Impatient Obama sharpens tone on ‘failed’ Republican tax ideas

February 5, 2009

Bipartisanship may be about to take a back seat to political reality in Washington.
President Barack Obama sharpened his rhetoric Thursday as he pushed the U.S. Senate to pass his nearly $900 billion economic stimulus bill, hammering Republican complaints that the measure doesn’t have enough tax cuts.
The Republican push is “rooted in the idea that tax cuts alone can solve all our problems, that government doesn’t have a role to play, that half-measures and tinkering are somehow enough, that we can afford to ignore our most fundamental economic challenges,” Obama told an audience of Energy Department staffers.
“So let me be clear: Those ideas have been tested, and they have failed. They’ve taken us from surpluses to an annual deficit of over $1 trillion. And they’ve brought our economy to a halt,” he said.
“Time for talk is over,” Obama said. “The time for action is now.”
The president’s shift in rhetorical tone came amid press criticism that the White House has let Republicans win the communications battle over his stimulus plan by characterizing it as wasteful and excessive.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs rejected the notion that Obama was backing away from his pledge of bipartisanship, noting the president hosted moderate Republicans Wednesday at the White House.
But asked if it was unfair to characterize Obama’s remarks as showing signs of impatience, Gibbs said: “I mean, I think when he said the time to talk is over, I think it’s fair to read impatience into that.”
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Photo credit: Reuters/Larry Downing (Obama speaks at Energy Department Thursday)


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Bipartisanship can be really reached? I doubted, but as a majority in senate, the stimulus bill will be passed anyway. The question is its effect, will that be really helpful to our economy? Even the president may not have an idea.

Posted by Buffett reader | Report as abusive

The tax cuts didn’t fail. In fact, more money was brought into the treasury as a result of the tax cuts. Economists admit this. Unfortunately, spending can’t increase when taxes are cut and that is where the problem lies.

The stimulus plan is a spending plan and it does add to the debt. Last I heard, it was 1.2 trillion dollars this year. This has never been done before and won’t solve the problem, it will only make it worse. Also, with all the pork added to it, it won’t stimulate the economy.

Big government and the biggest spending plan ever leading to more government control over our lives leading to a socialist state. Beware.

The plan will not pass the senate if every single republican votes against it and filibusters it. I truly hope that happens because Obama should not be given a free pass to do as he pleases. He only got 52 percent of the vote, so nearly half the country does not want his kind of change.

Also, in its present state, the spending plan is only supported by 37 percent of the nation. He needs to listen to the people because they are not behind him on this.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

Tax cuts did not fail. It was the excessive government spending and a wild free for all over the limit credit economy. Now the democrats wants us to sink deeper in debt by spending more of the money we do not have in pork programs that only benefits them. How can that improve our national treasury? Democrats are like piranhas in a feeding frenzy to spend more. They now are turning to scaring the people tactics to advance this clearly unpopular stimulus plan. Obama as a leader need to stop and lead them. Not to be lead in the nose by the majority democrats in congress. This rhetoric of Obama clearly shows he is weak and cannot lead his party and the nation.

Posted by Teresa | Report as abusive

the root cause of the problem is that people have loans on houses that they cannot afford.they were allowed to buy the houses without the necessary income to repay the loans.unless this situation is dealt with first,the other problems that this has caused ,will not disappear.this has caused every thing to fall like a deck of cards.a temporary fix by throwing money at the multitude of now additional problems ,is a waste of time.i don,t have the answer to this situation, or know the amount of money that is involved,but the politicians have to make decisions what ever they might be, however unpopular, but they won,t,so the bail out money stimulus won,t work.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

There are no economists who admit that the Bush tax cuts brought more money into the treasury. This is a popular conservative talking point that is easily disproven. Every economics Ph.D. who has worked in a prominent role in the Bush Administration even acknowledges that the tax cuts enacted during the past six years have not paid for themselves–and were never intended to. Harvard professor Greg Mankiw, chairman of Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers from 2003 to 2005, even devotes a section of his best-selling economics textbook to debunking the claim that tax cuts increase revenues.
Most economists support the emphasis on spending, saying government expenditure does more to boost gross domestic product, a key indicator of fiscal health.
In other words, spending delivers more bang for the buck because each dollar paid to a worker building a wind turbine, for example, is then re-spent on groceries or clothing, causing a fiscal ripple-effect. Conversely, a worker might save a third of the money he is given in a tax cut, with some of the spending going toward imports, which would also reduce the stimulus to GDP.
According to a Jan. 6 study by Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s, GDP grows by $1.59 for every dollar spent on infrastructure, while the increase from a corporate tax cut is only $0.30.
Talking points will always be just talking points when compared to the facts. Conservatives had their chance to lead, and they led the nation into a near depression. It’s time for them to stop obstructing the recovery and vote with the true majority. Another thing they can do is stick to their priciples and refuse any of this wasteful government spending in their districts. Remember the famous words of the leader of the Republican party, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

That’s all fine and dandy, getplaning, that you think you have all the facts with your numbers. You say it is fact according to your version of what you find on “Google”.

Well, returning to earlier discussion. There is a multitude of information on Google, which says if the recount had been continued using Al Gore’s argument, it would have added to Bush’s final total’s for an even bigger win.

So, you can Google all you want and find the stuff to fit your own version of the truth, but it doesn’t make you right. So keep the numbers coming, I am sure someone out there believes what you found on Google.

In the meantime, we will see how spending 1.2 trillion of our/my money in 2009 alone on things that don’t even help stimulate the economy will help us all when hyperinflation hits with all the money being printed.

Can’t prove or disprove it will or won’t happen, because we have never spent that much in one year.

I say tomato. You say tomado. We can continue this discussion in a couple of years.

In the meantime, more money was brought into the treasury because of the Bush tax cuts than at any other time in American history. Fact.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

Obama said in his campaign that he will eliminate line by line all pork spendings. Well, this stimulus is full of pork and gravy too. He is the number one supporter of this bad bill. What happened to the promise Mr. Obama. Don’t have time to read it all or just don’t care really about the people who are suffering? Same old politics, no change. Hope is not a strategy. Everything he said was a lie. Obama stimulus scam will make Madoff look like a saint.

Posted by Gogo | Report as abusive