Second stimulus? Don’t count on it

A senior White House adviser said Sunday the economic stimulus has not yet "broken the back of the recession" but set aside calls for a second massive spending bill. Republicans, meanwhile, called spending under way a failure.

White House adviser David Axelrod urged patience for President Barack Obama’s $787 billion economic stimulus package in the face of sliding poll numbers. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a past and potentially future presidential candidate, said the spending was ill-designed and served only to expand the size of government.

Republicans have seized on the public’s growing unease over government debt and spending to challenge the popular president. Sensing their own vulnerabilities, Obama’s top advisers have ramped up their defense of spending that is incomplete and going slower than many had hoped.

"You know, we take the long view on this. Look, when the president signed the stimulus package — the economic recovery package — he said it’s going to take a while for this to work," Axelrod said. "And we’re going to go through some rough times, and unemployment is going to go up, and … we have to work our way through this."

Some economists and business leaders have called for a second spending bill designed to help guide the economy through a downturn that has left millions without jobs. Axelrod said it’s too early to know if more spending would be needed or if the administration would seek more money from Congress.

"Most of the stimulus money — the economic recovery money — is yet to be spent. Let’s see what impact that has," Axelrod said. "I’m not going to make any judgment as to whether we need more. We have confidence that the things we’re doing are going to help, but we’ve said repeatedly, it’s going to take time, and it will take time. It took years to get into the mess we’re in. It’s not going to take months to get out of it."

Republicans, though, aren’t waiting.

"I don’t think the stimulus that was passed is going to be much help," Romney said. "The stimulus that was passed was, unfortunately, focused more on government and creating employment inside government than it was creating jobs in the private sector."

Another Republican, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Obama and his Democratic allies rammed through the spending bill without Republican support or significant input.

"He missed a chance to have a bipartisan stimulus package that would have created more jobs and helped people who’d lost their jobs," Graham said. "I hope they’ll rethink it."

In the meantime, the current spending isn’t doing enough, they said.

"For the millions of extra people who are going to be unemployed, it has not been successful," Romney said. "It has failed in delivering the stimulus that was needed at the time it was needed."

Axelrod acknowledged the economic challenges and unemployment inching close to 10 percent nationally.

"Well, there’s no doubt that … we have not broken the back of the recession," he said. "No one’s happy with that number."

Axelrod appeared on ABC’s "This Week" and NBC’s "Meet the Press." Graham and Romney appeared on NBC.

2 Responses to "Second stimulus? Don’t count on it"

  1. AustinRanter  June 29, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    We’ve yet to see a true “Stimulus Package”. All we’ve witnessed is our government, and in particular those beholding to special interest and lobbyist, had their markers called in and our elected officials were forced to pay up…or face the unraveling of a horrible true that the citizens could surely use to imprison them all.

    This whole situation is a sham…nothing more or less.

    The ultimate rip off has occurred. This is a historical act of thievery beyond the human imagination.

    And it’s far from over.

  2. woody188  June 29, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    No one’s happy with that number.

    Then why the continued H-1B VISA’s being granted to foreign workers?

    Why the continued flow of illegal immigrants into this nation?

    Why the continued off-shoring and outsourcing to China, India, and anywhere else they will work for a bowl of rice a day supported by tax breaks via the US government?

    Why did the Obama Administration give away a car company to an Italian company for nothing?

    Why the ongoing support for Communists and Socialist nations by our “American” multinational corporations?

    Why is there bail-outs and stimulus given to everything but nothing to address what everyone generally acknowledges as the root of the problem, the housing crisis?

    Where’s gazelle to complain about softball questions asked to government officials?

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