February 22nd, 2009
12:59 PM ET
10 years ago

Schwarzenegger calls stimulus plan 'terrific'


Gov. Schwarzenegger is a fan of the stimulus measure.

(CNN) - California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Sunday declared President Obama's stimulus plan is "terrific," an assessment that sharply differs from many of his Republican colleagues.

In an appearance on CNN's State of the Union, Schwarzenegger said he welcomes his state's share of the massive $787 billion package, believing it could create as many as 400,000 new jobs.

"We welcome this economic stimulus package. I think it's terrific and will help us," the California governor said. "We were happy even though there's…people complaining. It's not what they envisioned, but what is? The people will give you 1,000 different answers.

"It was Obama that got elected. He put the package together, so let's support it," he also said.

Schwarzenegger's comments differ sharply from those of Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who earlier on State of the Union said he would turn down some of the stimulus money because it could lead to future spending requirements from his state.

Specifically Barbour took issue with extensions to unemployment benefits called for in the package, which he believes the state will have to finance after the federal funds run out.

But Schwarzenegger disagreed, suggesting the added unemployment benefits can be cut off once the economy rebounds.

"If you promise people this money will come next year and the year after that, you'll have a major problem," he said. "But if you use the money for one-time spending…it cannot hurt."

soundoff (412 Responses)
  1. Chris CA

    For the republicans spending millions on bombs and bullets is fine, but developing infrastructure and keeping the economy from collapsing is not. A lot of them are probably responsible for the collapse. I guess republicans are only happy with war mongering.

    February 22, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  2. Joe

    To other people's money: You are a fool. Really. If you actually used your brain you would realize that we are soooooo far in debt already that we need a boost to get us going again so we can speed up the recovery. You say our children will be hurt..... well, your retarded. You seem to only be able to think 100 years ahead. What about 1,000??? We WILL get out of debt at some point and I feel its better to spend now and get a boost than to let us sink and bottom out with no boost. A little boost will go a long way in the short term and provide a base to grow our economy faster in the long term. What you are missing is that we will be in debt for a long, long time.... so we should not do anything about it?????

    February 22, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  3. Greg

    j bailey complains that "the illeagles ...take our jobs".

    You're comment is ignorant. "Ilegals" consistently take jobs no one else wants, with bad pay, no benefits, and poor working conditions. "Illegals" have nothing to do with the current recession. As far as I can tell the economic crisis is because Americans (and not "illegals") borrowed and lent money irresponsibly. This economic crisis is as American as apple pie, and the whole world is paying for it.

    February 22, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  4. P. Y.

    Don't go blaming Arnold for all of California's problems. The Repugs were holding the state " hostage " by refusing to vote for what the state needed. Some of you people need to do your homework before you speak or write.

    Way to go Arnold !

    February 22, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  5. Bob

    It doesn't surprise me at all that Gov. S is supportive of the stimulus plan, since his state is on the complete and utter verge of bankruptcy. At this point ANYTHING would be attractive to him. That state is by far one of the MOST mismanaged in the country, and just like we're going to rewarding people for taking on mortgages they weren't qualified for, we're going to be throwing good money after bad in California.

    I know there are many of you Democrats who are so filled with hatred toward all things Republican that you're not able to be even remotely objective, but try to understand something: Many/most Republicans are just like you, and we also perceive the need to do something. The difference is that we believe our actions shouldn't perpetuate the problem but rather should fix it. I'm all for helping homeowners who are in over their heads–compassion does mean that at times we help one another learn–but there's no apparent learning going on here...simply bailouts and a lack of any real cost for bad behavior. Those of us who were smart, followed the rules, didn't get in over our heads, etc. are now going to have to bail out those who didn't do those things, and frankly that stinks. We're willing to do it, but you also need to accept that if the roles were reversed, you'd want at least a LITTLE acknowledgment or learning taking place so it's not simply leading to more of the same behavior in the future.

    We need to do what's right here, and think carefully about it. Not just for my kids, but for yours...for everybody's. We're a nation of short-term mentality, of selfishness, greed, and "I need to have my way or else"...and that works against us right now.

    February 22, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  6. dittohead with forty names

    Tell them Arnold.

    February 22, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  7. js007

    Glad to see there are some sane Republicans out there still attached to reality. I laugh when I hear that Palin and the guy from South Carolina are going to refuse the money. Good, I'd like to see them live up to their word for once and then see if they get re-elected.

    February 22, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  8. rich

    Just a comment about those Governers who may not take their share of the stimulus package. Since when do Republicans refuse money????? What's going on here is that they got put out to pasture...they voted against the package, but now have to look like total losers by accepting the same money they voted agaist. It's too much for their egos to do. The only problems with this is that they are taking a big political risk that will have dire consequences for their political futures. Their hurting constituents would NEVER forget them at the voting boot knowing that the global economic meltdown which is affecting everyone could have been eased if they had accepted the money even if they did not voted for it. The bottom line is these fools dont want to be seen as the HIPPOCRITES they are by accepting the money they voted for in lockstep. What you bet these HIPPOCRITS will accept every dime..watch.

    February 22, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  9. lf

    After the stimulus has stimulated the economy, and it is gone–then what?? Perhaps another super-stimulus will come from Santa Claus. Oh yes, several generations will be "in hock" to pay off this monstrous cost which is going to jeopardize their future also.

    Accountability and transparency has been promised, or how it is spent!
    The BIG ONE is down the pike. Reduce the National debt of about 13 trillion dollars. Other nations have bought a large hunk of bonds to our super accelerated run away economy such as China, UK, Japan and others. China owns about a trillion of it. What if these nations called for their bonds to be cashed in?

    Is debt to do us in eventually? It is paradoxical to tell citizens to live within their budgets, and here we have real trouble attempting to balance the national debt.

    February 22, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  10. Mberwa N.Y

    most republicans know that the president is fixing things and doing a wonderful job.. but they are scared to speak up their mind, may be they are scared of the racist radio conservative commentator, limbaugh.

    February 22, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  11. Dave

    It's funny to see how the Obama supporters can't even spell. Perhaps dumping money into the education system is a good thing. The children of these illiterate, useless fops can learn to read and write properly so they can actually READ and UNDERSTAND what is being jammed down their throats.

    February 22, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  12. Babs

    I don't think Arnie has been paying attention – Obama did not "put this plan together", Arnie, Nancy and Harry did, and because if them, we have a pork-filled payoff to unions and other Dem favorites that will burden our country for years to come. California is in the worst financial shape of all the states, so why, oh why, would anything Arnie has to say regarding the economy have any credibility anyway? Go home to your state of "santuary cities", Arnie, and try to figure out how to stop the mass exodus of hard-working American taxpayers who are tired of shouldering the burdens you and your buddies in government have left them with.

    February 22, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  13. AnnaBanana

    I live in Cali so Hells Yeah I'm glad we're getting a lot of the stimulus money. We need it. Our state government can't even afford to pay us our tax refunds this year, they're sending out IOU's. If it means we'll be able to pay our hard working, and deserving, cops, firemen, teachers, and other goverment employees then I really don't care if we are accepting a government handout.

    February 22, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  14. Get Over It

    I live in California and I love the plan! For all of the GOP who have a problem with the stimulus package and have stated they will not accept the money, let's see how many of them will donate their portion to California.

    February 22, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  15. steve

    I think the democrats should call the Alabama Sen. Shelby to come out and clarify himself on his moronic innuendo about Obama"s eligibility .
    Let him explain if he now has joined the conspiracy fringe-theorist of his party in this blatant racism to undermine the new president.

    February 22, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  16. BigSplashy

    Fareed Zakaria's guest from Pakistan today made one of the most cogent observations I've heard lately... I believe he was quoting from Alice in Wonderland when he said "When you don't know where you are going all roads lead there".

    Whether you are Barack Obama or a Nobel Laureate in economics or Nancy Pelosi, you don't slap together a $750 billion spending plan in a couple of weeks and get it right. Doing something is NOT better than doing nothing if what you are doing is wrong. The stimulus package is a patchwork of pork, good intentions, finger-in-the-dike anti-starvation measures like extending unemployment benefits, and political patronage that cannot possibly stimulate the economy to the degree necessary. (I know there are some good things there, just not nearly enough).

    The Dept. of Energy just made their "alternative energy biofuel grant program" public. It totals $25 million dollars. That's LESS than Citigroup paid for an airplane for their executives. The grants are for four years of STUDY without so much as a dime to plant a tree or build an ethanol conversion plant. So much for energy independence and the greening of America.

    Yet GM (incompetents) will get billions. The banks (criminals)will get billions, people who filled out fraudulent loan applications to buy a house (mini-criminals) will get billions. But not a single productive small business will get a dime.

    When you don't know where you are going every road leads there.

    February 22, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  17. Jamie from Philly

    When Arnold ran for governor of CA, I was highly skeptical, but he has done a good job. His openmindedness in the face of his intractable Republican colleagues demonstrates that he cares more for his constituents than clinging to an outdated political philosophy.

    February 22, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  18. Sarah P

    Repubs= Fake christians...
    As soon as someone of their can speak with some sense and truth they outcast him......remind anyone of a story out of the bible "JC"?

    February 22, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  19. Jamie from Philly

    I was highly skeptical when Arnold ran for governor of CA, , but he has done a good job. His openmindedness in the face of his intractable Republican colleagues demonstrates that he cares more for his constituents than clinging to an outdated political philosophy.

    February 22, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  20. Gary

    For those who think that this FREE money and stimulus package is the great answer-read what was said almost 70 years ago: The Socialist Party candidate for President of the US, Norman Thomas,
    > said this in a 1944 speech:
    > "The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under

    > the name of "liberalism," they will adopt every fragment of the
    > socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation,
    > without knowing how it happened."
    > He went on to say: "I no longer need to run as a Presidential
    > for the Socialist Party. The Democrat Party has adopted our
    > "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other
    > people's money ~~Margaret Thatcher~~

    February 22, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  21. Willie

    God I love this guy! Why couldn't he run for another term?

    I am so sick and tired of the purely anti American crap spewing out of the Republican politicians lately; it has done absolutely nothing but smear this country's ability to actually fix problems.

    I am just tired of listening to Republicans whine and complain about spending, when for the last 8 years not one of them offered up a hand to stop the trillions of wasted money pouring out of the White House. Now all the sudden the lot of them are fiscal conservatives? Right when the money is being put back into the country to simulate it? I find it absolutely abhorrent and every last one of them need to be punted out of office for good. Hippocrates.

    February 22, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  22. artst4000

    I think everyone is forgetting that the last 8 years a Rebuplican was in office. Now the Democrats have to clean up the mess. You Republicans baically have nothing to say. If you don't want any of the money or tax cuts from the stimulus then move out of the USA. Go to Canada or Asia and see how you do there job wise and financially. Let's see how you get treated there too.

    February 22, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  23. James From Chicago

    OMG, how many times has Arnold had plastic surgery???
    He looks terrible.

    February 22, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  24. Michelle

    Go Arnold! Who cares from what party it comes if it helps the country. There are no easy solutions for difficult problems. I have to laugh at the Californian's that complain the state is in so much debt. They had the chance to vote for the spending limitations and to put money away for bad times on the ballots the last time. Guess what, they voted to keep all the money squandering projects in place. Now they have to pay the bill...

    February 22, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  25. Frank from Philadelphia

    The ONLY reason Arnold is "pumped up" over the stimulus is because his state is bankrupt. If ANY Republican has any self respect, they will reject this MASSIVE spending package. This is a welfare package for those who don't want to work, anyone that doesn't see this is delusional. SHAME ON YOU, MR. PRESIDENT!! (And Im not a republican, for those who want to reply with a dim-witted comment bashing republicans... save your breath)

    February 22, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
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