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February 11th, 2009
05:58 PM ET

Is stimulus plan “theft”?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It was on. Then it was off. Now it's on again. The stimulus plan at this moment is a done deal.

Meanwhile, as top Democrats and a select few Republicans worked on that compromise, other lawmakers are saying that the stimulus package amounts to little more than "theft."

Is stimulus plan “theft”?

Does the stimulus plan amount to theft?

Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan points out this is more money than has "ever been contemplated in the history of our country." He's proposing that the government come up with a system to show how every penny is spent, adding the real scandal is not knowing how the money is being managed. Said Dorgan, "Letting the banks be run like casinos on their own account, is that theft? You're damn right it is."

Then there's Republican Senator John "the fundamentals of the economy are strong" McCain who is calling the bailout "generational theft." He says we're robbing future generations by laying such astronomical debt on their shoulders.

These critics are right that the numbers are staggering. The president's package is more than $800 billion. That's on top of the $700 billion Bush bailout plan. Then tack on trillions of dollars the government has promised in loans and potential spending to loosen up credit markets.

But here's the catch: many of the brightest economic minds suggest that the risk of doing nothing is more costly than this mind-boggling price tag.

Here’s my question to you: Do you agree with lawmakers who say the stimulus plan is "theft"?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Ray from Danville, Virginia writes:
Yes it's theft – theft from our children and grandchildren. Politicians in Washington only consider today's problems; they never consider the mess they are creating for the coming years. Just paying the interest on the debt each year on all the borrowing they are doing will take trillions of dollars because the debt will never be paid. Next year the interest payment on the 12 trillion dollar debt they are approaching will be 500 billion dollars and it will grow each year.

Colleen from Charlotte, North Carolina writes:
I actually do believe it is theft, and very obviously so. However, I do not have an alternative solution and something has to be done to stop the hemorrhaging of jobs and the economy in general. No, I don't have an alternative plan and neither does John McCain, so until he can be more productive and offer an option to stimulate the U.S. as well as the world economy he should be quiet-like me.

Al from Lawrence, Kansas writes:
Doing nothing would be the real theft. The economic collapse is robbing people of their homes, their jobs, and their retirement. These people calling it theft are the same people who caused this. They are the ones who "stole" our homes, our jobs and our savings. Giving them any credibility in this crisis is just plain dumb.

Tony in Michigan writes:
If there is no accountability or transparency, it will be theft – much like the $700B bill. If the government is spending money to honestly help American taxpayers, then it is not theft.

Angela from Tacoma, Washington writes:
No, but I feel like I was robbed eight years ago and just found out.


Filed under: Stimulus Plan • US Economy
soundoff (173 Responses)
  1. bink

    Jack, It is only theft if it is full of tax cuts for the corp/rich from the repubs or pork from Pelosi. Then again–if it bailsout the banks at the expense of education and jobs...That could be considered theft too..The Repub's already shored up their banking buddies– The House Dem's dithered last fall so it will be bigger than expected but maybe not big enough!

    Huh–guess the answer is yes but not for their reasons!

    February 11, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  2. Paul Austin,Texas

    Jack if one agrees that giving money to the one's that caused this mess is theft then YES. The stimulus must be strickly regulated to work. Regulation is a bad word for anyone tied in anyway to Wall Street. The fat cats at the top do not want any form of regulation. That is why the market still tanks although a stimulas plan is being attemped to be put in place. Alot of the first half given to Banks by the Bush adminastration is staying there in the Banks they are sitting on Billions and not lending most if any of it. The public is still not getting any help yet.

    February 11, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  3. Jerry: Alpharetta, GA

    Theft is the illegal taking of another person's property without that person's freely-given consent. This is given freely -not by the American people but by their so called representatives- so I don't think this is theft. Just another demonstration of Congressional incompetence.

    February 11, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  4. Taylor L.

    Austin, TX

    I would say that it is theft, but I would also say that it is stupid. How does throwing a bunch of money (that the government doesn't really have) at a problem that was started because people bought things (with money they didn't really have). You can't fix the credit crunch in this way, it merely delays the inevitable. So, it's theft, because they are using the people's money for something that the people don't want.

    February 11, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  5. Joe in DE

    If they are talking about Bank bailouts they have a point – but there is no reasonable alternative. We will see how the Obama Admin. handles the funds from now on.

    If they are talking about the Stimulus, most of them wan't be around after the next election.

    February 11, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  6. Ann from S.C.

    I absolutely do not agree with any lawmakers who are opposing the stimulus plan, calling it "theft", "socialism", "wasteful spending" or any of the other objections the Republicans have raised. They are simply throwing their hissy fit because they lost in November.

    February 11, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  7. Richard Sternagel

    We've had 8 years of thievery. What's a little more!

    February 11, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  8. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Well, Jack, you know exactly what lawmakers are saying this. The ones who spent our country to it's knees and now are experts on the economy.
    Am truly surprised at your using the word theft. There have to be major steps taken for our survival and do not believe theft relates to what is happening. If this word were to apply it would be to the ones who want our country to fail.

    February 11, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  9. Allan G. Hanson Placerville, Ca.

    I am glad you mentioned the Bush "give away". It was given to the people that created the mess we are in today. It was a total disaster. Why not give Obama's plan a chance? It has t be better than the Bush plan.

    February 11, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  10. Joan B

    Much of the so called Stimulus is a theft – absolutely.
    Joan B
    Minnesota

    February 11, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  11. Karen, Idaho

    The first bail-out was theft and those responsible are the members of Congress who failed to require accountability. If they make stringent rules for this stimulus plan, maybe, it will work to improve the economy. We all hope so.

    February 11, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  12. judith

    they weren't calling it "generational theft" last october, were they?

    charlotte, nc

    February 11, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  13. Russ in PA

    Of course it is theft, which is one of the few things that politicians can do with any degree of confidence. Scare the populace, and demand "quick action" in order to solve a problem that was largely created by both parties, and the Fed.

    People need to catch on that this government must return to follow the Constitution, as Ron Paul preaches, otherwise we are in for more looting by the government, and the interests they protect.

    Keynesian economics doesn't work, and never has worked; it's all a scam, and a rip-off of current and future tax payers.

    February 11, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  14. Mike S., New Orleans

    The theft already occurred between 2000 and 2008. We must now figure out how to pay for it. I wasn't planning on buying a house or a car in 2009, but if the current proposals pass, I will do both, and that will stimulate the economy by providing incentives to do so.

    February 11, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  15. Mickie

    Gee, McCain wasn't worried about the generational theft when it was the republicans spending our future generations' money and he was trying to sell the theory that our economy was strong. Go back to Arizona McCain if they will still have you. If they won't, maybe Alaska will.

    February 11, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  16. Jenna Wade

    Do you agree with lawmakers who say the stimulus plan is “theft”?

    Since it Republican lawmakers calling it that I would ask them, why wasn't the previous stimulus plan not theft since it had No Strings Attached?

    Using the peoples money to benefit the people is not theft – using the peoples money to benefit big business that mismanaged their corporations – now that is theft.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    February 11, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  17. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    No Jack, Iraq was and still is theft. At least with this we have a chance to get something back.

    February 11, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  18. Rich Smyrnios

    Theft is greed for power, money, and material; with no consideration for for moderation and common sense...Senators included.

    Rich
    Kalamazoo, Mi.

    February 11, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  19. Steve of Hohenwald TN.

    If we let it be theft, it will be theft. The GOP has stolen our present. If they would shut up and get out of the way, we may be able to salvage our children`s future.

    February 11, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  20. Larry, Ohio

    Jack,when some one else takes your money and does what ever they want with it,that is theft.When Congress does it ,it is not only theft,it"s a shame!!!!!!

    February 11, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  21. Tony in Michigan

    If there is no accountability or transparency it will be theft, much like the $700B bill. If the government is spending money to honestly help American taxpayers, then no it is not theft.

    February 11, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  22. Colleen Brooks, Charlotte, NC

    I actually do believe it is theft. And very obviously so, however I do not have an alternative solution and something has to be done to stop the hemmoraghing of jobs and the economy in general. No-I don't have an alternative plan and neither does John McCain so until he can be more productive and offer an option to stimulate the US as well as the world economy he should be quiet-like me.

    February 11, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  23. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    The debt left for future generations without the bailout is not only theft, but gross negligence on the part of Congress.

    February 11, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  24. ajks

    No it is not theft. It is the only logical solution available at this time to stop or slow the loss of jobs, etc.

    February 11, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  25. Gigi

    Of course it is and it's stupid too. Why don't we prosecute those that caused the banking and loan industries failures. Sue them for monies taken. They robbed of the top for their salaries and bonuses before securing their industry. Over charging their customers etc. then asked the government to bail them out. And fix it so the next unborn generation will pay for it. They are robbers and we are stupid for watching it and doing nothing.

    February 11, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  26. Kristen - University Park, PA

    If the stimulus bill is theft who is stealing the money exactly, The White House, The Senate, The House of Representatives? And who are they stealing it from the tax payers? Those are stupid comments, its only theft to McCain and Dorgan because they aren't getting there way.

    While I don't agree with the stimulus, its not because its "theft". Honestly if you can't bring anything productive to this mess then keep quite.

    It amazes me how opinionated these lawmakers are, when it doesn't matter what they think. People need jobs, health care, homes...all of which people on capital hill have plenty. Lawmakers opinions need to be kept to themselves and the opinions of Americans who are hurting need to be heard. It is our money, or so I thought.

    February 11, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  27. Anna

    Ah John McCain. Isn't he the man that left the campaign trail to rush back to Washington to single handedly push thru the first stimulus package? That's not the same thing? Money you don't have is still a liability, no matter who's debt you're talking about. At this point, the amount isn't even relative. Most kids, and adults for that matter, can't even write out on a piece of paper the amount of money that this country is racking up in the national debt. But as I see it, there isn't much choice. Things are not going to fix themselves. Had the republicans won, we'd be going thru the same thing, only they'd all be in agreement with it and the dems would be complaining. Play nice, boys and girls in DC. Our country is at stake here.

    February 11, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  28. Jane (Minnesota)

    I wonder if those same Congress members would have called The New Deal theft during the Great Depression – my guess is they would have. I do think the government has to get in the buisiness of getting more jobs created since I think they have assisted the big companies in outsourcing so many of them overseas these past years. Apparently that is OK with them. I am so sick of the bickering – Let's work together for America's good, people!!!!!

    February 11, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  29. Rae from Indiana

    No. The theft took place when the rich sucked up all the money from the middle class.

    February 11, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  30. just me!

    Theft clear and simple. They are giving away billions to executives who have already proven they do not know how to run a company and are driven only by their self serving greed. Unless all these executives are replaced it will remain grand theft. These overpaid greedy corrupt creeps should be replaced pronto.

    February 11, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  31. Roy - Chicago IL

    Someone should remind John McCain that 8 years ago we had a trillion dollar surplus. The prior administration removed all controls related to balancing the budget, pushed the country into deficit, and left this mess for the current administration to cleanup. John McCain was around for those 8 years and was part of that problem. Future generations were already feeling the pinch of the failed policies of the last 8 years long before this current bill. Instead of helping with the crisis, John McCain has decided to continue playing politics with obvious partisan rthetoric. Thanks goodness Obama won the election.

    February 11, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  32. albert vink

    spend, spend and spend. borrow,borrow and borrow more. Then spend,spend and spend again.
    Its not theft Jack but it is stupidity at its best.
    Theft is when congress votes itself a pay raise after 5 pm during the worst crisis in over 70 years!

    February 11, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  33. Alan-Buxton,Maine

    Taxation is theft. I would gladly pay subscriptions to programs which provide police and military protection as well as schools and infrastructure creation but to have my money taken from me and spent in ways of which I disapprove is immoral and constitutes theft.

    February 11, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  34. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    Is this the same John McCain that said he did not really understand the Economy? And someone is actually quoting him? The Republicans are fighting this just to insure that the Democrats don't score points. They don't care about the hurt and the pain not acting will cause just so they can score Political Points off it. Its sad that a Political Party would go to that extent.

    February 11, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  35. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I agree on one thing for sure, these lawmakers appear to know more about theft than they do the economy.

    February 11, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  36. George in New York, NY

    I don't think that it's theft to get things kickstarted now. We need to do something to get things recovering.

    I do think that for the last 20 years, we've gone further and further into national debt, and only now are we realizing that the piper will have to be paid someday.

    If Obama balances the federal budget, and the next president does not unballance it (in a repeat of Clinton/Bush) we will be fine in the long term. But we need to spend money to get things started, and then we can pay it back. So long as we actually do.

    February 11, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  37. Dennis North Carolina

    They must be the same people who spent the eleven trillion that we are in debt now. only a theft could call some else a theft.

    February 11, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  38. Janice in Tennessee

    The bailout last fall was a theft, no doubt about it!

    February 11, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  39. Nuwan

    I would ask John McCain, what he would call it if we do not do anything and economy fails completely. Then we may end up with future generation with full of poverty. So what is better; a future generation who is well and healthy but have a debt to pay or a future generation unhealthy and poor. May be those short sighted republicans has to answer that question.

    Nuwan from Houston, TX

    February 11, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  40. Ray Lawson from Danville, VA

    Yes it's theft. Theft from our children and grandchildren. Politicians in Washington only consider today's problems, they never consider the mess they are creating for the coming years. Just paying the interest on the debt each year on all the borrowing they are doing will take trillions of dollars because the debt will never be paid. Next year the interest payment on the 12 trillion dollar debt they are approaching will be 500 billion dollars and it will grow each year.

    February 11, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  41. Val in Colorado

    If the stimulus plan is nothing but theft ... what do the lawmakers making this claim, suggest as better action?

    Lawmakers beware! Americans are watching and listening carefully.

    President Obama was elected to office to change things in Washington. It isn't necessary for all lawmakers to agree with him, but if you don't agree with him, don't just point out the problems. Suggest potential solutions!

    A number of members of both houses of Congress are so partisan, it doesn't seem they'll ever do anything for their constituents than complain!

    A group of conservatives intend to do what they can to make certain Republicans who vote for the stimulus plan, fail in their next run for office. As a life-long Independent voter, I'll make certain I don't vote for anyone who simply complains, or outright works against President Obama, for no other reason than they want the President to fail.

    Partisan politics need to be set aside.

    RIGHT NOW!

    February 11, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  42. Diane/Allentown, PA

    Maybe everyone would feel better if Paulson came back to divvy up the funds again?? Speaking of theft???

    There'd better be oversight in this one!!!

    I think we know we need this, but we're very nervous about control of the funds. It seems when the government is in charge of fund distribution, a large amount tend to get "lost" with no accountability. i.e. Iraq????

    February 11, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  43. Judy

    No, no and no. Theft would be tricking the American people into spending billions on an Iraq invasion. Spending money on ourselves is a good thing. Lets get the money into the pockets of the American people through jobs, rather than into the pockets of special interests such as Halliburton.

    Miami, Florida

    February 11, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  44. Nancy K.- Jackson, GA

    A theft occurs when no one is looking. The world is watching to see how the United States will solve it's economic crisis.

    February 11, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  45. Curtis

    No its not theft. Tax cuts for the super rich is theft. Blowing the Clinton surplus was theft. The price of gas during Bush's last summer in office was theft. There's an old adage in business that goes: you've got to spend money to make money. Jack, doing nothing would be "generational theft".

    February 11, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  46. David Fall River MA

    Sure is! What happened to capitalism? Success should be rewarded NOT failure!

    February 11, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  47. Frann Altman in Los Angeles, CA

    Rather than say the stimulus plan is "theft," I'd rather ask how we got here. Isn't the reason we are here because of greed, deception, poor regulations, denial, entitlement and corruption? But to answer your question, no it is not theft and here is why...

    If we don't take action to stimulate with monies, create jobs (in the US for US workers-please don't farm them out to foreign countries anymore) and reinvent our infrastructure, we will implode and it will be a very ugly economy the likes of which most have not seen or lived through in our lives.

    We've got to get things going, keep what is going going and prosecute offenders who helped bring us here all at the same time. What a balancing act!

    DrFrann in Los Angeles, CA

    February 11, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  48. Horn Lake, MS

    That portion that is actually being used as 'stimulus" is great, the rest is payback for the NEA and other unions, and a lot is precurser to some of the other socialist programs to come like the socialized health care plan. I don't understand how people who wanted to impeach Bush/Cheney for listening to phone calls, get all warm and fuzzy when there will be a new bureaucracy getting everyone medical information. Remember how those responsible democrats in Ohio check Joe the Plumbers information for political intent (don;t know as anything ever happened to them or all the ACORN shennanigans, they are democratsyou know, above the law). How many people even realize that was part of this stimulated package.

    February 11, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  49. EM

    Sure, but if the alternative is leaving future generations with broke-down and tapped out businesses, banks, and manufacturers, what choice do we have?

    Esther
    Minnesota

    February 11, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  50. Bill

    i think this 798 billion the average joe who's out of work and collecting unemployment we'll never see, whats gonna happen when the unemployment runs out and we still cant find jobs, because this theft package is gonna take to long to take effect. i think its a bunch of bull, borrowing money to the banks and we cant get loans because were not workin...hows that gonna work?

    February 11, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  51. Frances Ann

    A huge stimulus package is the only thing that will jolt this country back to where it was in better times. John McCain and Lindsey Graham can talk smart now after their party is responsible for this mess. Where were they when Bush was getting us into this terrible economic mess??? They are the last ones we need to hear from-they are just spewing politics cause they LOST!!!

    February 11, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  52. Mike, FL

    Jack,

    Its Theft 101, No base to make jobs in this country. Spending is over and so is the economy. Jobs will go to many Illegals and no one is talking about that. Fair Trade Policy., Free Healthcare, Free College etc, is what we need!

    Obama came in on a rail, he will be going back out on one too!

    February 11, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  53. DEE

    No, I believe that the Middle Class should have received these benefits years ago, including Middle Class tax cuts. Instead we fell for that trickle down economics crap! Now its time for the Middle Class to benefit. I think it's long overdue.

    Dee

    Houston

    February 11, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  54. Tim in Texas

    So McCain thinks the stimulus is theft, huh? Many of the proposals that the Redumblicans have been whining about will actually more than pay for themselves in the long-term, reducing not increasing the tax burden on future generations. For instance, making government buildings energy efficient. Guess what Mr. McCain? When buildings are energy efficient you spend less every year on energy costs. It's kind of like when you ridiculed Obama's suggestion that people inflate their tires. Pell Grants? The average person with a BA makes about a million more in the course of his or her life than a high school grad. That's well worth the additional taxes. When levys are fixed they don't break, and we don't have to pay more for crops that have been ruined. What I would like to know is, what did we get for doubling the National debt over the last eight years?

    February 11, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  55. David of Alexandria VA

    Oh yes - but not mlimited to the banks. I think that mortgage bailouts and cram-downs which forgive principal are theft. I think that tax rebates to people who don't pay taxes in the first place are theft. I think public money which gets shovelled through the consumers to China is theft. And I think that half the stimulus program is designed to pork-up the federal entitlement programs for years and years to come (Crime here is something between conspiracy to commit theft, taxation without representation, vote-buying, and criminal audacity)

    February 11, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  56. Jaime Chy

    How can a non-union job seeker like me be able to land a job which is highly unionized, like the infratructure. Boosting consumer product should have been priorty. Infratructure in no longer labor intensive as before, now its highly mechanized, therefore less people working in this area and mostly unionized.

    February 11, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  57. Eric

    Yes Jack, the Stimulus Plan steals from the middle class to bailout the rich. Unless it has a built-in way to pay for itself it will mortgage the future generations to pay for the excesses of the gamblers and swindlers on Wall Street. In order to equalize things Congress must include a Tax change, namely, to increase the number of marginal rates bands for high incomes. Currently the maximum marginal rate is 35% for incomes over $357K. I propose adding 40% for over $700K, 45% for over 1.2M, 50% for over $2M, etc on up to 95%. And it should make all capital gains be ordinary income, and the whole thing be retroactive for 3 years. This would extract the money to pay for this stimulus from the swindlers who ripped off our financial system and provide an effective 'cap' on their excessive incomes.

    February 11, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  58. DrJMarcus

    This is nothing more than a witch-hunt targeting a specific group of people in order to blame them for society's troubles, high costs, and to label them as a detriment. Unlike smoking, drinking or other drug use, obesity is rarely a choice, and is in many instances a direct result of other underlying health issues. Why not also charge people more for eating fried foods? Coffee Drinkers? Or the poor whom tend to eat cheaper, nutrient-deficient foods that directly result in health issues? Or perhaps specific ethnic groups due to specific diseases that they are genetically predisposed to? This is a slippery slope, and if one can justify this, then where does it end?

    February 11, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  59. bill mangus

    BILL MANGUS OROVILLE CALIFORNIA

    MOST OF OUR SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES ARE CROOKS
    TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE. INSTEAD OF POINTING FINGERS AT EACH OTHER THEY BETTER GET TO WORK RIGHTING THE WRONGS THEY HAVE COMMITED. I THINK WE THE PEOPLE SPOKE DURING THE ELECTIONS THIS YEAR. BOTTON LINE

    ALL OF US SHOULD CONSIDER RUNNING FOR OFFICE IN THE NEXT ELECTIONS SO WE CAN FILTER OUT THE OLD CROOKS IN OFFICE

    February 11, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  60. Ryan, Louisville, KY

    No Jack, what is theft to me is that for 6 years, we've paid roughly 3 Trillion dollars for a war that was at one point called "Operation IRAQI Freedom", and our fiscal conservatives have defended it every step of the way because it is "Necessary". But when Americans need the help, 800 Billion is way to high of a number and they paint Obama as a Tax and Spend Liberal. REDICULOUS!!!

    February 11, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  61. Franco

    Yo voted for socialism...now you got it
    Enjoy the benefits

    February 11, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  62. Dan

    Yes, it is generational theft. And this is just the beginning. We are following the same policies implemented during Japan's "Lost Decade" of the 1990s. This Porkulus plan is just the tip of the iceberg. I'm willing to bet that our economy will continue to stagnate as long as the housing crisis is not directly addressed by our so called representatives. How does a $1 Trillion Stimulus Plan every six months for the next 8 years sound? Looks like I may be working until I'm on my deathbed......

    -Dan
    Birmingham, AL
    24 years old

    February 11, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  63. FELIX, ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, FL

    I hear people saying the risk in the stimulus package is less than the risk of doing nothing. The last time I heard talk like that Prseident Bush was using it to justify invading Iraq.

    February 11, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  64. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    The past eight years were theft. The old adage "It takes money to make money" comes to mind. We have to try something. As for the lawmakers calling it theft, another adage applies. It takes one to know one. No one can predict the future.

    February 11, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  65. Sterling James

    Two things McCaff...

    1. ... a selected few Republicans, try 4 and 3 voted for it.
    2. ...many of the brightest economic minds suggest that the risk of doing nothing is more costly than this mind-boggling price tag. AND many of the brightest economic minds suggest that nothing is better than this spendulus bill too. (See CBO and Cato institute)

    February 11, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  66. Lauren

    I do believe with lawmakers who say the stimulus plan is "theft". Astronomical numbers like this will definitely force us to pay for it in the future. Hence the saying: "History repeats itself." We live in a gluttonous society. Unfortunately, many people are this way. It is human nature. So, although a plan might get us out of what we are in today- as soon as the economy gets better we'll run into this all over again. I believe that the true "theft" part about this plan is spending 30 million dollars to save a mouse. They ought to assign their money to the right places. That is simply nuts.

    February 11, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  67. Michael Fermanich,Marinette,Wisconsin

    Jack; I am guessing these are the same people who arrogantly allowed Bush and his buddies to steal human rights via greed, power , control and wealth and who put us in this lousy situation.

    February 11, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  68. Cynthia from Albuquerque

    Theft? No. Largesse run amok is more like it.

    lar·gess also lar·gesse (lär-zhs, -js, lärjs).
    a. Liberality in bestowing gifts, especially in a lofty or condescending manner.
    b. What politicians do to reward those who supported them.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  69. Scott

    No it's not theft. Stimulus is imperative. We'll get out of this finiancial mess the same way we always have. Spending leads to inflation and our government will pay it back at a fraction of the cost.. That's how we've paid for every trangression goiing back to Vietnam and beyond.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  70. sue, Morris Plains, NJ

    We put President Obama in the White House for many reasons and have to trust in him and those whom he chose to counsel him on our faltering economy. Is the stimulus plan theft? Let's wait and see before we attach negative words to it.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  71. Paul from Great Falls, Mt

    The same people saying that any form of government stimulus are the ones that wanted to privatize social security a few years ago. So forgive me if I trust the people that are actually educated on how the economy and how it works, economist.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  72. Bruno Passigatti

    Iraq was theft, on a grand scale!!! This is the most useful spending the US government has done in decades!

    February 11, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  73. Janie in Texas

    It is no more "theft" than all the money spent by the government
    everyday, that I, as a taxpayer have no say about.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  74. Frank

    It was theft alright Jack. Theft of the brains of these idiots that want to continue the same policies that led us to this point in time.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  75. John in Atlanta

    Plain and simply yes. Period. If you can't see it you haven't witnessed history.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  76. Marie, Binghamton

    Jack, the theft has already happened in the fall with the crash of our banking system due to greedy bankers and speculators. We now need get this country back on track and if all of the economists say we need a stimulus package, what choice do we really have?

    February 11, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  77. Al Nagengast

    Of course it is theft-from us and future generations.

    Comrade Obama's USSA is off to a VERY bad start.

    And WHAT will he demand for it tomorrow?

    February 11, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  78. Robin TX

    Jack,

    The theft was performed over the last 8 years. This is the required result to fix the consequences of that theft!

    February 11, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  79. NANCY M.- Colorado

    No, It is a plan to fix this country. If only the obstructionists were smart enough to see what's happening to the people of the United States. And, incidentally, CNN and other so called news programs should be ashamed for trotting out all the nay-sayers at a time like this. This isn't helpful. Maybe it causes news drama, but it does little good in these stressful times.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  80. Linda Swint

    The theft was in the first bailout for the banks and insurance companies.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  81. Andrew Bukaty

    Of course it is theft, we're taking the unjustified compensation from the underqualified and underperforming corporate robber barons and they are scared and lashing out., Welcome to what the rest of us are feeling!
    Andy/Tokyo

    February 11, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  82. matt F.

    It has the potential to be "theft." As long as our Newly Appointed Commander in Chief can stay on top of where the money will be spent and that will certainly be a impossible task.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  83. Woody Carmack

    Yes, the stimulus package is theft. I can not quite grasp how the bank executives who were responsible for the bank losses are allowed to stay on the job.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  84. Terry Richardson

    Yes! It is too soon to give up that people, and industries, might find some solutions on their own. Even more dependence on the government.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  85. Denise, Raynham, MA

    Not only is the Stimulus package theft, it socializes healthcare and brings our country another step toward communism. Talk about the policies that were slipped into the bill –

    February 11, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  86. Stuart

    Republicans and the privilaged few have stolen from the rest of us for 8 years under the Bush Tax Cuts.

    To call a plan, that will in the long run improve America, theft is just absurd.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  87. Carrie West

    Parts of it are theft, the parts that give more money to the banks that stole the first half of the stimulus and blew it on bonuses and new luxury jets. It's not just theft, it's GRAND theft, and they're getting away with it again!

    February 11, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  88. Sonia - Orlando Florida

    Theft? NO
    I think that the debt left by the last administration should be paid for by all the idiots that voted for Bush!!!

    February 11, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  89. Bob Jones

    Jack

    Theft! Wow, what a case of the pot calling the kettle black! If we don.t bail out our economy now, we will be leaving Boliva to our kids not the good old USA.

    Like him, love him or hate him, we all better pray Obama is as good as he sounds, our futures ride on his sholders.

    Boy is McCain out of touch.

    Bob

    February 11, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  90. Nicole Poore

    In no way is the stimulus plan "theft". TARP was theft, a 6 year war in Iraq was theft, but investing in our own country through infrastructure, education and social programs could only do good things for our citizens, which would be a huge departure from past spending. Maybe that is why some are having such a hard time with it.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  91. T. Miller

    No it is not theft. Lending money to Wall Street and banks that are lining there pockets and partying is theft.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  92. Beth from LA

    The theft already took place in the 8 years that led up to this crisis.
    To do nothing now is not the answer and frankly I don't believe the Republicans like McCain are sincere in their criticisms, They complain about it NOW when they were quiet for all the spending the past 8 years.
    These guys are hypocrits of the highest level.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  93. Jay in Oregon

    Theft – you better believe it, especially when it's the Republicans in Congress jumping up and down about how much this is costing "us". I doubt many of them are hurting as much the American People who had their pensions, 401ks and hopes for the future stolen by these jackals. John McBlame should just sit down and shut the hell up!

    February 11, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  94. Linda in Delaware

    What happens to the next generations if we do nothing?

    February 11, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  95. Carolyn

    I just think it is ridiculous the political games that are still being played. I'll believe the multiple I'm sure hightly qualified economist rather than politicians concerned about re-election.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  96. Tyler, R.I

    I think it's a stretch to say "theft." It amazes me how we have to settle for this, I do believe something needs to be done, but does that mean we have to stuff this bill with things that have nothing to do with what we are trying to accomplish? Stimulus bills should only contain actual stimulus, its just that simple.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  97. Carolyn

    Jack:

    John McCain should do everyone a favor and RETIRE and he and his wife take an extended vacation where there are no communication capabilities. No – the stimulis plan is not theft. Something has to be done ASAP.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  98. Josh

    I am personally appalled at the blatant lack of control that the government has exerted over TARP, letting billions of American's hard-earned dollars go to irresponsible and immoral bonuses. However, I believe that an additional bailout is necessary, though I pray that it be managed with far greater care.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  99. Don, Grosse Pointe Michigan

    It's theft alright – in the sense that, since my retirement money has been sucked up by the crooks on Wall Street and other financial firms, my kids will have to take care of me in old age. That's simply unfair.

    Will somebody please ferret out those confidence people and thrown them in jail?

    February 11, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  100. Delia

    No, it is not theft! Republicans lied and cheated the American people for the past 8 years. Now, they have the audacity to call help for Americans theft - Please! You lost, McCain! Move on so that Americans can create jobs, build our economy and pay back the debt Republicans forced us into.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  101. dennis Toronto Ontario

    No this Stimulus is not theft...It's simply going toward paying off the biggest theft in history. Shame on you McCain

    February 11, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  102. dhel,NY

    Absolutely NOT!!!! The Stimulus plan will SAVE America. The billions spent for war was the real meaning of THEFT.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  103. mercedes skelton tampa florida

    Theft? Are you kidding? My savings and retirement fund were stolen long before the stimilus package. As far as I'm concerned Theft is spelled George Bush.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  104. Ibrahim, Heidelberg, Germany

    McCain should provide concrete solutions to rebound the US economy instead of diverting public attention from the real issues with cheap talk. It goes without saying no politicians should not seek to gain political capital from the economic crisis.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  105. Carol from Mass.

    How can a plan that is going to put American workers back to work and help our economy considered theft???We are investing in our country.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  106. Hutch

    Theft? Hardly! It is, certainly "borrowing", not "stealing" from future generations' wealth. But, like the "Great Deal", which helped end the great depression many years ago, this package may promote growth of our economy in such a way as to pay this money back within this generation. 3.5 million jobs creates a lot of new revenue for the government, which can pay the loan back before the next generation suffers. I just hope it really creates the 3.5Million Jobs! I could use just one!

    February 11, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  107. Rosa Webster

    The Stimulus Plan, while imperfect, is definitely not theft! Historical tax breaks for the wealthy is theft! I appreciate a President and a Congress that elects to do SOMETHING rather than sit on the sidelines and cast stones. If you are not part of the solution, then you are surely part of the problem!

    Rosa from Virginia

    February 11, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  108. Dave

    Yes, of course it's theft. However, how else can we finance our transition to socialism?

    February 11, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  109. Rick Mudd

    I can't imagine that much money so I don't know if it is theft or not. I am just trying to afford my rent, food and medicine on $1100 a month. It is not easy, let alone pay my debt to these banks who are getting billions and hounding me to pay for my wheelchair.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  110. Russell Denton

    No I do not agree; it isn't any more theft than their salaries!

    February 11, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  111. Carole Gilbert

    No more theft than the fear they held us up to when they said we were about to be hit by weapons of mass destruction! Doing nothing is like giving up. Even if it doesn't work, we tried! We don't go down without fighting back!

    February 11, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  112. Thomas Hanley

    It is interesting that Republican leaders have suddenly "found religion" on debt by calling it theft. They never thought it was theft when Reagan and Bush Jr. amassed seven of our entire ten trillion dollar debt.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  113. James Kerney

    Yes, it is theft. But if we wimps willingly let them steal it, is it really theft?

    February 11, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  114. John Woronec

    If the Republicans say it is theft, then it probably is. After all, they are the experts on theft.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  115. Chris

    Since our elected government says to do it, it can't be stealing. Or can it? The very idea of a working person paying federal taxes, state taxes, county and city taxes, sales taxes on anything you buy with money you've already paid taxes on, even taxes on savings, when does it stop? Talk about a stimulus, what if they had simply stopped all taxes for a couple of years? Now that would create some spending wouldn't it? People paying their own way.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  116. Evelyn, St. Louis

    No, I don't think it is theft. I trust President Obama and his Administration. Most Americans do. That why he is President. I can't imagine John McCain as president of the United States!! He needs to be quiet if he can't be helpful.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  117. Tom from Minnesota

    Jack
    Yes, this is robbing all who live in the United States. This is going to bring extreme inflation in a couple of years. The Dems like the Republican don't understand the hurt they have put on us. Tom

    February 11, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  118. Susan in Snohomish

    No, it’s finally an investment in America’s long term future, long, long over due!

    Theft is how we arrived at this point, via eight years of Republican overspending. I don’t remember seeing where all the Iraq and war on terror money went. Backwater, Halliburton ECT…
    Now the Republican Party is all about knowing where the money goes. I wish they had been so through the last eight years.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  119. Mark, OKC, OK

    Somewhere along the line our leaders in Washington figured out that the American taxpayer in a never-ending "money machine" which allows them to do unlimited spending. They NEVER intend to pay off the national debt, so they just add more debt and kick the can down the road to the next generation. That in my humble opinion is definitely THEFT.....now having said that.....when do I get my stimulus check?

    February 11, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  120. bob morrison

    Theft? Who knows? I don't know. They don't know. Nobody on earth knows how to stimulate an economy as big and screwed up as ours is. If they did have any idea, they wouldn't have screwed it up in the first place.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  121. Charleen Gorbet, FL

    No! This plan gives the boost the economy needs and gets long-term investments for it. Some is short-term, eg the money to help the digital conversion, but we need some of that to make an immediate impact. What I'm really concerned about is the need to treat this crisis as we do natural disasters, with a concerted effort by all citizens as well as governments to tide over the people worst affected. We need temporary housing, job coordination centers, food coordination, people to support people in their job searches.

    It's no the first time this nation has come together and spent a lot of money on big projects...remember the TVA, the dams built, the National Guard deployed to help towns cope. Take the lessons from history!

    February 11, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  122. N. Arthur Cella

    Theft? well I am not sure that is the right description, but I believe this bailout will do nothing to stimulate the economy. Deflation has started and will not be stopped. If the government wants to make tax cuts, why not have a tax holiday where no federal taxes are levied for a whole month. That would be a real tax cut, and no one could claim that to be theft. Plus it would feel real good to the working man.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  123. Sterling

    Absolutely. All of these criminals, starting with Secretary Paulson, should be in jail!! This borders on TREASON!
    This is pure "politics as usual" with the special interest lobbyists and power drunk House and Senate leaders loading the bill with pork.
    How about some simple math. Lou Dobbs presented it the other day: the TARP could have purchased ALL of the bad mortgages for approximately 200B and we could pay 4M people 50K for another200B. Together these would amount to about HALF of the money which is being stolen from the American Tax Paying Public.
    Enough is Enough. We will we have a government which responds to the needs of the constituents instead of the special interest lobby?

    February 11, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  124. Anna Hartley

    Those who are calling the stimulus "theft" are probably mad because the money won't all go to their rich contributors. They are also the ones who helped get us into this mess in the first place. They should hide their faces and be silent!

    February 11, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  125. Richard

    Of course it is not theft. The real theft that we are dealing with is that which occurred during the last 8 years when government was essentially run in secret. Pres. Obama says they will post how the money is spent on a website. Sounds pretty open to me!

    What you really have is mostly old school Republicans hoping that Obama fails and not giving a darn about the country. They are phony. Where were they when Pres. Bush was jamming a war down our throats? The American people have spoken, Republicans lost big time, Obama got elected and now it is time to support him. Instead they are not only hoping he will fail, but trying to make it so. If Obama fails we all fail and we should remember the lack of support that would have enabled success when it comes to election time in two years!

    What are they thinking for 2012? Palin/ Joe the Plumber– that's their ticket!

    February 11, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  126. Chris - Boston MA

    I am on the precipice of entering the working world after years of college education and am wondering if my taxes are going to rise dramatically to pay for this bailout years down the road. Our nation is already in debt and we are now essentially doubling that debt.

    The thought of being part of the generation that will have to repay this astronomical debt is extremely intimidating and somewhat upsetting. With the bailout I would like to see a proposed time-line for paying the money back and I would also like to see the reforms that are going to be necessary to avert a crisis of this type from happening again in the future.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  127. Tom Stewart

    Jack,

    I'm no financial wizard, just an average working person (now retired) but it seems to me that everybody in Washington is missing the whole point of our problems. Debt is not now, or ever has been a good thing. It seems to me that debt has gotten us into this mess but the politicians think that more debt will get us out. It's like a guy in a well thinking he can get out by digging deeper.

    Tom,
    Fort Worth, TX

    February 11, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  128. Ron Powell, New Haven, CT

    Jack,
    Rich folks have lost control of the government and this is their response to efforts a reparing the damage done to the economy by their president. The same people who support the corporate welfare known as the Bailout, now want to demonize and criminalize those who must rely on the Stimulus for help through the crisis that the Bailout recipients created. The characterization of the Stimulus as "theft" is an attempt to stigmatize the Stimulus and those who would benefit from it. This is a shameless manifestation of classism. It is precisely the kind of divisiveness that has been the hallmark of politics as usual in Washington and should not be considered as a legitimate part of any debate or discussion on the subject. The election of President Obama should be a clear signal that this kind of stuff no longer works with the majority of the American people.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  129. Diana Crider

    TARP was theft.

    If monitored and regulated the way the TARP funds SHOULD have been, this plan will not be "theft."

    Hopefully, we have learned a lesson (albeit hard) on how to keep the thieving skunks out of the house.

    Washington, on the behalf of our future generations – PLEASE USE SOME COMMON SENSE ON THIS ONE.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  130. John

    For a start, McCain doesn't face a possible layoff, at least until his term is up. For the rest of us, we understand that immediate action is needed to prevent more peope from losing their jobs which would make the stagnation in the economy even worse than it is. If he [McCain] continues to not see reality, I'd at least hope his constituants remove him from office at their earliest convenience. As for tax cuts for Americans, it will only help them pay their debts off rather than continue the irrational exuberance that led up to this catasrhrophie.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  131. David in Indianapolis, IN

    "Generational theft" is a bit over the top. A generation ago Ronald Reagan escalated defense spending in his quest to topple the Soviet Union and end the Cold War. It did not happen overnight. In fact, Reagan was no longer president when the Berlin wall came down. I am sure we are still repaying that debt as well, but I am thankful my child has no idea what it is like to live under the fear of nuclear annihilation. Big problems demand big solutions. This is our generation's big problem. I am thankful we finally have a president who is facing the issue head on instead of poking his head in the sand in hopes it will pass. Of course there is no perfect solution, but failure to engage the problem would be the greatest theft of all.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  132. Philip Groce

    Absolutely. Yes. Affirmative. What else can they do with it? They are the ones that got us into this mess. What else can they do? What else have they done?

    Why didn't the money come to tax payers? I figure two packages @ $10,000 each time. We sure would have stimulated the economy. How could we steal it?

    Phil Endicott, NY

    February 11, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  133. nicole

    It is mind boggling to me that congress willingingly voted to fund a war, and reconstruction of another country; while at the same time
    refer to helping Americans who have lost their jobs and home as theft. To those Republicans who voted to do something instead of nothing, well done!

    February 11, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  134. Magnus, Stockholm, Sweden

    To those calling the plan a theft:
    If this is theft then, by God, what DO you call what has been going on in Washington for the last decade? It's like you are questioning the cost of the ladder you need to get out of the hole, but not holding the people who pushed you in accountable... Sad really.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  135. Annette O. Bigler

    It may or may not be thief but it definitely corporate welfare. "They" argue "they" need to pay those obscene bonus to attract the best CEOs. Their "best" made this meltdown. And with that mentality, our tax dollars are given without strings???

    February 11, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  136. Linda -Los Angeles Ca.

    No,the real theft occurred on wall street when the" best & brightest" bundled mortgages, gave them A ratings marked them up 3000% then got huge commissions on the sales.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  137. David Feuerborn

    I have little doubt there will be some theft envolved in this package, but I seriously doubt that it will remotely compare to the "theft" we Americans have seen in the TARP. If there is a GHOST of a chance this will get the monkey off of millions of us struggling to hold on to a job, or many of my neighbors in the construction trades who are out of work, back on track and able to pay bills then any Congressperson who votes against it will not get another vote from me! Thanks Jack , Dave Feuerborn, Greeley, Kansas.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  138. Michael in Connecticut

    Money makes the world go round, the world go round, the world go round...... as well as grand theft !!

    February 11, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  139. T. Miller - Loganville, GA

    Anyone who thinks its theft is either not out of work and has more money than they know what to do with or they don't realize that we need to live for now above the poverty level and we have a right to. That trickle down problem should have been acknowledged before the free trade agreemnet that has allowed all of our jobs to be shipped over seas. Thats where this countries issues began and until it is acknowledged and corrected we are all in for a rough life. We should be able to go to work and earn a good living without being forced to eat crackers and noodles just to make sure you can pay your mortgage.

    Put something in effect that will give everybody a job instead of giving our money to people who are just trying to make sure they keep what they already have.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  140. joanne

    Anything the government does is theft.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  141. Michael

    Theft? When you don't follow-up on where the first 350 Billion Dollars went, you can only say we are the fools for letting the Politicians give my kids money away, you call them smart! Why not just suspend morgage /rent payments for everyone for a few month and all will level out!

    February 11, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  142. Linda from N.C.

    Jack, It is a form of thievery. The rich avoid paying their taxes and the very, very, poor do not have to pay taxes. The middle income, hard working individual is laden down with taxes to afford the rich to get richer and also to afford the very poor to receive assistance from state and federal programs. Where does that leave the middle class ..... struggling.... and very, very soon to join the very, very poor. Not going to be a pretty sight.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  143. Lara fron MA,

    This is worse than theft. At least in a theft the law stands on our side ...

    February 11, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  144. john

    Jack

    This summer I spent hundreds of dollars out of my savings to pay for gas to get to work. I thought tha was "Highway Robbery". But, this current affair takes the cake. The interest rate on my credit cards is up, my retirement account is about shot and the big boys are taking vacations and laughing all the way to the bank. Jack, this is "Bank Robbery."

    John

    February 11, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  145. Susan Streetman

    NO, Jack! The package itself is DOING something! I hope they leave the education portions alone. The thieves are always in government and have been bilking us for billions, like the 800 billion for Iraqi infrastructure they can't find. I believe I heard on CNN that money would have refurbished every school in America and give teachers a salary to live on. Why do all politicians run on "kids and education" then think that is the one part of any bill that CAN be consistently cut? Don't people realize that education is the key to emptying the prisons. We are a country of prisons, most of which look better than the public schools they shadow over. No government official would sit in a school that drips on their desk or head without screaming about it.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  146. Joan Reilly

    What do you call this stimulus if not theft of generations to come? Are we going to pay for it? McCain was wrong, Bush was wrong, You are wrong. Three wrongs don't make this thievery right.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  147. David - Dallas

    Jack, forget about whatever name they call it. The the congress doesn't get it. I wonder if they really stay in touch with their constituents because the money they handed to banks was a waste. To who the banks have to lend the money? Unemployed or those the same banks have ruined their credit scores? Just give me a break here.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  148. Adryenne from Humble Tx

    We are trying to redeem the future for our children, not steal it from them. Would we rather see most of them homeless, hungry, jobless in ill health and without hope? I think our children would rather pay off the debt .

    February 11, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  149. Lenny

    No, no, no.

    It's not a theft, it's a feeding frenzy. Dem's have tasted the sweet sweet blood of uninhibited spending for the first time in years, and they're set to gorge on it until their belly buttons pop.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  150. Bobbie - Kentucky

    "Theft" might not be the correct descriptive word – I would use the words "greed", "incompetence" and "ignorance" to describe this un-economic un-stimulus plan. There should have been more thought and input from economists put into this plan. Also, pet projects should have been left out. I think of myself as an average American Citizen who votes for a Congressman/Senator to represent me and my best interests when voting on bills. I do not feel this bill is in my or my family's best interest – it is the Congressman/Senator's best interest who voted for this horrendous "spend it like there's no tomorrow" bill.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  151. Lynn, MI

    Was anyone calling it "theft" when Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson requested the funds to write blank checks without any transparency?

    February 11, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  152. Isiah

    I counter your "theft" with an old fashion case of sour grapes. It doesn't take a Yale Grad to see how spending on infrastructure and investing in engery would CREATE JOBS that would stimulate the economy. Just like it doesn't take a Yale grad to see a group of people who are angry they lost and instead of coming together to be a part of the solution stand sentinel at the gates of adversity and malice, and would rather see us fail for four years so they could have a better shot next go round. But what do they care... we will never cut "jobs" in Congress.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  153. Robert Striplin from TN

    No, the Stimulus Package is not “generational theft.” Instead, it is the ransom that we taxpayers are having to pay in order to secure the release of our economy from the “kidnappers” who bled it almost to death by unnecessary wars, an unregulated market place, and overpaid, incompetent CEO’s who were more interested in their “bottom line” than the welfare and health of their own country..

    February 11, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  154. Some Capitalist

    Jack

    This isn’t theft; I’ve been the victim of a theft before where the culprit took my car radio and a few CD’s.

    This is “Political Malpractice”, but now the outlook is so dismal that we cling desperately to any positive inclination or gesture politician’s offer.

    Does adult really need free contraception, free financial counselling when they have no job and no money or a dozen new bridges to nowhere?

    I think not!

    Just fix the Housing Market by regulating financial derivatives and the rest will follow.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  155. Bobbie Barnes

    It's worse than theft,. I have a feeling "We an't seen nothing yet".
    Laaaawmakers? What a joke but no one is laughing.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  156. j/NJ

    Do you agree with lawmakers who say the stimulus plan is “theft”?

    Of course lawmakers know all about theft, however, calling the adminstration's stimulus plan "theft" is contingent upon where the respective lawmakers stand in what appears to be a very foggy political spectrum...on the one hand lawmakers' disseminating hard earned tax payer money without the tax payer's explicit consent is arguably theft, but on the other how many citizens are likely to call it political theft if Obama's plan ends up working?...

    February 11, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  157. Espy De Leon Augusta, GA

    In my opinion, the stimulus plan is not theft. Theft is hiding the fact that property (monetary, ideas, etc) which could be swindling, embezzeling, ill gotten gains and so forth. The President has said that he wants transparency of where the monies are going and how they have actually been spent. Unlike the transparency that was seen through corruptive lenses from those who recieved the "bail out money", thus violating the tax payers in such a way, that they expected us to go "Yay thanks". Those who cry there will be theft, are akin to those who say "I didn't throw a boulder into the lake, I just picked up some rocks and kept throwing them in. How did I know it would breach the dam?"

    February 11, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  158. Ken in NC

    If Republicans do it, Democrats say it is theft. If Democrats do it, Republicans say it is theft.

    If Taxpayers do it, the government says it's tax evasion. YOU TELL ME. Problem is that we never seen the face under the mask behind the gun to our heads saying "GIMME ALL YOUR MONEY" until now.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  159. Wesley Watkins

    Theft : The act of elected officials allowing President Bush to squander our economy, by his personal and political ambitions. Thieves: People who now criticize President Obama for a stimulus package which will create or save jobs. These spineless people, such as John Mccain ("The fundamentals of our economy are strong"), now have a backbone. However, had no backbone when their fearless leader was taunting his agenda while they praised and fully supported it, which led America into an upheaval. They now oppose some of the most brilliant economic minds in this country based on party platform of less government. However, they presided over the largest expansion of government in history.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  160. Sandy

    What else can we do? We never prosecute the real thieves that we call bankers and take away their multi-million dollar mansions so all we can do is call this theft of our future a job plan to help the slaves who have given all they can and are still loosing their homes, self confidence and jobs. The crooks we know as politicians with their “Let them eat cake/burgers” attitude are at lease trying to make it look like they want to help the slaves by keeping them working. Obama may be keeping the revolution away from DC for now but it’s time to get our legislators in line or face the reality of our slavery and disregard of the working class.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  161. John Edoga

    Of course, the economy recovery plan is based on borrowed money. It is however, in my opinion, like an economic mortgage that will keep a financial roof over the heads of future generations. Our country's economy needs to retool to a productive economy that builds products to be exported to the rest of the world. We need to sake out the high end product manufacturing and we need to constantly invest to retrain our workers to stay ahead of the competition. It is wise to commit our children and grand children (I have 2 of each) to a prudent course of action that makes it possible for them to stay competitive.
    John

    February 11, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  162. Anita

    The taxpayers have been robbed for years by our Government and Wall Street, when Congress and Senate, pass pay raisies at the end of their session, pass pork in the budgets. We have no say unless we are wealthy, I think we need to ask for pay cuts for the government and Wall Street. Let them help stimulate the economy then as taxpayers we might feel they are "REALLY" trying to help! After all, most of them have "job security"! Aside from that, we need to support our President, give him a chance!

    February 11, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  163. Chrissy

    If this were a normal circumstance I would say yes. However, what we are in now is far from being normal. Nobody has a safe job. We need jobs and like President Obama said this isnt about fixing one area its about fixing the entire group of problems that we now face. You can't fix the housing unless you stimulate the job market. You can't create jobs by just decreasing taxes. If nobody has a job how will they keep a house or even buy a house. If I were a bank I wouldn't loan anyone money to buy a house because it would be a risk. Isn't that what got the housing crisis started in the first place? Loaning money to high risk buyers? I think if the ones that are against this stimulus would actually start thinking, they might see that just decreasing taxes is not the only solution to this problem. If they keep on this train of thought they might as well forget about having a replublican ever getting into the white house again, because a person that can't think out of the box is not a true leader. We need leaders in charge for once and President Obama is the right man for that!!

    Chrissy
    Jackson, Michigan

    February 11, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  164. Laura Fullen

    Theft? The theft was perpetrated long ago by prior administrations' government agencies, investors, predatory banks and realtors, as well as home buyers who bought properties that they knew were unaffordable. At the very least, this stimulus package offers our country some modicum of hope for a more positive future. I say, "Go for it!"

    L. Fullen

    February 11, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  165. kalabar

    Jack,i dont think so...American people really need the stimulus to boost the economy.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  166. Sandy in Davis CA

    The stimulus plan is not theft. The stimulus will actually result in tangible things, roads, schools, bridges, which is more than I can say for the tremendous debt that the Bush administration gave us. Now the "bailout" I'm not so sure about. That may be outright theft.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  167. Larry

    The stimulus plan is not theft, the bank bailout is theft. Also, the Iraq war, and general failure of wall street to do the right thing along with the SEC do nothings are also theft. Republicans can call it theft, but I call theft what they've done the past 8 years. I would classify many republican comments as "Economic Terrorism"...scare as many people as you can into doing nothing.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  168. Mike Davies Oregon

    Jack,
    The real theft took place when the last administration funneled millions in no bid contracts to their cronies. When Bush send pallets of cash to Iraq and lost it? When companies were tax subsidized to offshore jobs. When Wall Street and banks gambled with investors money, skimmed off bonuses while they lost the farm. You get the picture.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:41 pm |
  169. gary, des plaines

    theft? just more of the same disingenuous crapola. when the republicans say YOU don't want, YOU don't need government telling YOU or controlling YOU or, in this case, stealing from YOU...they really mean THEY don't need or want govt stealing from them or their cronies. to say they are stupid or bungling is wrong. they know EXACTLY what they are doing.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:41 pm |
  170. Concerned

    Theft from our children and grandchildren, pure and simple! Where do we get the $ from – China, south Korea or do we just keep printing it until the dollar becomes almost worthless. It's amazing what people will do with other people's money. Socialism didn't work in Russia and won't work here in the long run.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  171. Some Capitalist

    Yes this is theft if thousands of plan clothes well intended people take money from the government and promise to delivery goods and services to the tax payers that they neither want or need.

    Politicians should not try to play Robin Hood because sadly; it’s a fairy tale!

    Just fix the Housing Market by regulating financial derivatives wisely and the rest will follow.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  172. Chuck Sheldon

    The bail out solves problems no one understands with solutions no one understands.
    When we find ourselves doing that at home the result is usually a solution to a non problem.....which never works.
    Chuck

    February 11, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  173. Manny

    Of course it's theft! Our tax dollars that are supposed to be going to social programs such as welfare is being taken away from our necessary programs and getting put into the pockets of top officiating bankers. If they're not going to help out socially, put the money back in our pockets, don't steal from us. Trickle-up economics. Don't reward the banks for failing by taking from the poor and giving back to the rich. Just give it back to the poor since the rich have nothing left!

    February 11, 2009 at 6:50 pm |