February 25th, 2009
09:43 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Big Money, Big Plans

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/02/25/budget.healthcare/art.obama.health.gi.jpg caption="President Obama tells Congress Tuesday night: 'I have no illusions this will be an easy process'."]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight, we have breaking news on how President Obama plans to spend your tax dollars. He'll unveil his first budget tomorrow, but tonight we know about a big part of it. It has to do with your health care. CNN's Ed Henry will have the breaking details at the top of the program.

Meanwhile, the House has passed a $410 billion dollar spending bill to keep the government running through September, the end of the fiscal year. Remember President Obama urged Congress last night to make tough choices to lower the deficit. Well, the spending bill is $31 billion dollars higher than last year. CNN's Dana Bash reports that democrats are giving generous increases for everything from agriculture to Amtrak. And, though Republicans are blasting the bill, they are demanding $8 billion more taxpayer dollars to prevent GOP aides from being fired, which usually happens after the party loses seats in an election. That's not all. There are $7.7 billions in earmarks or pork projects. We're tracking the cash.

What do you think of the spending plan? Sound off below.

And, join us for these stories and more starting at 10pm ET.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Travis

    What I find sadly humerous is that congress and our Beloved Leader lambast corporate america for "wasting taxpayer money". If that isn't the pot calling the kettle black I don't know what is! Afterall, isn't ALL spending stimulative? According to some it is.

    February 26, 2009 at 8:36 am |
  2. J.V.Hodgson

    Obama veto the pork and earmarks and offset it against your health care reserve.
    You can save $bns on health care and the deadline of 1 year for a plan is fine, and fund ideas and methods out of th $600bn reserve.
    Leave it open to any republican minded politician or person to opt out, but they must contribute a %of income to national plan with a cap at say $ 2m of income in % terms and graduations between $250K up to S$2m in terms of the cap %.
    The criteria here are can you work because you get health care = help the rich anyway and the overall economy, or isit more important that you get what you can afford, out of work for whatever reason or not.
    Tough on those who do not work like Kids and college students on which are the future of any nation depends.
    America will be sick nation until something realistic is done here.

    February 26, 2009 at 5:18 am |
  3. Bob McConnell

    Republicans forget that the private sector is invited to be part of the solution. Businesses seem to be shy about stepping-up to the plate. Obama's participation isn't limiting capitalist solutions. Everyone needs to think outside the box. Even ear marks can contribute to job creation and serving public long term interests.

    February 26, 2009 at 4:20 am |
  4. ROSIE

    My fellow American's
    Let us stop and take a long look at ourselves. We sat quite for eight years, while the past administration spent these tax dollars as though it were their own. They were allowed to do what ever they set a mind to do, with these tax dollars, and we never gave it a thought, or lost one nights sleep.
    But now that a new President is in office, and has to spend tax dollars, in order that you might have money to spend; he is being treated as if he is the one who spent these tax dollars, these past eight years, and we just now found out.
    If we stop complaining long enough to take a good look at him, we will see that he has the people at heart, the same as he did on the campaign trail.
    So instead of us making his task even harder, why don't we read the instructions left to us, "on the money", by the founding father's, and be wise enough to put it to good use. The words are "In God We Trust".
    Our founding father's left this wisdom, that we might know how this Country came to be, and what we needed to do, so that it might continue to be.
    So while The President work to get us out of a hole, which was not of his doing, let us follow the wisdom left, for us, by the founding father's, while we build upon the hope we received, from this very same man, on the campaign trail, and together we will win this fight; for where there is unity there is strength. It was our strength that put him in office, and its that same strength that's going to be his strength now that he is in office.

    February 26, 2009 at 3:56 am |
  5. Walt

    All this spending is what should have been done beforer instead of tax cuts to get elected, better maintenance of infrastructure and the m ilitary should have been done. When Bush projected a surplus and then offered to cut taxes. That was stupid, when there is extra money yhou have to first look around and see if anything needs to be replaced, fixed or bouight before you cut your source of income.
    We need to take better care of this country and the people in it. We need to figure out what it takes to ensure our liberty and freedom and have a proper tax base not cut taxes because we have an incomplete budget.

    February 26, 2009 at 2:44 am |
  6. AL

    Our founding fathers would be shouting at the top of their lungs calling for another revolution for what all these politicians are doing to us now. I believe one is coming its just a matter of how much more we will take!!!!

    February 26, 2009 at 2:26 am |
  7. James Estes

    I guess those Republicans finally learned their lesson about spending. Wish I could say the same for Obama and this congress.
    Democrats and Obama during his campaign Pounded Bush
    for his spending. So now we have Obama and the Democrat
    Congress running blind and spending more in 1 month then
    Bush spent in 8 years! Obama came to office with a bad economy
    and is making it worse ! Now is not the time for all these pet
    projects and new spending on anything but things that will
    get the economy moving again. His plans for anyone making
    $ 250,000 + the increase in taxes and taking away alot of their
    write offs will only put the small business owner out of business !
    All Obama's talk about Responsibility seems to apply to everyone
    else but him or this out of control congress. I don't think Obama
    has a clue how to run this country. How could he ? He has never
    run a business or anything in his life !

    February 26, 2009 at 2:24 am |
  8. tony

    republicans supported a 70 billion to help the banks, to help the american people. that money is sitting in this banks doing nothing! now the republicans say no more spending. i think the government should take that money from the banks and give it to american people. if you put money in the people's hand; they will spend it and put it back into the economy and the wheel keeps turning.

    February 25, 2009 at 11:56 pm |
  9. Steve

    It's too bad that Congress hasn't bought into the whole "Change" concept. Their earmarks/pork are more of the same wasteful spending that's contributing to the economic problems. President Obama needs what President Reagan wanted, a line item veto. Though he must also have the courage to use it. It's a shame that a congressmen can only support a bill if his or hers pork is included. They're not looking out for the best interest of the country, only for helping those few who contribute to their re-election campaign.

    February 25, 2009 at 11:51 pm |
  10. Susan Williams

    Please, please tell me how we can continue to spend more with each bill and continue to say we are going to pay for the increase by taxing the rich, cut ing their tax deductions, etc. Aren't they going to run out of money at some point? Will they continue to live in the US or move out?
    Also, when Pres. Obama and others speak of the "rich" it seems like they are talking of people who have done something wrong and should be punished. Is this just my perception?
    Lastly, when the Government just doesn't have the money to sustain the new entitlement programs, will the definition of "rich" get lowered to include most middle class Americans who will then be required to sustain all the spending programs?

    February 25, 2009 at 11:36 pm |
  11. Mary W

    I am a widow on a small pension from my husband who died @ 49 when I was 46 in 2002. I lost my job last February and spent all of 2008 looking for a job so I can keep my home..A friend has been helping me out but that will be stopping soon. I have lived in my home since '82 and do not want to lose it. Since I have not been working (through no fault of my own), I am not rcvg any unemployment benefits or health insurance so they can't help me out by "upping my benefits". I see nothing in the stimulus pkg for me. I want to know why I am paying taxes and insurance on the "old" value of my home. I owe 3/4 of what it appraised and it wouldn't sell for half these days, in spite of my new roof, furnace and other improvements that I thought would help during the "Bush years". I don't want to move from my home. Where do I fit in this picture?

    February 25, 2009 at 11:30 pm |
  12. cindy

    The raise in benefits for mothers and children angers me. I work in a convenient store that accepts food stamps. Those people drive better cars, have nails done, hair done, wear brand name clothing and enough bling to blind. One lady told me how she spent $100 at a casino and her husband spent $900 as she was paying for her purchases with her food stamp card. When has getting pregnant a reason to stop working? There needs to be more control when a person accepts these hand-outs provided them on the citizens' dollar. I have always worked for anything I have including food.

    February 25, 2009 at 11:29 pm |
  13. Will

    Stop talking about runaway government like its a bad thing! That is exactly backwards in our current situation. Now is *not* the time to cut back, whatever the Republicans and David Gergen say. (I wish at least one person on AC360 would explain this). Yes families are cutting back, yes state government are cutting back–that's why we're in such a bad recession! If the federal government cuts back too, it will make the recession even worse. If Obama were to succeed in cutting the deficit right now, it would defeat the whole purpose of the stimulus bill. Many economists say the stimulus bill wss too small, so if there are a bunch of earmarks in the budget that's a *good* thing.

    Fiscal restraint (as practiced by Hoover and in FDR's kept us in the Great Depression. Massive deficit spending (in the form of World War II) got us out of it

    February 25, 2009 at 11:28 pm |
  14. Wardell katrina survivor

    Finally, I think someone's got it right, Randy, bingo,it's amazing how while George,Dick, and the crew, where over seeing the GREAT AMERICAN RIPP-OFF,many in this country were glad to jump on board, or turn their heads,falling for the negative propoganda the republicans sold,TAX CUTS for everyone,like that was going to play your gas bill for a year, people fell for the message,and helped to ripoff everyone.Small business didn't get the big break, sold to the public, real estate, was over valued from coast to coast, 20 to 40 percent, but still people allowed themselves to fall for the CON, the rest of the world fell for the snake oil also,buying bundles, deals sold at ripoff prices. Do you remember what Georges first set of goals where? Save the Credit card companies, stop you from filing bankruptcy,protect his DADDY"s Papers, why don't you put your social security, IN THE STOCK MARKET!!! You think they KNEW, I'll bet a million to one, they did. So let's not blame president Obama, for trying to stop massive PANIC, it really IS that BAD. What good is a TAX-CUT, if you don't have a job, the republican SPENT PLENTY, did you benefit, I didn't,my four children, would have appreciated more from me, I bet George and Dick"s children, are doing just fine, the enemy is within, and it's not ME. GOD, help US, and God bless ALL of you.

    February 25, 2009 at 11:27 pm |
  15. Bill

    President Obama needs to have someone watch for wealthy people who will move their money into offshore bank accounts. There is a tremendous amount of US tax dollars in offshore bank accounts.

    February 25, 2009 at 11:06 pm |
  16. Ed Napier

    If we really want to stimulate American spending, especially for big ticket items, simply Repeal 1986 Tax Reform, then reinstate the tax deductibility of consumer interest

    February 25, 2009 at 11:03 pm |
  17. Susan Williams

    It seems that everyone is on the Republicans for not getting "on board" with all the spending. Maybe they decided to return to their "principles" because they finally realized that "rubber stamping Mr. Bush's spending bills and watching our deficit grow" is what lost them this election. Stop the wasteful spending NOW. We, the bipartisan American people, are all tightening our belts, let's see the government lead by our example.

    February 25, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  18. Brad

    You gotta love those Republicans. First they run up a huge deficit then then refuse to fix it.

    February 25, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  19. Glen-La

    President Obama says no earmarks but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck......then its an earmark!

    February 25, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  20. Nancy

    In the developing of a universal health care plan I think it is only fair that everyone, from the President on down to the young taxpayer with children be covered with the same benefits. Did I misunderstand what is “universal” or would all Americans have the same health care coverage??

    February 25, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  21. Marie Schmitz

    Following President Obama and the Congress is a roller coaster ride . So many ups and downs. The President gives us a lift and The Congress passes a porked filled bill and its down hill again. These people have money and will never know what it is like to go without anything. They should have to trade places with me and my neighbors for a week . They would learn something about watching every penny. Maybe than they could be more understanding about what they do with other peoples money

    February 25, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  22. Randy, OR

    How is it that Republicans spent the better part of the last 4 years rubber stamping Mr. Bush's spending bills and watching our deficit grow, but the minute Democrats assume power, Republicans have an epiphany and decide to return to their "principles'. With timing like this, especially now when Americans ALL need to tackle this economic quagmire together, Republicans still have it backwards. They best get on board, or the 2012 electoral map will look much like 2008. Think country and think bipartisan.

    February 25, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  23. Joe G. (From Illinois)

    When is he ever going to get something done? Enough already with standing ovations.. Enough with these lectures and extravagant flabbergasting costing trillions of dollars that we don’t even have! No wonder nobody wants to hire Americans.. Can he sharpen a pencil without getting us into another trillion dollar debt?

    February 25, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  24. pete

    Tax the rich that has to be the biggest joke of the year. The rich will only pass the tax to middles class . Tax a doctor and watch his fees increase .

    February 25, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  25. Elyse

    It is important that the country understand that the government needs to spend tax dollars in the short-run to stimulate the economy for the long-run. Rewind to 1992 when Bill Clinton entered office. The United States was in a recession. What did he do? Raise taxes and by the end of his presidency the country was experiencing a surplus. The bottom line is that the government and country cannot approach the economic plan from a idealistic or party-centric perspective. Construct and plan that can be proven to work. Use that understanding to prove to officials and the country that it will work. We need a plan not based on principle, but one that will fundamentally work.

    February 25, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  26. Alyzabeth

    I think the stimulus money should have focused more on the American people than tthe American Corporations. They are the ones who can stimulate the economy. I really think it makes people nervous to see all these corporations get their hard earned money, when they have screwed up horribly in the first place. What will keep them from screwing it all up again? And the public being nervous can fuel a recession all on it's own. Better to give the lion's share of the money back to the hard working Americans so they can pay off their debt and buy more products to stimulate the economy. Giving tax payer's money to the guys who already screwed it up is nothing that builds confidence in the financial market.

    February 25, 2009 at 10:07 pm |
  27. Lindsay, Mobile AL

    If the government needs 410 billion dollars just to keep it going for the next 7 month then it might be time to think the government is too big, doing too much, while accomplishing little.

    February 25, 2009 at 9:54 pm |