Politics & Policy

Bennet’s Testy Stimulus Exchange: ‘We Didn’t End Up in a Second Great Depression’

Following the Battle ‘10 scoop in late August that Sen. Michael Bennet had repeatedly said that while the government had spent trillions of dollars and acquired more than $13 trillion in debt and that “in my [Bennet’s] view we have nothing to show for it,” a videographer posed a followup question to Bennet over objections by Bennet campaign staff:

Isaac: You said we didn’t get anything from the stimulus, do you stand by that?

Sen. Michael Bennet: You guys and your gotcha politics, that’s not what I said.

Isaac: Do we need more spending?

[…]

Isaac: If the stimulus is a failure then, it’s a failure.

Bennet: Can I, you know what, the answer to your question is we didn’t, we didn’t end up in a second Great Depression. That’s the answer to your question.

As Bennet offers an answer to the question, he taps the questioner’s shoulder (to get his attention) and then makes his point:

Bennet made the “nothing to show for it” remark as early as April, and below is a transcript of that exchange.

Beginning at the 2:04 mark:

“[…] look, not only do we have $12 trillion in debt, not only have we mortgaged ourselves to the Chinese, but the tragedy of it is, we have absolutely nothing to show for it, absolutely nothing to show for it. We haven’t invested in our roads, our bridges, our transportation, our ports, anything. What did we do? Well, we cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans and we cost our kids $1.4 trillion. We said ‘we’re gonna cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans, borrow it from the Chinese, and stick our kids with the bill.’ We have spent a trillion dollars on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we’ve borrowed all of that money from our kids. Medicare Part D, the seniors’ prescription drug program that Bush advanced–might be a great program but we didn’t pay for it. The bailout that ended the last administration, about $800 billion, not paid for. And then, the piece of it that the President, we own, I own, was the recovery package last year which was roughly $760 billion. All that adds up to $12 trillion, and we’ve got to address it. It’s immoral to leave this to our children […]” [emphases added]

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