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. Donkey Party

    CNN, your polling is full of crap. I gave RepubliCONS a grade of F, but you say I cave them a D. I gave President Obama an A-, and you say I gave him a C-. Your network has become Fox News 2. Your right-winged slant on every story is sickening. You have lost all credibility, especially with idiots like Lou Dobbs in your employ.

    August 7, 2009 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  2. No mo stimulating stimulus

    It's not stimulating anything, neither the economy nor the job market. As much as the Dems say that they are not going to raise taxes, where is the money for second stimulus or health care plan going to come from? Answer: Consumer's pockets. The administration will have no option except raise taxes for being such spendthrifts. A politicians' word is not trust worthy because it changes as often as people change their undergarments.

    August 7, 2009 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  3. Edward

    By talking to some of my Friends that work for the state Goverment, I believe the Health Reform is being Protested because.the goverment employee pay nothing for Health Insurance and they pay only ONE dollar for thier Spouse. If this is true ; no Reform will ever Pass. I am a senior in Alabama and have only Medicare Insurance. Thanks For the news EDWARD

    August 7, 2009 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  4. Wake Up

    How confused is this administration? Higher taxes...no wait...stimulus...what the heck is going on? Obama is just awful.

    August 7, 2009 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  5. amazed

    The " President "also said that there would be " no lobby groups " in his whitehouse and ther would be "no earmarks " in bill's. What happened to that? How much can be believed since most of what is going on is not even covered by our " new's agencys"

    August 7, 2009 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  6. Fed up

    Who will this stimulus package go to? The auto industry? Banks? Insurance companies? You can be sure it won't go to the "little people". It was so good to hear that "ONLY" another 247,000 people lost their jobs last month. That gives me a warm fuzzy. I'm sure it helps those 247,000 people too.

    August 7, 2009 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  7. Max

    Give the Pres. a chance. Who could possibly fix in 100 or even 200 days what was destroyed by 8 years of incompetence!!!

    August 7, 2009 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  8. beard10@msn.com

    As a United States citizen not motivated by fear, I would suggest that we as citizens focus on what is going well and developing new and innovative ideas to improve the economy through thoughtful dialogue and positive ideas.

    News agencies have over the years promoted negative press against each president. They are NOT Gods! They are mere mortals trying to support policies and programs to further the American way of life in this global economy. The job is not easy.

    As an independent, I find this constant negative coverage a waste of valuable time and resources and unbecoming our great Nation.

    Consider this, if you have nothing positive to say or contribute to adult discourse, say nothing and Stop trying to Shape the news to anger our citizens to increase your ratings!

    August 7, 2009 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  9. Mark of Saint Louis

    A second stimulus? When will the libs get it right?

    August 7, 2009 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  10. AXH

    STOP the gravy train, STOP this adminstration from this free wheeling spend spend and more spending!

    More money wouldn't be needed, if this administration had done the right thing and taken the right steps to begin with.

    NO more spending!

    August 7, 2009 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  11. IS IT 2012 YET ??

    Can you hear the new tax forms being printed?

    August 7, 2009 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  12. Andrew, Buffalo NY

    So when the first one is 15% done you want a second one? Are you trying to tell us the first one isn't working? If a second one is passed, Obama will be a one term POTUS, no questions asked!

    August 7, 2009 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  13. Jason

    We will be taxed to death. After that we will get taxed more. The government only has so much money. They have much more debt. They are already spending everything they get annually and then some. To raise spending... you must raise taxes or create an even larger debt. Neither are acceptable. WAKE UP AMERICA we have a non American spending all of our money!!!!

    August 7, 2009 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  14. Josh in TN

    Please do it, but put money in the pockets of citizens.

    August 7, 2009 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  15. JT

    Another jolt to the economy? Another gazillion added to an already unprecedented deficit that our grandkids grandkids won't be able to pay? When are Robin Hood and his merry men going to realize that sometimes things have to correct themselves and we can't just keep printing money and throwing it away?
    I guess they'll figure this out when they are retierd and living high on the hog while the rest of us slave away working till we die because we have no retirement left.....and we better be in good health while we do it because after the government takes over our health care we won't be able to geet sick...or old.
    What a joke...you folks wanted change...you got it.....sometimes the devil you know is a lot better than the devil you don't.

    August 7, 2009 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  16. 60's survivor

    if the republicans had won the election we would probably seen soup&bread lines with employment plummeting even further with McCain running around screaming the economy is tanking the economy is tanking while vp palin goes off to NY to push her book sale. president Obama is doing everything humanly possible to turn this country around and find new sustainable direction that is good for economy, health and environment. to have a baby does not happen without some pain. such is the same for this country if we continue with the same old policies we as a nation will continue the divide between the rich and the poor. the middle class will disappear completely

    August 7, 2009 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  17. Duck Fallas

    Uh oh! Unemployment fell! We need new bash Obama talking points, stat!

    August 7, 2009 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  18. Christian

    If you think people are freaking out about Healthcare, just wait until a second stimulus is proposed. It will be insanity. We do not want or need this.
    Economists know the tiny glimmers of recovery are for the most part not due to spending from the Stimulus package as most of it has yet to hit the street. And ironically, the elements that did work were tax credits for small business/rebate checks and cash for clunkers – both tax incentives vs. handouts. Kinda funny isn't it? The economy is like an organism – it will morph and heal itself. It does not need medicine.

    August 7, 2009 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  19. Meredith

    She needs to visit my state, where she can see for herself that it is NOT working. Or does she only report what they want people to hear...not the facts? Do they think Americans suffering in this economy are actually going to believe it is "working" when it obviously isn't? We're not stupid.

    August 7, 2009 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  20. Angus McDugan

    There Obama goes again reaching for my wallet. Get your hand out of my back pocket. The economy is picking up again on its own. Just like any other financial cycle.

    August 7, 2009 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  21. Dave

    The party of NO took a gamble that no action would be a good thing.
    It turns out that corporations are always the best source of help to America nor Americans. Go figure.

    August 7, 2009 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  22. money does not = happiness

    second stimulus would bankrupt America as well as Barack's popularity ratings.

    August 7, 2009 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  23. Marc

    More redistribution of wealth and a huge increase in our deficit leading to more taxes and more reliance on government?

    Someone stick a fork in this guy, he's done.

    August 7, 2009 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  24. Steve

    When he doesn't renew the tax brackets from the Bush era, he will be raising taxes.

    Of course the lying administration will never say it like it is.

    August 7, 2009 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  25. Dave

    President Obama stated that the unemployment rate would not go over 8% if Congress passed the Un-Stimulus bill earlier this year, then it shoots up to 9.5% and falls to 9.4% and this is "proof" the Un-Stimulus bill is working???? Our national defiect is soaring due to uncontrollable spending this current Congress is pushing and the way to "fix" this is to tax the wealthy. Based on IRS data, if you taxed all income over $500K at 100% it still would not pay for all the spending proposed, so you either borrow more from China thus raising the defiect or tax more on everyone else. Simple math people

    A great Dobbie Brothers song comes to mind when thinking about this – "What a fool beleives".

    August 7, 2009 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
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