February 23rd, 2009
08:56 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Stimulus Pushback

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/02/23/fiscal.summit/art.obama.news.gi.jpg caption="President Obama is scheduled to officially unveil his fiscal year 2010 budget Thursday."]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

The Dow and S & P 500 finished the day at their lowest levels in nearly 12 years, as investors continue to worry about efforts to fix the economy. The Dow sank 250 points. The S & P shed 26 and the Nasdaq lost 53 points. The meltdown came as President Obama held a day of Q & A at the White House. This time reporters didn't do the grilling. It was lawmakers from Capitol Hill at the mic.

The Q & A session was part of the bipartisan "fiscal responsibility summit." It was a remarkable, candid moment. In the free-flowing open session, Pres. Obama and lawmakers were in one room talking about ways  to solve the crisis. We'll have more on the meeting tonight on AC360° .

The summit came after Pres. Obama met with the nation's governors. Some governors are threatening to turn down money offered in the White House stimulus package. One of the sticking points is money for unemployment aid. Some governors say the cash for that program could lead to tax increases down the road and that's why they don't want to the money.

Do you think governors should pass up on the cash?   Or are they putting politics ahead of the people in their state? We'd love to hear your thoughts.

Interestingly, New York's two senators have told Pres. Obama their state would gladly take any money rejected by a governor.

Join us for these stories and more starting at 10pm ET.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Rodney Roberts

    Well we sit here and realize that the stimulus is not going to stimulate what it realy needs to stimulate which is jobs and the lenders. Anothe r thought is that they should have spent all this time figuring out how to stimulate the stock market rather than make it worse with just a cashless spending bill. Two things would have quikly stimulated america and that would be to solve the lenders problems which is partly the goverments blame and to help stablize the stock market which everything done sofar has hurt the market.

    February 24, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  2. William of Iowa

    Once again President Obama opens the issue to debate. The Presidents willingness to listen to opposing points of view in order to better serve the people is laudable. What does the opposition offer in return? Conspiracy theories. Of course, the loudest voices in opposition probably could make a case for "the sky is falling" argument.

    February 24, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  3. Linda Lawrence

    I'm not so concerned with the party for the governors, but I have a couple of questions that I am concerned about!!

    What country was the new fleet of helicopters for the president made??????? comment: 33 million dollars for one!!! maby bids would have been a good idea!!!!

    Second comment: Nafta: Trade between countries is fine.

    If China has rice or something we need and we have corn that they need, then trade is great:

    BUT: Our country was doing just find manufacturing clothing or other items needed by us, until they laid out all the people, vacated the buildings , moved to China or what-ever other country and hired and trained their citizens to do the same thing that we were doing and then ship the products back here for the Americans to buy, who have no job.

    That is not fair trading; because they did not have a product that we needed. These imports should be taxed to the point that that tax money will pay for the trillions of dollars to pull us out of this mess.

    February 24, 2009 at 9:20 am |
  4. Cece

    Why do we keep using the stock market's rise or fall to dictate how we are doing in this country? Why is it that we can expose the flaws inherent in stock market insider trading, leverages and major stock firms going bankrupt and then turn around and use their daily ups and downs to determine how we as a nation are doing? Where are the stories about the money being returned by the UBS and the names of those who have hidden their money offshore? That money, if invested here, might cause quite a stimulus!

    February 24, 2009 at 8:58 am |
  5. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    To the Governors who would turn down federal assistance--a bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush.

    February 24, 2009 at 8:51 am |
  6. Lance Manning

    Wouldn't it be a lot more realistic and rewarding if our elected officials decided to heal the economic crisis by sending a stimulus package directly to the citizens. Let's say about $100,000 each for everyone earning less than $150,000. That money would be used to pay off real debts, put more money directly into the economy and even open a few more savings accounts which just might even help the banks. How about a novel approach of feeding the hungry instead of the rich. Heck, we'll even pay taxes on that stimulus income, sales and energy taxes, going right back to the source of the problem, our elected officials. It might be helpful to do away with that term, "government" and make it more personal by replacing it with the term, "our elected officials: they still are aren't they and doesn't that really put it back in our lap?

    February 24, 2009 at 8:30 am |
  7. Emma Jane Lavallie

    I have to say,"I enjoyed the segment on the first dinner at the Whitehouse. This of course, for the govenors of our U.S.A.
    It was heartwarming to see the first lady embrace and encourage young culinary students. Huckleberries have been a subsistance food for our native peoples from the beginning of time. Our ancestors (the Yakama) have gathered the special 'wild blueberry' provided by "Our Mother Earth" for many centuries. This was a gathering that provided food throughout the long winter months. Gathered in the fall of our seasons, many knew that this berry had been given to us to harvest annually to provide for our people. It would be great if the reporters knew how important this fruit is to us as a subsistance for our people, Eventhough, it can take several hours to gather one gallon for a mouth watering pie. Sincerely,
    Emma Jane LaVallie

    February 24, 2009 at 3:55 am |
  8. michelle

    I feel president obama should not touch social security money if he does will make a lot more people homeless I been on social security for 17 years and bearly make it as it is I can't work

    February 24, 2009 at 3:27 am |
  9. Patrick Castronovo

    It seems that every time Obama opens his mouth on the economy,the market allways drops so please pres.Obama SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 24, 2009 at 1:18 am |
  10. Barbara Murray

    I feel that any governor that refuses federal money in this date and time should be looking for a new job come election time. This is no time for me myself and I thinking. People need help now.

    February 24, 2009 at 12:01 am |
  11. Tom, Caldwell Idaho

    I come from a very "red" state whose entire congressional delegation (including our one democrat) voted against the stimulus package and our governor is threatening to refuse the stimulus $$. I know education will suffer dramatically if they take no stimulus. Funny thing is, if the stimulus were offered to our state with no strings... they would take it in a heart beat and education would still get the short end of the stick.
    I am also livid that educational spending on building schools was removed from the package because this was viewed by republicans as "non-stimulus". I can tell you most school districts are generally fiscally conservative and have school building plans prepared well in advance and in many cases go to the point of massive overcrowding before the schools are built and brought online. Right now, schools could be built and the a vast majority of the money could be paid back to the taxpayer as the districts would have been building the schools anyway. In my view, we are simply accelerating the building of schools that are already slated (and nearly shovel ready) to be built in the next few years anyway. This type of stimulus would benefit all 50 states and most of the $$ would come back to the coffers if structured properly! Lets get people back to work and build the 21st century schools!

    February 23, 2009 at 11:48 pm |
  12. Hilda

    The President's Fiscal Responsibility Summit should have been called Fiscal Hypocrisy Summit. Why couldn't the government just appropiate the money necessary to stimulate the economy. Why the stimulus bill had to be saddled with money to finance programs that would not create any infrastructure nor jobs? That is why there are so many of us upset at the spending bill.

    Anybody that take a closer look at the bill can find billions of dollars appropiated to things like electronic medical records, research, and other things that although desirable are NOT NECESSARY RIGHT NOW! It does not matter how you look at it, the stimulus bill is full of a lot of waste that a couple of years from now we are going to be required to pay with high taxes.

    Politicians responsible for this mess "in the past eight years" also include many democrats like Congressman Frank and Senator Dodd. Aren't they members of Finance Committees?

    This is not the time to shut-up. This is as good a time to speak up.

    February 23, 2009 at 11:42 pm |
  13. Tom

    What does Wall street really know about predicting the future of finance in America anyway? The market boomed while Bush and his cronies rode the country into the ground. The market will come back eventually despite investors' knee jerk reactions to yesterday's news. Many a millionaire was made from the Great Depression buying up good stocks at fire-sale prices and the same thing will happen this time around.

    February 23, 2009 at 11:31 pm |
  14. sippy

    it appears anytime president obama opens his mouth markets takes a hit. only people who are enjoying and having good time are the obama and his family and the bunch of politicians around him. rest of the world is going to dogs. it is beacuse of the fears created by obama so that he can take all the credit later on for doing a good job. he does not realise that there will be nothing left and he will be responsible for bringing depression in the world. right now he is playing good politics with no substance and good oratory.

    February 23, 2009 at 11:11 pm |
  15. Steven

    New Orleans is still in a dismal state almost 3 and half years after Katrina. The levies are insecure and many residents have chosen not to return to a city that was once a thriving metropolis. It was a tourist attraction, a Superbowl venue, and a host to national business conventions all rolled up in one. Today it laid waste. Yet amid the desperate state of this major city in his state of Louisiana, Gov. Jindal has chosen to turn down part of the Stimulus in favor of party ideals. Is this the type of leaders that is worthy of his election? Gov. Jindal should be the first to go hands and knees before Congress pleading for more stimulus money to help rebuild New Orleans. Instead he stand aloft even turning down part of the stimulus coming his way that could have helped. The 3 auto execs who went to Washington in their private jets are better people by comparison. At least they begged for their employees.

    February 23, 2009 at 11:07 pm |
  16. J Cooper

    Do you really want to see things get moving?????
    Give a $20,000. tax credit to anyone wanting to buy a house. First, second or third property. That would motivate everyone to get off the fence & would do alot to cure our housing problem. Certainly it will help the people who need a Buyer & allow them to hopefully walk away with some cash & let them go on with life. Win/Win. Isn’t that a good part of what we all want.? A fair tax break & to get our housing market moving again. Thank you, JC
    New Jersey -Real Estate Agent

    February 23, 2009 at 11:04 pm |
  17. Sherre

    I am so tired with the political rhetoric being the excuse for not getting things done. The people that want to criticize and complain about the stimulus package, etc. have no better solutions. Their answer is to continue the status quo that got us into this mess. We have a president who is telling us the truth for a change and acting in the best interest of many more Americans than any of his predecessors. It will take time to see the results but we are definitely on the right track. I am so grateful to see this young man standing up to the gridlock in Washington. I am so proud to be an American at this time. Where were the politicians that are now crying about our new direction during the past 8 years when they could have prevented our financial downfall. Either be part of the solution or with all due respect. Shut up! Thank you.

    Dunnellon, FL

    February 23, 2009 at 10:53 pm |
  18. James Pepple

    New Stimulus plan there are roughly 300 million citizens in the United States, give every family or head of household 1 million dollars this will get every middle to lower class citizen out of debt giving them money to invest, start family business.

    Do not bail out the auto industry have a managed bankruptcy giving other wealthy individuals the opportunity to purchase them the way it would be if I can not make my payments.

    Increase military spending for Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen and Veterans, and increase the military force numbers.

    Do not allow speculators corrupt the stock market; this is no different than someone drugging a race horse, especially if you have insider information which is illegal.

    This will be much less than the 750 trillion dollars...

    February 23, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  19. Guillermo

    On the subject of transparency, how (if at all possible) is the goverment going to keep track of the billions that are going to be passed? This seems like a monumental task and none of the people, agencies involved seem to be as transparent as to how exactly this gets done and most importantly what will prevent abuse yet again?

    February 23, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  20. swest

    Since these problems are new in that everyone is in unchartered territory, the President is handling the problem the only way that anyone can, a system of trial and error that hopefully has few errors. All the naysayers who seem to have nothing but criticism, should have been around when the previous administration was driving this country into the situation that we are now in.

    February 23, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  21. Lara

    I applaud the Governors. They are looking out for the people of their states by looking at what will be in the future, instead of what is now. Thinking about what is now got us into this mess, including the first stimulus, which ended up having NO oversight. I honestly wish the Dems would start looking at the whole picture, instead of what's going to keep them in their seats. Not every area needs the same recovery strategy, and quite honestly, I think the Governors and Mayors are much better equipped to deal with that than a Federal body.

    That said, I don't see how going deeper into debt is going to help anyone. Afterall, first rule of getting out of a hole is to first stop digging.

    February 23, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  22. david

    These three southern governors have one thing in common they are poorest states in the country and their conservative ideas are the reason why. Where is their stimulus package ideas, other than tax cuts?

    February 23, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  23. Suzanne Hill

    When are the grocery stores going to help stimulate the people's recovery by lowering prices. Didn't they raise them quickly when gas prices went up, but they haven't come down.

    February 23, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  24. sky

    Over the past decades, we paid for a lot of big Wall Street ego’s. Payout demands for not only excessive salaries and benefits on Wall Street and other areas, but also for monumental architecture to honour someone or another. Inflated and extravagant ideas lead by greed and competition. Along with unions arguing the point for huge wages and benefits, we have all but destroyed the systemic basis of the marketplace.

    It seems we are dropping so far into the red, we have lost sight of a viable future financial market.

    The now impossible high costs to maintain the extravagance of the past, while attempting to develop and explore have created an impossibility to cover costs, let alone make profits. Generally speaking, there is a virtual no-buy, no-sell attitude.. Barter could be the trade of the immediate future.

    Slumdog-poverty might be an indication of the direction The Americas are headed. The study of history shows that Empires fall eventually. Our era could be a prelude of such a historical event.

    Is this where we are?

    February 23, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  25. Don

    There're items in the stimulus package that can help everybody, and to turn all or part of that money down is not only foolish, but, irresponsible governing and has the potential to be even more harmful to the communities that really need that money.

    On a potentially good note, the stock market tanking like it did today could mean that the White House will be able to buy bank stocks at a lower, better price so long as the stocks aren't worthless when they're ready to buy them.

    February 23, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  26. Diana

    I think that the Republican Govenor from Louisana and other states that don't want the money I applaud them but I hope they think about the people who are need of help the middle class especially.

    February 23, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  27. RockyRacoon

    We should wait to nationalize the banks until the prices reflect their true value, just like the investors are doing. Let the market take care of the market. In the meantime, we should develop transportation, energy, agriculture, education, health care, and safe affordable housing for the poor and working middle class finaced with our public banking system. Then you would only hear complaints from the Republicans calling us socialists. I have been called worst.

    February 23, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  28. Denny Dressman

    Why do we make such a big deal of the national debt when we all know it will never be paid down, much less paid off in full? Seems like a meaningless number in the reality of it all.

    February 23, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  29. Toni

    It really ticks me off. Mostly because one of the governors threatening to do this is the governor, Haley Barbour of MS, my home state. It is the poorest state in the nation. Schools are constantly having to cut back on their programs, from elementary schools to universities. Many people, including my own father, are out of work. A lot of Mississippians are just like everyone else in the country suffering. While it may not seem as drastic, because we've been this way for a while, it is still there.

    It just seems like a political game. Principles are great. However when your principles hurt the people that you are in office to govern, it makes little sense.

    February 23, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  30. Barbara

    It seems to me that the republican governors are the ones turning down the stimulus money. In my state of SC our governor has said he will only take part of the money for unemployment. What about increases to food stamps and other government agencies like medicaid? People rely on these programs when times are tough. I would like governor Sanford to live on 188 a month for food.

    February 23, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  31. May from Tennessee

    So let me get this straight...some governors don't want to take stimulus money because it could lead to a tax increase later down the road? Give me a freaking break! It's just another excuse to disagree. If the stimulus works and the economy improves I really don't think the "possibility" of a tax increase will hurt us too much at that point. Sure, it might tick off a few greedy rich politicians and ceo's to part with a few extra bucks...but the rest of us folks would just like to feed our families, pay our bills, and hopefully stay healthy. Some of the GOP needs to remove their heads from their forepoint of contact. They claim to want bipartisanship but it's just more partisan politics. I'll give 'em one thing...their being transparent...we can see right through them.

    February 23, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  32. John from Jersey

    New Jersey just got $17.4 billion. It was will be a circus watching politicians and contractors gorge on this cash for the next five years. There won't be enough federal prosecutors to handle the indictments.

    February 23, 2009 at 10:06 pm |
  33. K-lin

    With the economy crashing so badly, it is time that the powers to be stop the in fighting and start working together. Hey, the stimulus package may not have everyone right but it is a start. Rather than bickering, it's time for the real work to begin and get the economy back into shape. The GOP is just a bunch of sore losers. The way they are going on with things, it's not surprising that the country is down in the dumps.

    February 23, 2009 at 10:04 pm |
  34. John from Jersey

    Stimulis money for states will be eaten up by the same people who now enjoy benefits without working. But it's better to give it to the most needy than to give it to corporations who will only stuff stim money in their pockets and call it a bonus. This entire economic system is circling in the American Standard bowl.

    February 23, 2009 at 10:03 pm |
  35. Juanita R Villarreal

    Those against President Obama's Stimulus Package is only because It means there will be no assistance for the rich as has been for the last 8 years when all they had to do was put their hand out and they received, no questions asked. With our New President who thinks of the poor and the meek; God Bless President Barak Obama who is concerned and wants to reach out to help us the poor but is having trouble with the whining Republicans who, for the last 8 years, forgot that we even existed. I could go on because there is much, much more, but I will stop for now.

    February 23, 2009 at 9:39 pm |
  36. Annie Kate

    I think the governors are putting politics above the needs of the people – just like they always do. I would think more of the GOP if they would at least try to work with the Democrats and President Obama. After all, this mess touches us all – not just Democrats and the GOP should be as interested in solving it as the Democrats – and its not the rich that need saved either.

    February 23, 2009 at 9:23 pm |
  37. xtina, chicago IL

    Some GOP governors actually have conservative principles. If a governor doesn't want to commit to paying part-time workers unemployment, that does not make it a political game. A lot of governors disagree with what's in this stimulus.

    It's more refreshing and quite the "change" to hear state leaders say they will cut spending and make government cut their expenses. Obama's plan to grow the government is scary. The more people who depend on government, the more we lose our liberty. States have rights, too. Everyone doesn't have to walk in step w. Obama, do they?

    February 23, 2009 at 9:19 pm |