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. Real American

    Republicans are like the Wall Street counterparts... wild Coyotes. The come in and scavange the treasury and leave us dry.

    Obama has called for a bipartisan stimulus package way before his inauguration from both Reublicans and Democrats. Republicans madeno attempt to generate a stimulus plan but waited for Obama to come up with a plan and then start picking on it.
    All we are asking is for both parties to work TOGETHER and cure the economy. Afterall, Republicans should not forget that it was their man GW Bush – the Republican leader that put us thru this mess. and lied his way to an illegal war in Iraq.

    February 2, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  2. Axel

    JJ12345 – AMT kicks in at around $150,000 a year in income. If you think thats low income you are clearly a GOPper 😉

    AMT needs to be fixed by moving it up to $300,000 to $1m income families. Problem fixed. We can't keep cutting revenues when our country's infrastructure is going down the tubes.

    February 2, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  3. Lisa

    And one more thing, those people that claim they need tax cuts so that they can hire more people, think about this. When people are working they will spend more money which will force you to hire more people. Why should you receive money on the basis of what you might not do anyway......

    February 2, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  4. Tina, NC

    Way too many tax cuts in this. Especially lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 to 25 %. Plus this plan eliminates the payroll tax for all which means the rich also get a tax cut.

    The GOP sure didn't listen during the election did they.

    February 2, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  5. Ray Fisher

    Everything looks good except the tax cuts since they are normally to companies that outsource our jobs overseas or import products made by slave labor. America must accept the fact that while economists love free trade it merely creates a system of slave labor with which we must deal later. The only reason to buy foreign is because of cheaper products thus the standard of living is lower which one day the foreigners resent and we must fight them as we are doing in Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea, Venezuela, etc... All these non-friendly nations to America were created by American greed. If we don't fight with soldiers we fight economically, either way we cause turmoil and anti-western sentiments!!!

    February 2, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  6. Nicole

    I am willing to listen but I need to know exactly who will be getting these "tax cuts"!

    February 2, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  7. Lisa

    Oh man, the GOP focuses FAR TOO MUCH on TAX CUTS. Tax cuts only help the richest Americans and corporations. We have had enough tax cuts. The only tax cuts needed now are ones for middle America. The GOP is going to get smaller and smaller despite their "new face" which is a joke! They are living in the past. I cannot believe they introduced a bill with that large of an emphasis on tax cuts. They haven't worked in the last 8 years have they?? These people are IDIOTS and they do not care about the American people, they just don't.

    February 2, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  8. lisa

    More tax cut for the rich, great ! The republicans got us into this mess, now there whining because there rich friends are going have to pay more taxes. They won't get those expensive vacations.

    February 2, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  9. gl, Pittsburgh

    tim February 2nd, 2009 2:37 pm ET

    Sounds better than a new welfare program for the lazy.

    People on Welfare didn't get us hear. with billion of people being layoff will increase the welfare program – did you know that! so the more job the least people will be on welfare.

    February 2, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  10. MaryBeth Sand

    @ JJ12345: Yes, I know it's only $13 billion, which I did not agree with either.

    February 2, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  11. Nate Detroit

    i love they lower coperate taxes from 35-25 and give 100 BILLION to those guys, yet its a comp est for small bussiness i thought republicans were for the lil guy not porkbarrel spending for big coperations oh wait they are, wow when you have 700+billion being spent i wish there would be more on where it will be spent and not over hlaf to taxs cuts that got us here in the first pace, oh and vista only gets 65 million dollars, they got to be jocking, vista is a great way for the government to put people to work who are unemployed oh wait people who work for the government vote democrats except for selfish republicans, if republicans want to do away and have everybody spend for their own stuff republicans in congress should take a vow and not take a salary and not take any of the free medical care we pay for them to have.

    February 2, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  12. Lesley

    Mr. and Mrs. Rich have been receiving tax breaks for many years, in the form of trickle down economics, and it hasn't trickled down. Too much greed. Too many tax cuts have ruined this country. There is no money to pay for the services that we as Americans expect. How can you cut taxes way down and pay for infrastructure for instance? You can't. That's why the Republican version of tax cuts doesn't work. It is very plain if you look at the state of the economy and this country at this moment. When they wanted to wage a war, the Repubs borrowed the money. Sure, they cut taxes but we still have to pay back the borrowed funds. I agree that a lot of the spending should be cut, but I believe Obama should stand firm on the tax side of it.

    February 2, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  13. AJ

    Can't the idiotic Republicans get it through their heads that tax cuts don't work? This is the same old song they have been singing forever and it's still out of tune. When was the last time a Republican had an original idea?

    February 2, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  14. AJP Richardson, TX

    This is typical Republican bull.

    We don't need tax cuts for people who are working, we need jobs for people who are not working.

    Is thsa to difficult to understand?

    February 2, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  15. Chris - Listen

    Actually the government HAS created private sector jobs. With all the confusing air and water regulations in place ane new ones being proposed, we industry types have to hire consultants to figure it all out. Then we have to pay mega dollars for pollution control equipment that does little to protect the environment. While pollution controls are extremely important and we want to preserve the environment for the future, some existing regulation and new regulation is over the top senseless spending. I KNOW.

    February 2, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  16. Maggie in NY

    JJ, middle and low income taxpayers do not use the alternative minimum tax.

    NY Republican – If you don't know the difference between a tax cut and a tax credit, maybe you should do a little research. For example, if you bought a certain hybrid vehicle in 2008 (the list is on the IRS website), you get a tax credit for the purchase. If you did not buy a hybrid vehicle, you don't get the tax credit. Plus, as usual, the "new" stimulus plan will mostly benefit large corporations with that proposed tax cut. Didn't we try that already? Did they hire new people? NO, they still lay people off every day and pay themselves even more!!!

    February 2, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  17. Frustrated American

    This is ridiculous. They should divert the tax cuts for more infrastructure and less tax cuts. Haven't they learned in the past 8 years. I guess not. The Republicans are so clueless and tax cuts are spending....this is why we have a deficit (Bush tax cuts and Medicare part D ) happened to be government spending. I don't see anything fiscal conservative about tax cuts....it is SPENDING!!!! We need job creation...not more government spending in form of tax cuts.

    February 2, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  18. Andrew in Bristow

    People really need to read things before they post. Both parties need to work together to fix the mess they all put us in. It was both the Dems and Republicans that got us and here and we all put them in Congress or the White House... so I guess all who voted should be taking the blame. This bill should not inlcude studies or programs that do not directly impact real projects. The money should not be given to states to fill budget gaps. This money should be used for infrastruture projects, benefits, etc. Tax credits should be a part of this because I would be spending money to fix my house, buy more things, but can not. Make it happen and work together. And to the people that keep stating that Republicans should just go away just remember karma and what she can do.

    February 2, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  19. TjayeInLA

    How are people dumb enough to think that these tax cuts will benefit the middle to low income people? Think about it; first the Republicans say that those of us who don't own property or have business are not considered tax payers, because we ONLY have payroll taxes deducted and that is NOT "paying taxes". BUT they claim the tax cuts will benefit us all. How can they claim they are cutting taxes for the same people they claim aren't paying taxes.

    If we don't pay, then what are they cutting?

    Clearly, this is to benefit them and their wealthy cohorts.

    February 2, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  20. p Coleman

    Why are we looking to the Government to solve this mess, The business community needs to start taking care of business not just their greed and corruption. If banks and corporations would invest their capital back into their business instead of big salaries and bonuses actually operate in sensible ways we would not be in this situation.

    There needs to some morality back in our society. You can not just think everything is going to work its self out, people have to have some responsibility not just what can I get now and how much more and never think about the future.

    Nothing will change until the greed and corruption is gone from Washington and the CEO and big business people.

    Everyone thinks Obama is doing something by giving each person a $500 tax credit, what is that less than 10.00 per week, maybe a gallon of milk and loaf of bread. If they do not change the tax-tables(which they never do) what is that going to do for you at the end of the year, They took less taxes out of your pay check, but at the end of the year you owe the same taxes you did last year and paid less, so you may have to pay this when you file your taxes.

    I am 66 years of age, and government has always been either for the really poor or the really rich and the rest of us just keep the country going and we keep bending over.

    February 2, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  21. Rob

    One more thing. Really, this plan calls for $300 billion in spending, but it is masked as a tax cut.

    If you notice, Medicare and Social Security would have to be funded through general revenues. Tricky.

    February 2, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  22. Forget Party Lines

    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 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  23. FreeNLovIt

    430 bilion in tax cuts to Donald Trump? Hey, WE won!! TAx cuts = donating money we dont have to corporate welfare = GREEDy CEOs sending jobs offshore and keeping it for their bonus pay.

    February 2, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  24. Rick in WA

    Well, Karen-Phoenix. A funny thing happens to most people. When they are young they tend to be liberal. As they become productive and raise families, they become more conservative. When they have raised their families and are ready to retire, they become more liberal again. Can anybody figure out why?

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

    I am all for helping small businesses but drop tax cuts for DONALD TRUMP.

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