Republicans urge caution on stimulus plan

Top Republicans in the US Congress called for more time and public hearings before Democrats present a giant economic stimulus package for Barack Obama to sign after he becomes president on January 20.

Obama and Democrats in Congress hope to have an economic stimulus package of some 850 billion dollars ready when the White House changes hands, putting the economy at the top of the agenda.

"As of right now, Americans are left with more questions than answers about this unprecedented government spending," Senate Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement.

"I believe the taxpayers deserve to know a lot more about where it will be spent before we consider passing it," he said.

Added House of Representatives Republican minority leader John Boehner: "I would ask the Democratic leadership to guarantee that such a bill will not be brought to the floor of the House unless there have been public hearings in the appropriate committees, the entire text has been available online for the American people to review for at least one week, and it includes no special-interest earmarks."

Republican legislators "are prepared to work with the incoming administration and with Democrats in Congress to craft legislation that will help our troubled economy," he also said in a statement.

The Democratic economic stimulus plan will be "the top priority in the first 100 days of the next Congress," which convenes in early January, House of Representatives majority leader Steny Hoyer told reporters last week.

Obama’s team is looking to craft a package worth up to 775 billion dollars over two years, but it could grow to 850 billion as it moves through the legislative process, according to US media reports. Some think it could reach one trillion dollars.

McConnell and Boehner are concerned the stimulus package under construction might lack appropriate oversight and not go far enough to put the US economy back on track.

"Surely the Democrat leadership in Congress doesn’t plan to spend a trillion dollars of taxpayer money — nearly 10,000 dollars in new debt for everyone who pays federal income tax, charged to the credit card for our children to pay — without safeguards, without appropriate hearings to scrutinize how tax dollars are being spent," said McConnell.

"We need the right mix of tax relief and other measures to grow the economy," he added.

According to Boehner, polls show that Americans "know that more irresponsible spending on government programs isn’t what the economy needs."

9 Responses to "Republicans urge caution on stimulus plan"

  1. woody188  December 30, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    “Surely the Democrat leadership in Congress doesn’t plan to spend a trillion dollars of taxpayer money — nearly 10,000 dollars in new debt for everyone who pays federal income tax, charged to the credit card for our children to pay — without safeguards, without appropriate hearings to scrutinize how tax dollars are being spent,” said McConnell.

    McConnell and Boehner are both coming off as elitist pigs. Why weren’t they concerned about oversight when they approved the Treasury’s TARP program of $700 billion?

    Right, because only Wall Street bankers that caused this mess in the first place are allowed to have tax dollars without any oversight so that they can continue to fleece Americans. You know, the haves and have mores, the ones President Bush calls his base.

    I’m not for bailouts, and would rather see a 25% middle class tax cut like what Newt Gingrich suggested. A real cut, not a holiday or a rebate check. Combine this with real trade and labor reforms, ending free trade for fair trade, and ending off-shoring/outsourcing and illegal immigration. Only such comprehensive reforms will fix our economy. Otherwise, we’ll continue to bleed jobs and money overseas until there is nothing left.

  2. Carl Nemo  December 30, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    Solidly expressed thoughts concerning “rethuglican” hypocrisy Woody188… : )

    These two assclowns; ie., McConnel and Boehner weren’t concerned with the questionable disbursement of the 700 billion already granted to the U.S. Treasury. “Only” 350 billion has been frittered away into the pockets of crooked mega bankers and insurance company execs, but Secretary Paulson eagerly wants the remaining 350 billion with “again” no questions asked concerning the details of further handouts…!?

    Rather than Congress allowing the remaining 350 billion to be frittered away; they could save the taxpayer money by using the remaining money in the originial grant with simply an additional 350 billion to be added-on for the Obama administration to use in the first quarter of 2009. Why waste another 300-450 billion on another fresh allocation of monies when the first 350 billion was irresponsibly handed out to quasi-criminal entities. There’s still a committment of 350 billion that could be used after January 20, 2009 to benefit this crisis.

    Carl Nemo **==

  3. Elmo  December 30, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    McConnell, Boehner, and their loyal toadies are determined to tear down President Obama starting at 12:01 EST on January 20th. They care not a whit about the good of the nation, they care only about once again becoming the majority party. Why? So that they can be in control. They don’t give a rip if there’s nothing left to control, as long as they are in control.

    Krugman published OPTIMAL FISCAL POLICY IN A LIQUIDITY TRAP. The Repugs should be required to read and comment (lucidly) on it before they’re allowed to express an opinion on spending.

  4. sherry  December 30, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    Elmo, the GOP can get over themselves starting NOW. There is a democratic majority and while I don’t expect much, it would behove the GOP to sit back and take their medicine.

  5. LeftistLiam  December 30, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    Liam on the LEFT

    Certainly this is joke! This bunch of Republican clowns who have spent the last eight years driving this country into the ground have the gall to craw out of their holes to make any kind of statement about governing. Get real. They started their quest for a “free unregulated economy” with Ronnie Reagan and they got it and so did we!

    The Republicans are digging themselves a deeper hole every day. They are going to be a Southern racist based party firmly based in the 17th century with no where to go nationwide.

    I used to vote for a Republican now and than when the Democrat was just so bad…never again and I don’t imagine I am the only one who view the Republican Party a a worthless political effort in any set of circumstances!

  6. spartacus  December 30, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    While the Republicans gave tax breaks to people who didn’t need it and ran the economy and deficit into the ground, they were fine with EVERYTHING they were doing. Now that their policies have caused the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression, they want to go back into history and channel Herbert Hoover. It seems that they’re not only stupid, they’re not even students of history, which is what they’re supposed to be part of in their jobs. Perhaps they simply believe the crap George Will, Fox Noise and others are peddling that FDR actually made the Great Depression worse! After all, they are just that stupid, and they certainly believe the American people are: the public was dumb enough to give them the majority for 12 years and elect George W. Bush once (the first time was a judicial coup).

    These bozos are determined to derail the Obama presidency before it even has a chance: what they fail to realize is that they will be killing the livelihooods of thousands of American families and putting a final nail in our economy for many years, leaving us in much worse shape than we were even during the Depression (I still think we are in one, as deflation is under way now, and that equals, under the circumstances, a depression). Actually, I think those Republicans are so out of touch that they either don’t realize how bad this is, or that they simply don’t care: IT DOESN’T AFFECT THEM, AFTER ALL! If they truly gave a damn, they would do everything they could to cooperate and get us out of the mess THEIR PARTY CREATED.

    They already know that middle class tax cuts are part of this stimulus package: that was decided from the very beginning. What are they going to do: hold out for even MORE tax cuts for the wealthy, who certainly don’t need them?

    Putting partisan politics over the welfare of our nation’s economy, its people, and its future shows just where the real priorities of the Republican party are, and why they deserve to be the minority party for a very, very long time to come.

  7. gazelle1929  December 30, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    I love the smell of filibuster in the morning.

  8. almandine  January 1, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    The urge for caution,

    no matter from whence it comes… bears respecting and repeating. The Republicans certainly have no high ground on which to stand – but then again check the votes on all those bailouts, giveaways, crooked deals, etc – and you’ll also find most Democratic fingerprints all over them.

    Think about it. All of our (so-called) reps bleed us a dry as they can. Pork… social benificence… foreign aid… military-industrial corruption… bankers… pick a cause and see if it’s not funded. Only the lowest 43% – YES 43% – of our population is not bearing the brunt. Their nuumbers are, in fact, destined to rise to above 50% with increasing transfers of wealth to them, to insure an electoral majority that the rest of us – except for that highest 1% – are to finance. Giving largesse to over half our population so that political power is consolidated among those who can direct the fleecing of our productive citizens. Theft, pure and simple. Steal from those who work and give it to those who don’t or won’t. Use it to support all those causes that assure continued social power.

    James Madison, the acknowledged “Father of the Constitution” and 4th President of the United States vetoed EVERY bill that tried to effect such transfers of wealth from those who created and owned it, including transfers in the name of foreign policy, etc. His position??? It is purely unconstitutional.

    Too bad such respect for private property and the liberty that ownership portends has fallen into oblivion. Too bad we are fast becoming a third rate, socialistic, third world country. Too bad, indeed.

  9. Paolo  January 1, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    A “stimulus package” is just more of the same poison that got us to this point in the first place.

    Economists often say that inflation is like a drug, and the government has the keys to the medicine cabinet. So, the Republican $750 billion bailout package didn’t provide sufficient “stimulus” (that is, drug-induced high). Therefore, we need more “stimulus” (that is, more poison to kill the pain).

    The sooner we go “cold turkey” off the the Federal Reserve magic money machine, the better for us all.

    The only long term solution to the current economic crisis is an economy based on honest money. That is: gold, silver, and copper money. Even then, the government will inflate through its buddies at the Federal Reserve, through the dishonest policy of FRB (Fractional Reserve Banking, aka legalized counterfeiting).

    What we need is separation of money and state. Only then can a one hundred percent precious-metal medium of exchange, which cannot be easily counterfeited, become pre-eminent. Otherwise, the central government will inflate us in poverty every time.

    This is the unimpeachable lesson of history.

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