As Dems Kick Off Fall Campaign, Obama Promises Another Multi-Billion Stimulus Program

By Susan Jones | September 7, 2010 | 8:43 AM EDT

President Barack Obama speaks at the Milwaukee Laborfest in Wisconsin on Monday, Sept. 6, 2010. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

( – The Democratic Party officially kicks off its fall election campaign in Philadelphia on Wednesday, with a “major national address” delivered by party chairman Tim Kaine.
Kaine, according to a Democratic National Committee news release, will “frame November’s elections and explain the choice the American people have in front of them--a choice between Democrats, who are moving America forward; and Republicans, who want to take us back to the failed policies of the past that brought our economy to the brink of collapse.”
Kaine also will discuss “the economic progress that the country has made as a result of the bold actions taken by President Obama and Congressional Democrats despite the Republican Party’s politically motivated opposition to these efforts.”
Kaine credits President Obama and Democrats in Congress with pulling the nation back from the brink of a second Great Depression.
President Barack Obama, who has been campaigning for months, told a Labor Day gathering in Milwaukee on Monday that he has a new plan for rebuilding and modernizing America’s roads and rails and runways.
He didn’t mention the price tag for the second stimulus program, which is said to be around $50-billion.
“I want America to have the best infrastructure in the world,” Obama said in Milwaukee.
The president said over the next six years, he envisions rebuilding 150,000 miles of roads (enough to circle the world six times, he said). “We’re going to lay and maintain 4,000 miles of our railways -- enough to stretch coast to coast. We’re going to restore 150 miles of runways.  And we’re going to advance a next-generation air-traffic control system to reduce travel time and delays for American travelers,” the president said.
Obama said his plan “will be fully paid for” and “will not add to the deficit over time.”

He called for the establishment of an “infrastructure bank,” which would “leverage federal dollars and focus on the smartest investments.”

Obama said his second stimulus plan will create jobs immediately and “make our economy hum over the long haul.”
First stimulus didn’t work, Republicans say
House Republican leader John Boehner (Ohio) said President Obama has “chosen to double-down on more of the same failed stimulus spending.”
“Eighteen months ago, the administration promised that if we passed their trillion-dollar 'stimulus' it would create jobs 'immediately' and keep unemployment below eight percent. Instead, millions of Americans have lost their jobs, and unemployment is approaching 10 percent,” Boehner noted.
“If we've learned anything from the past 18 months, it's that we can't spend our way to prosperity.  We don't need more government 'stimulus' spending -- we need to end Washington Democrats' out-of-control spending spree, stop their tax hikes, and create jobs by eliminating the job-killing uncertainty that is hampering our small businesses."
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said Obama's call for another stimulus plan should be met with justifiable skepticism: "After failing to deliver on their economic promises for more than 18 months, the administration wants to do it again--this time with higher taxes for even more new spending."
McConnell said Americans are skeptical about Democrats asking them for more money and more patience: "After all, they're still looking for the ‘shovel-ready’ jobs they were promised more than a year ago. A last-minute, cobbled-together stimulus bill with more than $50 billion in new tax hikes will not reverse the complete lack of confidence Americans have in Washington Democrats' ability to help this economy.”
Car in a ditch
Anticipating Republican opposition to his second stimulus plan, President Obama on Monday accused Republicans of being stuck on an economic philosophy they've been peddling for the past ten years:  "You know that philosophy," he said. "You cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires; you cut all the rules and regulations for special interests; and then you just cut working folks loose -- you cut them loose to fend for themselves."
Obama blamed Republicans for racking up record deficits that resulted in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
"It’d be one thing, Milwaukee, if Republicans in Washington had some new ideas, if they had said, 'You know what, we really screwed up, and we’ve learned from our mistakes; we’re going to do things differently this time.' That’s not what they’re doing," Obama said.
Obama told the union-heavy crowd that Republicans want Americans to believe they've changed, but no one should believe it:
"These are the folks whose policies helped devastate our middle class.  They drove our economy into a ditch.  And we got in there and put on our boots and we pushed and we shoved.  And we were sweating and these guys were standing, watching us and sipping on a Slurpee.  And they were pointing at us saying, ‘How come you’re not pushing harder, how come you’re not pushing faster?’  And then when we finally got the car up -- and it’s got a few dings and a few dents, it’s got some mud on it, we’re going to have to do some work on it -- they point to everybody and say, ‘Look what these guys did to your car.’ After we got it out of the ditch!  And then they got the nerve to ask for the keys back!  I don’t want to give them the keys back. They don’t know how to drive."
Obama said the midterm elections are a choice between going back and going forward.
A second stimulus is going forward?
Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele said Obama’s call for a second stimulus proves that Washington Democrats have run out of ideas to get the economy moving.
“Recycling the same disastrous policies that failed to generate sustainable job growth and resulted in record deficits is not the response struggling middle-class families are looking for from this White House.”
Steele said the Obama administration “should be focusing on improving the overall economic climate so businesses can create permanent private sector jobs, not charging another 50 billion dollars to the nation’s credit card in an attempt to create the impression that his party is being constructive in solving the country’s economic woes.”