain • State of the Union
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. charlie in Maine

    Yeah like um saving our nation from economic collapse?

    August 2, 2009 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  2. Bill, Upper New York State

    McCain says that Obama hasn't changed Washington politics as he promised. But the GOP with all it's negativity on all issues, big and small, has totally failed to do their part. The GOP negativity has just added to the problem.

    August 2, 2009 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  3. 60's survivor

    new GOP buzzword. "generational theft". and what would the egotistical GOP have done?? absolutely nothing apparantly. could Obama have done more without the party of NO most likely. the hope us expensive start up for long term payoff with energy reform. health insurance reform. infrastructure repair. all for this country and the people of the USA. GOP would rather make war on places like Iraq and rebuild their infrastructure. who is really throwing money away?? America voted for change. and that is what Obama is trying to do although GOP is hamstringing him as well as a few blue dog democrats all from red meat states by the way. obama is doing a great job despite these fools.

    August 2, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  4. Sheri

    First the Repubs said it wouldn't work at all. Now that there are signs it's working, the "Sky will fall" fear tactic is pulled out! It's kind of funny that from the right's point of view, no matter what the President does will have a "devastating" effect in the long term! Seems they never thought about that during the last 8 years.

    August 2, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  5. Gerald F.

    "In the words of the Congressional Budget Office and others, it is 'unsustainable,' " McCain said.
    Maybe he is on to something worth noting.

    August 2, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  6. roger

    The money given to car makers, banks, etc were LOANS, and will be paid back. The trick is to get congress (including republicans) not to count the repayment toward balancing future budgets, but as paying down the national debt! Soc. Sec. would be OK if congress had not stolen from it to balance the budget! I'm sorry, they borrowed, then did not bother to repay. What kind of generational debt would we have if banks had collapsed, auto makers shut down, banks stepped up foreclosures, etc.?? As McCain said during the campaign, the economy is not one of his strengths- beside why would he bother to learn about the future of the economy when he won't be around fto see it?

    August 2, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  7. Bill, Upper New York State

    What this country deserves is for the GOP and the Democrats to stop this childish in-fighting and back-stabbing. I hear very little positive talk from the GOP; it's all no, no, no. Obama can't even have a beer without someone complaining about his picking the wrong brand. Congress needs to get together for the good of the country, not the good of the parties. It takes ideas from BOTH parties to fix the economy!

    August 2, 2009 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  8. here we go

    I think I have figured out the Republicans problem.. We have a black president basically telling white senators and congressmen/women what he would like to do to improve the problems of the US., and this is what is sticking in their craw...The tables have been turned from over 200 or so yrs ago...Would all this negativity be going on if the President was white? It is like "how dare he tell us anything".. THINK about it!!!!!

    August 2, 2009 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  9. The new GOP party of NO, racism, and hate is emerging

    can these GOP Party of NO dimwits get their talking point straight...they are waffling all over the place!

    August 2, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  10. Lewis

    Let's not talk about health care deficit, but what about the deficit the war has caused our future children to be responsible for, from our previous President decisions. let be honest its not about health care the deficit we are in is because of greed for oil.

    August 2, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  11. JDB

    When the republicans decide they want to come to the table and act like adults, then...welcome. They're not doing anything to ease the strains of biparisianship, their blatant obstructiionism for the sake of the party is in fact worsening it. They're acting like spoiled children, sore losers. Lead, follow or get out of the way.

    August 2, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  12. Hugo

    Yeah, like um saving our Nation from economic collapse, duh? um, wouldn't that have been the TARP program initiated under Bush? The stimulus plan has kept a bunch of government employees from being laid off and gave them their bonuses and raises while the private sector withers and dies. The stimulus money will give the economy a false start look just in time for the 2010 elections so the liberals can claim a victory and try to keep their seats. Good luck, America's educated populus is not as stupid as most of the posts on this blog!

    August 2, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  13. Tony

    Wow, you think? But am glad he has the guts to give some credit. Being a maverick I guess. The stock has shot up bigtime, next things are jobs. OBAMA 2012

    August 2, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  14. Dave, Central Illinois

    Roger, you might not be around either. What an idiotic statement. I find it amazing that anybody who does not agree with the agenda of this president is labeled a racist. The same children that called McCain "McGrumpy", "McGrampa", etc during the campaign are the same people spouting this crap here. I have found that Libs, as a group, are the most hateful and racist group of loud-mouthed fools around. They live on division and controversy. The American people are seeing them for what they are and that's why Congress's approval rating has slipped below 30% and the Divider-in-Chief is hovering around 50%. 2010 = 1994 all over again.

    August 2, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  15. Beau Ned Hicks

    Obama is barely 6 months into cleaning up the nasty hangover from 8 years of plunder by the Bush branch of the Texasmafia.

    In the face of perpetual harassment and prevarication by Limbaugh, Beck, O'Reilly, Hannity, et al, he soldiers on with his message of conciliation, co-operation and compassion.

    What I wonder about is the choice of Geitner over Krugman for Treasury secretary. On the one hand we have a very politically savvy, Nobel economist and on the other a tax dodging, Wall St. insider. Who would you trust to lead the recovery? It's little things like this that make me wary of the "change" we will be seeing.

    Nonetheless, I'm very glad that puffy, stiff, John McCain is not at the wheel. Like Bush, he was a legacy student who barely graduated from a school that would never have admitted him were it not for family connections. I have to guess that the help a college provides to their world class point guard or quarterback is nothing compared to what they'll do for a student whose daddy built them a library.

    August 2, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  16. Mike da man

    Can we please stop this rep and dem war?! Yes, Bush was a big spender, as was Clinton. It's safe to say that Obama is as well! Look at the numbers, 50 something billion to bailout GM/ Chrysler for what? Just so they can bankruptcy anyway?! Billions of dollars to help save struggling homeowners, but has it really done anything other than cause a big mess in loan modification requests? Foreclosures are still going up and up! The almost trillion dollar stimulus bill: nobody read it before they passed it, they promised unemployment would not exceed 8% (boy were they wrong on that!), full of wasteful spending or pork, and nobody honestly feels the stimulus worked at all! How long are they going to say, give it more time or it's still too early to tell? Now this health care bill? Come on now! Why we trying to rush bills through without examining them first? What we should've done? Nothing! Businesses that fail, let em fail! Can't afford your mortgage? Lose the house! It's tough, but life will go on! You can't spend your way out of a mess that spending originally caused! I'm frustrated w/ this whole political mess: all this finger pointing and all this bogus racial nonsense! Enough with the blame game! Politicians don't care about the people anymore, they only care about what BS to say to get re-elected. I don't want the gov't in my life! Let me pursuit my happiness! I don't want gov't controlled this and that! I don't want to start my own business just to become rich and be overwhelmingly taxed to pay off this national debt! I don't want my kids to experience hyper inflation because of the naive overspending generation that I'm from! Can we please have a gov't that focuses on the people and not on re-elections and money!? We need politicians that are honest and don't blow smoke up our tooters and treat us like 4 year olds! Thank you for taking the time out to read my novel!

    August 2, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  17. Candy Wilson

    Things are turning around.. And whoever said this is right ..Pres Obama has just kept moving even with being criticized Daily ..I find Fox News so demeaning and disrespectful.. then they turn around and throw Praise All over Sarah Palin and here she goes AGAIN not keeping her promises and breaking engagements.. this is bad... Finally I am still in favor of TRUE Universal Health Care... Retired Critical Care RN..

    August 2, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  18. German,Irish American

    For all you left-wingnuts, just what have the Republicans "blocked" since the Disappointment in Chief Obama was elected? The Democrats do not need ANY Republican votes to pass a bill, they have a large majority in the House, a fillibuster proof Senate, and a Democrat President, so quit blaming Republicans for Obama's obvious ineptness as a leader. Also, if this so called stimulus is magically working with less than 10% of the boondaggle bill being spent, will Obama take the rest of the money, 700 billion, and pay down the national debt, or will he keep the money to keep doling out over the next 5 years, as planned, in order to keep buying votes for the Democrats?

    August 2, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  19. Hopeful, Louisville, KY

    I agree with McCain that the stimulus plan has helped. Actually, I think it has helped quite a bit and that its only the beginning.

    Remember, most of the stimulus money has yet to be used. So, in order to truly gauge what the stimulus will do, let's wait until the end of the year. I think we'll have a pleasant surprise. :)

    August 2, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  20. kd

    Why does anything McCain says really matter? Do people already forget what a failed campaign he had and how indecisive and downright dumb most of his decisions, speeches, actions and thoughts were? He is irrelevant.

    He also empowered Bush for 8 years and is as responsible as any Republican or Blue Dog Dem for the mess we find ourselves in.

    August 2, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  21. Joan

    Listening to Sen. McCain this morning just emphasized how great it is that Pres. Obama won in November. Right now the world would probably be in a depression if the tables were turned. The GOP like to talk about "generational debt" but are they forgetting that Bush came into office with a surplus and left a trillion dollar debt for Pres. Obama that was mostly from the illegal war. The next generation has to pay for that. John King"s question about how Pres. Obama has failed to bring bi-partisanship to Washington was poorly worded. The question should have been, "Since Pres. Obama has tried over and over again to bring bi-partisanship to Washington, why have the Republicans continually refused to genuinely try to work with him and instead constantly criticized, ridiculed and blocked his policies? Are you doing this hoping that he and your country will fail? It is the Republicans who have failed to live up to their promise that they would work with the new administration.

    August 2, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  22. Jamal Dar

    What about this and that comments, great that is why i Love this country to disagree but discuss. I believe that McCain is finally right by giving a credit to the president, but the rest of republican need to be shut up and listen to their leader.

    August 2, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  23. Steve Anderson

    Quote: “In the words of the Congressional Budget Office and others, it is ‘unsustainable,’” McCain said.

    Didn't seem to bother the Republicans when they were passing huge tax cuts for the wealthy every chance they got...

    Quote: “The long-term consequences, I think, are going to be, unfortunately, devastating unless we do something about it,” McCain also said.

    I think the part most worrisome to Republicans is the long-term consequences to their party when this ends up turning the economy and our country around. When a political party becomes intellectually bankrupt, as the Republicans are now, it tends to fade from the scene. Whigs, anyone?

    August 2, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  24. S. in Florida

    I wish people (mainly the media) would stop the playground mentality of GOP this, dems that. People like O'Reilly, Limbaugh, Olberman, and Chris Matthews are really ruining this great country. Oh for the days of just reporting the news like Cronkite and Brinkley. How about we all work together on compromise for what's best for the grand ole USA, everyone's country.

    August 2, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  25. Scott L

    @Bill Upper NY – There is a complete liberal majority in congress and you are saying the GOP is failing to do their job?

    THEY ARE TRYING TO KEEP THINGS IN CHECK WITH REALITY!!!

    You are the same type of person that complains about gas prices while talking on your $600 phone drinking expensive coffee.

    DRILL NOW AMERICA HAS ITS OWN OIL!

    You don't complain about the effects on the environment in Saudi Arabia do you? DRILL HERE NOW!

    August 2, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
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