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. Ryan, Omaha

    If we are starting recovery, why is there talk of a second stimulus package? Obama's administration may try to talk down a middle class tax hike, but everyone should be able to connect the dots that with his spending demands on congress a tax increase for all tax payers to reduce the federal deficit is inevitable. So much for change, you can't even keep it in your pocket.

    August 7, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  2. HAbTheory

    I have FULL faith that our President and his advisors can pull us out of this mess George Bush left on the national carpet. It took George 8 years to destroy our country. Mr Obama needs a couple of years to undo it. YES WE CAN!!

    August 7, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  3. Padraig

    Way to go Mr President, keep the money presses rolling and further devalue our dollar by flooding the market. At least someone gets to keep there job. Right now we are 11 trillion in debt, how much more will you take us?

    August 7, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

    Gosh CNN, you really ARE turning red - aren't the town hall disasters enough?

    August 7, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  5. makesUwonder

    Oh, they will "wiggle" taxes on the middle class. Just wait and see. Yep, you folks that voted for this guy, sure hope you're happy with that "hope and change!"

    2012 can't get here fast enough. Hopefully, we'll all survive until then!

    August 7, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  6. Charles W. Skinner

    What she's not telling you is that the "Health Care Reform" that President Obama is proposing will be a minimum $2500 tax on every man, woman and child in America.

    Also, the lie headline that unemployment went down is getting old, CNN. Unemployment did NOT go down. The NUMBER of individuals claiming unemployment went down because some are being kicked off of unemployment for being on it so long, and others have entirely given up looking for a job. Try not to be misleading, will you? Because it is really getting old every time the headline misdirects in order to plug the Obama Presidency.

    August 7, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  7. katiec

    Evidently the powers to be do not read or know what the bloggers think of CNN's caliber of reporting.
    More and more are commenting on your bias, support for the right and unfair, negative insertions on any headline concerning our
    president, his staff and the democratic party.
    At least FOX does not try to pretend they are fair and balanced.

    August 7, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  8. Excuse me?

    I agree with her 100%. If the President had not stopped the bleeding...America would be A LOT worse off that we are now. We're rebuilding, and it's going to take time people. I'm glad we have AT LEAST another 3.5 with a President who truly cares about Americans and not special interest groups (like the insurance companies). Ask your elected officials to provide you with a list of their donors (especially the Repubs). I did. You'll be surprised and will understand why they are inciting riots at town hall meetings to stop health care reform which is so desperately needed.

    August 7, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  9. wackoae

    ANOTHER ONE???

    Why do we continue to throw away tax payer money? What did the other two corporate bonus reward program ..... I mean "stimulus packages" did to improve the economy??

    So now we have a free printer for money?? This administration must think that money can be made easily at Kinkos.

    How big is our national deficit after only 100 days of Obama?? Did I read CNN's number right??? TRIPLE???

    August 7, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  10. Big Bill

    The Best Stimulus, Tax and Spend, Bail Out the People! Not the Banks. Give everyone Big Bucks, Many Thousands. Tax it and they will Spend it. Taxing again where its spent, over and over. This would Stimulate the economy more than anything. Costing Zero, WIN WIN for all.

    August 7, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  11. Patrick

    We....can't.....afford.....it. Does the President understand that you can't spend more money then you take in??? We need a constitutional amendment requiring the federal government to balance the budget at the end of the year just like states do. I don't care what you have to cut, just balance the budget.

    August 7, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  12. Owl Gore

    The first one did not work. Hello 9.4% unemployment!!!! Why would they want to spend more money they do not have? Why are democrats so stupid?

    August 7, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  13. Jean 2

    The media should be more responsible. Report what she said instead of what you think she hinted.

    We deserve, need and would greatly appreciate the facts!

    August 7, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  14. Aunt Bea and Opie

    Good we will need it.Bush and Cheney knew that by running the bus into the river would give them time to hide the evidence and hopefully escape jail time.

    August 7, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  15. Jane

    Yea right. There are still hundreds of thousands of people still unemployed –don't make it sound so rosy yet.

    August 7, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  16. Susie

    What a SHAMEFUL regime in the white house!! Spending OUR money cause they are too dumb to do the right things!!!! $500 Million for new Jets for the BOYS to waste gas flying around the country for joy rides????

    August 7, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  17. Helen Gibson

    We can't pay for the deficit spending this administration has already produced. How in this world can they even think of adding to our burden? Who do they think will even lend the money to finance the additional deficit spending?

    August 7, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  18. Eric

    Are you kidding me? Where are we going to find the money for another stimulus when we didn't have the money for the first one? At this point we're not even spending our kids' money, we are spending our grandkids' money. I didn't think anybody could outdo President Bush when it comes to reckless spending, but goodness, President Obama has increased the deficit in 6 months what it took President Bush to do in 2 years.

    I don't care if you're Republican or Democrat, but I think all of you could agree that we need to stop spending, for once.

    August 7, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  19. gideonwayne

    A "hint"is what you base this post on?!!! Stop making up news CNN and try reporting it for a change

    August 7, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  20. kishen c.rao

    if it creates jobs, well, it is worth...but we need "manufacturing jobs", not construction of homes...we have enough homes to sell...we need stricter rules on immigration...too...

    August 7, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  21. B

    The GOP is against the stimulus until they figure out that they can benefit, and then lay claim to its advantages for themselves......

    August 7, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  22. demwit

    878 Billion obviously wasn't enough.., so lets try 1 Trillion this time. We could even do 2 Trillion next time if we have to.

    August 7, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  23. Sandy in Boston

    Why don't they just say they are going to raise taxes? How else do you pay off the stimulus bill? And how can you push for a trillion dollar healthcare plan without telling people that their taxes will be raised in order to pay for it? They shouldn't lie, that's not right.

    August 7, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  24. alvino

    Shortly after Obama took over, I began receiving extra money in my paycheck. I really appreciate have the extra income from the tax cut.

    August 7, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  25. Paul

    Even the great depression reached a bottom. I am not convinced that the stimulus is what slowed the decline, and whoopee, there's still a long way to go before this is over. I am not sure we can afford another stimulus with all the debt it will leave for future generations. It may actually hinder the delicate process of recovery, if there actually is one coming soon.

    August 7, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
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