February 9th, 2009
02:33 PM ET
12 years ago

Obama stumps for stimulus in Indiana: 'We can't afford to wait'

President Obama takes a question in Elkhart, Indiana, Monday where he said doing nothing was not an option.

President Obama takes a question in Elkhart, Indiana, Monday where he said doing nothing was not an option.

ELKHART, Indiana (CNN) - Seeking to rekindle last year's election magic, President Obama traded the beltway for the heartland Monday, hitting the road to make the case for his controversial $800 billion stimulus package in a part of the country particularly hard hit by the economic downturn.

Watch: 'We can't afford to wait,' the Pres. says

Addressing a raucous, campaign-style town hall meeting in Elkhart, Indiana, Obama warned that the road to economic recovery would take years, and that a failure to pass an effective stimulus plan quickly could result in an "economic crisis as deep and as dire as the Great Depression."

The downturn could become a "crisis that at some point we may be unable to reverse," Obama told a packed high school gymnasium. "We can't afford to wait."

Elkhart has seen its unemployment rate triple to more than 15 percent over the past year. The city's jobless rate is roughly double the national average; a number of the nation's top recreational vehicle makers are located in Elkhart, and hundreds of workers at those plants have lost their jobs.

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Filed under: economic stimulus • Indiana • President Obama
soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. JC

    Most of you young people not around to experience the terrible INFLATION of the Carter years. And that is where we are headed; it is economics 101.
    You probably think inflation is when you blow in your condom!

    February 9, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  2. Sean Daniels

    For the past 8 years republicans have done basically whatever they wanted, and didn't listen much to popular opinion. Suddenly they aren't being heard. Right or wrong, I think this bailout is a great taste of their own medicine.

    February 9, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  3. TCM

    @ SNIFFETT – I didn't agree with the last bailout, and this ones the same.....nice try to slide the topic back to Bush, and away from Obama....typical liberal ploy.....Bush is totally out of the picture...wasn't a big gan....... you seem to not be able to comprehend...the tax cuts have worked to pull us out of EVERY recession, or every downturn that a democratic president has got us into....now, with a democratic congress that caused a complete financial meltdown during Bush's tenure, only to get their dem puppet in place...well, .... So, I see you'd rather refill the welfare buckets...so that illegals can keep having anchor babies....the problem is, anyone that disagrees with Obama is a Bush lover and wrong...but that's simply not the case....we don't need a spending package...that's merely payback for the wave of corruption that ushered Obama into office...in 6 months, he'll be back again... too many blind people bought his line of crap during the election, and now we're all paying.

    February 9, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  4. Anthony In Miami

    How can a tax cut help a person who has no job? How can a tax cut help a person who can't afford to claim a house on their taxes because they lost it to foreclosure. Let's see, companies are laying off workers and we should give them more tax cuts to lay off more workers? I don't get people! It's been eight years of crap and they want to throw more of the same old crap at us and ask us to eat it! Oh, by the way, John McCain LOST the election! Remember "The fundamentals of our Economy are strong"! It's a shame that people are on a sinking ship and they want stay on it because of who's here to save them. This kind of reminds me of the story of the white guy drowning because his ship is sinking and a black Coast Guardsmen shows up to save him. He gets pulled out of the ocean from certain death and the white guy says, he should have let me die! What a crock! I'm watching governors (Republican) and Mayors (Republican) saying give us help because if you don't my states and cities are at a point where they won't survive. But the people in the states and cities saying, we're going to work ourselves out of it with jobs we don't have and money we can't find!

    February 9, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  5. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool

    Bailout I did not work, and neither will bailout II do anything for main street America. Every Government job created will cost ten jobs in the private sector. You folks that think that everyone can work for the government? Do you remember what they call that back in High School?

    February 9, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  6. Tim

    Since CNN allows 90% of pro obama posts and only 10% of posts that are at all critical of the blessed one....I see that many of you have stated:
    "George Bush and 8 years of Republican Rule got us into this mess"

    Can at least one of you....just one of you....put your hate aside for two minutes and name 5 specific actions of GWB that caused this recession....and then please also point out 5 examples of what caused a record 52 months of job growth under the same GWB.

    Thank you

    February 9, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  7. TCM

    @ MARC – yes I have seen the corporate tax rates...maybe you should research somewhere besides websites that fund Obama....

    @Maggie from Virginia – you're citing a poll from a liberal support of Obama...might as well as CNN! That's like going into a seafood restaurant and asking patrons if they like fish! hahaha....so little education.

    Look, you liberals are just plain lazy, and refuse to research further than websites that love and adore Obama....that's biased by default....liberalism must be a brain eating cancer.

    February 9, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  8. Former Obama Supporter

    I don't hate Bush or Obama. Bush is a historical matter at this point as far as I'm concerned. I voted for Obama because of his inspiring speeches and attitude. But where has that gone? Now all I'm hearing is gloom and doom. I personally think the huge spending bill is a knee jerk reaction. People are saying, "Well, we've got to do something." Well, that's how we ended up in Iraq, isn't it? No one is explaining HOW spending 1 trillion dollars will correct the problems we have in the economy. I was hoping that people would sort of get it out of their systems when Obama got elected and turn the page. But it seems like things are just getting worse.

    February 9, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  9. Yamini from San Diego

    well… it is very well understood that

    1) The Governement HAS to intervene and reignite the economy
    2) The Dems are going to have Pork and barrel spending and push political agenda items like the Hollywood one.

    What is NOT likeable and appreaciated is ALL these MOTHAPUKKAS who complain about the PROBLEM (Stimulus) AND not pragmatically come up with what someone needs to fix and CUT down in that bill….

    The GOP is behaving like the regular idiots here – if you STEP UP and list what items need to be cut out and seek public support, I will be the first one to support and there will be tonnes of solution oriented folks!! Is anyone interested in NOT just politics there??? I should give credit to Obama for reaching out and trying to get something done…


    February 9, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  10. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    As the economy withers away Obama continues to show a lack of good old common sense. Why doesn't he wave to the folks two steps from the door way of Marine One before he boards. Timing, poise in a time of crisis is crucial. We are sick of the innocent mistakes and constant lapse of concerntration that even leads to HEAD BUMPS! Good gracious! How much more do the people have to wait before pain level from all his head bumps reach 10?

    February 9, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  11. Matthew, Detroit

    Barack is a great politician buy a lousy leader.

    February 9, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  12. Eyes of Texas are Upon You

    Well, Bino – that wouldn't surprise me as the US has the HIGHEST corporate tax rate of ANY country. You people don't want corporate tax cuts? well, lose the companies to other, lower taxing countries. Get it?

    February 9, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  13. Sad from California

    This is not a stimulus package, it is a get out the vote for unions, and government growing package. Along, with the census manipulation that will be done in 2010 by Emanuel, our country will be marching towards a bigger more bloated government, where the goal of Barack is to make those working in government to exceed the number working on main street. When they do, they can continue to shove down our throats socialist policies that have bankrupting California and Michigan and New Jersey. Believe me with the doubling of the Education department with cushy jobs, the creating of a huge new numbers under the guise of unions, the redistricting of the Congress by Emanuel, $3 billion for Acorn to get out the Democrat vote, etc.. we will all be pissed at governemnt, but unable to change the government as they will have more people working for the governemnt trying to keep their cushy jobs then those that oppose Socialism.

    We have to stop them in two years or our country will become a one party system like California, Michigan and New Jersey. All of which most of us would agree are bankrupting their people and providing little for their excessive taxes forced upon their citizens.

    February 9, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  14. Glenda

    The American ship is sinking and the GOP want to slow down while people are drowing and losing their jobs? The experts have provided their guidance to the President. It is anti-GOP policy for a solution to today's crisis. Stop blocking progress for selfish gain. America is paying attention to the obstructions and false claim for desired collaboration. Where are the GOP solutions? What have they been waiting for the past few months to get to work for us on a solution.

    February 9, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |


    February 9, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  16. Mark

    We will spend according to economist 3 trillion dollars on the war in Iraq. I was there and I saw our tax payer monies paid for roads, schools, trucks, car etc. for the Iraqi’s. I did not hear one senator state that we were wasting tax payer’s monies. Most of these spending were done to so call stimulates the Iraqi economy, built capacity and modernize Iraq.
    Now the republicans decided to be fiscal responsible. We have spent over 10 billion dollars in the last 3 years in supporting Iraqi security forces and if you add what we have spent in others areas that amount will multiplier 10 times. My point here is, the congress was ok in running up the deficit to almost 10 trillion dollars, but to spent 1 trillion dollars to stop hemorrhaging we have republicans playing politics. None of us know the right economic mix to fix this problem. We are in un-chanted waters and we have to do something.
    Tax cuts have been used in the past, and we have not seen much net effect. We have a lot in congress that is now playing Monday morning quarter backing. If they had done the job they were elected to do, we would not be in the predicament we are in. Let us not play politics and help the American people who are in dire need of help.

    February 9, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  17. Independent_me

    For those who are repeating the tired old mantra about leaving our children and grandchildren a lifetime of debt... tooo late...Bush already did that...
    Now its up to the Dems to get us out of it...just as they have done before...

    February 9, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  18. Dave

    I don't understand why we can't have tax cuts PLUS a stimulus package... Think about it

    The stimulus package will plunge most of it's money into the economy both immediately and over time (which is really how you get things stable) While tax cuts to the big industries and corporations will encourage business back to america, getting factories and offices built up (creating jobs for building and then running them)

    Best of both worlds is what I'm for..... we need more moderates commenting!

    February 9, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    @ Maggie

    Thanks. That made my day hehe. It's no wonder they jump all over slight fluctuations in Obama's approval...they need the smoke screen to hide their horrific failure.

    February 9, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  20. TCM

    What I want to know and NOT ONE far-right type has answered my question is:


    MARI – your posts are incredibly shallow.....they were in congress up to two years ago when the dems took over. Remember 3-4 yrs ago? Gas prices were down, unemployment low, house prices high...my personal 401k was 100's of thousands higher.......now, since your beloved dems took control.....UNEMPLOYMENT HIGH, GAS THROUGH THE ROOF, HOUSING MARKET COLLAPSED.....EVERYONE'S 401K MUCH LOWER.....


    Bush spent far too much money....I'm not a fan of his...however, you don't resolve an issue by creating a bigger problem, by electing an inexperienced, thug from Chicago that spouts a few buzzwords.....in a year or less, we'll see Obama's popularity nearing single digits, unemployment >20% and crime aplenty...all because the selfish ill-educated liberals didn't like Bush.....wow! you sure fixed him alright! Vote in a disaster, that'll get back at Bush! I bet he's home in Texas crying right now! See how narrowminded liberals are?

    February 9, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  21. suz

    Mr. President: For an individual that has been in office exactly 21 days I can say you truly are trying to stick to your words. Because of that many will criticize you, however many of us will support you in this effiort as your plans make the most sense.

    The GOP does not want to get it and McCain who suspended his campaign in the fall to "rush" back to DC to sign on the dotted line for the 700 billion bank bailout seems to have once agin flip flopped and now calls this bill irresponsible.

    I am ashamed that given the magnitude of the problems we as a country are facing that only 3 moderate repubs seem willing to vote yes on this revised bill shows me that they would rather see this country fall, after their 8 years in power instead of REALLY working towards a solution for all.

    At least their are a few individuals in this country willing to stick their necks out for AMERICA and its people, lest they forget whom they work for......

    GOP if you have better solutions then why didnt you put them on the table before .....you had years....

    February 9, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  22. VON BISMARK,Vienna.

    I just can't understand something here:
    are tax cut ,small gov.,less spending =i1trillion Dollars deficit?
    If the answer is yes then the world is getting crazy.

    February 9, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  23. B

    "We can't afford to wait".....on spending millions of tax payers money on new office furniture for the Homeland Security building? On $200 million for condoms? Seriously?? You can't wait for this stuff?? Get serious bonehead...can't believe you liberal pukes fell for this guy...

    February 9, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  24. Tony

    Isn't taht what he said about pulling troops out fo Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Only 3 weeks in and back-peddaling already. Four years is not a long time. He may not be so lucky in 2012!

    February 9, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  25. Tony

    Isn't that what he said about pulling troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan?

    Only 3 weeks in and back-peddaling already. Four years is not a long time. He may not be so lucky in 2012!

    February 9, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
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