Obey: Obama admin. proposed food stamp cuts. Obey also talks about TARP, and explains how the stimulus got short-changed.




Obey quoted by Fiscal Times (h/t MyDD):

We were told we have to offset every damn dime of [new teacher spending]. Well, it ain’t easy to find offsets, and with all due respect to the administration their first suggestion for offsets was to cut food stamps. Now they were careful not to make an official budget request, because they didn’t want to take the political heat for it, but that was the first trial balloon they sent down here. … Their line of argument was, well, the cost of food relative to what we thought it would be has come down, so people on food stamps are getting a pretty good deal in comparison to what we thought they were going to get. Well isn’t that nice. Some poor bastard is going to get a break for a change.

On the TARP bailout of Wall Street, the economic stimulus package and the need for more action on the economy:

I think everything [President] Bush and [President] Obama have done on the economy is getting a needless bad rap. At least that’s everything Bush did after September of the last year he was in office. . . I knew then it would be costly political vote because I was ticked off, because I detested being in the position we had to help the very people [on Wall Street] who had caused the economy to implode in the first place. We had no choice. If you’ve got an epidemic going on, you’ve got to treat the people who caused the epidemic as well as the people treating it or everyone is going to die.

The public hates it, but it happens to have been a pretty damn good deal for the taxpayers. When all is said and done, that will not have cost the American people nearly as much as we feared. The cost will be less than $100 billion. And if you can save your economy by spending $100 billion, I’d say that’s worth it. Even if to do that you had to give some help to the dumb bastards who got us in trouble in the first place, and you can quote me.

The problem for Obama, he wasn’t as lucky as Roosevelt, because when Obama took over we were still in the middle of a free fall. So his Treasury people came in and his other economic people came in and said “Hey, we need a package of $1.4 trillion.” We started sending suggestions down to OMB waiting for a call back. After two and a half weeks, we started getting feedback. We put together a package that by then the target had been trimmed to $1.2 trillion. And then [White House Chief of Staff] Rahm Emanuel said to me, “Geez, do you really think we can afford to come in with a package that big, isn’t it going to scare people?” I said, “Rahm, you will need that shock value so that people understand just how serious this problem is.” They wanted to hold it to less than $1 trillion. Then [Pennsylvania Senator Arlen] Specter and the two crown princesses from Maine [Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins] took it down to less than $800 billion. Spread over two and a half years, that’s a hell of a lot of money, but spread over two and a half years in an economy this large, it doesn’t have a lot of fiscal power.


CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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