Club for Growth warns against stimulus vote

January 27, 2009

Beware any Republican who might fall for President Barack Obama’s sales pitch Tuesday for his $825 billion economic stimulus plan. A vote for the legislation will disqualify you from receiving the Club for Growth’s “Defender of Economic Freedom” award. 

The conservative economic advocacy group issued the warning just hours before Obama was to meet with Republican members of the House of Representatives and the Senate in hopes of drumming up more support for his economic recovery plan. OBAMA/

“No congressman can vote for the stimulus bill and claim to be a defender of economic freedom,” Club for Growth President Pat Toomey said in a statement. “In fact, the Democrats’ package is the antithesis of economic freedom. The bill is a paragon of government run amok, a ballooning deficit, fiscal irresponsibility, and political greed.” 

So far congressional Republicans have been cool to the Democratic-backed legislation, arguing it spends too much and gives too little in tax cuts. But with U.S. job losses mounting and consumer confidence crumbling, it may be difficult for many lawmakers to vote against the legislation Obama says is urgently needed to keep the economy from falling deeper into recession. 

The Club for Growth keeps a voting scorecard of up to 100 points. Every year its economic freedom trophy goes to those who earn a score of 90 or better. The group advocates conservative economic policies that include making President George W. Bush’s tax cuts permanent, limiting government and cutting spending.

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Photo credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque (Snow cleared from Capitol grounds ahead of visit from President Barack Obama)


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So, let me get this straight—after eight years of all tax cuts, all the time (primarily benefiting the wealthiest individuals in our country, many of whom are directly responsible for our current economic troubles); with the economy having been driven into a ditch; and the federal government, under a Republican President, basically nationalizing some of the nation’s largest financial institutions—all that the Club for Growth can come up with is “Just Say No” to an attempt to try and rectify the crisis the nation finds itself in and, oh, more tax cuts? I say, give the Obama team a chance; at least they are trying. Can they possibly do any worse?

Posted by James Mathews | Report as abusive

Why not drop corporate income taxes, completely, and NOW! puts money quickly into corporations for investing. Better than shoring up banks. Better than helping home buyers who bit off more than they can chew. Fastest way to job creation or preservation. Write or email your congressman.

Posted by Tom Beebe | Report as abusive

Easiest way to fix any economic problem is with tax cuts. I don’t mean silly tiny tax cuts like Bush’s but real ones, like getting rid of income taxes, dropping the corporate tax rate to the 10-15% range, throwing debt at debt won’t fix anything.

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive

I agree to NO special interest “stimulus” plan. There are plenty of alternatives. Can’t average Americans tell when they are being shafted? I’ve written all my government officials.

Business drives employment and over the past two years the Democrats did everything they could do to instill fear, uncertainty and doubt into the minds of Americans and businesses alike. From the “leaked” info. about IndyMac that caused a run on that bank of 1.3 billion dollars to the false promise of the likes of Warren Buffet and other “economic brilliance” being on the Obama team, to the threat of increased capital gains and payroll taxes which have caused many business investors to liquidate their holdings and hold their cash. Where is the economic brilliance now? Spending on contraceptives? Spending on Acorn? Spending millions on the inauguration and more millions now to re-sod the capital grounds after the inauguration? Tell business people capital gains are *not* going to increase, tell us payroll taxes are not going to go up, tell us we’ll get tax incentives to hire. As a small business owner, I’m not going to continue to employ if there is no reward – I too will take my money off the table and hold for four years. This is what you’re seeing in the current economy.

Business owners need a reason to succeed. It’s not like it’s some great reward to simply employ people. It’s extemely hard work and very stressful and it’s trading your life – I’ve been on both sides.

Posted by K Hayes | Report as abusive

send lump sum payment of $100k to taxpayers earning under $300k/yr .let them pay their mortgages,car loans,credit cards, or save,the rest can be spent frivolously which goes into the economy immediately.banks get flush with cash from all payments.economy thrives with people spending.

Posted by tony bartell | Report as abusive

It’s nice to see that Obama is trying to taking some steps to fix our domestic and internation problems. I hope that Congress with help shape a stimulus package that will actually benefit Americans in the long run and not just tie us over for a week or so. The war on terror will shift to the countries that are actually harboring terrorist instead of staying in a country that is now self-sufficient. Americans will get adequate health care and education, while we try to help change the image of our country for the rest of the world. One way of doing this is to help eliminate global poverty, domestic and foreign. The Borgen Project ( has some interesting facts about global poverty and how reducing it will help our society. It would cost $19 billion to eliminate global poverty, which is extremely small compared ot the $522 billion the U.S. government spent on our defense budget last year. By eliminating global poverty we are setting ourselves up to have stronger allies or new ones, we open up the doors to new resources and help make our society safer to live in.

Posted by cougar_gal06 | Report as abusive

It’s quite amusing to watch the Republicans rediscover fiscal responsibility, now that they aren’t the ones distributing the largess. Also, I’ve never heard of “Club for Growth” endorsement as an issue at election time, so this strikes me as not much of a threat. Just some grandstanding, which Reuters has unfortunately fallen for.

Posted by Tom | Report as abusive

Why not drop corporate income taxes, completely?

The stimulus package already provides for tax losses to be carried back five years–that IS a tax cut. Also, what will prevent corporations from doling out any savings from tax cuts as bonuses to execs who are already overcompensated while underperforming? From what we’ve seen the past few months, corporations will continue coddling the guys at the top while workers watch on the sidelines or from the unemployment office.

Before corporations get tax cuts, we need to stimulate demand with jobs.

Posted by Jean White | Report as abusive

This country and economy is based on expansion. So in a time when expansion looks like the last thing on our minds, we decide to give away millions of taxpayer dollars that will be payed back down the line with taxpayer income they are supposed to generate from more expansion, yet we can’t expand right now. This country needs to immediately begin plans to try and achieve self sustainability, without it our future as a whole is pretty much a lost cause.

Posted by Jeremy Durant | Report as abusive

Mr. Mathews, give up the DNC talking points. Yes Obama can do much worse. It was a mistake for Pres. Bush to fall for the massive spending trap, but we don’t need to compound that mistake with another huge spending bill. Have you seen what is in Mr. Obama’s bill–millions for condoms and billions for Acorn? That will create jobs won’t it? Most of the money won’t even be spent right away. Now if americans are hurting for jobs, possibly creating them 2 years from now is not going to help one bit. I suggest you get a clue. Give Obama a chance? Not if it means taking us further down the socialist road. No Sir. Also, get off the class envy line. If you pay the most in taxes, you deserve tax cuts–you’re the ones paying the bills. And remember, It was Barney Frank and Chris Dodd and other legislators who put pressure on banks and mortgage lenders that required them to give loans to people who had no chance to pay them back–that is the truth of what got us into the mortgage mess which started all of this.

Posted by Mr. OBrian | Report as abusive

“Why not drop corporate income taxes, completely, and NOW!”

Man some people just don’t get it. These Corps don’t pay much taxes anyway and with all the loses now are not going to be paying any taxes this year.
Tax cuts do not create jobs, demand for products creates jobs.

Posted by Bill G | Report as abusive

The same old-same old in Washington. Even with Barack Obama as our president he is doing to same as others. Pumping money into a faltering banking system.

The same amount of money should be distributed to the American taxpayers instead of the banking system. What would the taxpayers do with it? Spend, save, pay taxes on it. This would put dollars into the banks, the insurance companies, struggling businesses, and the IRS. It may prevent the loss of so many jobs by struggling businesses.

Our new president should not be listening to the same retoric which got the USA to this point. Instead choose a different economic path which will help Americans and in turn help America.

How can our representatives justify pumping dollars into the banking system which will in turn loan and charge Americans for their own money? There is no justification for doing something so blatantly imbalanced.

Posted by Greg T; | Report as abusive

The names these groups choose for themselves is so whimsical. The “Club for Growth” is undoubtedly formed by past present and future CEO’s who merely wish to maintain the growth potential of their personal wealth at the expense of the American taxpayer. As long as companies are allowed to become so large that they can eliminate competition from the market place, we will not have a free market, no matter how lofty their prose. In the current business climate of greed and incompetence, the “Defender of Economic Freedom” award is a dark joke. We’ll probably find out it comes with 6 figures of campaign donations. That’s what has been steering the ship for the last 8 years to say the least.

Posted by Frank | Report as abusive

This Club must be a Vestige of Trickle Down Raygunomics;a system that failed,just as badly as Shrub !

Posted by Brian Pound | Report as abusive

Hardly, in these tough times, any cuts to companies will just be saved, they are trying to ride out the rough patches. The only way a company will HIRE people is if their is demand.

Demand is driven by consumer spending, and consumer spending is driven by jobs. Infrastructure projects will employ people, people will spend money ( along with the company that lands a project ), and that will work the economy.

Think of a company as a household. If I cut taxes for a household in this uncertain job market, are they gonna spend it? No, they will save it in case they lose their jobs. Same goes for companies, they will sit on the money because demand is so bad right now.

Put money in people’s hands, that is what drives the economy.

Posted by Dan | Report as abusive

The tax cuts are good, including the Bush tax cuts. Now is not the time to raise taxes. Unfortunately, the problem is when you cut taxes, you need to cut spending too. However, spending did not decrease along with the tax cuts. But that isn’t why we are in the situation we are in and it isn’t Bush’s fault we are where we are.

Decades of bad policy contributed to it democrat and republican alike.

If anyone wants to make it simple and blame the last/current regime, don’t stop with Bush.

There is Barney Frank, Chistopher Dodd and even Charles Shumer who did not want to regulate when people like John McCain (there were others too…) said Fannie and Freddie needed to be regulated. They replied with an emphatic NO! No regulation.

Now Frank, Dodd and Shumer are all for regulation. What a travesty. They should lose their jobs for not doing their jobs.

So, the current political climate is to blame Bush for the beginning of time, but that is giving him too much credit. Interesting how it all fell apart once the democrats took over congress a few years ago. And just remember, it is congress that controls the purse strings.

Seems like they wanted this all to happen in order to strengthen their power at our expense.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

If we are to keep cutting taxes why not abolish the property protection parts of government like cops and cpurts. Hows that for a deal, Righties, no taxes and if I want to steal all yopur stuff you have to stop me with your guns and I can stop you with mine? Otherwise, the Republicans had total control for most of this decade. Lets try some Keynesism for a change. Club for Growth are awful folks who have no real function but whining. They should go sell apples in a bread line.

Posted by Tom Cuddy | Report as abusive

“Now is not the time to raise taxes.” How many times have I heard conservatives say that? When IS the time to raise taxes to try and retire some of this national debt we’ve been running up at a much faster rate since Bush 43 came into office? I’m guessing after they’re dead and gone, that’s when they’ll say we can raise taxes. If things seemed to start going sour after the Dems took over Congress, maybe it’s because the GOP previously in power was trying its darndest to cover up how bad things really had become. Tax cuts only pay for themselves for the first few years; after that people readjust and expect the lower tax rates with the same amount of gov’t spending to be the new paradigm. All that does is pass the debt built up to the future generations, with interest. Nice going, guys, way to be “pro life”.

Posted by jimbo | Report as abusive

Anyone that thinks this $825 billion stimulus package is going to help this country is dead wrong. All that I have read and was taught you don’t get out of debt by spending more. So from what I’ve read the politicians are saying “yeah, go ahead and rack up your credit cards, take out all kinds of loans and you’ll be fine”.

One more thing, if I forget to pay my taxes for the next five years and IRS catches me, which they will, can I just tell them “It was an honest mistake and Turbo tax didn’t warn me”. You think they will buy that? No way, I’ll find myself sitting behind bars.

I have sent letters against this so called stimulus package but no one is listening. I give up….politicians are filling their pockets. I don’t trust a single one of them.

Posted by Claudia | Report as abusive

“Club for Growth” huh? Aren’t these the same people who spent millions trying to convince us to privatize Social Security? Wow, THAT sure would have worked out well for everyone, eh? Well, except, maybe, the account managers who would have been getting their fees and bonuses. I think the Club for Greed needs to sit down, shut up, and let the adults run the show for awhile, OK?

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

This “stimulus” bill is not a stimulus bill! This piece of Legislation, that had NO chance of failing, is a Government growth bill that puts America further in debt. The authors of this devastating bill, Nancy Pelisi, and Harry reid, are irresponsible to the piont of criminal or mental illness! We had better all begin to learn Chinese. We already need to know Spanish here in the southwest. 819 Billion “stimulus” package? 50 million to the National Endowment of the Arts. 77 million to Sexually Transmitted disease research. 80 million to Als Greenhouse research. Several million for construction of off road tracks for ATV’s,several million to smoking programs. There is so much pork in this package, it is completely safe for vegatarians. United States R.I.P.

Mike Murphy

Posted by Mike Murphy | Report as abusive

Well, Mr.Obama wants increased spending (read almost 1 Trillion). The last good Dem president ((JOHN KENNEDY)understood the simple concept that it is free enterprise, not government that drives this Great Country. That is why he was a advocate of lower tax rates. Liberal Congress members that headed Fanny Mae/Mac helped GET US INTO THIS FIX. Oh, and lets close Guatuanimo Prison, and let’s enable more America haters that want to kill our families. That is happening already. Also, let,s pay for the world’s abstinence problem (pay for everyone’s irresponsibility). That is a hall mark of the New Democrats. We need equality of opportunity, not equal government outcomes.

Posted by Kurt | Report as abusive