February 9th, 2009
11:47 AM ET

Morning Buzz: President Obama in Primetime

Then-Sen. Obama spoke with Sam and Dannielle Ericson while canvassing for votes in Elkhart, Indiana last May. Obama returns to the town as president today.

Then-Sen. Obama spoke with Sam and Dannielle Ericson while canvassing for votes in Elkhart, Indiana last May. Obama returns to the town as president today.

Penny Manis
AC360° Senior Producer

President Barack Obama holds his first formal news conference since his Presidency tonight at 8pet. He’ll make remarks and take reporters’ questions. It’s going to be a special night on AC360 as we run the major chunks of this press conference and the multiple guests on our panel offer analysis.

The President is on a major Public Relations offensive to sell his economic recovery plan to the American people. This press conference comes as a compromise version of the $827 billion recovery plan is expected to go up for Senate vote tomorrow, and then assuming it passes (as expected, albeit narrowly) the House and Senate have to compromise on their respective versions before it can become law.

Senate democrats tomorrow can’t pass this stimulus pkg without a few Republicans on board. The House Dems did pass their own version without a single Republican vote a couple of weeks ago. The goal of the Administration is to have a stimulus plan that's gone through Congress before this Friday.

Do you agree we need this stimulus package? What do you want to hear from the President tonight?

Earlier today President Obama hits the road and holds a town-hall style meeting in Elkhart, Indiana. This is one of the most economically depressed cities in the US where the unemployment rate is 15%, twice the national rate. Folks here really need a plan to create jobs and jumpstart economic growth.

An unnecessary reminder of the poor state of the economy today came with news that Nissan is cutting 20,000 jobs worldwide and curbing executive salaries as US and global demand wanes. This week, corporate earnings are expected from big names like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Viacom and others- we may expect similar news from those giants.

And the above is why President Obama will play the role of Teacher-in-Chief tonight to explain why he thinks the Stimulus package is necessary. What will it take to convince you?

We are live both hours for this special night of AC360. See u then!

Filed under: Penny Manis • The Buzz
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Suzanne

    So, Cindy and everyone else who are upset over "the pork", may I assume you have read the bill in its entirety? I guess you have since you know so much about it.

    I, for one, have not read the revised one, but I certainly read the last one and the pork everyone cried about, when read word for word in the bill, didn't sound like pork at all ... for example, we all heard about the 335M for STD funding, yes? If you read the bill, you would have known that money was going to the CDC for AIDS research. Pork? Maybe to some of you, but to me, that's not pork at all.

    One man's pork is another man's fancy.

    February 9, 2009 at 11:20 pm |
  2. Brett

    Why can't we give the american people the money that is said to be about $72,000 per tax payer, allow them to pay on their morgages. This would stimulate the housing market and free up the bank of bad debt. Then many people would spend money on vehicles,either purchasing new and or fixing older ones. Hense freeing up the automotive industry which reaches all across america, from nut's and bolt's to rubber tires. Fabric industry, carpet manf. ,paint industry. We are the ones flipping the bill so let us use it where we need to use the "SPENDING PACKAGE".

    February 9, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  3. Elmer A. Mcfield

    I survived 2 earthquake, 3 hurricane, 3 civil wars, an economic crisis, and a communist government. This crisis will make stronger the people. My only concern is that work is the wealth of the nation, the only way to create wealth is through job creation. Out of the ballot package, how much money will be spending locally? And how much in China?

    February 9, 2009 at 9:53 pm |
  4. Maria Vega nyc

    Don't rock the boat! Sound familiar....well that's why the Republicans will not vote for the stimulus.
    Do they care for you or I? Do they care that actual people are actually hurting? The Pro-Lifers, do they care that actual living children go to bed hungry in our country? Do they care that families are going jobless and homeless?
    In opposing this stimulus they disclose with their actions that....
    NO! They don't really care.
    Money is NOT a PRODUCT. It's merely energy and the MEANS to a product backed by confidence.
    Yet you would think with the whining for tax cuts for the wealthy that money is something that hugs you and says I love you. It doesn't, people do that. So Republican party, change is here and it says people are senior to money. People create and generate money. Get behind the people and vote for the stimulus. It's the JOBS & ECONOMY STUPID!!!!!

    February 9, 2009 at 7:03 pm |
  5. LJRoy

    1) I will be in bed by then as I have to get up before the crack of dawn.

    2) Obama STILL is on his pro-abortion agenda, and it's making me physically ill.

    Therefore, I am not the slightest bit interested in whatever he has to say about the economy or any other subject.

    When Mr. Obama becomes more pro-life and less pro-abortion, I will listen.

    February 9, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  6. Megan Bliesner - Greensboro, NC

    @ Mary... I guess no one in the DEMOCRATIC congress during the Bush admistration is to blame??? You are very uninformed.

    February 9, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  7. Allen Brumbaugh

    I don’t know about you, but I’m really getting tired listening to the talking heads babbling about the how to “restore consumer confidence to promote spending”. What is it with these guys, are they as inept as George Bush or is it that they just don’t understand the dynamics of betrayal?

    Imagine yourself waking in to your house and seeing your spouse in bed with someone else. I’ll bet you’ll feel anger and betrayal; the “Dream” is shattered and the trust broken. Now, say you confide in a trusted confidant and they convince you that it was a mistake, a one time event, and that you should try counseling. You reluctantly agree, the relationship is strained and trust waning. If you caught your spouse, the other person, and your trusted confidant all in bed together; well, it’s sufficient to say that trust is no longer an issue.

    Now, looking at the financial institutions as the cheating spouse, credit as the other person and the US Treasury as a trusted confidant, you can now set the stage for the betrayal.

    You catch credit and finance cheating you (credit collapse of September 2008). Your trusted confidant (Paulson and Bernanke) convince you it was just a “thing” (Buying up Troubled Assets) suggesting counseling (Troubled Assets Relief Program) and you warily say OK (October 2008 TARP). Moments after you agree, the cheating spouse gets back in bed with the same whore, and has a threesome with your trusted confidant (Paulson shift of November 12, 2008). Do you really think consumer confidence (trusting that spouse) and consumer spending (easing credit) is going to fix the problem?

    February 9, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  8. Annie Kate

    Obama says the economy will get much worse and more people will suffer if the stimulus isn't passed – can he quantify that with some numbers – how much worse? how many more laid off? how long will the recession last before it starts to swing back of its own accord?

    I've been for this stimulus so far but if as some people say the economy will start to improve next year in 2010 then do we really have to increase the deficit as much as we will if we pass this stimulus bill? I certainly don't want any more families to hurt and would like to see the families already hurting get some help but I also don't want to leave a huge debt for our children to pay.

    February 9, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  9. Maria Vega nyc

    Why is everyone saying TARP 1 didn't work. The fact that the economy, though wobbly, is still standing means a catastrophe was averted.
    Now President Obama is seeking to get our legislative body to do their job and pass the stimulus bill. The Republicans are moaning and groaning because they want more of the same. Tax cuts for the wealthy. That hasn't worked but they keep pushing it as if they won the election and as if they have a mandate. Why would we elect President Obama and go back to the same stale ideas that the prior Republican Administration used and obviously failed with. They had their opportunity for many years and look where we are.
    I don't even see why people even bother to lend them an ear. They need to stop their countering the President at every turn or they are the ones that are going to be jobless.
    Not a bad idea to send them to the unemployment office hmmmmm....

    February 9, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  10. Larry

    @Mary V. What is the source of your data? Where is the breakdown of Obama's 'stimulus' package located?

    February 9, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  11. Mary V., Salt Lake City, UT

    @ Mike in Syracuse.............. here is the total of the national debt:

    $10, 731,597.300,520.59..... BUSH DOUBLED THE DEBT. So...... okay he did not triple it!

    However, when Bush took Office Clinton had left a very hefty SURPLUS...... Bush left Obama..... a huge DEFICIT!

    So...... hey, the truth hurts. Bush failed. And my question is:

    Where were the "fiscal conservatives" screaming and yelling while Bush spent our Nation into........... oblivion???????

    February 9, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  12. Primetime for party line

    Stop looking backward to Bush people...and start looking forward...by choosing to focus on thinking for yourself; not because the president tells you it is so...either president.

    It doesn't matter if it is Bush or Obama...don't let your feelings about the inappropriateness of the last stimulus bill make you forget that this new one isn't going to be any better...it is just a different hand that will sign it. Afterall, it was Dems in control when the last one was presented and it is Dems in control this time.

    If you didn't like the last one then surely don't sign this one...they both came from the same party. Don't you keep up with who has been in control of congress for the past two years?

    February 9, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  13. Chi Town

    Mary V., Salt Lake City, UT

    "Where were these “fiscal-conservatives” when Bush was TRIPLING our national debt and IGNORING WARNINGS about impending financial disaster???????????????"

    The Debt was left at 5.5 Trillion by Clinton... went up 4 Trillion by Bush during two wars. Obama will raise it 25% of what Bush spent in his first month... 25% of what took eight years in 30 days.

    It's pork... will not create jobs... but it will pass by the Dems... so don't worry. In 2006 our GNP, Dow, home sales etc where at an all time high... after 6 years of Bush... then we had a Dem congress elected... and it's all gone. If you are gonna HATE... at least get some facts right. It's called reading... left to right, top to bottom... not just what you hear from Air America. oh.. another bankrupt dem venture... and these are the people you trust with your money... but that would mean having a job and paying taxes... and we all know dems don't pay taxes... at least the ones Bammer wants in his cabinet... or hired anyway. LOL

    February 9, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  14. susan

    I voted for McCain. Obama was elected and I knew I had to get behind him and hope that he could do what he said he would do. We are only 2 or 3 weeks into his term and he is turning the stimulus package into a partisan mess. What happen to everyone was one and we could make change because we would leave politics out? I truly hoped that Obama would stand up to the crazy democrats who are giving paybacks to all of the lobbyists. I thought he would sit and line item every pork spending in the stimulus package. But he won't do it and my hope for his presidency being successful has dwindled. But that is politics. I hate it! I wish the politicans would remember they work for the people and do what is right for us and now what is right for their political future!

    February 9, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  15. Angellight

    The GOP should stop Hijacking the Stimulus Package and holding it Hostage because the way George Bush and the GOP spent our money will be characterized by an Era of Irresponsibility and Neglect, while Obama wants to spend our money wisely and on rebuillding Americsa, if the GOP lets him. The awful truth is that One Party has destroyed America while the other Party the Democratic Party wants to restore it.

    For instance: If you have a home in which you used your money to spend on alcohol, good times and neglected your roof, your bills, and now your roof is in danger of collapsing because you used your money on good times instead of the upkeep of your home and now the Argument is you are unable to borrow money to fix your roof before it caves in because you used your money foolishly in the past is also recklesslness and neglect on the part of the lender, so they let the roof collapse.

    In the Bush years 30 billion was spent in Afghanistan - 50 billion in Iraq and now Congress wants to say we cannot spend necessary money at home which has so long been neglected? States were given no money in the Bush years and now they still want to keep money out of the States on a fraudulent theory.

    It is now time to for Congress to put money back in to the United States and to spend money wisely and not fraudulently, irresponsibly and in the dark as in the Bush years. Obama believes in transparancey, hence you can find the Stimulus package on line for all to see.
    GOP say this money will be more of the same. It will not be more of the same. This money will be used for Americans, for jobs, to rebuild for improvement and innovations to improve life not on wars and countries which have nothing to do with American people or on big business who do not need the money.

    Bush and the Republicans inherited a Surplus from the Democrats and yet the GOP has created the worst economic crisis ever. The GOP should stop hijacking the Stimulus and do the right thing and let money flow back into America again, instead of holding the Democrats hostage from their quest of bringing help to the people and restoring American again.

    February 9, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  16. Vince

    Obama should take a few hundred billion from the stimulus package
    and rebuild New Orleans, just think of all those jobs that woud create....

    February 9, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  17. Larry

    @Mike, Syracuse NY As I read the posts after yours it seems like I may have been the only person who reads ALL the posts. Props to the content of your post.

    February 9, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  18. Terri in Idaho

    I would like the senators ask themselves one question before they vote on the Stimulus package. How many Americans will be put back to work in the next 30 days, 60 days 90 days if I vote for this Stimulus pakage?

    As a small business owner, this is devasting we are laying people off left and right every week, banks won't lend becasue they don't have to, construction is down over 35% due to no funding available.

    Lastly, when are our policticians going to lead by example, many Americans have had pay cuts, hours reduced if not laid off, I think our policticians should feel the pain and lead by example, all good management starts at the top, then they might be motivated to support Americans instead of pass pork that somehow they have received something personally from the organization pushing for the money.

    February 9, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  19. Sophia

    All Republican party wants are tax cuts. This is the reason that we are in the shape.Do they lesson to the people. I don't think they want CHANGE.
    Sophia De Loach
    El Cajon

    February 9, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  20. Peter

    The problem is that our current financial system is bankrupt.
    We need to have a look at why it is bankrupt.
    It’s bankrupt because of unregulated speculations (Hedge Fund, Derivatives) put in place by Alan Greenspan.
    This created debt of more than a trillion dollars which the banks should pay back by themselves. They have gotten themselves into this mess and they have to pay for it. Not one single penny of bail out money. It will take decades for the bank to pay this debt back, but that is just fine.
    Other factors that added to the breakdown are tax cuts (for the rich), the criminal in illegal war in Iraq, the fact that we a consumer society and not a production society, our free exchange system instead of a fixed exchange/monetary system and the criminal and corrupt influence of Corporate America on Washington.
    Corporate America has literally dragged this country down to the gutter.
    That is fully the fault of Bush. Bush basically handed Corporate America a blank check and gave them everything they wanted.
    The rep. philosophy was let the markets regulate them self. That was a serious mistake. As we all know.
    We need to support President Obama all the way with his recovery plan. We need it.
    But we also need severe oversight over Wall Street, no more speculations. Banks need to force to lend money to the small and medium sized businesses the back bone of our economy.
    The Government should not take over the banks, but we should set the rules on how they operate.

    The Corporate media (CNN, FOX and others) are nothing less than propaganda channels.
    They are owned by Corporate America and all they do and have done is brain wash and lie to the people.
    Corporate Media has sold us 2 times George W. Bush, has sold us the illegal and criminal war in Iraq and now they are complicit again and selling us those lies and non sense from the republican fascist.
    For every clear thinking American this is nothing new.
    Thank God enough people are seeing through their scheme and not buying in.
    After we have taken care of those republican fascist and the criminal banks, we need to set some take care of our media severely!

    February 9, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  21. xtina, chicago IL

    Are we crazy?!Only 10 per cent of the stimulus is for job creation; 90 percent is "pork barrel spending".

    And just say 'no' to Harry Reid's hairbrained scheme to turn a blind eye to illegal aliens benefiting from the stimulus. How about we say only Americans can benefit?

    February 9, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  22. jen

    faye dale – regarding your comment on food stamps. . .

    A few suggestions for you:
    ~ If your store is accepting food stamps for the purchase of either alcohol or tobacco, I would find out why they are doing so since it is against the federal law.
    ~ Get in touch with your representative or senator and see if they will work on getting the junk food to be stopped.
    ~ Gather up volunteers to help assisting the poor with giving them the tools to learn how to prepare healthy foods for reasonable costs.
    ~ Don't sit idle and watch things that need to be changed, but take the iniative to start the change on your own.

    February 9, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  23. Dennis Mahr

    I just wanted to input a comment on behalf of the people that are fortunate enought to make their mortgage payments on time. Our dilema is that the majority of us cannot refinance our balance to a lower interest rate due to being "upside down" on our homes. I thnk it would be the honorable thing to do if the banks that received the stimulus package would modify our interest rates to reflect the current lower rates. There would be no risk to the banks as these mortgates are safe performing loans.This would be based on perhaps, no late payments for the last two years. Not what is on the credit bureau. In doing so the monthly reduction in payments (which could be in the hundreds) could be used towards immediately stimiulating the economy via having more discretionary income. Sadly, you know it will work, because our past shows that Americans are known to be spenders VS. savers.

    February 9, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  24. Claudia

    An interesting proposition for Republican lawmakers who oppose the stimulus bill...if you refuse to vote for the bill, how about you also refuse to receive any stimulus money designated for your constituents. If the "philosophical differences" are so vast then the money should go to the lawmakers who actually CARE about the people suffering in their states, the amount of money it will take to help people and local governments survive the crisis, and some kind of a plan that tries to push America towards a solution.

    February 9, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  25. Isabel Abreu, Brazil

    Impatient with the delay of Congress, President Obama, will make a public ceremony in Indiana and will give the first press conference of his mandate, to try to hasten the approval of a package to stimulate the economy.

    The visit to Indiana is an opportunity for President Obama defend economic package as if it were in campaign, which for a populist president is very interesting.

    This is a moment when President Obama tries to regain the impulse after facing constraints because of fiscal irregularities of its indicated the positions of the first step, and an unexpected delay in approval of the package in Congress, where the majority is Democratic.

    The approval of the package would, that the President, left behind a difficult week.

    We continue cheering for President! And we are waiting, anxious, the primtime, and panel in AC360.

    February 9, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  26. Isabel Abreu, Brazil

    Good day ... almost afternoon

    President Obama will not have easy life. After inheriting the chaos established by the incompetence of former President Bush, now beginning to face the reaction of conservatives.

    February 9, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  27. Estelle

    When will those republicians rejecting this bill positions be up for voters to elected another term? Can we get a list? All Senators names should be posted on every blog and polictical paper with how they supported this bill. We know it's not perfect but this is what America needs, right NOW!!

    We know why Congress won't pass this bill cause there's a under tone of racial buzz., this country still have not clean the dirty laundry! When will Congress CHANGE???? While they're debating on who's right or wrong the country still is in a spiral downturn.

    Why not change the credit bureau's rating as well this would help the consumers adjust and regroup. Much of the problem comes from the credit bureau and the way the calculated everyones rating...

    Change won't happen over night just like we didn't get into this mess over night.

    God, Please Bless America!

    February 9, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  28. Eric

    I think the stimulus bill is certainly needed, and needs to be passed quickly so that money can start getting out into the economy. However, I am not a believer that any stimulus is better than no stimulus. I didn't like the House version because of money going to non-stimulative items like contraceptives. Even though it was a small amount, Congress shouldn't use this bill for their pet projects. I don't like the senate version of the Bill because it takes out a lot of the more stimulative aspects of the bill for less stimulative ones.
    In my opinion the bill should be largely Infrastructure spending with a focus on projects that can get going in the next 24 months. Those projects will not only create demand and jobs, but will leave a solid foundation for economic growth and energy savings going forward. We'll need that growth and savings to pay off this debt down the road. Everyone seems to agree on the infrastructure spending, yet it's been cut drastically. They need to invest in our schools, bridges, roads, water/sewer, electrical grid & broadband infrastructure. Most seem to agree on extending unemployment benefits and Food Stamp programs as those are highly stimulative as well. There seems to be a lot of disagreement between House and Senate on aid to states, but I think that aid will quickly end up in the economy and should be done. If states have to lay-off and furlough workers it will only make the economy worse as demand further decreases. There are too many tax cuts for the wrong people in the Senate Bill. Lower and middle income people are more likely to spend the money in the economy, however a large amount of the tax breaks are for people buying new cars, new houses or those that fall under the AMT. All of those people are likely to be doing ok financially anyway, and are therefore more likely to save or pay down debt than put money into the economy. The only tax cuts should be Obama's original Make work Pay program and something for small business that encourages investment in equipment and increases demand. I hope that when this thing goes to conference the administration takes a larger hand in the negotiations. Congress obviously still needs adult supervision in the room when it comes to spending money wisely. Anything non-stimulating should wait for the regular appropriations process.

    February 9, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  29. Ken

    Why the townhall meeting? Why the primetime news conference? This is just political maneuvering to make everyone think the administration is "reaching out" for support. This thing is going to pass no matter what. But now the administration will be able to spin it by saying that it only passed because Obama reached out to America via a townhall meeting and a primetime news conference and convinced everyone the package is necessary.

    A brillant political move.

    February 9, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  30. Eggert Rasmussen

    I am a retired Real Estate Broker residing during the winter months in the beautiful Palm Springs area. Driving through the Coachella Valley, from Desert Hot Springs to Indio and beyond is a very sad experience. The hundreds of bank-owned and foreclosed-on houses and the losses the poor homeowners have faced is unconscionable. These houses are now offered for sale at a fraction of what they once were. Some are less than half of the original price. If these same people who lost their houses were being given the opportunity to buy back their houses at a deflated price, I am sure that 80% could now afford them.

    But they are out of luck. Their credit rating is ruined and (I am told) for 3-4 years no one will even talk to them about a loan. The ones who qualify for a mortgage should have their credit rating restored immediately so they can get back in the market.

    Here is my idea of what should be done immediately and it should work as it is patterned after the Canadian banking system who have used the mortgage insurance successfully for many decades. And throughout history the Canadian banking system has remained solid and foreclosures are rare, even through these difficult times.

    The US Government should start a mortgage insurance corporation funded by 2% of any new mortgage up to an amount of say, $300,000. This 2% should be added to the mortgage and paid to the Government at the time of closing the deal. The banks or lenders should be forced to qualify buyers and limit the mortgage payment to 40% of a couple's combined income with as little as5% down. If a couple does not have the 5% down payment it should be given to them as a repayable grant.

    Because a lot of these homes are now vandalized and in disrepair, qualified contractors should be asked to give estimates of the work to be done and those costs should be added and paid for by increasing the mortgage because the value is now greater.

    The result will be as follows:

    You will have a run on the housing market. Thousands of contractors, carpenters, electricians, even Joe the plumber, etc. will find employment almost instantly. Not to mention the thousands or realtors which would be back to work again.

    People would be happy again. You know there is nothing like having your own roof over your head to make you happy. Barak Obama would become their superstar.

    The banks can't lose because the mortgages are guaranteed – provided the banks do their homework and qualify their buyers. There are no loose ends with this plan.

    This plan will work – guaranteed!

    February 9, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  31. Joe Public

    Ok, So we get the banks on track and if we have to force them to lend the money from the stimulus package well can will help. I just want to know what happens to the little guy, you know the poor sap that has already lost it all. Lost their homes, lost their credit and have lost their pride. Many still have jobs with a decent income but they are a credit wreck. Where is the little guy bailout, where is the common Americans do over?

    Well I think I know, the common people, middle class Americans, will have to suck it up and just wait for 10 years until their credit rebounds and maybe they can become part of our society again. Well I understand that the big banks get a bailout, they made some bad decisions and we the American public are there to bail them out. This society does have a double standard we bail out big banks and help to give the CEO’s a big bonus, but there is zero support for the backbone of our economy, middle class “Joe Public”.

    I believe we need to look at the Americans middle class that have lost it and set some new priorities to get these people back in to our system. There are millions of hard working Americans that just need a bailout. If they have the income and need to start over, we need to get these people back into the credit system. This will help our economy to restart and give these people back apart of the American dream of owning a home to raise their family in. If you want home sale to go up, new home building and spending in our economy. I believe this is how we do it. Give limited credit to those that can afford to pay and also give them some education of how not to get back into those kind of credit problems again.

    You know my father went through the great depression and those lessons of loss stayed with him his whole life, just like it did for a whole generation. Many that knew him said he was cheap or tight, he just knew the value of a dollar and his generation built our countries economy on those tight fisted

    February 9, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  32. Mike, Syracuse NY

    @Mary V. A fact check. Under Bush the debt DID NOT triple. In fact it came close, but didn't quite double. The worst debt years were the last two, when Congress was controlled by Democrats. The President can't spend a dime without Congress' authorization. So the Dems did more than their fair share in raising the debt. Finally, at the rate he is going, Obama will double the debt in 4 years, not 8. By the way, I didn't hear many 'warnings' from the Dems when they took over. They continued with business as usual.

    February 9, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  33. Mary

    The stimulus bill scares me to death. By rushing this bill through Congress, our Washington leaders are opening themselves up to the same old waste, fraud, and abuse that happened by rushing the spending bills for Homeland Security, Katrina, and the Iraq war (think Halliburton). On top of that, the "stimulus" bill is loaded with social agenda spending that nothing to do with creating jobs. This bill should be for creating jobs ONLY. Leave the other spending to a later date. The lack of oversight by rushing through the Wall Street Bail-out did absolutely nothing for the common taxpayer that is paying for it.

    Obama promised Hope instead of Fear, yet he tries to instill fear by saying if the bill is not on his desk by the middle of February, then an economic situation will become a catastrophy. Obama also promised Change in Washington, yet the Democrats overloaded this bill with Pelosi's pork "wish list" social agenda items (business as usual?). Obama also said Change would start from the bottom up, so here is my proposal:

    The housing crisis started the economic slide and until this underlining problem is fixed, the economic crisis will continue. Giving money to the banks so they can loan more money will not work because no one wants a loan when they do not have a job. Change from the Bottom Up will require Obama to Believe in the American people and have trust in their decisions. Every legal U.S. citizen over the age of 18 should be given a check by our Government for (say) $10,000 . Those who WERE NOT responsible, and bought more house than they could afford, could use this money to catch up on their back payments and avoid foreclosure. Those that WERE responsible, would either spend the money (thus stimulating the economy and creating jobs) or save the money (the banks would then have more money to lend with the influx of cash from more money deposited into savings accounts). I think the American taxpayers could get behind this idea because it would be fair to all. The spending decisions would belong to the people instead wasteful bureaucrats.

    February 9, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  34. c,ca

    Yes, I support President Obama and the Stimulus Package. These Repubs are driving me crazy – they got us into this mess but they're too mad about losing the election to try to work on solving the problems. I don't know why they're in a state of shock and awe over spending money. Bush's war has cost zillions. Suddenly, they're so concerned about creating debt.

    They want it both ways. They know the bill is going to pass so they want to cover their butts by voting 'no' – but they still want to collect the money for their districts. I think Pres. Obama should borrow a line from the Repub's Dear Leader -Bush: you're either with us or you're against us. If you are against the Stimulus Package then, great, don't accept any of the funding for programs designed to help the citizens in your area. I wonder how many of them would vote no, then.

    February 9, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  35. Presley

    Honestly, i wish President Obama could say it is all fixed and tomorrow everything will be super, I will and am settling for a confident, thoughtful speech. Just with intonation alone, he makes me feel better.

    See, my glass is still half full.
    Carry on.

    February 9, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  36. Phillip Saims

    My frustration with the GM! I am trying to buy an american car ie a Cadillac. However, when i compared the pricing to a Benz C class it was $4,000 more than the benz. How can a company that is supposed to be reinventing itself with my money come up with this? I am so frustrated that as an american trying to do the right thing they can not get it right! When you look over the consumer reports the Benz ranks higher overall. Can someone help me understand this? When i called GM they could really tell me the real difference. The only thing they promote is OnStar. What I want is an excellent car that is at least priced correctly. Of course no one will provide any numbers to the corporate office. So can you help me? Help America?

    February 9, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  37. Dennis Savoie

    A major supporter of President Obama and Vice President Obama from the beginning. Stimulus? Meaning what will it simulate? Why? How? When? Economy? How was the $800 Billion number arrived? The Obama Economic Finanical Team need to incorporate Value Analysis Methods and not politics. What is the problem? Why do I think it is a problem? What is the solution to the problem? What are the consequences of not solving the problem? They need to get to the root cause of the economic issues not the symtoms of the economic problem! The Value Analysis is a Federal Law that was incorporated in the 60's under SAVE International that must be incorporated by Federal Agencies like the Corp of Engineers. It will solve the Economic Problem, and functionally look at the Big Picture of the probleme and force the solution to the problem. We need a International and National Economic Stimulus Roadmap Plan will bring back regulation, confidenence and spending and hold individuals accountable both the private and public sectors. I am confident if they got the best of the best minds in a confernece room using Value Analysis Methods and FAST Modeling then we would know how much money is needd and the priorites to solve this problem. We need to identify "First" the "Root Cause of the Problem." Call Jerry Kaufman in Houston, he can educate President Obama before he signs into law this bill!

    February 9, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  38. Ryan

    I think honestly every word that comes out of Obama's mouth has some kind of motive for himself and his buddy's. He has so many people he's got to pay back now that he bought his way into the white house. Anyway what's wrong with this generation? The top word I hear anywhere I go whether on the news or blogs or the internet is "Bailout". As long as we keep thinking in those terms nothing is ever going to get done. no one is going to bail you out! If it sounds to good to be true it probably is. Those that have created this mess take some responsibility and you know who you are and let's move on, I think this generation is Lazy! Quit whining and do something, quit looking for a hand out. Who cares if these big businesses go out of business I don't, they made there bed let them sleep in it. Then maybe next time they wont make there bed that way.


    February 9, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  39. Susan

    I have not heard any reporting if the Buy America clause has been removed from this stiimulas package. Canada and the EU are very upset about this. We can not go back to protectionism and isolationist
    policy. This will cause a severe blow to our economy in regards to trade issues. If this is not removed we could loose even more manufacturing jobs.

    There is also a clause in the stimulas package that would not allow non union contractors to bid on the infrastructure jobs that would be created by the spending in the stimulas package. Sounds to me as politics as usual. Paybacks for the union vote.

    February 9, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  40. Mary V., Salt Lake City, UT

    @ Cindy.......... have you read the Bill????????

    What I want to know, and the far-right never answers is:

    Where were these so-called-fiscal-conservatives when Bush was spending us into ......financial oblivion??????????

    Where were these "fiscal-conservatives" when Bush was TRIPLING our national debt and IGNORING WARNINGS about impending financial disaster???????????????


    February 9, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  41. Carrie Gourley

    I think the stimulus bill is a disaster. I'm very disappointed and have
    little hope in President Obama. This so-called stimulus is really
    being used as a cover to push through Democratic policies that
    they have been unable to push through Congress in prior years.
    None of the money has helped so far, so why would this money
    help? Most of this money is not to create jobs, either.
    Why doesn't the mainstream media expose this? Why is
    the President and the leadership in Congress given a pass?

    February 9, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  42. faye dale

    I am almost 71 years old work part time at a local grocery store. I just saw one of cnn news people show the responsible way to survive on food stamps. That is a joke. Most times I know right away the cusomer is in food stamps (at tax payers, like me expense) because most of them purchase pop, hot pockets junk food very little food you actually have to cook. The older one's will get more responsible food, also the food stamp customer will buy many times alcohol, and cigarettes with their cash. I think for news to really know they would have to witness this like I do. Sorry this is long but I think pop & junk food should be none food stamp allowed.

    February 9, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  43. Amina L

    As a college student whose been trying to keep up with what's going on right now. I see that though many see this bill as a waste of money, why doesn't anyone question the first stimulus bill that went through with Bush? We let his bill pass to help wall street and now we are eating our words. Some may see obama as a telemarketer but he is doing something that Bush didn't and that is trying to connect with the american people. He is your average everyday american that wants better for the nation. so instead of trying to deface everything he tries to do give him the same chance you gave bush. and if it doesn't work out tough luck. there's a 50/50 chance the bill will work or not work at least in his bill he is trying to create jobs for those who are not employed instead of just giving money to wall street.

    February 9, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  44. lee

    We need some sort of package now. Looks like a great program for tonight and look forward to watching. As long as Erica is NOT anchoring. Can't watch her.

    February 9, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  45. Michelle D. Fonthill,Ont

    Good Morning Penny
    The stimulus deal or no deal? That is the question . The Presdiedent is like a telemarketer trying to seel this stimulus package trimmed down to $827 billion how much of this money is really just a simple bailout for wall street ? The tax payers are going to have to pay for them not going under i hope that they can tmake a deal to increase jobs for the people it's already sparking riots in Europe i hope it doesn't reach that extreme here . The tax payers need this plan to work for them .

    February 9, 2009 at 9:56 am |
  46. Cindy

    I'm still not happy with this stimulus bill because I think that it still contains too much pork. This is supposed to be a recovery bill right? Then why add junk in it that will not do anything to stimulate the economy? It is ridiculous. I hope for our country's sake that it works but I won't be holding my breath on it!

    There is nothing much that Obama can say short of all of the pork will be eliminated that would make me happy about this stimulus package. He'll just get on TV and spew the same junk he has been spewing up until now. The truth is that over half of the country is against this bill so he is lying when he says Americans want this bill passed! He needs to realize that! But then hey..he is a politician and that is what they do best right!!?


    February 9, 2009 at 9:03 am |