February 7th, 2009
02:32 PM ET
14 years ago

Steele questions if Democrats’ power ‘has gone to their heads’


Watch Steele give the Republican address.

(CNN) - Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, questioned whether Democrats’ power “has gone to their heads.”

In the weekly Republican address, Steele said of Congressional Democrats:

"For the last two weeks, they've been trying to force a massive spending bill through Congress under the guise of economic relief.”

Steele said Republicans are ready to work with “reasonable Democrats to do what is right for America,” but he charged the Republican ideas have not been included.

"Good ideas - lots of them - all left out of this plan by the Democrats in Congress,” he said.

(Full text after the jump)

"This is Michael Steele, Chairman of the Republican National Committee. Democrats have controlled both branches of government for less than a month. And you have to wonder if all that power has gone to their heads.

"For the last two weeks, they've been trying to force a massive spending bill through Congress under the guise of economic relief.

"All of us – Republicans and Democrats – agree the government must act to kick-start the American economy. American families are doing their best to balance their own budgets and pay their mortgages.

"The fastest way to help those families is by letting them keep more of the money they earn. Individual empowerment: that's how you stimulate the economy.

"But the Democrats have a different philosophy. Instead of leaving money in the family checkbook, they want to send it to Washington, run it through a slow and inefficient government, and hope that does some good.

"When families keep the money, they spend it, save it, or invest it. And the private sector economy benefits when families and businesses buy consumer goods or invest it for the future. But when Washington spends the money, some of it may flow into the economy, but all too often, much gets wasted.

"Democrats in Congress want a one-trillion dollar spending bill. You've heard about the pork-barrel programs they want to fund - 45 million dollars for ATV trails and removal of fish passage barriers is one that caught my eye. Exactly what is a fish passage barrier and why does it cost 45 million dollars to stimulate the economy with it?

"That's why Republicans in the House voted against uncontrolled spending. This is not a bragging point, but rather a statement that at least Republicans would stand with the American taxpayer.

"But voting 'no' is not enough... and Republicans have offered innovative ideas to help struggling families and small businesses. We've offered plans to spark job creation and investment through lower taxes, to stop the taxation of unemployment benefits, and to help Americans keep their jobs and their homes.

"The comprehensive Republican plan would lower taxes for all working American families. If you're married, the first $16,750 you make this year will be taxed at ten percent. Why don't we cut that rate in half to give instant buying power to every working American family?

"Good ideas... lots of them... all left out of this plan by the Democrats in Congress.

"Republicans stand ready to work with reasonable Democrats to do what is right for America.

"But it will take more than bipartisan words from the President. It will require fair-minded action from Democrats in Congress.

"Thanks for listening."

Filed under: Michael Steele
soundoff (775 Responses)
  1. Col Kilgore

    Can this be the same RNC Chair under investigation for misuse of campaign funds as reported in non controlled news circles today ? Can you smell the hypocrisy. What a bunch of losers.

    February 7, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  2. Dave in VA

    You lost me at ,"Republican....good ideas."

    February 7, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  3. pat C.

    the republican party is so out of touch with american families. we do not need tax cuts. most of us don't make enough money to notice a differance on our paychecks. my hours have been cut back because fewer people have money to buy. we need jobs ,not paycuts. please america just give president obama time to make a differance in our lives. the repubs just want to keep it among the rich and hope some will rub off on us poor people. they will fade away soon because we the people need the change and leadership we voted for and won with barack obama. it took 8 years for bush to finally break our backs and it will take time for obama to start the clean-up process of the bush slaughtering of american workers. please people support our president!

    February 7, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  4. kendal

    Michael Steele you are no Barack Obama.

    February 7, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  5. globalgroove

    Steve....Thank you for saying what I've wanted to say. $10 or $15 extra per paycheck is not going to make much of a difference in my life.

    To Mr. Steele...I guess 'reasonable' to you means only if I agree with you....which I do not.

    February 7, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  6. Political Queen

    Mr. Steele...shut your pie hole! You could barely finish college, now you have the answers to solve the economic crisis? There was a reason we didn’t vote you and Ehrlich back into to office—we didn’t want, and from the looks of us, neither does the Republican base. I suggest you get your party straight before you try to dictate what Mr. President should be doing. You are not the President! The President has tried bipartisanship; it's your party who is having a difficult time adhering to the President's wishes. You need to focus on why half the Republican party doesn't even accept you as the leader. The Republicans have a lot of nerve. Whether you Republican, Democrats or Independence, the American people see what's going on. No one can deny the President's efforts. You may want to mind your words, you’ll be pleading for causes in future, and guess who you’ll have to ask for help? Ask Sarah Palin, she’s kicking herself for her stupidity. For anyone to claim the President is evoking a message of fear.....you're wrong! The reality of the economic status is scary, what's wrong with being honest with the American people? We missed honesty for eight years, now it's a problem? These people are so funny. Mr. President is doing a wonderful job and I’m staying the course with him. He’s been in office not even a month and has managed to at least begin a dialogue across party lines…can we at least give him credit for that? Whatever the case maybe, Mr. President, I appreciate what you’re doing, and I want to see you succeed (unlike some ignorant, pompous donkey’s).

    February 7, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  7. Mike

    JFK and Reagan both proved that more tax cuts for biz = more employment. I love how the Dems can't get their heads around that...

    Seriously, though, Rush Limbaugh is kind of a jerk and believe me when I say that not many other Republicans consider his behavior acceptable. Just because his program has a large following does not and should not mean that all Republicans agree with him.


    I used to agree with a lot of what he said, but his current comments are a big disappointment to all of us in the GOP.

    February 7, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  8. Yolanda

    With all of the debating and cuts coming from your party Mr. Steele, it showed where the egos are.

    February 7, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  9. Lulu0826

    I don't get it, when Bush and the Repubs threw 700+ billion to the wars and most of it is going to contractor, 700 billion to wall street thieves, the Repubs do not have a problem but when President Obama and the Democrats want to give it to everyday Americans, they have a problem. Unfortunately, the Repubs are so brainwash that they think if you try something one time and it fail, you try it two times, and it fails, you try it three time and it fails, four times, and it fails, you try it five times and so on and so on until you convince people that it did not fail. I am so sick of hearing these people talk about tax break, Bush tax break me straight to bankruptcy.

    February 7, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  10. A southerner

    How about this Steele?? We did not vote for tax cuts for the rich. This si why you are not president. What you are saying you want is exactly what we voted against remember?? Quit trying to tell us what we want.

    February 7, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  11. Obama Obama

    Uuuhhh... can someone say SORE LOSER?? I think the Dems are trying to correct all the wrong the Repub have done over the years on doing nothing and bad choices and stealing from tax payers

    February 7, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  12. Doug

    The GOP has had 10+ years to come up with effective policies/legislation and didn't. One needs only to look at what happen in Maryland (broke!) that Steele had a hand in.

    February 7, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  13. Darren


    Memo to Steele – we just barely survived eight years under a guy who listened to NO one because he was all about 'thinking from the gut.'

    Where were you, bud?

    Not only is the GOP the party of EGO, but apparently they've cornered the market on HYPOCRICY as well.

    February 7, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  14. Nevada Mom

    "But when Washington spends the money, some of it may flow into the economy, but all too often, much gets wasted."

    Ok, I am not for enomous government spending in general. But, this comment just shows how ignorant the leader of the Republican party is.
    Some money may flow into the economy when government spends, but much is wasted? What does that even mean? Not all of the money would flow into our economy? Where would it go? Would it vanish? Disappear?

    Seriously, I do understand the argument against wasteful spending. But, let's all agree that all spending flows into the economy. It doesn't "disappear". It cycles through.
    It is precisely this kind of false argument that Republicans have been yelling and screaming about, and it just isn't true. But, the rhetoric sure does fire up their base who take it as gospel.
    Can somebody please find an Econ 101 textbook for Mr. Steele?

    February 7, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  15. sherry

    Excuse me.... A republican telling the democrat's they have big ego's?

    Well ain't that like the pot calling the kettle black.

    The republican party for the last eight year's have been arrogant and egotistical....They lied their way into a war and used fear tactic's to scare the american people into believing that terroist's would strike at any minute.

    Admit defeat and realize that the majority of american's have had it up to their eyeball's with the way the republican party run's

    February 7, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  16. Ann

    Elaine and other republicans on this board:

    1) tax cuts during Kennedy administration: How many businesses outsourced American jobs overseas during JFK's administration?

    2) tax cuts during Reagan administration: Oh yeah! Trickle down economics. That worked real well. Lest you forget that President Reagan sent deficit-spending budgets to a democratic Congress that CUT the huge appropriations bill every time.

    3) Why do big businesses have their corporate offices overseas and outsource jobs overseas? Do you think it is because they want to hire Americans and be loyal to America? You republicans are ALWAYS complaining about paying taxes, about corporations being taxed at such a high rate.

    But, please answer me this question: what other country in the world is like the United States of America? Isn't living in the United States of America worth the taxes corporations pay? Would you rather live in India, China or other country that doesn't have oversight like OSHA? Did you see the documentary about a Chinese worker exposed to aerosolized paint, varnish and other things and now the man has occupational lung disease requiring constant oxygen? Is this the kind of country you and your big corporations want to live in? If so, please move there. Those of us who have seen how other governments could care less about their workers are more than happy to pay taxes to this great country.

    February 7, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  17. Uncle Tom

    Sour grapes?

    February 7, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  18. Larry from RI

    We won – you lost BIG.
    Mr. Obama and his administration has a mandate voiced directly from the American people this past election.
    Get over yourself and stop being the party of obstruction.
    You crooks are directly responsible for the mess we are all in and yet you want to "stay the course" and continue to screw us over?

    STFU and get out of the way you incompetent fools!

    February 7, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |

    EXCUSE ME but, haven't the Republicans been the worst ABUSERS OF POWER IN THE HISTORY OF AMERICA?

    I have NEVER seen so many hypocrits in my life.

    February 7, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  20. Kim, Ohio

    Micheal Steele is a token n____. Shut up. The GOP could care less about him or this country. I am an independent. Anyone who supported 8 years of Bush can not have America's best interest in mind. Amerians are tired of the fighting in Washinton. We want things done. Micheal Steele , please keep talking so the GOP will loose again. As long as people lke LImbaugh keeps talking and diversity increases, the GOP is done. Join the independent party!

    February 7, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  21. jrzshor

    that would be a duh question.

    here was an opportunity for the democrats to unite behind their ICONIC leader and show the world and PEON americans, that they could actually do something for us.

    but no, they just could not do it.

    i just have to keep telling myself that a politicians job is to:

    1. lie
    2. lie to self and others
    3. lie and believe in the lie
    5. lie some more
    6. go to number one

    February 7, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  22. Richard

    Mr. Steele,
    thank you for the insight on things and Dont mind the
    ignorance quotes from the comments.

    February 7, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Has anyone realized that Rash Limpballs hasn't made any mention of the new RNC? To me, that stands out like a sore thumb! He has screached about everything else...where is the open-armed welcome for the new RNC Mr. STeele???

    February 7, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  24. BluesBrother

    The Rubs seem more interested in be obstructionests than in seeing the problems of the country fixed. I love Rash Limbo's comment about we never gave GWB a chance... He had one of the highest approval ratings ever seen after 9/11, and he had a rubber stamp congress. All he managed to do was run the country into the ground.

    Lead, follow, or get out of the way Rubs.

    If tax cuts were so great, we would't be in the shape we are in.

    February 7, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  25. Rachael

    Michael Steele and his fellow republicans would be smart to unite behind the President in these crucial times. Obama and the democrats won BIG and it wasn't by accident and it was because of the AMERICAN PEOPLE!!!! Respect US, Mr. Steele, or your party will lose even bigger in '10 and '12....don't just take my word for it though – just sit back and watch...=)

    February 7, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
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