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February 17th, 2009
01:36 PM ET

Stimulus bill too little too late?

Stimulus bill too little too late?

It is not clear if the almost $790 billion in the stimulus bill will be enough to do the trick. (PHOTO CREDIT: MARK RALSTON/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama may have signed that massive stimulus bill into law today, but the scary part is it's not clear if the almost $790 billion in government spending will be enough to do the trick.

The stock market tanked this morning, dropping 230 points in the first 90 minutes of trading. The stock market is now close to its lowest level in ten years. Investors are nervous that the stimulus plan won't have the kind of impact it needs to begin to turn the economy around. Wall Street also gave a thumbs down to Treasury Secretary Geithner's banking plan last week.

Then there's Detroit. GM and Chrysler are set to tell the government today how they plan to stay afloat, they've already gotten more than $17 billion in government loans. If they can't prove how they'll survive in the future, they may not get any more.

Some states are treading water even before the stimulus plan has a chance to trickle down to them. If California lawmakers don't pass a budget soon up to 20,000 state workers could lose their jobs. The state faces a $42 billion deficit and lawmakers can't seem to agree on a budget, particularly on more than $14 billion in tax increases. California may also halt nearly 300 state funded public works projects. That would mean more layoffs.

In Kansas, the state government has run out of money to pay its bills. They've suspended income tax refunds and may not be able to pay employees on time. Officials say the state might also have to delay payments to public schools and to doctors who provide care to the needy under Medicaid.

Here’s my question to you: Is the stimulus bill too little too late?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Rick from Medina, Ohio writes:
It is clear that lousy mortgage practices are one of the root causes of this economic mess. Why has that not been one of the starting points in solving the problem? If we used this kind of money to buy down or re-write mortgages, no one would lose their homes, and the home market just might return to normalcy.

Jason from Hawaii writes:
Not to me, one of the little guys. This is a stimulus that is geared toward poor, lower and working class people. It helps unemployed people, uninsured people, and cuts taxes for people in the middle class. The problem with the last stimulus is that it tried to fix things from the top down. You can't have a sound economy unless you shore up the foundation from the bottom up.

Allie from San Diego writes:
Jack, I think your question is too little too late. What else can the Obama administration do? We've already seen the crime rate rise in our community, because desperate people sometimes do desperate things to survive. Can you imagine what might happen to our society if unemployment rises to the levels experienced during the Great Depression? We have to start somewhere in trying to spur the economy to recover. I don't see any other great ideas on the table.

Ron writes:
Actually, Jack, it isn't too little to late, it's too much of the wrong stuff in the wrong bill. Pelosi and Reid need to go!

Tom frpm Boston writes:
What amazes me about this is that we have just passed the largest stimulus package in U.S. history in record time led by a president who barely spent a month in office and the nay-sayers are out in droves saying it is "too little, too late" (not to mention the other idiots saying it is "too much, too fast"). This is not a perfect bill, but you have to give our new president credit for moving decisively and quickly.

Judie from St. Augustine, Florida writes:
Jack, I am afraid that the economy is long past the point of no return, like a house fully engulfed in flames with not enough water coming out of the hose to put out the fire. The only thing to do is let it burn to the ground, clear away the debris and rebuild.


Filed under: Stimulus Plan • US Economy
soundoff (109 Responses)
  1. Max from Grand Forks, ND

    It won't make a difference at all, Jack. We're teetering on a depression – if we're not in one already. What would help everyone more than anything is to have interest rates cut across the board on all debts – mortgages, credit cards, car loans, educational loans, etc. This crisis is about this country's awfully high debt – for industry and individuals. Until we get a hold of that, we will be in this malaise for a long time. You knew the chickens were going to come home to roost at some point.

    February 17, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  2. James Friel

    At least Obama is trying to do something to turn things around.
    Senators like Richard Shelby and most Republicans are willing to sit on their hands and let people suffer. You would not get a crumb of bread from him. They do not mention how much money has been
    wasted on the Iraq war that Bush and Shelby and all of the Republicans supported. This was taxpayers money that was thrown away for what? Bottom line the package that was passed will help things. Remember this crash was caused by greedy bankers, not
    Joe six-pack, although we all are suffering now. Obama is definately doing the right thing.

    February 17, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  3. Tom C Pasadena, CA

    It's not too late, but thanks to the Republicans, it may be too little. Funny how John "The fundamentals of the economy are srong" McCain seems to suddenly have a better idea. The Republicans spent 8 years wasting more money than what's called for in the stimulus and getting us into this mess – and now want to criticize Obama for doing something about it.

    February 17, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  4. Colleen Brooks, Charlotte, NC

    Jack: If I TRULY knew the answer to that I wouldn't be in the unemployment line with the other unluckies (approaching 9%) in NC.

    February 17, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  5. Kyle- DuPont, WA

    It is neither too little nor too late, but it is like prescribing ibuprofen as a cancer treatment. It may take away the pain for a while but it will not cure the disease. Nancy, Harry and Barry still need to address the declining home values and building a light rail system from Las Vegas to LA won't help a bit.

    February 17, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  6. Ron, Clearwater, Fl

    Jack,
    You are truly a moron! Instead of telling us how everything is wrong and how Obama will fail, why don't you use your pulpit to identify solutions and create broad base support for the recovery of the economy. Idiots like you mouthing off and screaming how this doesn't work is not productive or helpful to the american people. If you think you can do better than President Obama, with the economy he inherited from 8 years of Republican mayhem, then take a pay cut, put your hat in the ring and run for a seat and try to make a difference. Otherwise, shut up if you have nothing positive or helpful to say.
    Ron

    February 17, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  7. Charlie in Belen, New Mexico

    I don't know Jack.... If we are truthful, none of us know... If we are lucky, it will START to turn the economy around. But we don't even know how long it will take to have an effect. Dispite the protestations of those seeking "instant gratifcation" this mess we are in won't be cleared up within their nanosecond short attention span......

    February 17, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  8. Greg Doublas

    First of all I congratulate you for your article regarding the stimulus package and for exposing the incompetence of the Democratic leaders of the House and Senate. Second, the stimulus package is a joke. Once again Congress has sold off the American people and are on the way to ruin my country, America.
    Everybody in Congress is concerned only about his/her reelection, not about the future of America or the American people. They are so disconnected from reality it is absolutely pathetic. We need to start fresh by voting all of them out of office.
    Jack, you and others with courage and access to a camera need to talk louder about the abuses of those we have trusted with our vote.

    February 17, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  9. Russ in PA

    Geez Louise, Jack. You sound like the typical MSM hack. The "stimulus" bill is too much, too soon, not too little, too late. When are you all going to learn that you needed to let the bad banks and companies fail? Trying to bail out anybody when the country itself is mired in debt will not work. It won't work, and a little common sense will tell you that.

    Without sound money policies, the politicians are just throwing borrowed money after more borrowed money. IT WON'T WORK!!!

    February 17, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  10. Charles, Lansing, MI

    When you asked about the simulus last year I answered that rather than send out checks the government should invest everything in infrastructure which would produce jobs quickly and get the economy started. The Republicans were all for the cash stimulus then but now they are against it and want more tax cuts for the same businesses that have laid off millions of workers. I again say invest everything in infrastructure. Unfortunately the Republicans blocked that idea so it isn't enough but is it too late? It should have been sooner but to do nothing like the previous administration will only make things worse.

    February 17, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  11. Ed Reed

    Yes. The economy is in free fall and the stimulus bill has too much in tax cuts and too little in infrastructure spending. I don't like to be pessimistic, but I believe by next year we'll all be out of work and growing potatoes.

    Ed Reed
    Port Aransas, TX

    February 17, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  12. Ray Kinserlow

    The only problem with the stimulus bill is it needs to put some guts back into the re-regulation of the financial markets. We have Reagan to blame for the current state of affairs in those markets. The Bushes just took advantage of the loopholes and lax enforcement. I heard the stimulus described as a defibrillator shock. The patient will either die or live without much predictability possible on our part, but ultimate success depends on regulation and oversight not stimulus.

    Ray Kinserlow
    Lubbock, Texas

    February 17, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  13. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    I live in California and because of the republicans we are on the verge of insolvency. As a country,we have been living way beyond our means for way too many years. The chickens have come home to roost and the bills are due. The party is over. Our way of life us done. Get used to having nothing because none of us prepared for the future.

    February 17, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  14. Rose in Az

    I don't know if it is too little or too late, what concerns me is if it is going to work at all. From what I have seen, there are too many earmarks and pork in this package, I think our Country is being sold out. Has Obama read this thing before signing it??

    February 17, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  15. Chad Jarman--Los Angeles

    Since I don't know if I will get my state income tax refund, should I refuse to pay state taxes this year?

    They'd probably lock me up if I did not pay them, but who is getting locked up for ME not getting paid????

    February 17, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  16. Henry, Orlando, FL

    Jack, this stimulus bill is too much, too soon. Please remind the folks that the Fed inserted roughly $750 billion of taxpayer obligations to the banking industry just prior to the first bailout of another $700 billion. Now we are on the hook for another (insert your own figure of the day here). Businesses have to make hard decisions to CUT spending all the time, it is now time for our so called political leadership to make hard spending cuts, not the other way around. This isn't 1929, the government spends as a percent of GDP far more than ever so no matter the dollar amount it's just a drop in the bucket.

    February 17, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  17. John in Oxnard

    Many economists seem to think so.Dems should have left out their pork.GOP should learn from past mistakes that "trickle down" is not the way to go.Maybe then we would have had a stimulus plan targeted to really help Americans out of this mess. No wonder Congress has such dismal numbers.Who believes they really care?

    February 17, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  18. Ean

    Very rarely would I agree with you Jack–but your recent commentary on the stimulus plan is on the mark. How many times in one year have we–the general public–stated the mantra "wrong plan, wrong time". It is absolutely extraordinary, if not criminal, how out of touch both the Democratic and Republican members of our congress are with the needs of the nation. In this crisis, like so many before, the centrist public is exasperated while our elected leaders continue to bicker and pitch stones from the farthest tips of their respective wings. This plan is a useless hodgepodge of special interest chum and the poor misguided policies of our leaders. It is negligent in the least–and I hope in the coming election years all those who took part in it are voted out.

    February 17, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  19. Billy G in Las Vegas

    let the "blame game" begin.

    we are in such a deep hole from Republican "Regulations? We Don't Need No Stinking Regulations" , "Spend and Put It on the Chinese Credit Card", "Don't Tax Multimillionaires" and "Let's Ship All the Jobs to Mexico and China" policies that I don't know IF we can ever recover to where we were in the 1990's.

    the two things that really get me aggrevated about the stimulus package are MORE Republican tax cuts to the rich AND giving money to the same Wall Street banker weasels that dug the hole in the first place. the whole crooked bunch should be ARRESTED for FRAUD.

    February 17, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  20. Sharon in Virginia

    Jack,
    How about, Better Late Than Never

    February 17, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  21. Cathy

    There never should have been one, but is it too late, yes, and no its not going to be enough, the only people that will cut back will be the ones that have to due to no job. We are a spoiled, wasteful country and apparently very greedy! Shame on us!

    February 17, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  22. Gigi in Alabama

    Why don't we just forget about those money grubbers in the New York Stock Market and let the stimulus package work. I have come to the conclusion that the bankers and their like don't want it to work. They have the idea that I've got mine and let's see you try to get yours.

    February 17, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  23. Kathy in Chicago

    It's a huge amount that amounts to nothing. How is it going to address the housing crisis at the center of this storm? It spends, spends, spends on credit which is what got us into this mess. It makes me realize that these bozos we elect don't have a clue as to what is going to fix this. Now we are supposed to brace ourselves for another car bailout, another TARP bailout and then they plan to get to the homeowners that are underwater. They need to force these banks that take taxpayer money to work with homeowners on extending mortgages to 40 years so the payments can stay within a persons means to pay. Personally, I am stocking up on household items because inflation is next in my opinion. Companies are going to quit making products because they can't get credit and they will lay people off which will start inflation. What a mess!

    February 17, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  24. Pablo in Tejas

    Jack
    too little? YES. Too late? That depends. The Stim should be only the first step.
    How about this for a second step, The US Rail Network Rehabilitation and Defense Act.
    The US should have rail systems, BOTH passenger AND freight, equal to or surpassing anything in Europe or Japan. Building new and rehabilitating the old would create massive economic stimulus in all 50 states. Like the interstate highway program of the 1950's it would take years and billions to do but it would more than pay for itself in (pardon the pun) concrete terms.
    thanks
    Pablo
    Arlington Texas

    February 17, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  25. Jackie in Dallas

    Too little, too late? Jack, where is your head? First your commentary this morning, and now this?

    Of course it will not be enough to "fix" everything. It should get some things moving, however, which will give people hope, and maybe get them stimulated into doing more. After all, it took 7+ years of irresponsibility on the part of President Bush and the 6 years of a Republican Congress to get us into this mess.

    As for too late...it was too late to get a fast turn around when the first stimulus package without accountability, and under the watchful eye of President Bush's "economic advisor" failed to do anything except send a bunch of executives on "retreats" and fund a buying spree for banks and financial institutions which led to massive bonuses for some CEOs and massive layoffs for personnel.

    February 17, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  26. JW in Atlanta

    Let's do the math: 350 million citizens into 780 billion is $2228 bucks each, all borrowed. We get a tax credit of $400 bucks each. At 3 million jobs divided into 780 billion, each job costs (if it works) $260,000 per job. And so far the market is down, gold is up, not one factory will be erected and not one inch of federal red tape is cut. So too little too late? Yes....I'd say by about eight years.

    February 17, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  27. Tony in Michigan

    I don't think the problem is too little too late but that the first stimulus bill was terrible. With the first stimulus bill Wall Street was taken care of and then they wasted it. If that money had been spent more wisely the average Joe would probably be more optomistic and willing to spend a little more. Everyone around the country is worried and trying to spend less, meanwhile Congressional Republicans are grandstanding and ignoring the people. This whole thing shows that we have much larger problems than just poor money management.

    February 17, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  28. Jeff in E. Lyme, CT

    How would we know Jack? Have you seen a concise point by point copy posted anywhere that's stripped of all the superfluous legal jargon? All I've heard about it is Republican's complaining that they didn't have time to read all 1,100 pages. Just curious, how many of those same lawmakers insisted on reading every page of the garbage Bush pushed through? Yeah, that's what I thought.

    February 17, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  29. Esther Princess of the great state of Ohio

    no
    never too little or too late to try to do the right thing

    February 17, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  30. David Bebeau

    Absolutely to little to late.Our very best scholars told us three years ago
    what was coming and how to fix it.Congress just sat there in denial.
    You can not spend your way out of this situation.I feel very bad for the very hard working American people who are at the very bottom of the food chain.And it is there hard earned money they are giving away,
    Just breaks my heart.
    David Bebeau

    February 17, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  31. Chris from Buffalo, N.Y.

    I think this stimulus package is too MUCH too late.

    February 17, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  32. Scott from NYC

    This Stimulus package may very well be to little to late but just think of how small it would be and how much more time would have passed if the bungling republicans were in charge. Be thankful for what we have, hope it works and if not we can improve on it in the future. With the republicans there would be no future – look what their doing to California.

    February 17, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  33. Gigi

    The stimulus package was the wrong approach. They should have not given a dime for bailouts first of all.
    The banking industry should have been shut done for a period of time and indicted those in charge for robbing the stockholder, workers, and commitments in order to line their own pockets.
    They should have put leans on their homes and business and taken every dime back they stole before they paid their bills/commitments. Reopened under the government until fully investigated and prosecuted those guilty. Restructured the mortgage loans. To use tax payers money like that would have helped the county more. But instead we are protecting the very people who have created this mess. Giving them time to reorganize and they can give us the shaft in another twenty-five years. If the heads of the auto industry can't clean up there own mess let them go broke and the workers organize to buy up the auto companies I'll bet they could run them better for less money and pay higher wages and better benefits.

    To little to late HA! Its the wrong solution. Trickle down is a joke.

    February 17, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  34. Lee Myung

    Too little, too late and blame Pelosi and Obama? You have a short memory Jack. Obama's only been in office for a month and all economists say we were well into the recession for over a year? Did you forget 8 years of Bush control and 6 years of a Republican Congress?

    February 17, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  35. Malcolm (Ellicott City, MD)

    No it's not too late, and if Wall Street cared about this country, they would too would start investing and stop being greedy.

    February 17, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  36. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    Jack, I am hoping it is not too little too late. We need to get to work rebuilding this country and ending our slavery to foreign sources for our energy needs. President Kennedy was right when he said that man made problems can be solved by man and now is the time to make our country great once again.

    February 17, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  37. Joel H.

    Funny – congressional republicans have been complaining that it's too much, too soon.

    February 17, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  38. WJ, Phoenix

    The bill should have never happened in the first place.
    We keep propping up failed institutions when they should have been allowed to fail. It may have been uncomfortable while the market adjusts, but it would have been a real recovery with long term viability.
    There will never be a vacuum if there is a legitimate need. When one company fails, another is right behind them to pick up the pieces.

    February 17, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  39. Donna Wisconsin

    Yes it is BUT since Republicans don't want to do anything new or large and some Democrats want everyhting, there she blows! It is way too little but tho most economists have said that for months, the Republicans can't talk about anything except Tax Cuts and that doesn't help anyone long term. And with Republicans talking with their collective foot in their mouth after what they did during the last eight years, how can they make the case for conservative spending. Go figure. No one likes this spending of all this money, but we are in un chartered waters.

    February 17, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  40. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    No. If someone is starving, you don't ask if it's too late to start feeding him. Better late than never.

    February 17, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  41. Teasha, Florida

    Too little, YES! Too late, NO!

    February 17, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  42. Maura

    The stimulus bill may be signed and sealed but will it deliver? I doubt it. This country was built by small business and we need to put the money back where it belongs. Bring back small business. Our government needs to support the biggest and best asset America has which is our work force. Cooperate America complained it was too expensive to employ Americans justifying their rationale for moving production plants overseas. These corporations were able to lower production cost so CEO’s could get huge bonuses for a job well done! as profits increased. Corporate jets and pricey retreats became routine business functions. If our government wants to jump-start the economy it isn’t going to be with the men/women in big offices who do little real work. Prosperity will come from Americans doing what we do best making products right here in America and selling those products. The big corporations have already admitted they can’t afford the American worker, so why are we bailing them out? Let’s give the government loans to small business; lets get serious about reforming the health care system to offer universal health care to all. American will grow and prosper again only when Washington understands what really needs to be done to put America back on top.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  43. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    I think it's too little, but not too late. It didn't take them that long to pass it. Obama hasn't even been in office a month yet. But it's not enough money. It's just a start. Think positive people.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  44. John in Arizona

    Of course it's too little and too late. But what options did the President have? He moved much faster than the rusty wheels of government normally allow, and his bill will pump more money into the economy than any previous spending bill in history.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  45. rich

    Of course,better late than never.If going into debt to feed yourself is the only option,so be it.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  46. Aaron from Seattle

    We either crash now, or crash later. Might as well be later.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  47. Calvin

    I think the stimulus is a bit too little however it's never too late to get it out to boost the economy. It will be too late if nothing is DONE.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  48. Nesharo Braggs

    I don't believe late is a problem as long as there is a plan to get moving a plan to put us in a growing position my problem is the criticism, of the plan lets critizes the results not the plan

    February 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  49. Linda in Charleston, SC

    I read your article about the Stimulus Jack. You are not one positive fellow when it comes to this stimulus. I took a look at some of the billions (and that is 9 zeros) that were allotted to spend on certain things. It might not be completely too late but that is not Obama's fault as he stepped into all this. I'd say he got it out very quickly. I think it will create some jobs. It will make the country a much better place but the logistics of getting this money out there is going to take lots of time. It might be getting too late for me if they don't do something fast. All I want is a job and to be able to support my daughter and I, but wages are decreasing as bad as real estate prices. Unless they do another extension for unemployment I've collected all that I can in the next three weeks. Do you know of a comfortable underpass bridge that would serve me well as a substitute home?

    February 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  50. Linda in Arizona

    I don't know if it's too late, but I'm pretty sure it's too little, after being watered down and switched to useless tax cuts by the OBSTRUCTIONIST PARTY. Almost all economists agree, it should have been bigger to have the desired effect, but the idiot republicans and their new-found thriftiness, ROFL, after 8 years of profligate spending on their pet projects (war, Wall Street, and themselves) have succeeded in diminishing the size of the bill. Our country is a mess. We deserve to go down the hole.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  51. Steve Macomb Illinois

    Nothing is too little, too late. That's of course assuming we don't turn into the United Socialist States of America. Come to think of it, that's what we're moving toward right now. The common people came together and made it through the Great Depression, and we will once again be forced to show what makes this country, and her people great. This will require monumental sacrifices more than it will require monumental spending bills, some of which target saving marshland mice in Northern California before helping everyday Americans.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  52. Raymond E Wright

    Even if it find some jobs will be an improvement for some people who need employment. All those who have money do is sit back and criticize. Bush screwed up...now, let Obama screw up if this is the case.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  53. Mark from New Jersey

    It is not too late, Jack, provided we do everything else we can think of to cut useless, needless, or counter-productive spending. I'm thinking of such things as of any no-bid contracts, paying for any Federal contract cost-overruns, most of foreign aid and any expenditures in Iraq, except for the costs of safely removing our troops.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  54. christine

    Well Jack, with continued negative media like you and Dobbs whining about the failure of the BILL everyday, I can see it failing. This is the time for us to come together and stay more positive to improve trust in the American people. I am sick and tired of the media and the Republicans trying to bring our country down. I remember when Republicans called people that didn't support the Iraq war "unpatriotic". I wonder how patriotic you and the Republicans are now.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  55. Dave

    With all the second guessing and boo-hooing going on there is not enough money in the world to restore confidence...IF we believe that trying is a step in the right direction and show some support ,it probably is going to help.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  56. Steven

    Considering the fact that this bill was passed in less than a month despite the political squabbles in Washington, this should not be considered "too little too late" on Obama's part, but possibly former President Bush's. If we start saying "too little too late" we are bringing about a preemptive defeatist attitude. And that's just not what we need in a time like this.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  57. Maggie Gunter

    No. It will take time to get the economy moving. It didnot happen overnight and it wilkl not be resolved overnight. As far Wall street, their response is expected. Confidence will come.once the banks are back in business.

    However, I am sure that the Republicans loved to hear your comments, since they are dying to say "I told you so". However, they will eat their words.... I am sure of that.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  58. Ted / West Bloomfield, MI

    This country has lived so far out on an economic limb for such a long period of time, I doubt there is enough money to save it, no matter when it's allocated.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  59. Bryce in Wisconsin

    Do we live in a world today where hard times are something we shouldn't be allowed to face? All of these stimulus packages and bailouts go against our basic foundations as a country. Do parents teach their children that they will be bailed out by someone if they screw up? I'm 21 and I don't remember those words being uttered during my youth, and I don't see why our politicians feel the need to coddle us through hard times. Let the rough times occur, learn from them, and come out stronger than ever. No stimulus necessary.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  60. Lynne in North Augusta, SC

    Isn't it a little too soon to answer this?

    February 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  61. Ron - Baltimore, Maryland

    It's never to late to help out those who are in need. The question is two fold,
    1. Will this be enough and is it the right thing to stimulate our economy
    2. Why are so many Repulican Governors on board when the representatives (congress) that were sent to Washing to be the voice of the people are not.

    We continue to use the "just say no affect" (republicans) to the majority leaders (democrats) for matters that they have no idea how to fix or take responsibility for. After all it's been eight years of nothing but tax cuts for the rich.

    We need to sit back and pray that this works.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  62. Bruce Schueller

    The notion that tax breaks are going to stimulate the economy is the same as sticking your head in the sand and hoping for the best. I am a business owner and a consumer. As a business man, the tax credits will just increase my bottom line and not create any jobs. Only demand for my product or services will increase my labor force. This is not rocket science. As a consumer, a tax credit has little impact. A refund would have more. A tax credit is hidden money that you really don't see, it just trickles into your disposable income. And if I get a refund, then I am more inclined to service my credit card debt. Those who will spend it, will probably purchase products that are made overseas. And that does not circulate money here where it is need.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  63. Ashley from Portsmouth, NH

    Better late than never, Jack. And at $787 billion, it better not be too little!

    February 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  64. Allen L Wenger

    Is this kind of question necessary? About 50% of our "news" programs are nothing more than speculation about what might happen. Do we also need to hear and read what the average American thinks is going to happen. Granted, the average voter's speculation is as useful as that of any economics expert, but neither is worth 5 minutes of our time.

    Allen
    Mountain Home ID

    February 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  65. linda pa

    According to John Mc Cain it is too large and too soon.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  66. wendy

    Jack,
    The success or failure is in the eye of the beholder. The economy will eventually come back, the only question is how long it will take. If the economy comes back within your time frame to call the stimulus a success then it will be perceived as a success. If it takes longer, then you will perceive it as a failure. I love your questions and comments. They are the main reason I watch this program.
    Loyal viewer.
    Easthampton, Ma.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  67. GMz Photo

    It is little and it is late thanks to republicans but stating it is "TOO" little and too late is like saying we should not even attempt to save jobs because we have lost so many already and can not save all jobs.

    It's a start and a far cry from "trickle down" economics which put us in this mess.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  68. D. Texas

    Yes I think so.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  69. Karen Hutten

    My husband is a correctional officer for the state of Kansas, I'm a nurse. We thought we'd be ok through all this. Now, he is told his paycheck might be late (payday is this Friday). I heard about this on CNN last evening, he was told at work at the same time. How long did Kansas know about this before telling those affected? If he is late at work, lives are at stake. I don't know about too little, but too late by at least 4 years. Kansas votes red every year, This didn't happen since jan. 20th. What next? Cut hours? Cut staff? Once again the middle class gets it.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  70. Sandra in Little Rock, AR

    Jack,

    Maybe too much. How did health care reform make it into a stimulus bill? I think health care reform should be an open issue for all and not buried in a stimulus bill. Business as usual.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  71. Charles from Roswell, Georgia

    Jack, it doesn't matter. The economy is heading toward catastrophe if we choose do nothing. The money will go somewhere to stimulate the economy. Unless somebody has a better idea and a better plan that can explain to American people clearly, then just shut up and embrace it because it is the only plan we have so far.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  72. Maanasa

    Hi Jack,

    Happened is happened.Lets start believing in President Obama and wish and pray that his stimulus package will work for all of us.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  73. Doug - Dallas, TX

    It's not to late and if spent "wisely" a good down payment on what's needed for the fix. But, ultimately, the markets will have to correct themselves, nothing truly gets fixed until the housing problem is dealt with and resolved and some companies won't exist as we knew them.

    The American public has to realize the unlimited spending habits of the past cannot continue unless they want to start paying higher taxes because that's what it will take to bail out everyone who is not fiscally responsible, including companies, individuals and governments.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  74. James, Sun City CA

    Jack, it may well be too little. A prominent Nobel prize-winning economist–that would be Paul Krugman–says it is way too little. But too Late? The President did this a quickly as he could. If it really is too late, and the government goes under, then democracy has failed. If it works, it works, no matter when.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  75. John (Simi Valley, CA)

    Too little too late? Absolutely

    We are lucky to be getting what we are. Republicans are complaining about how much spending is in the bill and Democrats are complaining about the tax cuts being too high.Our government is run based on "party needs" not on the "peoples needs". Until they can get it right, we are all in trouble.

    Some say that our children will pay for all of this, I think they will be lucky to have jobs, let alone pay taxes.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  76. Michael from Alabama

    Yes Jack, it is too little to late. But I'm not talking about stimulus, I'm talking about taxes. Many middle class Americans deserve a tax break, but how on earth is this country supposed to provide all the services people want without tax revenue. What began as a push to spend tax payer money more wisely, turned into a cut the taxes campaign that has crippled our education system and infrastructure–just ask California, Kansas, and Alabama.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  77. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    Anything that the president can do at this time would help! Of course the republicans are whining about not enough input or time to read the proposal, and will continue to whine about anything and everything that the president does. Of course they will try to take credit for improvement in the economy when that happens and forget how stubborn they were!

    February 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  78. Maggie Gunter

    No. It will take time to get the economy moving. It didn’t happen overnight and it will not be resolved overnight. As far Wall Street, their response is expected.
    Confidence in the market will return once the banks are back in business.
    However, I am sure that the Republicans loved to hear your comments, since they are dying to say “I told you so.” However, they will eat their words…. I am sure of that.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  79. Jake, Oregon

    Thanks tyo the GOP being in total denial of responsibility, it couldn't happen sooner.
    Now the stock market fattest cats are selling, and pushing the market down, holding their cash and greedily waiting to buy back when they decide to push it back up. It is nothing but a game with them. Believe it. Their view of the world is nowhere near what ours (lowest peons) is. Look at who is doing the whining.. the Richest porkers, waiting for those truckloads of bailout money so they don't have to give up their perks.
    Yes, The rest of us will need another hand, thanks to those greed filled wall streeters.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  80. Jim Blevins

    As has been stated, the stimulus package is only one leg of the stool. More is needed. Bush and his band of bigots did a real number on the economy of the USA. The entire financial system needs to be restructured. The Madoffs and house flippers need to be found and eliminated. Confidence that an honest economy has been re-instituted must be restored.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    February 17, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  81. OBDAG in Appleton, WI

    No, I do not think the stimulus plan is too little or too late. We all must remember that George Bush and the Republicans are the cause of this mess. The most important thing right now is to get people to spend as much money as they can and not just to save it out of fear of what might happen in the future. Now is a good time for some people to buy that new car they need or want as well as it is a good time to buy a house if you have the money to afford it and can be fairly certain you will be able to continue making the payments on the house. Now I am more optimistic about the future than I have been for a while. We all need to be wise on what we spend our money on and be cautious about buying things that are not truly necessary.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  82. Monroe from Irvine, CA

    Yes it's too little, and that's the fault of the Republicans, who treated this as a political game rather than a serious issue. And they've got the talk radio dittoheads going, inducing millions of Americans to trash the bill with illogical, uninformed hot air. But it's not too late to do more. This is only the beginning of the 21st century New Deal. And with it, further discrediting of Republican ideas.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  83. ray

    jack any ordinary person managing a household budget could do a better job than those so called financial wizards,all they've done with their fancy educations is plundered the world economy.enough of this bailout crap nationalize the banks until they return to profitability then
    sell 'em off as smaller entities so we don't have to hear anymore of this too big to fail stuff.when i see that wall street and the republicans don' t
    like something then the president must be doing something right.to hell
    with trying to stimulate a dead horse, the crooks have rode off into the sunset with their saddle bags loaded down and now they want the suckers to line up again for a new scam.woe to my great grandchildren

    February 17, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  84. George Arnold

    The plan is too little but there was no way it could have happened faster. I don't think the full depth of this problem has not been understood by most. Previous economic downturns, other than the Great Depression, have not been accompanied by the degree of bank insolvencies, a devastated manufacturing base and tremendous consumer debt. We will need additional government spending – not tax cuts – to recover and it will take years to do so. We need more Franklin Roosevelt style actions, not Ronald Reagan ones.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  85. Jeanne

    Where was the media and the politicians when all the jobs starting moving out of the USA, employment was starting its upward surge and buildings were sitting empty as its employees were collecting $300 per week on unemployment instead of paying taxes while working at a good job?
    Where were the politicians last year when the oil companies were raping the American people and causing the small businesses to close, independent truck drivers to park their trucks all the while these oilmen sit back and collect record profits?
    Do I think this stimulus is to late? This country doesn't need the stimulus full of pork, it needs the jobs that were here.
    When a company files papers to close, the government needs to contact them and give them tax incentives to stay in the states instead of moving and causing more unemployment.
    Any CEO asking for a bailout ought to try living on $300 a week until all monies are paid in full or find someone someone else to do their jobs because there are certainly enough people out of work.
    Tax dollars pay for roads, employees, healthcare, foodstamps etc.
    Pork doesn't.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  86. JD, NC

    Jack, I see a lot of defeatism and cowardice in the cynical and sarcastic comments floating around. I was raised to view my grandparents generation as heroes; not just because of the war, but because they took care of each other during the darkest days of the Depression. People need to remember that you are measured by what you do during the hard times, not the good ones.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  87. Alex

    Jack,
    There is a myriad of issues that are responsible for the reasons why our economy is where it is. I am an unemployed full-time college student and even I know that this package is not what we need.

    This crisis we are in is due to the ineffective or negligent methods of corporate management and l a lack of oversight on Wall Street.

    So tell me again why it is our government who has to pick up the slack when corporate executives are lining their pockets with bail out funds, the Postmaster is making more than the President and foreclosures are still rampant in Florida...

    Sometimes I think monkeys could do a better job.

    Alex
    Brooksville, FL

    February 17, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  88. Connie

    Jack, this is what you have, it will take time, no matter how you rant and rave, it is what it is. Give President Obama, time to do what we elected him to do. It's too late for all of you doubting Thomas', you should have been on Bush 34 when he was in office. This mess happened under his watch.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  89. Michelle

    I am lost for words. This whole thing makes me ill. Washington is so out of touch it makes my stomach turn. I am tired of bailing everyone out. Sorry for the States that can not stay on a budget. State government spending is digging them in a hole and they want other State taxpayers to bail them out. Get a Grip. Your out of money , stop spending. I live in Texas , we budget here. Not to mention take care of our own natural diasters, since the Federal Government doesn't seem to care."IKE". I want my money in my State. Maybe Washington should go away and we would all be alot better off.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  90. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    No, it's not "too little too late," it's way too much too soon.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  91. Don in Grand Rapids, Mi

    No, it's neither to little nor too late! It's the wrong thing to do, period. Obama's throwing our $$$$ down the drain, let the free market correct itself and it always has. Buy American, consume American products and we will overcome, to use a term from the past! The socialism that is being pushed down our throats will be the ruin of America!

    February 17, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  92. Wisconsin Don

    Is it "stimulus" or "stymie us"?

    Don
    Racine Wisconsin

    February 17, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  93. Donna Mehle

    I hope it is not to late. I have been unemployed since last June, Minnesota has such a high unemployment rate, I hope I will be able to find a job so please tell the big babies Republican party like Mccain,GRAHAM to stop complaining about the STIMULUS BILL our PRESIDENT tried to reach out to the Republican party, but they want things their way which it will go with the best interest of the middle class not always for the rich which we had for the last 8 years.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  94. Karl from SF, CA

    Let's hope its enough and in time. It's just a start and will need a lot more to get us over this hump. I wonder how much was spent during the Great Depression, in 2009 dollars, comared to what we are spending now. I bet we are still looking cheap. The positive of this is it makes what's left of the Republicans look even more out of touch. Bless their hearts. Bring on 2010.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  95. Chad

    By the People For the People, or is it By Big Business For Big Business

    February 17, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  96. Jeffrey in Georgia

    It's something of a gamble. We have never been in this situation before, the last time there was a depression this bad our economy was based on completely different factors. Right now I don't think anyone can honestly say whether or not it will work. In theory it could, and we're clinging to that theory as tight as we can. However, even if we spiral into a true depression, there is still hope. America has always been a resilient country, and though we have not had to exercise that resilience for a few generations I have faith that when the going gets tough we will realize that we can get tough as well.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  97. Dee in Florida

    It is definitely too late for those who suffer the most in a time of economic disaster. Is it too little? That's a staggering question. If it is too little just how much WOULD it take to get the economy back on track? And, since we are part of a global economy, what are other countries doing to jump start the economy? Are they all just waiting for us to do the trick? Is anyone besides me sick of always having to be the leader?

    And maybe if the package is too little, we should pull our troops OUT of both Iraq and Afghanistan. I notice you guys seem to have lost sight of the fact that the WAR is still costing us billions each month, and that is IN ADDITION TO the economic recovery plan! If we were not bleeding money in this war, maybe we could afford to fix the country!

    February 17, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  98. Sharon

    I hope and pray that it works. The republicans hope that it fails and are doing their best to make it fail in States like California and Kansas by blocking necessary legislation to provide funds to keep those states going. Why on earth do these people put politics above the needs the American people. They have no shame.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  99. Anna

    It is better then 700 billions dollars for the banks. We need middle class socialism and not rich people socialism.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  100. Doug

    Jack.... " Too soon we get too old: too late we get too smart." I think the stimulus plan is theoretically good but the results will be minimal because it is not focused. Hopefully the results will lead us to a more perfect spending plan. (Doug, Bloomfield, NJ)

    February 17, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  101. Chad

    Definately not sick of being a leader. I just wish our appointed representatives would do what the american public wants done.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  102. Mike, FL

    Jack,

    The long term investments in it are great. But the pork and Hollywood bailout sucks!! I need $24,000 to pay off my house!, All I need!! not want , but need!! Any help for me, Nope!!

    February 17, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  103. Yvonne

    Is $790 billion too LITTLE? You've got to be kidding. And as for too LATE…the press spends the past eight years turning a blind eye to the last administration robbing the till to pay for two costly wars, and de-regulating Wall Street and the banking industry so they could all do as they please. If you had asked me this question eight years ago I would have told you we would end up in this crisis…spending way too MUCH, way too LATE!

    February 17, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  104. Aakash Desai

    To answer your question.....the package is definitely too late because everyday that we spent talking about it, and everyday that obama had to urge the lawmakers just pushed us deeper into the mess. hopefully now we can see the results of the signing today, and i hope we see them fast...

    February 17, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  105. Phil P. in NJ

    After 8 yrs of the Bush Administration, this stimulus bill could'n't have come soon enough. President Obama is doing a great job in cutting through the bull in Washington to help the American people. Like the President said, we did'nt get into this mess overnight and it will take some time to get us out. In addtion, Wall Street's lack of support for this bill is way behind what the American people want and that's jobs. This train will leave the station with or without Wall Street.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  106. Clifton Beroid

    I don’t know if the stimulus package is too little, too much not enough or too late...and neither do you. But to quote Lincoln: “The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise - with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country”.
    So shut up Jack! Let the president and we, the people, save our country.

    Clifton
    Lafayette, LA

    February 17, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  107. Chris from Florida

    In order for this bill or any other bill to work and be effective in bring the Americans back to work, will mean a complete over haul of all foriegn trade policies. When you allow the large corporations to buy product that can be made right here in america, you allow for American jobs to be lost.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  108. Jim Green, Seguin, TX www.Inclusivism.org

    Jack....I have the solution-no one is listening--what we need is a Temporary Economic Insurance Act (TEIA), a federally mandated, privately managed (as opposed to Congress)–mutual insurance plan owned by the employed, to provode the income for employment of the unemployed. Then we would have a renewable stimulus package, rather than one that will end when the money runs out–and it will not add a dime to our taxes, or deficit!

    February 17, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  109. Tim -Henderson, NV

    Paul Krugman would probably agree, that this stimulus package is lacking in some areas and not big enough to get the overall job done. Something had to be done. Housing, both private and commercial needs rto be seriously addressed.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:59 pm |