July 11th, 2009
01:14 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama defends $787B stimulus bill

WASHINGTON (CNN) – After a week of increasing Republican criticism of Democrats’ $787 billion stimulus bill, President Obama is using his weekly address to defend the massive piece of legislation which has in many ways come to define his young administration thus far.

“In a little over one hundred days,” Obama says in Saturday’s address, the stimulus plan “has worked as intended.”

“As a result of the swift and aggressive action we took in the first few months of this year, we’ve been able to pull our financial system and our economy back from the brink,” Obama also says.

The nearly $800 billion bill “wasn’t designed to restore the economy to full health on its own, but to provide the boost necessary to stop the free fall,” the president says in his weekly address.

Answering attacks on the stimulus bill in the last week for failing to create as many jobs as projected, Obama says the bill is still the process of yielding projects and employment.

“[I]t’s led to new jobs building roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects, thousands of which are only beginning now. In the months to come, thousands more projects will begin, leading to additional jobs,” the president says.

In Saturday’s address, Obama also responds to critics who believe the $787 billion bill is not sufficient to turn around the economy and who are, therefore, pushing for another stimulus package.

“[A]s I made clear at the time it was passed, the Recovery Act was not designed to work in four months – it was designed to work over two years. We also knew that it would take some time for the money to get out the door, because we are committed to spending it in a way that is effective and transparent. Crucially, this is a plan that will also accelerate greatly throughout the summer and the fall. We must let it work the way it’s supposed to, with the understanding that in any recession, unemployment tends to recover more slowly than other measures of economic activity.”

Obama’s defense of Democrats’ stimulus package comes on the same day that Republicans’ used their weekly address to slam the Obama’s economic recovery plan.

"Simply put, this is now President Obama's economy and the American people are beginning to question whether his policies are working," House Minority Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia says in Saturday’s GOP address.

Cantor’s dig topped off a week that included the release of warring online videos about the stimulus plan and a House committee hearing where Republicans and sometimes even Democrats were critical of the stimulus bill’s effectiveness.

soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. Chuck in CSG

    OK - first it was "shovel ready" – then "some months" – now, "over two years". Are you Kool Aid drinkers getting this yet, or do I have to do the math for ya?

    July 11, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  2. Tim

    “In a little over one hundred days,” Obama says in Saturday’s address, the stimulus plan “has worked as intended.”

    That is exactly the problem. As the republicans were saying during the ramrod through congress, the stimulus plan wasn't designed as a stimulus bill, it was designed as a pork bill with what little stimulus was in the bill coming too little, too late. The republicans argued that money for jobs should have been front end loaded, the democrats wanted the pork in the front end. So Obama is right, it has worked as intended, which is poorly.

    July 11, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  3. REA

    Mr. President Obama you are doing a great job as president of the USA. the problem with the republicans is they hear you they are just not LISTENING TO YOU. GOD BLESS YOU MR. PRESIDENT OBAMA.

    July 11, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  4. ?????

    I'd say the economy is worse now than when the Chosen One took office and passed this outrageous stimilus bill. The only difference is the media continues to lie and say things have improved because they don't want to admit that they're responsible for putting a talking head in office.

    July 11, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  5. Bpin

    Mr. President, the stimilus plan is not working but you don't know about it while you are sitting in your ivory palace or jetting off around the world for no purpose. CNN,it is not only the republicans that are getting tired of the huge spending with no results. Independents and conservative Democrats are also crying out.

    Although some of us tried to say it, you cannot improve the economy by recycling money. The only way to do it is by creating wealth, and that comes from private enterprise and not the government. Had Mr. Obama invested this money in tax breaks for small businesses and consumers, moore goods could be produced because the businesses would have more money to make them and more goods would be purchased because consumers would have more money to buy them. In order to create jobs, money must be invested unto folks that are already working so they can buy more goods, and the demand for more goods equals the need for more workers. For the government to invest publically to create jobs is simply not going to work because no wealth is being created.

    This stuff is really simple, but we have allowed politics to create a backwards system based upon trillions in spending that will never be paid. I hope our future generation is comfortable being Chineese.

    July 11, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  6. Simmy

    Republicans care nothing about too much spending or constituents...They only care about storing up a wealth of campaign arsenal against President Obama......They didn't want him there from the beginning, and continue to oppose him.......Their gamble is that their strategies, taken from "The Rise and Fall of The Third Reich," will pay off........If you think you're suffering now, wait until the GOP gains power again.....

    July 11, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  7. JR

    The big mistake for President Obama was to have a GOP like stimulus. Instead of giving money directky to people, so they could quickly spend, he gave to uncontrollable recipients. It also has a very long and slow process. Even Bush gave some money directly to people. Obama should have done that even 10 times more.
    President Obama has to run the country as a Democrat if he wants to succeed.

    July 11, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  8. Kat

    I'm ready to benefits from the stimulus package!!!!!

    July 11, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  9. John Black Hills/SD

    Remember that our President has been in office SIX MONTHS, not six years. Republican conservatives wanted to let a large part of our society to collapse, like that was a healthy philosophy. Our president is working very hard, unlike the bum we had in the White House whose goal was to read more books than his pet monkey aka Rove. We're lucky to have Obama in office, when republicans see Limbaugh as a true American leader who voices ignorance, and stupidity as a republican mantra. Ridiculous.

    July 11, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  10. Albo58

    OMG, it has "worked as intended"? Was NOT working the actual plan?#! This president and his slobbering loyalists can spin all they want, but the fact is that this terrible waste of the taxpayer's dollars was flushed down the drain for the main purpose of special projects for political paybacks. His attacks against private business for the last 6 months, while coddling the Unions, has stunted our economy and it will NOT improve until he gets the heck out of the way! Private business will turn our economy around, not government. Note to self: it's called Free Enterprise!

    July 11, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  11. Kevin

    It's only a $787 stimulus bill? That doesn't seem so bad.

    July 11, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  12. Andrew

    This clear, concise and most importantly economically sound analysis of how the stimulus, and more over our economy, works is in stark contrast to what we hear out of the republican camp.


    July 11, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  13. Thin is in?

    This never run a business, a city or a state fraud SAID that it needed to be passed right away before the Lemocrats had a chance to read it (as they are sheep they voted yes anyway) despite warnings that it was FLAWED from people far smarter than he and had actually RUN something besides their mouths.

    Sorry Barry, you own it, you passed it and you BLEEPED it up all on your own.

    You STIMULATE the economy by giving TAX PAYERS money back to spend and giving SMALL businesses tax credits for expanding and hiring and you did neither you loser.

    All you can do is run your mouth WITH A TELEPROMPTER, you can't run anything else.

    Four and the door Barry.

    July 11, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  14. B.H.

    Two years people, not six months! It took eight years of total irresponsibility to get us here, and it is not going to be fixed overnight.

    Can you just imagine where we could have been with McCain and Palin right now!

    Soup lines and a third War..

    July 11, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  15. Willy Brown

    Obummer will be voted out of office in 2012

    July 11, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  16. Jane

    Is it 2010 or 2012 yet???

    July 11, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  17. Obama is a Disaster

    Sorry Barry – you blew it.

    July 11, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  18. Donna from Colorado Springs

    The president needs to start freeing up the stimulus money right now in order to get all of the complainers off his back! If the former president were still in office, the other side would be admonishing the rest of us for our impatience and asking us to give the president more time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 11, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  19. psmith

    Is anyone listening to what the man is saying – the plan was designed to take time. How is anyone in their right mind thinking that – ok it tooks YEARS to get us to this point but it should only take a couple of months to end!
    People do have this tendency to hear what they want to hear.

    July 11, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  20. IndyVoter

    Republicans are so predictable! They have been planning since before Pres. Obama was inaugurated to do nothing to try to fix the economy while Bush was still in office and then planned to blame Obama for the economy at the earliest possible moment after his inauguration to try to bring down his popularity and help them get elected again (I guess they think that this is the time)...Its NOT GOING TO WORK. We support you Pres. Obama. Those of us who have any sense, understand that this mess was not created under you and that the turn-around is going to take awhile. We are patriots, and are asking, how can we help our fellow citizens instead of criticizing and complaining all the time.

    July 11, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  21. Carlos

    Of course he is going to defend his porkulus bill what would you think he would do, of course we don't know where any of this money is or where it has been spend either do we?

    July 11, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  22. No Hillary = No Obama

    Hey Obama – I'm getting IOU's instead of paychecks. How is California allowed to get away with this? Do you think if you went into a grocery store and handed the clerk an IOU you would leave the store with groceries? Yet, you can throw billions of dollars at banks and car companies and I can't turn in these IOU;s until October. That leaves July, August and September without cash flow. The federal government needs to intervene in this. I say Impeach the Terminator.

    July 11, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  23. stormerF

    Obama said the Stimulis would create 3 to 4 million jobs,Create not save.How many jobs did it create to study the Odor of pig farms,Or pay AIG bonuses,or to save a frickin marsh mouse in the San Francisco Bay area,Or pave another runway for Murtha's air port that is virtually un-used?..We have Lost 2 million jobs since the stimulis has been signed,and it has done nothing but create short term Employment if any....Now its wait,to lose your job and go on food stamps or welfare till a job magically appears,in a year or so?..Making people depend on welfare does not create jobs,CUTTING CORPORATE TAXES CREATES JOBS.

    July 11, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  24. John

    Shocked I tell you. Shocked! You mean you can't just waive the magical wand and the economy will be fixed in a few months? You mean you can't just go hire a couple hundred thousand people in a month or two? Any half wit knows fixing a problem this big takes time.

    Please America don't tell me you are so sound bite oriented that you fall for this Republican ignorance.

    Obama was clear from the beginning. We got here over a period of decades. It is going to take a while to heal.

    July 11, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
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