If I were inclined to pity the President at all, it would be because he has to live every day with the knowledge that he can’t detain Joe Biden at Guantanamo Bay, far from any television cameras.
But I can’t pity him all that much when he lets the Gaffer-in-Chief sit down for a lengthy interview with George Stephanolous on Sunday. Eventually, the talk turned to the economy and, don’t you just know, Biden let the cat way out of the bag.
STEPHANOPOULOS: While we’ve been here, some pretty grim job numbers back at home — 9.5 percent unemployment in June, the worst numbers in 26 years.
How do you explain that? Because when the president and you all were selling the stimulus package, you predicted at the beginning that, to get this package in place, unemployment will peak at about 8 percent. So, either you misread the economy, or the stimulus package is too slow and to small.
BIDEN: The truth is, we and everyone else misread the economy. The figures we worked off of in January were the consensus figures and most of the blue chip indexes out there.
Everyone thought at that stage — everyone — the bulk of…
STEPHANOPOULOS: CBO would say a little bit higher.
BIDEN: A little bit, but they’re all in the same range. No one was talking about that we would be moving towards — we’re worried about 10.5 percent, it will be 9.5 percent at this point.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But we’re looking at 10 now, aren’t we?
BIDEN: No. Well, look, we’re much too high. We’re at 9 — what, 9.5 right now?
Actually, Steffi is wrong, too. The President predicted that unemployment would peak at 8 percent next year with his Stimulus Plan in place. Without it, the prediction was actually nine percent.
That’s also a nice little strawman Stephanopoulis built as well, isn’t it? There is a third option: the Stimulus Plan is actually bad for the economy. But, hey, what do I know? I’m not a former Democratic White House staffer who was handed a major media job without a shred of real journalistic experience at all and who now works for the very network that hosted a day-long Obamacare informercial.
I don’t think the President can take a mulligan on this one and his economic team put their prediction way into the woods. That wouldn’t have been so terrible if the President hadn’t used his team’s numbers as the key selling point for the ARRA. BUt he did and what’s worse is that he was not just wrong about how bad the economy would be, he was wrong about what effect passing the ARRA would have on it. Instead of creating jobs, his Vote-Buying Act is hurting small businesses and forcing them to the sidelines. Meanwhile, unemployment is not only getting worse than he thought but it’s also happening faster than he thought.
However, that’s not the worst gaffe of the interview.
Here’s what else Biden had to say.
We misread how bad the economy was, but we are now only about 120 days into the recovery package. The truth of the matter was, no one anticipated, no one expected that that recovery package would in fact be in a position at this point of having to distribute the bulk of money.
Oh, really? Perhaps Biden should review what his boss was saying just a few months ago. On January 28, 2009, President Obama said this [Emphasis Mine]:
Most of the money we’re investing as part of this plan will get out the door immediately and go directly to job-creation, generating or saving three to four million new jobs. And the vast majority of these jobs will be created in the private sector – because, as these CEOs well know, business, not government, is the engine of growth in this country. But even as this plan puts Americans back to work today, it will also make those critical investments in alternative energy and safer roads, better health care and modern schools that will lay the foundation for long-term growth and prosperity.
Now, I’m not mathematician, but I’m pretty sure that “the bulk” and “most” mean the same thing. But just to prove this wasn’t a fluke, here’s what the President said a month later [Emphasis Mine]:
will get the rest of this plan moving to put Americans to work doing the work America needs done, making an immediate impact while laying the foundation for our lasting growth and prosperity.
So if the bulk of the money wasn’t going to be sent out in four months, then how was it going to make “an immediate impact”? No, the President was saying all along that the reason the Stimulus Bill had to be passed before anyone could read it is because the money had to get out right away.
And he wasn’t the only one. A few other key members of the administration were singing the same tune.
So either Biden’s incredibly ignorant about what the President and his economic team were saying or he’s lying. Again.
Oh, and speaking of lying, here’s one last huge whopper from Joltin’ Joe.
BIDEN: Look, what we have to do now is we have to properly, adequately, transparently and effectively spend out the $787 billion.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That’s your job. You’re in charge of that now.
BIDEN: That is my job, and I think we’re doing it well. If you noticed, George, I mean, there were other predictions. This was going to be wasteful and all these terrible projects were going to be out there, and we’re wasting money. Well, that dog hasn’t barked yet.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, Senator Coburn has identified some.
BIDEN: Yes — no, he hasn’t, but he did, he identified one hundred ? forty-eight of which we had already killed. And so — and the rest I dispute. So the bottom line though is, I think anybody would say this has been pretty well managed so far.
“We know some of this money is going to be wasted,” Biden said during a roundtable discussion in New York with business leaders aimed at promoting the two-year stimulus plan.
“There are going to be mistakes made,” said Biden. “Some people are being scammed already.”
That doesn’t sound very “well-managed” to me. In fact, the man charged with keeping the program on the straight and narrow said that “there may be a naïve impression that given the amount of transparency and accountability called for by this act, no or little fraud will occur.” Maybe he should check down the hall in Biden’s office for some of those impressions because Joe Biden’s suffering from some mighty powerful delusions.
There’s also this guy, who does fraud prevention for a living (as opposed to the Vice President, who did pork for a living), says that we’ll lose a minimum of $50 billion of the Stimulus Plan to waste, fraud, and abuse.
Not only is that dog hunting, but it has treed the Vice President and is baying its head off.