Joe Biden: The Gift that Keeps on Giving
In case you were busy recovering from a long weekend of fireworks and hotdogs, you might have missed a rather dubious interview featuring Vice President Joe Biden this Sunday.
When asked by ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent and “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos about the administration’s role in the deteriorating U.S. economy, Mr. Biden reportedly came up lame:
“The truth is, we and everyone else misread the economy.”
But, truth is, everyone else did not misread the economy. Instead of continuing to blame the Bush administration for the financial fallout, a closer look at the history of the roots of the 2008 crisis and ensuing recession would have served Mr. Biden and his economic advisors well.
And, truth is, the stimulus has not worked, even marginally. The ever-growing bailouts and government takeovers will haunt the economy for the long-term. But, true to form, Mr. Biden and his team refused to rule out further stimulus packages in the coming future—a sure sign that the administration truly has misread the economy.
I pressed the vice president, who is also leading the administration’s middle-class task force, on whether he’d rule out a second stimulus package.
“So, no second stimulus?” I asked.
“No, I didn’t say that,” Biden said, “I think it’s premature to make that judgment. This was set up to spend out over 18 months. There are going to be major programs that are going to take effect in September, $7.5 billion for broadband, new money for high-speed rail, the implementation of the grid — the new electric grid. And so this is just starting, the pace of the ball is now going to increase.”
Hmmm. A $7.5 billion quote for broadband equaling less than one percent of the $780 stimulus? No wonder the Chinese scoffed at Treasury Secretary Geithner while on his “fiscal sustainability” tour.
Back in February President Obama sat before fellow Democrats and hounded his predecessor’s economic policies:
“Don’t come to the table with the same tired arguments and worn ideas that helped to create this crisis. We’re not going to get relief by turning back to the very same policies that, for the last eight years, doubled the national debt and threw our economy into a tailspin.”
Yet under the new administration our national debt has experienced an astronomical and unprecedented jump of just under $3 trillion in less than six months. It now stands at well over $11 trillion. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Obama budget would more than double our national debt by 2019 and cause the debt-to-GDP ratio to rise to 82% in the same time period. And guess who’s going to pay for government’s fiscal irresponsibility? Generations upon generations of taxpaying Americans; our children and our children’s children.
So let’s get this straight. Mr. Obama is on record bashing his predecessor’s spending policies, while at the same time more than doubling them?
In March the Vice President, echoing the White House message that the budget will help fuel a recovery, added: “This is not about ideology.”
But it has everything to do with ideology. Stimulus packages that boost big government at the expense of private enterprise such as the one championed by the Obama administration are not necessary. It’s the classic example of government overstepping its bounds in response to a crisis; a rallying call for big government advocates. What has it left us? An unemployment rate that has amassed 9.5% and aims to hit double digits before years end. A far cry from the administration’s projection of 8% peak. But, according to Biden, “everyone guessed wrong” on unemployment numbers, too. Catching the rift?
The Obama administration came to office by demonizing eight years of “misguided policy.” Now, six months of Obamanomics has left us further in debt with no end in sight.
The show (and excuses) cannot go on.
Truth is, Messrs. Obama and Biden have beaten us around the bush for six months running. “Everyone” did not guess wrong. They did. It wasn’t “everyone’s” plan. It was theirs. It’s time they own up to it.