February 2nd, 2009
12:33 PM ET
14 years ago

GOP governor: We need an economic stimulus now

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/02/art.getty.obama.jim.douglas.jpg caption="President Obama met with Gov. Douglas Monday to talk about the American recovery and reinvestment plan."](CNN) - President Barack Obama and a Republican governor pushed for stimulus legislation at the White House this morning, as the president continued his push to attract GOP support.

Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas, vice chairman of the National Governors Association, told reporters that governors are looking to the federal government for assistance to "stimulate the economy, create jobs, to help us balance our budgets and preserve essential programs for the American people - and avoid the need to raise taxes at the state level."

The nearly $900 billion dollar bill passed the House last week without a single Republican vote. It is now in the hands of the Senate, and has faced bipartisan criticism from fiscal conservatives who say there are too many spending programs and not enough tax cuts for small businesses.

"I know there are some differences on some of the elements, and if I were writing it, it might be a little different,” said Douglas Monday. “If you were writing it, it might be a little different. But the essence of a recovery package is essential to get our nation's economy moving."

Obama said governors, mayors and county officials — who have been more supportive of stimulus spending than federal lawmakers - “are seeing the devastating effects on the ground of this economy." Many states have been forced to borrow from the federal government as their unemployment insurance funds run dry.

"People are being laid off, and that means that governors like Jim are having to not only deal with declining revenue, but increased social services to provide support for people who are unemployed as they're seeking work," he said.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (129 Responses)
  1. Simmy

    Gov. Douglas is definitely country first. Republicans need to take notes from him. But that won't happen now that they have two leaders. One who has annointed himself emperor of the party (Limbaugh), and one who thinks that bipartisanship is overrated. They have underestimated their base; some of whom are in Kentucky freezing; without electricity as we speak. Republicans will be in for more surprises come election time.

    February 2, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  2. Once you vote Black

    If that’s what we need why didn’t Bush cut taxes and stop spending? The GOP had the ship for 6 years before the congress wrestled it out of their hands for his last 2 years. Bush and the GOP could have cut Business taxes in half, suspended the cap gains taxes, and revamped the entire tax code. They didn’t, so now try it our way. We are trying to work with you but you want it your way on our watch.

    February 2, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  3. Mick in Mesa

    Memo to Plantation Repuglicons and other Hooverites in congress:

    Drop the "tax cuts for the rich and small business" – it's a proven loser. That's not gonna do the job.

    Get moving on a bill that builds infrastructure, helps people stay in their homes and creates real jobs – not just saving the Wall Street robber barons and greedy mortgage bankers...

    February 2, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  4. Dan, TX

    Where's the pork? Someone listed things they thought were pork the other day and none of them were pork as far as I can tell. Pork is special projects to specific constituents. This plan is on-line, you can go read it yourself. Show me something in there that won't stimulate the economy. Tax cuts for business who made more than $250,000 in profit last year? NO!!!!!!!!

    The plan now has tax cuts for small businesses and people making less than $250,000 a year. The republicans call that welfare, but tax cuts for wall street and the rich are a stimulus? Give me a break!

    February 2, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  5. John

    Again, no mention of the 11 democrat house members who voted against the stimulus.

    February 2, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  6. vic

    I feel so sorry for Michigan – they're desperate and need help right away.

    February 2, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  7. MaryJo Bruce Surprise, Ariz

    stimulus? Now we do not need Billions for STD, ACORN, UAW.
    We need lower taxes. Don't give me $500, sure thats good. But the last money from Pres Bush did nothing. This will do nothing either. We are just borrowing from who knows who and giving to things that we do not need to be giving too. Wait and be generous with our hard
    earned money some other time. Our economy needs its people with
    jobs and lower taxes. Not over spending for STUFF. You can't borrow form Peter to pay Paul. The government has earmarks, paybacks for people that got Obama elected. NOT NOW ...Wait till we are out of this mess.

    February 2, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  8. carlo

    well…it needs to be an ECONOMIC STIMULUS…..not a SLUSH FUND FOR ENTITLEMENT REPLENISHMENT…..Which is what Obama's proposal is….any sane person that can read above a 5th grade level can see that 90% or more of these funds are going to things that need replenishment; welfare…school debt….etc..etc….not job creation. I hope the GOP and any sensible democrat (if there is such a thing) will stand their ground and do what's right for America. VOTE AGAINST THE ENTITLEMENT PACKAGE…….Obama's agenda does nothing but put us further in the hole, with no prospect for recovery…is that what you ignorant libs what to leave for your children?
    ****************************************************************************Dear TCM:

    Darling, they're only entitlements when YOU don't need them. You wouldn't feel that way if you lost your job and the ground was pulled from under you. Not everyone who needs social services right now is a welfare queen (BTW, welfare reform limits the years you can spend on welfare, so what you really want is for unemployed people to starve or die). It's going to take about 18 months for the country to turn around. What do you suggest the 100,00 people laid off per week do? Can they come and eat at your house? No?

    February 2, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  9. Peter (CA)

    TCM...I see a lot of talk and a lot of bleating, but not much in the ideas dept. Typical of the right wingers here.

    Yes, there are issues with the bill. Yes, there should be negotiation to pull stuff out that is not needed. But, what is needed is to get people to work making things. Tax cuts are not going to help at this time. The rich are fine and will just squirrel away or use it a way that does not stimulate the overall economy. Focus on the folks starting at the bottom. Put them to work, get them to spend their money on goods and services and raise the boats for everyone.

    February 2, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  10. Speed at expense of Logic

    Con artist always say, "you've got to move quickly. The deal wont be here tomorrow."

    And why do they do that? Because it gives people less time to think and see the holes in the proposal. Same here with this stimulus bill (which isn't a stimulus at all...just a big ole check the American taxpayers will have to pick up sooner or later, which throws money to people on Obama's and the Dems 'supporter list'.

    Dems need to stop playing favorites when our country really does need a stimulus for the economy....they are using this crisis to push through the mindset that "if you want help, you have to take the only option we give you." Heck no, we don't!!!!

    And if they push us too, refusing to modify that bill of all its port, then they will sure pay the price at the next election. Fool me once, shame on you...fool me twice, shame on me.

    February 2, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  11. Repuges are sore loosers

    I am sickened by the Partisan attitude the GOP is showing toward a stimulus plan aimed at helping the American people when they all jump on board to help the Banks, Wall Street and the Auto Industry. None of this money did squat for the American people but they play Politics with money that will help save our jobs and help to get millions of others back to work. If there is Pork in the stimulus package then I agree some of it will have to be taken out, but to actuallyplay games at a time like this shows what Pompous, Arrogant elitist these OLD MEN are with their multiple houses and vacation home.

    I wish they were in our shoes, Oh they can be lets just not vote for them like they didn't vote to help us. There are now words that can express how angry I am right now.

    February 2, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  12. The People Say

    Jobs will only be created when the money is given to the states. They know what projects will generate jobs in their townships. The GOP had 6 years of control to cut all the taxes and stop all the spending they wanted. They decided to go to Iraq and spend like nuts. Now we are in this mess.

    February 2, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  13. Logic Reigns

    To the tax cut naysayers, I say: If you don't think that repealing the federal income tax and making it retroactive for 2008 doesn't immediately impact your local economy for good then you are not considering what that would do for you personally. Repealing the fed tax means you no longer have that deduction from your paycheck...you get that $50 or more dollars that was going to Uncle Sam every week.

    I'm sure you can stimulate the economy with an extra $200 bucks in your own pocket, not to mention the $1,000 or more you would be refunded for all you paid in during 2008.

    Now tell me, which makes more sense, allowing Pelosi to decide which organizations get that $50 out of your pocket every week or you deciding to spend it locally the way you want to?

    February 2, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  14. vernah petersen

    Look ! Mr.President you can always do onething at a time. The bill had signed now the challenge is tough no one will agree with tons of money shall (we) call it stimulus aid to the country. But, who's going to get it? Banks, whom you can not ask for a penny loan make sure all these 900 b's will be acounted by people in your cabinet and who's who are going to get the bail out not in the (hands) of crook's institution just keeping the money for their own use and forget the poor
    people who most contribute the tax money for goverment to spend. My recommendation is follow every move what the congress and senate will do (GOP members) damage(s) a lot. Instinct will play and follow it.


    February 2, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  15. JB

    Do the republcans realize that over 100,000 Americans lost their jobs last week alone?

    I think they all need to get out of DC and take field trips back to their districts for a reality check. I think they'd find that the political gamemanship isn't high on the list for their constituents.

    Tax cuts do not produce jobs – if they did, why did bush have such and abyssmal job creation rate?

    While many may think that the investments in health care, education and family planning are pork, I'd ask you to think beyond this week and this month. These are long range investments and cost cutting measures that will benefit us all in the future of this country.

    I would hate to see Obama and his administration bow to the republicans and their economic ideology. We've tried that – and look where we are today!

    February 2, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  16. Michael Houston, Texas

    My opinion about this whole stimulus package is that soemthing has to be done. Now we all knwo the trickle down economics does not work. You die hard right wingers who pray to Rush and Sean Hannity are fools and most of you wouldn't get the very tax breaks that you are agreeing to because you do not make enough money to get the tax breaks. Now on the other hand, all these social programs that you far left wingers who pray to Nancy and Harry are myopic because all those programs that you agree to funding, will not benefit you because you make too much money to qualify for them. I thought Washington DC would have learned that the rich elite and the dirt poor only make up less than 20 % of the United States Population and the rest are the middle income folks. So put the money toward rebuilding projects such as levies, bridges, roads. Build better schools for our children, create easier avenues for small business loans and give the tax credits to small business who needs it, not Merrill Lynch and Bank of America and GM who will do nothing but take that extra income and buy 50 million dollors jets and pad the 12 or so board members pockets with ridiculous bonuses. Give a portion of that money to Healthcare so hospitals can properly staff thier facilities and get the supplies they need to provide better healthcare. Give the Tax credits to the hard working middle income Americans that keep this country moving. offer better tax incentives who choose to have health insurance, upgrade thier vehicles to eco -friendly vehicles, make necessary upgrades to thier homes for better energy conservation etc.

    February 2, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  17. Danny in Chicago

    Republicans are SO good at pointing out what is wrong with things, but SO bad at fixing things.....

    Am I right or do I need to point out all the things that went wrong the last eight years???

    So to all of you Republicans out there: You would do yourself a huge favor if you stopped attacking the stimulus plan that may not be perfect, but actually OFFERS solutions, and start creating something productive, admit your mistakes, and acknowledge that A plan is better than none.

    I mean, come on, what did GW do the last 8 months of his presidency? Did he offer ANYTHING? No.....he didnt.....

    All you republicans do is attack attack attack and then jump on someone else's ideas and call it your own. Does giving a black man (or woman, for that matter) a high position (or high profile)in office right after another political party does the same ring any bells??

    You republicans get more and more pathetic every day.......
    (sorry, but at this point, with people dying, losing their homes, and going hungry – I have NO sympathy for you losers....)

    February 2, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  18. worriedmom

    I am sure the Governor's are in favor of stimulus bill. they want their money to balance their state budgets but that is not going to create jobs for the working taxpayer. All it does is let the State Govt pay some bills! I am from Va. and our Gov. let our budget go to crap! He was too busy rubbing shoulders and campaigning for Obama, he forgot all about Virginia! Give the money to the taxpayers and let us decide whom we want to succeed and not!! By the way, i think every member of Senate/Congress should be audited on their taxes. Heck we may not have a deficit after they are audited. amazing how people apologize for a ""mistake " in not paying their taxes. If we did that, we would be writing from Jail, if they allowed it!!!

    February 2, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  19. obama all the way

    no republicans can be trusted, they are for the rich and richer, America needs help with food and shelter, and health care, things that none of the republicans can relate to, God Bless President Obama.

    February 2, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  20. Steve (the real one)

    Farrell, Houston, Tx February 2nd, 2009 1:23 pm ET
    Really? Please then explain why 200 top economists came out against this porker of a bill this past weekend! I don't think you can!

    February 2, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  21. paul oregon

    republicans are just setting the stage for the 2010elections . the gop is going to be in for a rude awaking. the people are hurting and the repubs. are playing games with the stimulus package shame on them .

    February 2, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  22. DEMwits

    To all the obamabots who are blindly calling McCain (and the others who want to negotiate where the spending goes in the stimulus bill) obstructionists, why don't you actually do some research before you start blathering your liberal ideology.

    The stimulus package is chock full of spending in support of social programs/activities which in no way will ever "stimulate" the economy. This funding is clearly limited to a small sector and could never affect on overall influx of $ to the general economy...this is agenda spending!!!

    I suggest you all take the time to read the fine print and ask yourselves how all this "social spending" is going to help general industry and our small businesses get back on their feet and create job opportunities?

    February 2, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  23. Robin in SC

    Tax cuts do NOTHING when people aren't working, aren't earning salaries, and aren't actually PAYING taxes! Why is this so difficult to understand? The only tax cut that would actually work is to replace federal income taxes with a federal sales tax...you spend it, its taxed...you don't have it to spend, you pay no taxes. Simple.

    February 2, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  24. Scott L

    I forgot how badly Vermont needs STD education funding immediately! Yes, vote for the pork bill! Fund STD education and climate control satellites! Yes I can smell the pork sizzling in Pelosi's frying pan.

    February 2, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  25. silly democrats, paychecks are for workers

    Yes we do need a stimulus, in the form of tax breaks and tax cuts, not more spending that will furhter hurt the american dollar, stupid democrats.

    February 2, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
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