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. Ken in Dallas

    You folks who think it would be good for the states to go broke are asking for an explosion in crime. If you don't think it saves jobs, check up on how many cops and schoolteachers are facing imminent pink slips right now.

    February 2, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  2. mike,texas

    Tax the rich and anything over $250,000 and America will be saved.The rich will still be rich,but the poor will not all be poor.

    February 2, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  3. Humored In Texas

    I'm surprised our right-wing friends haven't suggested that foremer, "famous" GOP governors should have their input taken too. You know, like the wildly successful Bush Brothers in Florida and Texas!!!

    The GOP preaches that big government doesn't work – then they get elected and prove it!!!

    February 2, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  4. Tax Cuts?

    Robin, you said tax cuts don't work for the unemployed...but they do. It is called unemployment compensation. When you lose your job, and so many have, you can draw unemployment.

    One of the ways this new bill is lacking is in what it does not do for those people...it doesn't increase the amount they can draw significantly.

    I do like your idea of no federal tax...just a sales tax...I think we need to get away from Washington deciding what we are going to pay for with our own money anyway. Let's face it: They aren't even able to come to agreement up there about that...and we sure can choose a whole lot better than millions on sexual disease prevention funding.

    February 2, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  5. karen-Phoenix

    Thank you Govoner Douglas!!! I'm a republican who is totally ashamed of the GOP!!!

    February 2, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  6. Melissa from New Orleans

    You know, I fully support Obama and I've very Democrat, but some of the things in that bill are simply despicable and won't help a bit. The money should be going to the people, not stupid little useless programs.

    February 2, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  7. Mari

    YES WE DO! The Republicans who are being loyal to Limbaugh-the-comedian and Hannity-the-hater want to derail Obama's plan.

    We need LEADERS....... not whiners! Offer solutions, work with the President!

    The Stimulus Bill must also include:

    The freezing of ALL Foreign Aid, including to Israel, Japan, etc. We need the money here !

    And a tax break for small business of under 1000 employees to keep those small businesses afloat during these tough times.

    February 2, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  8. Larry Houston TX

    Republicans have CUT taxes on the Businesses…..They CUT Taxes on the Huge Corporations, They CUT Taxes on everyone that was IN Business !! Not the average workers ! (That's why it didn't work, and never will work ! ) They need to CUT Taxes on the regular / average people that is drawing a PAYCHECK, for a change…..Do people think they CUT Taxes on the people that go to a Fast Food Place for their Lunch Hour ? Do people think the Republicans CUTS Taxes for the people that take a Luch Bucket or a Lunch Bag to WORK ???
    They have been CUTTING TAXES for the LAST 8 YEARS !!!!

    ( I think it's time to "Quit" "cutting Taxes" for the most Wealthy !!!

    February 2, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  9. Bill Charlotte, NC

    "GOP governor: We need an economic stimulus now"

    Then have a meeting and inform the Rushlicans. They are the ones saving the world right now.

    February 2, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  10. Forget Party Lines-Think Economy

    Okay people, some of you are operating from a misperception that isn't helping this debate between Dems and Repubs about tax cuts, so let me try and help:

    If tax cuts were being proposed for the wealthy, I would be the first one to say, "No way, Jose!" Unfortunately, the words "tax cut" reminds to many people of when the wealthy did get the cut.

    But tax cuts being proposed by both parties now is for the poor and economically struggling among us. The difference between the Dems and the Repubs on this boils down to the amount. The Repubs feel the poor and unemployed and those dealing with home mortgage problems need more help than the Dems do, that is why they are recommending a larger tax cut.

    In this case, the Repubs are the ones working for the people on this, so we should get on board. Some of you may feel they have an agenda (the 2010 elections), and that may be true, but who cares what the motive is when the act is the right thing to do? You can still vote Dem in 2010, but don't let party bias cause you to bite off your nose to spite your face…and all those hurting around you.

    Be glad the Repubs are protecting us from signing onto a bill that would have had the Dems shoving a lot of nonsense expenses down our throat just cause we put them in office and they think they can now "do what they want."

    This is why the founding fathers said it was good to have two separate groups fighting for control up there. Neither one ever gets to totally be "in control".

    February 2, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  11. Melissa from New Orleans

    DEMwits, given how disrespectful you are, perhaps we should take you as a representative republican. Instead of stirring up trouble, why don't you try doing what Obamas doing? Something actually constructive.

    February 2, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  12. aware530

    I know that Mr. President Barack Obama uses his brain allllll the time!!!!! I know that this stimulus package that he has bought to the attention of the American people will be beneficial. I don't doubt that. He has clearly shown how he takes time to think effectively and tends to act on things quickly and effectively!

    February 2, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  13. Nicki

    The GOP keep touting more tax cuts. In case you didn't notice the $350Billion Dollar tax cut Bush gave in June was a complete failure. It generated more job losses!

    Are these people for real?

    February 2, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  14. Rob

    You know, I just saw where Obama's delaying aid to Kentucky. I knew it! Obama doesn't care about Kentucky. In fact, I bet he had a hand in altering the course of nature to purposely make that ice-storm hit them. We need to stage a telethon, maybe have someone do their best Kanye West impression and say "Barrack Obama hates Kentucky people!"

    I know, sounds stupid. Yet, seems perfectly reasonable for a bunch of libs to have blasted Bush after Katrina (never mind that the Dems in control in New Orleans didn't do a dang thing).

    February 2, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  15. fred

    karin from phoenix – you are no republican if you are for higher government spending. That is the thing that is republicans number 1 core value. LOWER SPENDING. How exactly are you a republican. And this GOP governor from Vermont I doubt is very republican. Vermont is a liberal state.

    February 2, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  16. Jackie in Dallas

    OK, Governor, why, if you want to maintain states rights, do you look for more handouts from the Federal government?

    And the Republican Senate bill: When ARE the Republicans going to learn that tax cuts, especially corporate tax cuts with no strings, do NOT stimulate the economy, they just put more money in the pockets of the CEOs?

    Other than that, the Republican bill has the obvious cuts to the so called "pork" that was in the Democratic bill, but there isn't a whole lot of difference except in amounts. I'd double the amounts to troubled homeowner projects, and up the amount for "Americans in need". Actually, I'm impressed that the Republicans actually noticed THAT.

    February 2, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  17. WIlly Brown

    2 democrats that want more tax dollars. How Shocking

    February 2, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  18. Angie in Pa


    February 2, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  19. JohnnyBee

    What the American people need is for congress to cut their pay and do away with SSI and Medicaid as well as build up our Active Duty Military to the strength it was BEFORE Clinton. This will do more for the economy than any thing else!!!!!!!!!

    February 2, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  20. D

    Why not cut the bull and get to the bottom line... furnish a simplified list of what is in this spending package, along with the name of who proposed each item, those who are willing to go on record as supporting it, how many jobs it will create and for how long.

    1. Bees $ Name
    2. STD
    3. Acorn
    4. Sod

    Responsibility? Accountability? Transparency? Where is the change? Lets stop ignoring the red flags and get real.

    February 2, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  21. Mickie

    The arogant republicans are still trying to get most of the money in TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH – what part don't they understand as to why the economy is in the tank already - TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH - NO MORE. I sure hope Pres. Obama puts their feet to the fire - no giving in on tax cuts for the rich.

    February 2, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  22. David

    WOW i cant believe the crazy people on this message board. Bush's Tax Cuts did nothing. What we need is infrastructure building that in the long run saves us money so when we do have money, money we can spend to build our economy, not repair it. tax cuts wont work. Same old tired ideas the republicans have been shouting forever and a day. When will they learn they have no new ideas. They are a lost party still traveling down that same dark path.... Tax cuts, free market, Iraq was. isnt this what caused America to drown?

    Go Obama! turn this economy around. lets build new, better roads, Better educate our children! Turn our buildings into energy efficient buildings so they are creating energy, not burning it up! thats what needs to be done. Not giving tax breaks to companies so they file for bankruptcy 2 months later. How can companies survive when the PEOPLE have no money? the people deserve the money and then the companies will get some of that when people feel comfortable to spend again!!!!!!!


    February 2, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  23. Denver Dem

    The tax cuts are meant for the rich and the corporate interests. The lesser and small businesses will see none of it, and that is why the republi KLAN plan is so utterly fuhked into a wall. These morons just don't get it.

    February 2, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  24. REG in AZ

    I can’t help but believe that the political two-party system literally fails and is actually a large part of the problem. That is just my opinion but as an example just look at all of the comments offered, how emotional, irrational and illogical they are with their extremely polarized biases and with no real objectivity or discipline for validity. True that some just enjoy the debate, even invite argument and then laugh at their ability to prompt emotion from others but yet many seem to honestly defend a strong bias without giving credit to the real validity of the more moderate positions. Any defense of the Bush-Cheney administration as being other than self-indulgent, irresponsible, sociopathically belligerent and even criminal in having arrogantly pursued their private agenda is totally blind and unreal. Any rationalization offered for having elected Obama as the result of other than having had eight years of Bush-Cheney is totally naïve and also unreal. One extreme simply demands the need to be tempered by the opposite extreme. Both parties take advantage of manipulating opinions based on individual biases, without ever allowing the recognition that their extreme positions are only exploiting people’s emotions while pursuing their political interests. The country’s best interests consistently fall victim to the politicians’ best interests and that isn’t about to change.

    The only way it can change and have the benefit of offering the people positions that represent their best interests is to have power more diluted and with entities presenting real answers to each of the real issues rather than the pendulum always swinging back and forth providing total power first to one and then to the other party. It isn’t a matter of having power divided between the two parties and then causing dead-lock but rather of having additional legitimate parties dividing the power, aligned with the people’s different concerns and necessitating honest cooperation, coalitions and more consistent moderate governing. The following conditions really prohibit that from ever happening. First and foremost, the necessity for huge amounts of capital in politics literally prohibits many of the best candidates and any new parties from getting off the ground. Next, the reality is that ‘power corrupts and total power totally corrupts’ and that is what they all seek. Then, extremism actually satisfies their political goals and is what they won’t easily give up. And lastly, the politicians, Special Interests, lobbyists and the select few all have real control because of the large demand for humungous amounts of capital and there is no way they want to lose that control. It can also be added that it is simply a desirable, easy and lucrative life for them. Whatever they say to sway the people the truth is ‘it ain’t going to change’ and they know it and it is just silly for us to then say what should be or to debate it.

    February 2, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  25. Observant

    I advocate having a strong third party " Responsible Party"., as I am entirely comfortable with all of the provisions contained in either bill (the Senate, House or the Republican draft proposal.

    February 2, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
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