5) Do you support using government funds in an effort to stimulate and improve the economy?
- Steven Austria. The Concern Of America's Future Direction. 31 March 2009. "As freshmen, we've been in Congress now for less than 100 days, and we have been faced with a $700 billion TARP financial market bailout that has not worked, in my opinion. It has been a disaster because there's been no--there hasn't been the accountability needed, there hasn't been the transparency as to how that money has been in place. There is no plan in place. The Treasury Department did not have a plan in place. We had Secretary Geithner come into the Budget Committee, and we asked him about the financial bailout, the market bailout. And he could not give us specific answers as to how the money that has been spent has been spent and how their plans on the future dollars on how they were going to be spent. And then we had the stimulus package, $791 billion spending package, I call it, $1.1 trillion over the next 10 years of taxpayers' dollars. In that stimulus package was a paragraph in there on a bill that not one Member of Congress had an opportunity to read completely before we voted on that, said, You know what? We can now take your tax dollars, we can use it as a bailout, give it to a company like AIG, and they can pay out $165 million in bonuses, 73 of those being over $1-million bonuses. One lucky guy got a $1.64 million bonus, and twelve of them don't even work for the company." (votesmart.org)
- Steven Austria. HR 1. 111th Congress. Making supplemental appropriations for job preservation and creation, infrastructure investment, energy efficiency and science, assistance to the unemployed, and State and local fiscal stabilization, for fiscal year ending September 30, 2009, and for other purposes. Project Vote Smart Summary: Steven Austria voted NO on 13 February 2009. (votesmart.org)
- Steven Austria. Where are the Jobs? 28 July 2009. "Mr. Speaker, the stimulus bill certainly has not yet improved our economy. This chart next to me shows what the administration projected would happen with unemployment numbers as a result of the stimulus. And what's really happening, as you can see, the dark line is what would happen with the stimulus package; the light line without the stimulus package; and most importantly, this dotted line, which is what's really happening and that is skyrocketing unemployment." (votesmart.org)
- Steven Austria. Op-Ed: Month Of April Marks Debt Day 2009. 30 April 2010. "Last year, Debt Day fell much later in the year on August 5, 2008. This year, Debt Day has broken all prior records by falling on April 26, 2009 and this is due largely to the $700 billion financial bailout; the $791 billion stimulus bill and the $410 billion omnibus bill, with almost 9,000 earmarks -- legislation Congress has passed since January. I am greatly concerned because these bills have caused Congress to spend beyond its means and to take on historic levels of debt, which I fear will only be passed on to our children and grandchildren for years to come. Just like a typical American family must, it is time for government to live within its means and embrace fiscal responsibility." (votesmart.org)
- Steven Austria. Unprecidented Taxing And Spending. 24 March 2009. "Let me just say, as a new Member of this Congress and having served less than 100 days, we have been faced with tremendous challenges and issues before us. I will start out with the second half of the bailout of the financial markets, the TARP bill, which was $700 billion that I felt did not have enough accountability and not enough transparency. The Treasury did not have a specific plan in place when we voted on that bill, and I had deep concerns with that, and I voted against that bill. The second bill I was asked to vote on was the $791 billion over 10 years, $1.1 trillion stimulus bill that had a tremendous amount of government spending that I felt was not targeted toward where it should be, to small businesses, which are the economic engine of this country. Seventy percent of the businesses across this country are small businesses. We have 900,000 small businesses in the State of Ohio. Yet this plan did not focus on small businesses. It did little to nothing to help small businesses. It was focused on increasing government spending, which I felt was wrong." (votesmart.org)