August 7th, 2009
10:06 AM ET
5 years ago

Obama aide hints at second stimulus, tries to slam door on tax talk

Christina Romer says 'no one is talking about raising taxes.'
Christina Romer says 'no one is talking about raising taxes.'


WASHINGTON –
White House economic adviser Christina Romer has declared the president's stimulus plan "absolutely" is working to slow the decline in the economy, though she still held open the possibility of a second stimulus
package a few months down the road.

Her remarks came ahead of a new unemployment report Friday that showed the unemployment rate fell to 9.4 percent from 9.5 percent in June, the first decline in that closely watched reading since April of 2008. Economists had
expected unemployment to rise to 9.6 percent.

Romer, chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said Thursday that the stimulus package has helped "change the trajectory" in the economy by cushioning what would have been a much steeper fall without drastic government intervention.

"In other words, after we administered the medicine, an economy that was in free fall has stabilized substantially, and now looks as though it could begin to recover in the second half of the year," Romer said during a speech
and question-and-answer session at the Economic Club of Washington.

Amid Republican criticism that the expected unemployment numbers suggest the stimulus has not provided the jolt to the economy the President initially promised, Romer said the program needs more time to work.

But Romer added the possibility of another stimulus package: "That said, if we come to the end of the year, if we're not seeing the kinds of results that we anticipate ... we'd start thinking about other things that need to be done."

Meanwhile, Romer treaded carefully when asked if there is any wiggle room on the president's campaign promise that nobody in the middle class will see any tax increases during his time in office.

"Can I go now?" Romer said to laughter from the crowd.

Mindful that two of her colleagues on the economic team, adviser Larry Summers and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, recently kicked up a controversy by leaving the door open on a possible tax hike, Romer finally tried to slam it
shut.

"You know the president has made it has made it very clear through the campaign that middle class families have really gotten a bum deal, not just in this recession but probably for at least the last ten years and that's why he does not want to do anything that burdens middle class families," Romer said. "And obviously no one is talking about raising taxes."

Another one of Romer's colleagues on the White House money team, Jared Bernstein, will be a guest on the "44 with Ed Henry" radio show on CNN Radio and CNN.com/live on Friday at 11 a.m. ET, shortly after the new unemployment numbers are revealed. Call 877-266-4189 between 11 and noon ET to weigh in.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (167 Responses)
  1. Democrati Ignorati

    If we are beginning to recover, and we know that the bulk of the spending in the stimulus plan won't be until late 2010 and into 2011, why would we jump the gun on a second spendulus plan at the end of 2009? If jobs are beginning to rebound, if the economy is improving, and only a fraction of the dollars have been spent, doesn't that mean that we should see explosive growth when the bulk of the dollars are spent? And if that is the case, why spend more money now before we see that growth?

    Obama and crew just can't spend our money fast enough. They are tripping over themselves to print more.

    August 7, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  2. MomofFour

    This is a very scary time in the U.S. We have a very president who is indebted to his political party to stay in power. The government has basically been taken over by the far-left and he is powerless to prevent it. We have a two party system in this country for a reason. We are witnessing a takeover by one side. Instead of both sides being represented we have suppression of the people....HALF the population. That is scary. People need to wake up and realize what is happening. We have a liberal media and a far-left president and half the population is revolting. Not just conservatives....indepencdents and conservative democrats are also realizing what is happening. The president needs to wake up and smell the coffee.

    August 7, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  3. Maurice from Ontario

    I think Christine Romer is doing an excellent job. She doesn't shirk from the realities that surround the economy, but neither does she give in to those who always seem to see the doom and gloom, rather than the shimmer of hope.

    August 7, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  4. jim addison

    like i said the other day, since 13 years ago i had the smarts to buy a truck that averages way more than the 18mpg to qualify for the junkers $4500 give away i'll be expecting my certified mailing of $9000 soon. my wife had the intelligence to also buy a truck that gets way more than 18mpg back 7 years ago. and i still believe that a better way to of "spent" $787,000,000,000 stimulating the economy would have been to sent every tax payer in amercia they're share of that pot rather than to of flushed it down the toilet the way obama did.

    August 7, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  5. VON BISMARK,Vienna.

    This reaction is more out of panic than of any reasonable thought. Come what may,the economy will improve leaving the Republican naysayers with nothing more to say other than NO!
    The cushioning is not by error but the result of the stimulus without tax breaks for the rich who own the Rethugican party.

    August 7, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  6. Tatianna

    The key to economic success is maintaining competition in a mostly free market system. What we are hearing and seeing from Team Obama isnt that.

    August 7, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  7. Ray S.

    IF the plan was working there would be NO hint of a possible second stimulus! Where do these people get their information?

    August 7, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  8. D. Tree

    When the Economy is once again moving thanks to the Recovery Act, a lot of critics are going to have egg on their face.

    The Republicans made the same attacks and accusations against Bill Clinton in the early '90s, claiming he could not fix the deficit – but guess what? He proved them all wrong.

    And President Obama will prove all the critics wrong as well, because he is enacting the progressive economic policies a Majority of Americans agree we need at this time.

    August 7, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  9. RealityKing

    Obama just wants to spend the money. He's clearly not worried about who or how it gets paid back in the future..

    August 7, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  10. Joe the Troll

    It's not fair to say that no one is talking about raising taxes. It's practically the only thing Republicans CAN talk about.

    August 7, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  11. Dan, TX

    Sorry that it wasn't 700,000 jobs lost, then the republicans would really be celebrating. 247,000 jobs lost is not what we want, we would rather see 247,000 jobs gained. But when it was 600,000 job losses a month with no end in sight, it is an improvement. If we didn't have the stimulus bill, it would still be 600,000 jobs lost. What if the republicans got their way and it was 600,000 jobs lost this month. They would be screaming about how Obama has failed. Wait until there are job gains 12 months from now. the republicans will be screaming about how it should be more jobs created. Or, if not, about how much the stimulus plan or TARP plan cost.

    We need to cut the deficit. There is one item we spend 10 x more per person than are nearest competitor – military spending. We spend 10x more than China on military spending. Get out of Iraq and Afghanistan, stop wasting my tax dollars.

    August 7, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  12. J. L. W.

    There is absolutely no way the Obama administration and legislatures
    can spend the trillions of dollars they are talking about without effecting everyone by increasing income taxes, a sales, a value added tax or
    a combination of all three.

    August 7, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  13. Ray S.

    Are these not the same people who want to implement HEALTHCARE reform? Take a ride in your new clunker to pay the newly subsidized mortgage while picking up your food stamps and unemployment check. Does our government understand taxpayers are fed up?!

    August 7, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  14. Geoff

    Are you kidding me? Show me the evidence that Pelosi's stimulus is working.

    August 7, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  15. landshark

    "You know the president has made it has made it very clear through the campaign that middle class families have really gotten a bum deal, not just in this recession but probably for at least the last ten years and that's why he does not want to do anything that burdens middle class families," Romer said. "And obviously no one is talking about raising taxes."

    The Republicans know if you talk about it long enough and click your heels twice it will cam true. They are also aware of the thousands of ways a tax increase can be worked into a bill. Then the bill gets to the President. Do you veto or sign? If he signs, it becomes the Presidents tax increase! Worked that way for as long as I can remember!!!!!!!

    August 7, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7