February 8th, 2009
04:45 PM ET
12 years ago

Stimulus will lead to 'disaster,' Republican warns

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/02/08/congress.economy/art.sen.shelby.gi.jpg caption="The country will "pay dearly" if it executes the president's stimulus plans, Sen. Richard Shelby says."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Leading Republicans warned Sunday that the Obama administration's $800 billion-plus economic stimulus effort will lead to what one called a "financial disaster."

"Everybody on the street in America understands that," said Sen. Richard Shelby, the ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee. "This is not the right road to go. We'll pay dearly."

Shelby, of Alabama, told CNN's "State of the Union" that the package and efforts to shore up the struggling banking system will put the United States on "a road to financial disaster."

But Lawrence Summers, the head of the administration's National Economic Council, said Republicans have lost their credibility on the issue.

"Those who presided over the last eight years - the eight years that brought us to the point where we inherit trillions of dollars of deficit, an economy that's collapsing more rapidly than at any time in the last 50 years - don't seem to me in a strong position to lecture about the lessons of history," Summers told ABC's "This Week."

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soundoff (400 Responses)
  1. lil

    There is no fool like an old fool.

    February 8, 2009 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  2. Margaret Virginia beach

    To Everyone on this discussion board, every American giving the Republicans a hard time....I say to you this proposal;

    When this stimulus bill needs to be paid for, when the government raises your taxes, when the people who make 30,000 and the government says..you are going to have to give more to pay for the help we did for your state, your fellow American. When and if you have children and you raise them to be repsonsible adults and they do the right thing and pay their taxes on the money they make at a rate of 45%, then you turn to them at the table or to your grandchildren and let them know that you did not want the legislative process to wait so you yelled and screamed at the repubs who fought for the process and you had your wish come true..the stimulus was put into motion and well sorry kids now you are paying for it.

    You are all Americans, democaratic, republicans, independent, you are all Americans, and it is your constitution right to keep the government out of your money...but hey..I am happy for those that yell and scream and say...sure we can spend this money...and the rest of the money that surely will follow...just remember to tell your kids and grandkids..

    You are Americans first.....that is the sad part of all of this...Obama promised he would unite us..not divide us...and I am not happy that he is dictating this scare and dividing Americans...

    February 8, 2009 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  3. G.R.I.T.S - Girl Raised in the South

    Thank you Alice Newman! I too am tire of this revisionism taking place by Republicans and Limbaugh followers. The Democrats couldn't get anything done in the last two years because of Bush's veto power. Unfortunately, most Limbaugh followers and Republicans don't understand how Congress works.

    February 8, 2009 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  4. oxford falls

    Why can't we spend more money on infrastructure? Seems that that is a better solution than privatizing roads and bridges that our fathers built. Secondly, how about some meaningful small business relief? When people don't buy, it hits us a lot fasted than Conagra. I believe all small business owners are NOT eligible for unemployment insurance, but their workers are. Third, how come we don't hear anything about inflation coming down the road. With consumers credit scores dropping and their credit lines shrinking by banking credit fear, imagine paying %45 apr on your credit card debt. Oops, gotta go, the black helicopters are circling overhead...

    February 8, 2009 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  5. Chazzman

    This is the same guy who wanted to flush Detroit down the drain a few weeks ago. Now he's trying to flush the whole country. Thanks, Senator. You're a pal. Maybe we can return the favor on election day
    Personally, one explanation is that he's fallen off of his meds. That would explain a lot, and would suggest he's not really as stupid as he sounds.
    I suppose another explanation could be that he doesn't read. W seemed PROUD of the fact that he doesn't read. It seems possible, since Texas and Alabama are both contenders for the worst education systems in the country. Senator, "Is children learning?"

    February 8, 2009 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  6. Sarty

    The neo-Hoover Republicans in Congress, who think government can put Americans back to work with corporate tax cuts but without any “spending,” are tone deaf to this rage. Obama is not. It’s a good thing he’s getting out of Washington this week to barnstorm the country about the crisis at hand. Once back home, he’s got to make certain that the insiders in his own White House know who’s the boss.

    February 8, 2009 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  7. True Conservative

    1.) All Democrats must learn to form sentences without the phrases,
    "8 years" and "George Bush"

    2.) All Republicans must learn to form sentences without the phrases,
    "Socialism", "welfare", and start using the phrases "2006", "Pelosi", "Reid", "Barney Frank", "Chris Dodd", and the word "Crook" must appear in these sentences.

    February 8, 2009 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  8. Anna, Missouri

    I think that there should be another amendment to the Stimulus package. One that denies all of the Republicans in Congress and Governors that are condeming this bill and refusing to vote for it, any of the money in the bill. If they are so sure that this is going to destroy the country, then they shouldn't take any of the money.

    February 8, 2009 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  9. swwind

    "Lead to Disaster" . . .? ? ? . . . does Shelby understand that the disaster is here. It is in full swing,

    The Economy is choas. . . retired peole with a lifetime of savings gone. . . . soaring unemployment. . .. infrastructure completely falling apart. . . . state budgets falling short.

    "Lead to Disaster" .?.?.?.? . . .good god man . . OPEN YOUR EYES !

    February 8, 2009 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  10. wallacedk

    If you read the fine print. The billions of dollars of spending goes to union interests, liberal causes, etc.....the infrastructure projects are not even designed yet. So what jobs is this bill going to produce. If you want to stimulate the economy, reduce taxes on everybody. The bill does reduce some taxes...but guess what the new head of the treasury, and the IRS, somehow 'forgot' to pay his taxes!

    February 8, 2009 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  11. Susan

    Summers said it! There are still a few who believe all the Repugates have to say. Sad....... but true. Most of us thought you all could have figured it out after 8 years.

    February 8, 2009 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  12. Brenda

    The republican party is a disaster, not the stimulus. It is so obvious that they were never going to vote for this and they're making up every excuse in the book not to get behind Obama and do the right thing. I can't wait for the 2010 elections. They are so finished! These people are sent to Washington to do a job for the people, not to divide us and stir up as much controversy as possible. Instead of all of the republications going on cable news channels to fight against this, why don't they get off their behinds and come up with solutions?? They don't have any and why would anybody listen to John McCain, Senator Shelby, Behner...the list goes on and on. This is ridiculous and the day will come when they'll all regret not getting on board with the American people!

    February 8, 2009 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  13. Bill

    These radicals(republicans) running our goverment and media should accept People's will. This is America not Peurto rico!

    February 8, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  14. Uche

    I have only one question for the Republican Senators that oppose the Stimuls Bill: "WHAT ARE YOUR SOLUTIONS TO THIS ECONOMIC MELTDOWN BESIDES TAX CUTS? BECAUSE 8 YEARS OF TAX CUT HAS NOT WORKED". Cutting Capital Gains tax do not stmulate any economy cos capital gains deals with selling of shares and stocks. Nobody wants to sell their stocks at a loss.
    Economics 101 teaches that to grow a business or an economy, the right investments has to be made first and that is called SPENDING. You spend smartly on investments then you reap the rewards down the line and reinvest with prudent regulation and the business or economy grows.

    February 8, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  15. Joel

    A note to all of you who think that writing in all caps makes your comments stand out; it makes you look like an idiot (because you probably are one). I skip over all posts written in capitalized letters.

    February 8, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  16. ANGIE

    Well Here comes THE REPUBLICAN FEAR MODES!! The Republicans are shaking in their Boots right now, theY Know President Obamas and the Democrats Economic plans will work and their In PANIC MODE,Because they know its because of their policies we are in this mess and as usual the Democrats have to clean it up!! BYE BYE GOP IN 2010!!

    February 8, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  17. Willis

    God, you liberals and conservatives are soo... RAH RAH RAH, BUSH IS EVIL, OBAMA IS EVIL.
    Get over it. Bailouts don't work, government intervention just screws the system over. Be smart, vote for the Libertarians.

    February 8, 2009 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  18. Michelle

    McCain thinks half the bill should be tax cuts and half of it used on spending??? What?! OK, John, you "maverick",you ~ answer me this :
    if people are out of work, and have no income except unemployment benefits, which most people elect NOT to have taxes taken from, WHY in the world would they care about your idiot tax cuts?? How is that going to help them in the immediate future?! I'm so sick of most of the Republicans. They're acting like stubborn children who lost the school yard game, so now they're going to be obstinate and dig their heels in, refusing to play with the other kids, just for spite. That game may cost them dearly in the 2010 elections.

    February 8, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  19. Pat in IL

    Shelby is obviously out of touch with reality. He needs to go back to college and take Econ 101.

    February 8, 2009 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  20. Daniel, Loganville. Ga.

    I wish I had this distorted view, maybe I would not be loosing sleep over the state of this country.

    February 8, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  21. Ken in Dallas

    I don't understand the Republican position. Using the government as the means to make large-scale. long-term investments has proven to be one of the most successful strategies at our disposal. We've been very successful at using the government to invest in and prove new science and engineering ideas, or to create conditions conducive to growth. It's not strictly a Democratic idea, either. One of the biggest projects in our parents' infrastructure legacy is the Interstate highway system, begun by Eisenhower.

    What we've been practicing is a degenerate form of capitalism. Adam Smith would be appalled at what has become of his theories, because he never envisioned his invisible hand being given utter sway. Smith produced two treatises on how, in his view, the world works: "The Wealth of Nations," his perspective on materialism, and "Theory of Moral Sentiments," his views on ethicality and governance. Capitalism was meant, from the beginning, to be a means to other ends, never an end in itself. The institutionalization of mindless greed is an utter perversion of Smith's vision.

    In the governance of capitalism, we should recognize that certain business "values" currently prevalent are inconsistent with the effective and efficient application of capitalist principles. We need to rethink why we run businesses, and how we reward the people who manage them.

    February 8, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  22. chris

    to daniel cabrera

    your tin foil hat has a hole in it......

    February 8, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  23. Mitch Bupp

    Republicans and Democrats just don't get it. They worked together to screw America ....... for campaign donations and power. I do not wish that Washington DC gets nuked but if it happens can Congress be insecession.

    February 8, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  24. Texas Trail Kitty

    daniel cabrera February 8th, 2009 7:23 pm ET Obama options? I would say Obama's ONLY option: RESIGNATION !

    Danny Boy, I think you've said enough. By George you are right. America was so better off after 8 years of W. I mean, foreclosures, unemployment, who could ask for more? And that darned President Obama trying to make things better. I mean, what is this world coming to. [sarcasm is you don't recognize it amI'm betting you don't]

    February 8, 2009 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  25. Michelle

    Whatever happened to McCain's slogan country first? These republicans sure aren't putting the people of this country first by trying to fight this bill. Oh that's right their families aren't the ones standing in the unemployment lines! All these republicans need to stop their crying and whining. They lost the election so get over it! They are the ones who got us into this mess to begin with! Does anyone else remember the last 8 years? Instead of hoping for Obama to fail, help him save this country and the American people!

    February 9, 2009 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
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