WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Bob Bennett (R-Utah) joined Senate Republicans today in a press conference to discuss their opposition to the nearly trillion dollar stimulus bill.
“As an American I want to see the right thing done, regardless of who gets the political credit,” said Bennett. “I am going to vote against this package because it’s not going to work. It needs to be refashioned around the realities of this problem and not simply recycling the theories of past problems.”
Bennett pointed out that the last stimulus bill did little to jumpstart the economy because the tax cuts were only temporary and rather than consuming, people used the money to pay down debt. Bennett believes that permanent tax cuts will help stimulate the economy because people and businesses can plan for investments, such as hiring more employees or consuming more products.
A complete transcript from Bennett’s remarks is below:
You should all remember that the crisis is real. It’s a recession that will be the deepest and the longest one that we’ve had since World War II. We need to act as responsibly as we possibly can to deal with it. Republicans need to remember that as well as Democrats.
Facing that serious of a crisis, we need to put aside partisanship and look at what works. We have a very, very clear model, because we passed a bipartisan stimulus package in the last Congress. Republicans voted for it and Democrats voted for it.
It didn’t work. And one of the reasons it didn’t work is because it wasn’t focused enough on the real problems that we face. It was based on economic analysis on past recessions, and past problems, and not the depth and seriousness of this one. And as it has been said, much of what is in this package is simply more of what happened a year ago.
That didn’t work. We saw personal income spike up as a result of the stimulus we put into the economy, and the economy wasn’t stimulated at all. Why? Because the crisis extends beyond government. Individuals are having economic crisis and when you have an economic crisis, whether you’re a company like General Motors or a bank like Citibank, or an individual, you do what you can to reduce your debt and pay down your obligations.
And that’s what we’ve done with the last stimulus package. People acted very rationally. They paid down their individual debts. That’s a good thing for them. But they didn’t take the money and go out and buy a car. They didn’t take the money and go out and consume, which would have been the pattern in some previous recessions. But this one is so deep and so strong, that the past prescription did not work with this patient.
My objection to what the Democrats are proposing in the Senate has nothing whatever to do with a desire on the part of Republicans to see anything fail. It has nothing to do with the idea that we might get the political advantage if Obama stumbles. As an American I want to see the right thing done, regardless of who gets the political credit.
I’m going to vote against this package because it’s not going to work. It needs to be refashioned around the realities of this problem and not simply recycling the theories of past problems.
And I hope everyone between now and the time when the Senate finally votes on it will come to that understanding and sit down, regardless of their political position and say, “What can we do that can work in this situation” even if it violates past doctrine, with respects to previously held positions.
The country requires that we do that, because the situation is just that serious.