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. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I think we need to see how effective te first stimulus works before we begin talk about a second one. I for one think the first one is working fine.

    August 7, 2009 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  2. RobK

    Typical response. Just throw more money blindly at the problem and hope it goes away.

    August 7, 2009 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  3. Ancient Texan

    If, after wasting $787 Billion on a super-duper pork project, the results are not positive we're thinking of another one? Is there one sane person in D.C.? Vote all of these idiots out and start over. Maybe we'll get lucky and have a few that actually have the good of the nation in mind.

    August 7, 2009 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  4. JB

    We have spent 10% of the first stimulus package. Why the h-e- double hockey sticks would we want to waste more money. Please stop the spending this is out of control. Obama has dwarfed anything Bush did to the deficit and the debt, and you liberal lemmings are just following him, saying if Obama says so, it must be true. And while Bush was in office you were whining about his spending everyday. We need to stop spending money, or else the dollar will be worth nothing. Then you will see some poverty, people going hungry and an unemployment rate triple what we see today. And you libs will still blame Bush.

    August 7, 2009 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  5. J.C.

    In May, President Obama announced a modified Pell Grant to help the unemployed with education and broke the mutual exclusive tie between education and unemployment benefits.

    The second stimulus package needs to expand these education benefits to the population, not just the unemployed.

    Also, we need more primary care doctors. Can we use the stimulus money to forgive medical school student loans if primary care is promised for seven years? Seven years of service for seven years of medical school education.

    August 7, 2009 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  6. Stuffit

    I'm going to follow the government's lead and max out all of my credit cards, then, I'll apply for some more and max them out. When the creditors come knocking, I'll just tell them to give me more time, my plan will work if they are patient. In the meantime, I'll get a couple more loans from banks, and use the same excuse. When my back is against the wall, I'll threaten to quit my job if my employer doesn't give me a substantial raise, you know, enough to cover my debts. Good plan, I'm gonna try it, it WILL work. Anybody have any thoughts or suggestions on this? I know my employer will want to pay me much more than the fruits of my labor provide the corporation in profits, because it's the right thing to do, I'll tel him "Remember, this is for my children." That should do it.

    August 7, 2009 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  7. jeanne

    another stimulous?????who gets it this time? he's running out of rich people to bail out isn't he? what a joke..............

    August 7, 2009 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  8. A. Goodwin

    I think CNN is turning into a FIXED (FOX) NEWS!! What is up with the blog after blog of "grades" for the president and others? There are so many things that we could be talking about...but you choose to post only those tarnishing the image of our administration! You could have summed 1/2 your website up on one article. Jeesh!

    August 7, 2009 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  9. Libertarian

    I think the first stimulus is working. I've seen more construction jobs in my area than ever in the past. It's about time we put some money into rebuilding AMERICA and not handing billions to Haliburton to "rebuild" other countries. Of course Chairman of the Board Cheney would never have approved money for anyone but Haliburton.

    August 7, 2009 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  10. Jeff

    Well, apparently his speech writers were the ones in touch, maybe we should have elected them. God help us if another Republicon gets in because of this bozo.

    August 7, 2009 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  11. NO More spending

    Americans are waking up to Obama's massive and historical tax and spend approach to buying votes. Spening more than ALL previous presidents before him, and ringing up record trillion dollar deficits, it is clear that Obama has lost control to the feeding frenzy that is the Denmocratically controlled congress. This is absurdly dangerous, and Americans shold expect us to spiral into an even deeper recession in 1-3 years as our currency plummets; deficts soar; and unemployment will approach 15%. Obama is literally destroying the economic fabric of this nation.

    August 7, 2009 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  12. Jerry

    Enough is enough! How can Obama continue to spend money we don't have??
    By the way. Remember how he slammed Bush for killing innocent civilians with missles in Pakistan? Looks like the Taliban guy's poor innocent wife got offed.
    Is this what's called a "double standard"?

    August 7, 2009 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  13. George

    The republicans want you to think there will be a tax increase on the middle class. CNN also wants you to believe this. Listen to the administration, not the lies from people who want to see America and the administration fail.

    August 7, 2009 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  14. Motive

    Can you ask AIG to return some of the money first, before you start spending more.

    I see they made a profit off tax payer funds.

    August 7, 2009 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  15. ObamaShrugged

    Here's a better idea – Lets allocate trillions of dollars to send a refund check to all taxpayers in the amount that the government has withheld from their paychecks in 2009. That way we can pay down our debt, avoid foreclosure, pump money into the banks, and return to buying and investing. This would create more jobs in retail, manufacturing, service, etc. Which in turn would create more tax payers to help pay for healthcare, education, infrastructure etc.

    Less taxes, more spending! It's called capitalism, people – it's how we built this country and it works.

    August 7, 2009 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  16. JOBLESS IN IOWA

    Once again the Obama Administration has brought up the NEW TAXES.

    Just thank those who voted the TAX KING in when you see them

    August 7, 2009 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  17. southerncousin

    What a pile of absolute crap. Will those of us who disagree be submitted on a list to the white house for further investigation? Does this remind you of East Germany or one of the soviet bloc countries? Personal freedom is slipping away. I am a proud member of the obamatron defined "mob."

    August 7, 2009 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  18. DX in TX

    Even if Presiden Obama received an F- I would stand with him because the alternative choice would be the Republicans who had 8 years to destroy this economy and you expect President Obama and the Democrats to clean up this mess in 200 days....ARE YOU ON DOPE!
    How are Americans grading the Republican party??? If you ask most Americans does President Obama want to to see all Americans have a better life you would get a resounding YES! You can't say that about the Republicans....the only thing the Republicans are good for are spreading hate, fear and lies.

    OBAMA/BIDEN
    2008/2012

    August 7, 2009 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  19. Stephanie

    No wonder the press received a "D". It is the press that keeps the "stories" alive with no solid proof but to create controversy and confusion...and of course for ratings.

    Where are the reports on the successful drone attack on Pakistan, the cancelled town hall meeting in Tampa...just the NEWS is what Americans expect and instead we are served up overpaid, pompous pundits and anchors talking the party lines and the decisions of corporate editorial boards.

    If CNN had spent 25% of the coverage that they did on Michael Jackson on the Health Care debate the oublic would be more informed!!

    Sadly, it is necessary to go to foreign news sources to find out what is going on in an objective fact based manner.

    August 7, 2009 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  20. JLS

    For the life of me, I just don't understand these people. It's no secret that they haven't even spent 50% of the first stimulus, and now they want a second one.
    Who's in charge here? How can this continue to go on , with no accountability in place?

    August 7, 2009 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  21. Marty, Grand Rapids MI

    Second stimulus talk at this point is pre-mature. Focus on spending the money you have. Oh, and nice title CNN as she didn't mention a stimulus. She said "Something else" which could be anything.

    Oh, and note, we should have a tax increase. It should be to pay for the debt and cost of running two wars on a credit card. George W, the gift that keeps on giving.

    August 7, 2009 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  22. phoenix86

    First Obama says that they have only spent 1/4 of the stimulus money and America needs to understand that it will take 2 years.

    Now they're saying that it they don't see results by year end that they will want to spend more.

    The reason they are not seeing results is that the first stimulus package was nothing more than political payback.

    Want to stimulate the economy? Stop criminalizing profit, encourage private sector investment, slow down on healthcare reform, start over on cap and trade, and terminate this lunatic far left agenda.

    Learn from the Bill Clinton / Newt Gingrich era and stop following the Jimmy Carter / Nancy Pelosi / Harry Reid / Barny Frank playbook.

    August 7, 2009 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  23. Kevin in Ohio

    Another stimulus, another opportunity for Pork. Stop the madness, Obama!

    August 7, 2009 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  24. ALAN

    cash for clunkers, a bandaid,; what happens next year to hold up the auto industry, when everyone who wants a car has one. the numbers don't add up for the number of cars and the money. give the people who earn the money thier money and they will buy a car when they are confident. Foriegn countries love b.o. he is bringing down the U.S.
    the minimum wage is not to be a living wage raising it costs jobs, and is a disincentive to better yourself. Health care needs changed, but not in any way shape or form the way it is proposed, and the government should not be involved. Lower taxes on everything and everyone, but tax all, include the low incomes. cut programs, but not ones people accually pay for and see coming out of thier checks, ie.
    medicare, and social security. we're on the wrong track, NOW.

    August 7, 2009 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  25. Alex

    Ah the mouthpieces go to work and more talking points emerge..."And obviously no one is talking about raising taxes." It seems to me when the Treasury Secretary himself and another high ranking official state they cannot rule out raising taxes, people in the Obama camp are not on the same page. In fact, the President himself has to call a news conference the next day because the "cat is out of the bag." So whose telling the public the truth and are these lower ranking folks just trying to clean up the mess once the real truth got out. And people wonder why Obama's ratings are going downward?

    August 7, 2009 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7