February 2nd, 2009
02:18 PM ET
14 years ago

Senate Republicans unveil alternative stimulus

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/02/art.martinez.gi.jpg caption="Sen. Mel Martinez put together an alternative stimulus measure."](CNN) - Republican senators have unveiled a $713 billion alternative stimulus measure put together by GOP Sen. Mel Martinez.

The measure, obtained by CNN, narrows government spending to infrastructure programs and helping unemployed Americans, addresses the housing crisis, and relies mostly on tax cuts.

Read the measure [PDF]

It remains unclear how many Republican senators have signed onto the measure, but it is a broader approach than the GOP leadership has called for. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated he wants to limit the stimulus to tax cuts and addressing the housing crisis

But the measure is narrower in scope than the Democratic plan because it eliminates spending on many of the government programs that many Republicans, and some Democrats, believe should not be in the stimulus package.

The broad breakdown:

$430 billion dollars on tax cuts.

$114 billion for infrastructure projects.

$138 billion for extending unemployment insurance, food stamps and other provisions to help “Americans in need.”

$31 billion to address the housing crisis ($11 billion for a loan modification program, $20.4 billion in tax incentives for home purchases, $50 million to temporarily increase loan limits for Freddie, Fannie and FHA)

Filed under: Senate
soundoff (219 Responses)
  1. Carl

    This should be noted:

    The State of California, as of today, has pretty much stopped paying their bills. They are $42 billion in debt and growing.

    The state represented 1/5 of the economy a few years ago, but people are fleeing like crazy to move to less expensive areas with jobs.

    I don't want to hear this "rethugs did this" or "lam-o-crats" BLAH BLAH BLAH.

    This is a very serious matter, and if California is at this point, it is because we let it get this way ourselves.

    The people we elect screwed it up because all we do is complain because we don't get our fare share.

    Well time to start doing something about it...

    February 2, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  2. JGM

    TAX CUTS--–TAX CUTS---- and more TAX CUTS --– Talk about new , fresh ideas from the Republicans that are responsible for the last 8 years !!!?!?!?!?!!??! That`s always a cure for good times and bad times .---- NOT--– Is that ALL they know?????

    February 2, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  3. Taxes, taxes, taxes

    Speaking of taxes, what is up with those two crooks Geithner and Daschle...I mean, really, how can Obama seriously support two men that have not paid their own taxes (Geithner cheated America out of $34,000 and Daschle cheated taxpayers out of $140,000).

    February 2, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  4. Rob

    To Don in Albuquerque February 2nd, 2009 3:31 pm ET – Last time I checked the people who don't pay taxes, who under the Obama swindle package would end up getting essentially welfare checks, aren't the ones hiring people. But then again you probably wouldn't know about that seeing as either you already get your government handouts or spend mommy and daddy's money, and wouldn't know what hard work was if it came up and bit you on your behind.

    February 2, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  5. Matt

    Sooooo, the GOP wants to give big corporations what probably amounts to approximately $350B in tax cuts (as they're likely to get most of the benefit), which basically equates with unsupervised, non-oversight bailout money? I think we know what they do with that kind of help from the taxpayers...oh wait, no we don't, because they already received $350B and claim not to know where it all went. This proposal is a frickin' joke.

    February 2, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  6. G.R.I.T.S. - Girl Raised in the South

    While they're at it, can the GOP tell us how to get bin Laden? McCain says he knows, he should clue his buddies in.

    The GOP is largely responsible for the problems we have today. Now, after years of trickle down economics that don't work and rubber-stamping the whims of Pres. Bush, they claim to know how to fix the economy. Wrong.

    Tax-cuts don't work. First, if you don't have a job, or if you lost your good paying job and are now working at the bookstore, the cuts will not benefit you. Second, we all know poor people don't hire employees, thanks for pointing out the obvious, but it has been proven that corporations and the wealthy are not using tax cuts to create jobs. They are banking the money in case things get worse, or taking the money and still sending jobs overseas, or awarding themselves raises and/or bonuses. Third, although the GOP screams that our corporate tax rate is one of the highest, the reality is that these corporations do NOT pay as much as the GOP would have you believe. There are many loopholes in the tax codes that a good tax attorney can use to limit the amount large corporations actually shell out.

    Yep, we said put up or shut up and the GOP has put up a load of crap.

    February 2, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  7. JJ12345

    Lisa February 2nd, 2009 3:38 pm ET

    Oh man, the GOP focuses FAR TOO MUCH on TAX CUTS.
    And the democrats focus FAR TOO MUCH on TAX INCREASES and paying back contributors

    February 2, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  8. yeah right

    uh huh more tax cut for the rich check, obtruction to anything check, voodoo economic(like taxfor rich=more investement ) where were the in 2008? President Obama we voted for you if they don't want to walk leave them behind and also eliminate the tax to the bill more infractructure projet.Thank God that clown is going to retire

    February 2, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  9. Barack wins and America collectively loses.

    Love it, Republicans know what is best for fixing this economy.

    Go GOP!!!!

    February 2, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. J.P..

    The economic illiteracy abounds in these comments.

    Tax cuts (and less government regulation/intrusion) create and encourage investment.
    Investment creates jobs.
    Therefore, excessive taxes and government meddling kills jobs.

    Tax cuts didn't create this problem. How is keeping more of YOUR OWN MONEY a bad thing?

    The 1977 Community Reinvestment Act and "fair housing lending" standards (meaning: food-stamp mortages for unqualified borrowers) pushed by bleeding hearts created this problem. If you have to be twisted-up in economic yoga in order to afford a mortgage, that's life's way of saying you can't afford it and you should continue renting. Home ownership is not a right, it is a priviledge... earn it.

    February 2, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  11. JJ12345

    Lauren February 2nd, 2009 3:34 pm ET

    The last time I checked Obama was the president, not Mel Martinez
    and neither is Pelosi and Reed, how do you think that bills get to the President. Maybe watch schoolhouse rock.

    February 2, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  12. Adam

    This bill should not have tax cuts making up 60% of it. That is ridiculous. However, there are some very good aspects in here. It is actually more sound that the House Democrats' pork bill. It staying with the same context I think the bill should look like the following:

    142.6B (20%) Tax Cuts

    356.5 (50%) Infrastructure Projects

    142.6 (20%) Unemployment projects (food stamps, unemployement insurance, etc)

    71.3 (10%) Housing crisis

    We desparately need the infrastructure projects because of the long term effect i.e. job creation. However, the tax cut component is essential in helping those who are scrapping by who currently have jobs and pay taxes. The other is self explanatory. Honestly, the above Republican plan will not get a lot of Republican support. There are many Republicans that want to see more infrastructure investment, but less pork than the current bill. I think my plan balances the two of them.

    February 2, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  13. Ben KC

    It would be nice to know WHERE the tax cuts are going.

    February 2, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. ajks

    More of Bush! How do they think a situation will change, if they keep doing the same old thing that hasn't worked? They are brainless whiners who just want their own way! It doesn't matter to them if we have a Depression. They will say Obama was President and it was his fault.

    February 2, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. Jenny

    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.

    February 2, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  16. Tim

    Yeah, enough of those crazy people who believe that the government knows how to spend our money! I mean, even though air traffic control systems are paid for through fees on air tickets, these fees are given to GOVERNMENT BUREAUCRATS! (Gasp!) If I have to deal with more midair collisions, so be it! I will have my money...

    ...the fact is, 1.) There are people that blame Fannie and Freddie Mac, even though the bulk of the overvalued mortgage-backed securities were in the private banking system. 2.) There are people that say tax cuts work... these people are so incredibly clueless, it is really quite sad. Look, there comes a point when the government can do much better things with your money than you can. The reason we're in this mess can be seen by our current accounts deficit that we jacked up to devalue our currency, gave us easy access to capital, and what resulted was bad spending decisions by idiots who think they know how to spend their money better than anyone. Well, you don't, and you know what else, tax cuts PROMOTE INEFFICIENCY... businesses want more tax cuts because they don't know how to run a business. Period.

    February 2, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  17. Matt

    Recession? Tax cuts for the rich! Homeless numbers growing? Tax cuts for the rich! People going without health care? Tax cuts for the rich! Someone peed in your pool? Tax cuts for the rich! Joblessness skyrocketing? Tax cuts for the rich! War in the middle east? Tax cuts for the rich! Steelers won the SuperBowl? Tax cuts for the rich! The sky is blue? Tax cuts for the rich! Why'd the chicken cross the road? Tax cuts for the rich!

    Anyone getting the picture yet? I'm starting to wonder if criticizing these buffoons is just kicking a dead horse.

    February 2, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  18. Ted:Canada

    Sorry ot say Republicans have no future and they will not be in power for the balance of the 21st century and beyond...

    Watch for a competing party to emerg eminating from the so called "independents"!

    February 2, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  19. Observant

    The tax cuts are unfair, if they are proposing to lower corporate tax from 35% to 25%, and only eliminating the 3.1% payroll tax for individual, I object. Individiuals should have the payroll tax and the federal with-holding taxes eliminates also. Paticularly, in light of the fact that the Republicans are also proposing to use general revenue to pay for Social Security and Medicare obligations

    The housing provisions make absolutly no sense. It is funding for new homeowners, what about current homeowners.

    Both parties (Democrats and Republicans) should scrap the plans and just give every taxpaying household $100,000.00.....economy stimulated ( mortgages paid, cars purchased) that takes care of the housing and auto industries.

    Penalize companies for outsourcing, all American own firms that have offices internationally should be required to fill positions in this country, then outsource only when the USA unemployment rate is at 1%. Job creation done

    Then educate our youth, so that they are knowledgable in technology and business. Education and growth done

    February 2, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
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