Republican Party

09/18/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/18/2020 11:31

The Real Joe: Biden’s Leadership Led To The Worst Labor Recovery In Generations

The Facts:


  • Despite claiming his administration oversaw the 'longest economic expansion ' in history, Former Vice President Biden is responsible for the 'worst labor recovery in generations.'
  • Former Vice President Biden and his allies believe that his work on the 2009 recovery will help to make the case that he should lead the U.S. in the recovery from the Coronavirus.
    • Yet, even Biden's top economic adviser Jared Bernstein has admitted that Biden's leadership only 'succeeded in making the situation less bad rather than good - so how do you sell that?'
  • Over the next decade, Biden has proposed spending $7 trillion on issues like healthcare, housing and climate change.
  • As Biden tries to attack President Trump for his oversight of coronavirus spending, Biden's own record on stimulus spending has revived cause for concern.




Despite Claiming His Administration Oversaw The 'Longest Economic Expansion' In History, Former Vice President Biden Is Responsible For The 'Worst Labor Recovery In Generations'

According To Former Vice President Biden, The Obama-Biden Administration Oversaw The 'Longest Economic Expansion History.' ''Trump inherited the longest economic expansion in history from the Obama-Biden administration, but like everything else he's inherited, he has squandered it,' Biden said in a statement, first shared with Bloomberg News.' (Bloomberg, 6/8/20)

Former Vice President Biden's Cheerleaders Have Also Declared That The Obama-Biden Administration Was A 'Smashing Economic Success,' But The 'Overall Economic Numbers Tell A Negative Story.' 'Mr. Biden's cheerleaders declare the Obama Administration a smashing economic success. They say he inherited the deepest recession since the Great Depression, and handed President Trump the longest expansion on record. Mr. Obama did get some things right. He tolerated the shale energy revolution that emerged on his watch, albeit on private land. Only late in his term did he try to strangle it with pipeline bans and regulation. Despite conflicting instincts on trade policy, he also pushed for progress on major multilateral trade deals with Europe and around the Pacific. But the overall economic numbers tell a negative story.' (The Wall Street Journal, 8/18/20)

Despite The Length Of The 2009 Economic Expansion The 'Annual Economic Growth, Adjusted For Inflation, Averaged 2.3% After The Recession Ended In June 2009.' 'Annual economic growth, adjusted for inflation, averaged 2.3% after the recession ended in June 2009 across Mr. Obama's two terms. Despite the length of the post-2009 expansion, it was shallow.' (The Wall Street Journal, 8/18/20)

'Sluggish Growth Went Hand-In-Hand With The Worst Labor Recovery In Generations.' 'Sluggish growth went hand-in-hand with the worst labor recovery in generations.' (The Wall Street Journal, 8/18/20)

'The Unemployment Rate Peaked At 10% In October 2009 And Didn't Reach The Pre-Recession Level Of 4.4% Until March 2017.' 'The unemployment rate peaked at 10% in October 2009 and didn't reach the pre-recession level of 4.4% until March 2017. That painfully slow healing overstates the improvement since so many Americans dropped out of the workforce.' (The Wall Street Journal, 8/18/20)

'The Labor Participation Rate-Roughly, The Percentage Of Working-Age Adults Working Or Actively Seeking Work-Fell To 62.8% When President Obama Left Office In January 2017 From A Pre-Recession 66.2% In January 2008 At The Onset Of The Recession.' 'The labor participation rate-roughly, the percentage of working-age adults working or actively seeking work-fell to 62.8% when President Obama left office in January 2017 from a pre-recession 66.2% in January 2008 at the onset of the recession.' (The Wall Street Journal, 8/18/20)

In 2020, Biden Claimed That President Should Not Be Allowed To 'Take Credit For An Economic Rebound' As The U.S. Recovered From The Coronavirus. 'In his statement, Biden warned about Trump trying to take credit for an economic rebound, saying while the president is not responsible for the virus, his lackluster response made the impact worse.' (Bloomberg, 6/8/20)

In An Attempt To Counter President Trump's 'Record-Long U.S. Economic Expansion,' Democrats Have Been Forced Into Proposing 'Vast New Federal Government Spending'

To Counter President Trump's 'Record-Long U.S. Economic Expansion,' Democrats Have Been Forced Into 'Proposing Vast New Federal Government Spending And Programs As They Vie For The Nomination.' 'Democrats are proposing vast new federal government spending and programs as they vie for the nomination to challenge Republican President Donald Trump for the White House in November 2020. Trump has touted his mix of tax and regulation cuts as an elixir, and under his administration a record-long U.S. economic expansion continued, pushing unemployment to half-century lows.' (Reuters, 11/14/19)

To Finance His Infrastructure Plan, Biden Recommends 'Raising Corporate Taxes And Ending Subsidies For Fossil Fuels,' Proposals That Would 'Require Congressional Support To Become Reality.' 'Biden's new, 12-page policy plan proposes financing for its recommendations, including funneling more money to regions with high poverty rates and pushing the United States to net-zero greenhouse emissions by 2050, by raising corporate taxes and ending subsidies for fossil fuels. Many of the proposals require congressional support to become reality.' (Reuters, 11/14/19)

Over The Next Decade, Biden Has Proposed Spending $7 Trillion On Issues Like Healthcare, Housing And Climate Change

Former Vice President Biden Believes That The Federal Government Should Spend 'Close To $7 Trillion More Over The Next Decade On Issues Like Health Care, Housing And Climate Change' Over The Next Decade. 'Joe Biden wants the federal government to spend close to $7 trillion more over the next decade on issues like health care, housing and climate change - part of a sweeping presidential platform that he says will build on President Barack Obama's legacy and unite a fractured nation.' (Fox News, 8/18/20)

To Pay For The Proposal, The Plan Calls For 'About $4 Trillion In Tax Increases On Corporations, Investments And Wealthy Americans,' As Well As An 'Overhaul Of President Trump's Massive $1.5 Trillion Tax Cuts And Jobs Act.' 'The former vice president has said he will pay for the measures with about $4 trillion in tax increases on corporations, investments and wealthy Americans. That includes an overhaul of President Trump's massive $1.5 trillion Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which slashed the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35% and temporarily reduced individual income taxes.' (Fox News, 8/18/20)

Former Vice President Biden And His Allies Believe That His Work On The 2009 Recovery Will Help To Make The Case That He Should Lead The U.S. In The Recovery From The Coronavirus

Former Vice President Biden's Work On The Rollout, Implementation, Oversight And Selling Of The 2009 Stimulus Was The 'Most Significant' Assignment Of His Time In Office. 'Mr. Biden's work on the rollout, implementation, oversight and selling of the 2009 stimulus - officially the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act - was the most sustained, and perhaps the most significant, assignment of his time in office.' (The New York Times, 5/4/20)

Eleven Years Later, During A Pandemic, Biden's Campaign Is 'Hoping To Leverage His Stewardship Of The 2009 Stimulus As A Point Of Contrast With President Trump.' 'Eleven years later, in an election season defined by pandemic, economic collapse and a far-larger relief package, Mr. Biden's campaign is hoping to leverage his stewardship of the 2009 stimulus as a point of contrast with President Trump - whose White House is pushing back at congressional oversight of $2.7 trillion in new spending even as a host of problems has emerged, especially chaos in the small-business loan program.' (The New York Times, 5/4/20)

According To David Plouffe, A Biden Surrogate And President Obama's Former Top Political Adviser, Biden's Role In The Recovery Act Should Be A Core Campaign 'Selling Point.' ''The central question of this election will be who can dig us out of a historic economic hole, so his leadership of the recovery act should be his core résumé selling point,' said David Plouffe, Mr. Obama's top political adviser and a Biden surrogate.' (The New York Times, 5/4/20)

Yet, Biden's Top Economic Adviser Jared Bernstein Has Admitted That They Only 'Succeeded In Making The Situation Less Bad Rather Than Good - So How Do You Sell That?' ''The big problem, when you get right down it, is that we succeeded in making the situation less bad rather than good - so how do you sell that?' said Jared Bernstein, Mr. Biden's top economic adviser during his vice presidency.' (The New York Times, 5/4/20)

As Biden Tries To Attack President Trump For His Oversight Of Coronavirus Spending, Biden's Own Record On Stimulus Spending Has Revived Cause For Concern

As Biden Steps Up His Attacks On The Trump Administration's Handling Of Coronavirus Stimulus Funds, The Former Vice President Is Now Under 'Renewed Scrutiny For His Own Oversight Of Federal Dollars In The Wake Of The 2008 Financial Crisis.' 'Joe Biden is stepping up his attacks on the Trump administration's handling of coronavirus stimulus funds -- and as a result, the former vice president, whom Barack Obama once called the White House's 'sheriff' of taxpayer funds, is now under renewed scrutiny for his own oversight of federal dollars in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.' (Fox News, 6/19/20)

Covid-19 Relief Legislation Is Providing 'Critical Support For Hospitals, Families, Small Businesses And Local Governments - Efforts That Will Save Lives And Help Cushion The Economic Blows Of This Pandemic.' 'Relief legislation passed by Congress provides critical support for hospitals, families, small businesses and local governments - efforts that will save lives and help cushion the economic blows of this pandemic.' (Miami Herald, 5/3/20)

Yet, Former Vice President Biden Claims That, President Trump Is Sending Funding Relief Based On 'Which Politicians Are Nice To Him, Which States He's Trying To Win In November And Which Businesses He Wants To Enrich.' 'By contrast, Trump seems to think he can direct funding for the response to this crisis based on which politicians are nice to him, which states he's trying to win in November and which businesses he wants to enrich - all without any accountability. We have a different view.' (Miami Herald, 5/3/20)

According To Biden, 'Oversight Is Vital To An Effective Democracy And A Fair Economy, And It's A Threat Only If You Have Something To Hide.' 'Oversight is vital to an effective democracy and a fair economy, and it's a threat only if you have something to hide.' (Miami Herald, 5/3/20)

Unfortunately For The Obama-Biden Administration, 'By 2011, It Emerged That Some Of Obama's Biggest Political Benefactors Were Executives Whose Companies Depended On Determinations By Government Regulators And Loaners.' 'By 2011, it emerged that some of Obama's biggest political benefactors were executives whose companies depended on determinations by government regulators and loaners. 'In some cases, grants, loans and contracts were given to companies that bundlers were heavily involved or invested in,' reporter Ben Smith wrote at the time, citing as an example the Marc Benioff company, which received a huge windfall when the Obama administration moved nearly 1,000 government data centers to cloud storage. Benoiff had just maxed out his contributions to the then-president.' (Fox News, 6/19/20)


In February 2009, President Obama Signed The American Recovery And Reinvestment Act To Stimulate The American Economy, Create Jobs, And Keep Unemployment Under 8 Percent

In February 2009, Lawmakers 'Enacted The American Recovery And Reinvestment Act (ARRA).' 'In February 2009, in response to significant weakness in the economy, lawmakers enacted the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).' (Congressional Budget Office, 2/15)

Estimated 'At The Time, To Cost $787 Billion,' The Legislation Sought To Provide 'Shovel-Ready' Transportation Projects, More Generous Unemployment And Food Stamp Benefits, And Various Temporary Tax Relief For Individuals And Businesses. 'The legislation for 'shovel-ready' transportation projects, more generous unemployment and food stamp benefits, and various temporary tax relief for individuals and businesses, was estimated, at the time, to cost $787 billion - more than the 2009 annual Pentagon budget.' (RealClearPolicy, 2/28/19)

The Stimulus Law, 'Designed And Enacted Almost Entirely On A Partisan Basis,' Was Estimated To Create 'Between Three And Four Million Jobs By The End Of 2010' And Keep The Unemployment Rate 'Under Eight Percent.' 'The key purpose of the stimulus law - which had been designed and enacted almost entirely on a partisan basis - was to create 'jobs, jobs, jobs.' The incoming Obama administration estimated that the law would create 'between three and four million jobs by the end of 2010' while keeping the unemployment rate under eight percent.' (RealClearPolicy, 2/28/19)

'None Of That Happened,' And Instead 'Total Employment Fell By Another Four Million Jobs In Two Years,' And Unemployment 'Soared To 10 Percent.' 'None of that happened. Instead, total employment fell by another four million jobs in two years, and as unemployment soared to 10 percent, Americans asked 'where are the jobs?'' (RealClearPolicy, 2/28/19)

Since The Implementation Of The ARRA, Stimulus Supporters Have Admitted That The Projections About Job Creation Was A 'Big Mistake,' And In Fact The 'Job-Creation Estimate Was A Political Disaster.' 'Much later, stimulus supporters admitted that the official document with projections about job creation had been a big mistake. Christina Romer, who went on to chair President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, admitted that she should have been more politically astute about making predictions. As it turned out, the job-creation estimate was a political disaster, as it provided administration opponents fodder to attack further stimulus measures.' (RealClearPolicy, 2/28/19)

Then Dubbed 'Sheriff Joe,' President Obama Placed Biden In Charge Of Overseeing Stimulus Spending

Obama Pledged That Joe Biden Would Lead An 'Unprecedented Oversight Effort' For The Stimulus 'Because Nobody Messes With Joe.' 'Here in Washington, we've all seen how quickly good intentions can turn into broken promises and wasteful spending. And with a plan of this scale comes enormous responsibility to get it right. That is why I have asked Vice President Biden to lead a tough, unprecedented oversight effort - because nobody messes with Joe.' (President Barack Obama, Address To Joint Session Of Congress, Washington, DC, 2/24/09)

Obama: 'To You, He's Mr. Vice President, But Around The White House We Call Him The Sheriff Because If You're Misusing Taxpayer Money, You'll Have To Answer To Him.' 'To you, he's Mr. Vice President, but around the white house we call him the sheriff because if you're misusing taxpayer money, you'll have to answer to him.' (President Barack Obama, Remarks By The President And The Vice President On Transportation Infrastructure, Washington D.C., 3/3/09)

  • Biden Told A Group Of Governors That He Was Concerned With Accountability In The Stimulus Purely Out Of 'Self-Interest' Because, 'If It Fails, I'm Dead.' 'Vice President Joe Biden told the nation's governors Thursday that if the $787 billion stimulus fails, 'I'm dead.' Biden, who holds regular calls with governors and mayors to chart the progress of the stimulus package, said he was pushing accountability standards purely out of 'self-interest.' 'If it fails, I'm dead,' he said.' (Sam Youngmen, 'VP Biden: If Stimulus Fails, 'I'm Dead,'' The Hill, 9/24/09)

In Fact, Biden Predicted That The Projects Funded By The Stimulus Would Create 'Opportunities For Waste And Corruption On An Unprecedented Scale.' 'Biden saw this day coming. In February, the Vice President and Ron Klain, his chief of staff, penned Barack Obama a memo predicting that spending $787 billion on tens of thousands of projects through hundreds of agencies would create opportunities for waste and corruption on an unprecedented scale. Biden suggested that someone with heft needed to be put in charge. During one of their weekly lunches, the President read over the memo, nodded and then handed it back to Biden. Do it, he said. Months later, Biden still laughs about how it happened. 'Last memo I've written him,' he says. 'No more memos.'' (Michael Scherer, 'What Happened To The Stimulus?' Time, 7/1/09)

As Vice President, Biden Was A 'Headline Player' For The 2009 Stimulus Package And Claimed That It Would 'Drop-Kick' The U.S. Out Of The Recession

In 2010, Biden Was Known As The 'Headline Player At Events Designed To Showcase The Impact Of The Stimulus.' 'Biden's events give a preview of the role he's likely to play for Democrats leading up to the congressional elections. He's leading the president's middle-class task force and is the headline player at events designed to showcase the impact of the stimulus passed last year to the voters Democrats are counting on in November to keep control of Congress.' (Julianna Goldman, 'Biden Carries Administration Message While Obama Vacations,' BusinessWeek, 8/24/10)

In February 2009, Shortly After The Stimulus Was Passed, Biden Said The Stimulus Would 'Literally Drop-Kicks Us Out Of This Recession.' BIDEN: 'This is a monumental project, but I think it's doable. But I just think we got to stay on top of it and we got to stay on top of it on a weekly basis. Because this is about getting this out and spent in 18 months to create 3.5 million jobs and do -- to set -- tee this up so the rest of the good work that's being done here literally drop-kicks us out of this recession and we begin to grow again and begin to grow again.' (Vice President Joe Biden, Remarks At Recovery Plan Implementation Meeting, Washington D.C., 2/25/09)

Biden Specifically Touted How The Stimulus Would Create Three To Four Million Jobs, 'Particularly With Regard To Infrastructure,' But In Reality, It Had 'No Effect'

In 2009, Biden Claimed That The Stimulus Was 'Balanced' Enough To Create Three To Four Million Jobs - 'Particularly With Regard To Infrastructure.' BIDEN: 'So I think it's as close to as good a balance as you can get, because I think it will create three to four million new jobs, I think it will in fact have--begin to lay the foundation for some of the changes in the 21st century we need, particularly with regard to infrastructure, and tax structure, as well.' (CNBC's 'CNBC Reports,' 1/29/09)

Biden Said 'We Want To Get Shovel-Ready Projects As Quickly As Possible.' 'As for that $8 billion, Biden said officials expect to have all the applications in by June 17 and start awarding money by the end of the summer. 'We want to get shovel-ready projects as quickly as possible that at a minimum significantly enhance ridership and take people off the highways,' he said.' (Aubrey Cohen, 'Biden: High-Speed Rail Money On The Way,' The Seattle Post Intelligencer, 6/3/09)

  • Biden:'But These Slides Show That We Had 1,750 Highway Projects That Were Under Way. It's Called Shovel-Ready. When The Governors Finally Let The Contracts, And Did It By The Numbers, There Were 1,750 Projects Under Way.' (Vice President Joe Biden, White House Press Briefing, 6/17/10)

Biden Claimed That Infrastructure Spending In The Stimulus Created Jobs 'That Will Support Economic Growth For Years To Come.' 'As for the final third, the act is financing the largest investment in roads since the creation of the Interstate highway system; construction projects at military bases, ports, bridges and tunnels; long overdue Superfund cleanups; the creation of clean energy jobs of the future; improvements in badly outdated rural water systems; upgrades to overtaxed mass transit and rail systems; and much more. These investments create jobs today -- and support economic growth for years to come.' (Vice President Joe Biden, Op-Ed, 'What You Might Not Know About The Recovery,' The New York Times, 7/26/09)

  • Biden: 'We're Going To Get More Dollars Out The Door, More Shovels Into The Ground.' BIDEN: ''We've laid a good foundation in the first 100 days of the Recovery Act and in the next 100 we plan to build on that foundation and accelerate our efforts so we can accomplish even more,' said Vice President Biden. 'We're going to get more dollars out the door, more shovels into the ground and more money into the pockets of workers and families who need it most.'' (Press Release, 'President Obama And Vice President Biden Announce Roadmap To Recovery,' The White House, 6/8/09)

WHAT HAPPENED: The Associated Press Found That Stimulus Infrastructure Spending 'Had No Effect On Local Employment And Only Barely Helped The Beleaguered Construction Industry.' 'A January 2010 Associated Press analysis of Recovery Act spending on roads and bridges 'had no effect on local unemployment and only barely helped the beleaguered construction industry,' regardless of how many dollars lawmakers threw at the various projects.' (Devin Dwyer, 'Shovel-Ready, Take II: Would Obama Infrastructure Plan Create Jobs Now?' ABC News, 9/8/11)

  • Biden's Former Chief Of Staff Ron Klain: Even By The Administration's Own Estimates, The Number Of Jobs Created By Infrastructure Projects Was 'Hardly A Game Changer.' 'Yes, infrastructure projects create jobs. But even by the administration's own estimate, the number of jobs created or saved by $25 billion in Recovery Act spending on roads was a mere 150,000 over a two-year period. That isn't a trivial number, but it's hardly a game changer for an economy that needs to create 5 million jobs each year just to keep the unemployment rate constant.' (Ron Klain, Op-Ed, 'Forget About Hoover Dam And Other Job-Growth Lessons,' Bloomberg, 6/14/11)

Biden Claimed Stimulus Funds Were Not Facing Bureaucratic Delays, But Businesses Shied Away From Stimulus Funds Because Of 'Bureaucratic Hoop-Jumping'

In July 2009,Biden Claimed That Stimulus Funds Were Not Facing Bureaucratic Red Tape Or Delays. 'The bottom line is that two-thirds of the Recovery Act doesn't finance 'programs,' but goes directly to tax cuts, state governments and families in need, without red tape or delays.' (Vice President Joe Biden, Op-Ed, 'What You Might Not Know About The Recovery,' The New York Times, 7/26/09)

WHAT HAPPENED: Businesses Shied Away From Stimulus Funds Because Of 'Bureaucratic Hoop-Jumping.' 'None of the U.S.'s largest broadband Internet providers -- including Verizon Communications Inc., AT&T Corp. and Comcast Corp. -- have expressed interest in applying for broadband-stimulus funds. They're concerned about the bureaucratic hoop-jumping needed to win the money and restrictions that may be applied to lines built with taxpayer dollars...' (Amy Schatz, 'Firms Await Broadband Grant Rules', The Wall Street Journal, 7/1/09)

Biden Claimed That The Stimulus Was Transparent And Accountable, But The Government Accountability Office Reported A Lack Of Transparency And Oversight

Biden Claimed The Stimulus Had A 'High Level of Transparency And Accountability.' 'More than 30,000 projects have been approved, and thousands are already posted on - providing a high level of transparency and accountability.' (Vice President Joe Biden, Op-Ed, 'What You Might Not Know About The Recovery,' The New York Times, 7/26/09)

WHAT HAPPENED: GAO Reported That Transparency And Oversight Were Lacking In The Stimulus. 'The Government Accountability Office said in a report that increased transparency and better oversight is needed to track stimulus money being sent to state and local governments. The report noted that keeping track of stimulus money and effectiveness wasn't necessarily easy under the current methods. 'Questions remained about how to count jobs and measure performance under Recovery Act-funded programs,' the report said.' (Rich Edson and Joanna Ossinger, 'GAO: More Transparency Needed to Track Stimulus Money,' Fox Business, 7/7/09)

  • Los Angeles Times' Andrew Malcolm Critiqued A Biden Meeting With Earl Devaney, Chairman Of The Recovery Accountability And Transparency Board, Because It Was A 'Closed' Door Session. 'Possibly the most important event of the vice president's day Tuesday is to meet at 2:15 with Earl Devaney. Everyone knows him as chairman of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board -- the top guy monitoring the gazillion-dollar stimulus and the overdue economic recovery, and ensuring that the taxpayers financing same know all about it. However, no one outside the room will know what goes on in that Biden-Devaney meeting. That's because the government meeting on government transparency has been closed.' (Andrew Malcolm, 'Joe Biden Update: The VP Meets On Government Transparency Today. But That Meeting Is Closed,' Los Angeles Times, 11/9/10)

Biden Claimed Stimulus Projects Were Competitively Bid And Awarded On Merits, But Stimulus Money Went To Projects That Would Have Been Completed Anyway

Biden Says Stimulus Projects Were Competitively Bid. 'Road projects, energy projects and construction projects are being started as soon as they pass review, contracts are competitively bid and reporting systems are in place.' (Vice President Joe Biden, Op-Ed, 'What You Might Not Know About the Recovery,' The New York Times, 7/26/09)

  • No-Bid Contracts Received Stimulus Funds Despite Obama's Pledge To End Them. 'President Barack Obama promised last month to save money through competition. 'By ending unnecessary no-bid contracts and reforming the way government contracts are awarded, we can save the American people up to $40 billion every year,' Obama said, as he announced new procedures to increase competition … The Pentagon saves more than three times as much money when companies compete, the AP analysis showed. Yet more than $242 million in federal contracts -- representing more than one-fourth of the military's stimulus contract spending so far -- has been awarded under the recovery program through no-bid contracts for repairs and maintenance.' (Brett J. Blackledge, 'Stimulus Watch: No-Bid Contracts Mean Higher Costs,' The Associated Press, 7/17/09)

Biden Suggested Stimulus Funds Were Not Awarded To Projects Without Merit. 'Taxpayers should know that we have not hesitated to reject proposals that have failed to meet our merit-based standards.' (Vice President Joe Biden, Op-Ed, 'What You Might Not Know About The Recovery,' The New York Times, 7/26/09)

WHAT HAPPENED: Stimulus Money Went To Projects That Would Have Been Completed Anyway, While Needed Projects Were Missed. 'But critics say the stimulus bill is merely paying for work that would have been completed anyway. Worse, they say, the government is missing a chance to reshape the way Californians live, a failure that's being repeated in states across the country. 'We have these huge, challenging needs facing the country in infrastructure,' said Steve Ellis, a vice president at consumer advocacy group Taxpayers for Common Sense. 'But at the end of the day, we'll have spent $800 billion and we'll still have some of these huge projects staring us in the face.'' (Alana Semuels, 'Stimulus Funds In California Mostly Go To Routine Projects, Study Says,' Los Angeles Times, 8/21/09)


Biden Has Been Criticized For His 'Collection Of Rosy Projections' Regarding The Stimulus And Claims Of 'Unprecedented Oversight'

Biden Referred To The Stimulus Spending Intended To Spur Green Energy Innovations As 'The Fun Stuff.' 'But in the words of Vice President Joe Biden, Obama's effusive Recovery Act point man, 'Now the fun stuff starts!' The 'fun stuff,' about one-sixth of the total cost, is an all-out effort to exploit the crisis to make green energy, green building and green transportation real; launch green manufacturing industries; computerize a pen-and-paper health system; promote data-driven school reforms; and ramp up the research of the future.' (Michael Grunwald, 'How the Stimulus Is Changing America,' Time, 8/26/10)

  • But An Associated Press Fact Check Found Biden's Stimulus Assessment Presented 'A Collection Of Rosy Projections That Ignore Many Of The Challenges, Pitfalls And Economic Realities In All Those Areas.' 'The Obama administration claimed this week that $100 billion invested in innovative technologies under the economic stimulus law is 'transforming the American economy' by putting the nation on track for technological breakthroughs in health care, energy and transportation. But an examination of details in the 50-page report unveiled Tuesday by Vice President Joe Biden reveals something a bit different: a collection of rosy projections that ignore many of the challenges, pitfalls and economic realities in all those areas.'(Frederic J. Frommer, 'FACT CHECK: Stimulus Assessment Overly Optimistic,' The Associated Press, 8/26/10)
  • And Some Projects, Like California's High-Speed Rail Route, Were Hampered By Government Red Tape. 'Another challenge for some projects will be meeting the 2017 deadline to spend Recovery Act funds, the GAO said. The capacity to manufacture passenger rail cars and other high-speed equipment exists in the U.S. But it may take years to design and test new rail cars that meet U.S. crashworthiness standards, which are different than much of the rest of the world.' (Frederic J. Frommer, 'FACT CHECK: Stimulus Assessment Overly Optimistic,' The Associated Press, 8/26/10)

In Response To Criticism From The White House About Their Story, The Associated Press Responded By Saying The White House Took 'The Rosiest Possible View Of Its Own Stimulus Program. 'Jack Stokes, an AP spokesman, responded in a statement to POLITICO: 'Our story provides context that is severely lacking in an administration report that takes the rosiest possible view of its own stimulus program.'' (Matt Negrin, 'W.H.: Stimulus Story Omits 'Full Facts,'' Politico, 8/26/10)

In 2010, Obama Praised Biden's Oversight Of The Stimulus, Boasting 'You Have Not Seen Scandal Break Out On A Huge Endeavor.' OBAMA: 'Good. Let me just say -- let me just say, by the way, give a compliment to Vice President Biden. He and his team have overseen the Recovery Act. You have not seen scandal break out on a huge endeavor. You know, people complain a lot about how government works and wastes money, et cetera. The truth is, is that if you look at how the recovery dollars have been spent, they have been spent the way they were promised.' (President Barack Obama, Remarks At Town Hall Meeting, Tampa, FL, 1/28/10)

WHAT HAPPENED: Obama Bought The Advice Of Economists Who Said Any Spending, 'Even The Worst Kind Of Boondoggle' Was Stimulative. 'For the Obama transition teams and their allies on the Hill, three questions loomed large in designing the package. The first was whether the proposed spending was economically stimulative: Did it save or create jobs, and thereby put money in people's pockets? It turned out that economists believed almost any spending met this criterion. In a recession even the worst kind of boondoggle is stimulative, a fact that critics had a hard time comprehending.' (Jonathan Alter, The Promise, Simon & Shuster, 2010, p84)

  • Obama 'Admitted That The Enormous Sums Of Money' In The Stimulus 'Had Fallen Short.' 'Yet he also admitted that the enormous sums of money had fallen short. 'If we're honest, part of the controversy also is that despite the extraordinary work that has been done through the Recovery Act, millions of Americans are still without jobs.'' (Richard Wolffe, Revival: The Struggle For Survival Inside The Obama White House, 2010, p. 155)
  • At The Energy Department Alone, Over 100 Criminal Investigations Have Been Launched Into The Way Stimulus Money Was Spent. 'The Energy Department's inspector general has launched more than 100 criminal investigations related to 2009 economic stimulus spending. In written testimony prepared for delivery to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today, Inspector General Gregory Friedman said the investigations have involved 'various schemes, including the submission of false information, claims for unallowable or unauthorized expenses, and other improper uses of Recovery Act funds.'' (Darius Dixon, 'DOE IG: 100+ Stimulus-Related Criminal Probes,' Politico, 11/2/11)

Wasteful Projects Included, But Were Not Limited To Turtle Crossings, A Non-Existent Congressional District, And Studying Behavior After Drinking Alcohol

$3 Million In Stimulus Funds Were Spent On A Turtle Crossing. 'A report due to be released today by a Republican senator contends the Obama administration's stimulus program is fraught with waste and incompetence - evidenced by a turtle crossing in northern Florida that will cost more than $3 million.' (Peter Nicholas, 'Stimulus Program Fraught With Waste Report Says,' The Los Angeles Times, 6/15/09)

$1.9 Million In Stimulus Funds Went To Studying African Ants In California. 'Scientists at San Francisco's California Academy of Sciences were awarded $1.9 million in stimulus money to research the effects of habitat loss, climate change and pollution on ant populations in East Africa.' ('Stimulus-Funded Ant Research Bugs Senators,' The San Francisco Examiner, 8/11/10)

More Than $1 Million Stimulus Funds Went To A Non-Existent Congressional District In Ohio. 'You might be a stimulus fan, you might be a stimulus foe, but you've got to admire the sweep of stimulus spending in Ohio. It has provided more than $1.2 million and added three jobs in Ohio's 21st Congressional District. Never mind that there is no such district.' (Stephen Koff, 'Stimulus Is Working In Ohio - Even In Phantom Districts,' Cleveland Plain Dealer, 11/17/09)

$712,883 In Stimulus Money Went To A Project For 'Machine-Generated Humor.' 'The National Science Foundation gave a $712,883 grant to Northwestern University for a project called 'Computational Creativity: Building a Model of Machine-Generated Humor.'' (Gregory Korte, 'Tom Coburn, John McCain List 'Wasteful' Stimulus Projects,' USA Today, 8/4/10)

$219,000 In Stimulus Money Went To Study Female Students' Behavior After Drinking Alcohol. 'The National Institutes of Health got $219,000 in funds to study whether female college students are more likely to 'hook up' after drinking alcohol.' (Alexander Bolton, 'Mark Penn's Two Firms Awarded Millions From Stimulus For Public Relations Work,' The Hill, 12/09/09)

Problems With The Stimulus Were Considered An 'Embarrassment'

An Investigation Into Data Errors And Mistaken Reporting Was Launched During The Stimulus' First Year. 'The head of the board that tracks stimulus spending said inspectors general on Friday will review causes of numerous mistakes in an October report estimating the number of jobs created or saved by the program.'(Louise Radnofsky and Maurice Tamman, 'Inspectors To Review Stimulus-Data Errors,' The Wall Street Journal, 12/4/09)

  • 'There's Enough Embarrassment To Go Around,' According To The Chairman Of The Recovery Accountability And Transparency Board. ''I think there's enough embarrassment to go around,' said Earl Devaney, chairman of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. Twelve inspectors general sit on the board. It's 'clear that the job could have been done better,' he said.' (Louise Radnofsky and Maurice Tamman, 'Inspectors To Review Stimulus-Data Errors,' The Wall Street Journal, 12/4/09)

At The Energy Department Alone, More Than 100 Criminal Investigations Were Launched Into The Way Stimulus Money Was Spent. 'The Energy Department's inspector general has launched more than 100 criminal investigations related to 2009 economic stimulus spending. In written testimony prepared for delivery to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today, Inspector General Gregory Friedman said the investigations have involved 'various schemes, including the submission of false information, claims for unallowable or unauthorized expenses, and other improper uses of Recovery Act funds.'' (Darius Dixon, 'DOE IG: 100+ Stimulus-Related Criminal Probes,' Politico, 11/2/11)

  • The Department Of Energy Was Overwhelmed By The Stimulus Resulting In 'Less Than Optimal Performance.' 'In summary, a combination of massive funding, high expectations and inadequate infrastructure resulted, at times, in less than optimal performance.' (Gregory H. Friedman, Committee On Oversight And Government Reform, U.S. House Of Representatives, Testimony, 2/2/11, p. 6)
  • The Hill Headline: 'Report: Energy Dept. Mismanaged Stimulus-Backed Climate Program.' (Ben Geman, 'Report: Energy Dept. Mismanaged Stimulus-Backed Climate Program,' The Hill, 3/26/13)

The New York Times Headline: 'DOE Inspector General Questions Renewables Office's Stimulus Hiring, Contracting.' (Emily Yehle, 'DOE Inspector General Questions Renewables Office's Stimulus Hiring, Contracting,' The New York Times, 9/27/13)

Stimulus Funds Were Misused By States Instead Of Boosting School Funding And Protecting Programs. 'The Department of Education's inspector general reports that some states are using stimulus dollars to replace money they've cut from their education budget - despite instructions to the contrary. When the Department of Education began releasing stimulus funds last April, it told states the money was to be used to boost funding for schools and colleges and protect key programs and jobs.' (Claudio Sanchez, 'Report: School Stimulus Funds Not Used As Intended,' NPR, 10/10/09)

Biden Still Has A Myriad Of Excuses For Why The Stimulus Didn't Work, Including We Didn't 'Spend Enough'

In July 2009, Biden Said The Stimulus Was Never Intended To Be An Economic 'Jolt.' 'The care with which we are carrying out the provisions of the Recovery Act has led some people to ask whether we are moving too slowly. But the act was intended to provide steady support for our economy over an extended period - not a jolt that would last only a few months.' (Joe Biden, Op-Ed, 'What You Might Not Know About the Recovery,' The New York Times, 7/26/09)

In July 2009, After Unemployment Shot Past The Eight Percent The Administration Promised The Stimulus Would Prevent, Biden Said, 'We And Everyone Else Misread The Economy.' ABC'S GEORGE 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...' (ABC's 'This Week,' 7/5/09)

  • Biden: 'And So The Truth Is, There Was A Misreading Of Just How Bad An Economy We Inherited. Now, That Doesn't -- I'm Not -- It's Now Our Responsibility.' BIDEN: 'And so the truth is, there was a misreading of just how bad an economy we inherited. Now, that doesn't -- I'm not -- it's now our responsibility. So the second question becomes, did the economic package we put in place, including the Recovery Act, is it the right package given the circumstances we're in? And we believe it is the right package given the circumstances we're in.' (ABC's 'This Week,' 7/5/09)

Biden: 'The Recovery Act Didn't Do Enough Because We Couldn't Spend Enough.' (Matt Negrin, ''We Couldn't Spend Enough': Biden Acknowledges Stimulus Limits,' Politico's '44,' 10/8/10)

  • Facing A Difficult Midterm And Public Skepticism, Biden Says That The Public Cannot And Should Not Understand Their Accomplishments. ABC's JAKE TAPPER: 'So, the reason you're not getting enough credit is because the public doesn't understand everything that's happened yet?' BIDEN: 'Well, nor could they or should they.' (ABC's 'This Week,' 7/18/10)

'Biden Conceded That The Economic Recovery Was Not Proceeding As Fast As The Administration Had Hoped, But Claimed There Was 'No Doubt We're Moving In The Right Direction.'' (Mike Mermoli, 'Biden: 'We've Seen This Movie Before',' The Chicago Tribune, 8/24/10)

Biden Said Democrats Weren't Running On The Administration's Accomplishments Because They're 'Just Too Hard To Explain.' 'Democrats aren't running on the administration's accomplishments like health-care and financial-regulatory overhaul and the stimulus because 'it's just too hard to explain,' Biden said. 'It sort of a branding, I mean you know they kind of want the branding more at the front end.'' (Kate Andersen Brower, 'Biden, Obama's Traveling Salesman, Makes Hard Sell To Voters,' Bloomberg, 10/13/10)

In February 2010, Biden Predicted Stimulus Funds Would Be Wasted, But He Did Not Predict The 'Collapse In Public Confidence' In The Stimulus. 'And so here is the rub for Biden: He foresaw the public souring on the stimulus, but did not predict the reason. Even as he succeeded in preventing the money from being misspent in any major way--at least as far as we now know--he was unable to prevent the collapse in public confidence. In his report Tuesday to the president, Biden tries to declare victory. 'The work you set us out to do a year ago is going well,' he writes to Obama. 'I want to thank you for the confidence you showed in giving me this important task and I believe that we have served the American people well.' In these words, there lies a great irony. Biden may have accomplished his task, but he has still failed in his goal.' (Micahel Sherer, 'One Year Later: Joe Biden's Stimulus PR Fears Are Confirmed--Sort Of,' Time, 2/16/10)

Biden Even Touted Stimulus Money To A Company Building Factories In China As 'A True American Success Story'

In March 2010, Biden Visited Cree, Inc. To Tout The Stimulus' Green Energy Investments. 'Speaking at a company in Durham, Vice President Joe Biden touted the administration's recovery efforts today, saying it had helped create or save 62,000 jobs in North Carolina. Biden appeared at Cree, a manufacturer of energy efficient LED lighting products that had received $39 million in tax credits through the federal stimulus act, Rob Christensen reports.' ('Biden Touts Administration's Recovery Efforts In Durham,' The News Observer, 3/18/10)

Cree Received $39 Million From The Stimulus To Create Jobs At Its Factory In North Carolina. 'Cree was chosen for a $39 million tax credit through this Recovery Act program, which is called the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit, nicknamed 48C for its line in the tax code. So far, the investments they're using the credit to make, along with the private capital they're putting into those investments, have led to 375 new factory jobs in the last year, and they're planning to add 300 more next year.' (Jared Bernstein, 'Recovery Act In Action #4: A 48C Story,', 3/24/10)

  • Biden's Economic Advisor Jared Bernstein Wrote That 'Cree, The Recovery Act, And 48C Are A True American Success Story.' (Jared Bernstein, 'Recovery Act In Action #4: A 48C Story,', 3/24/10)

In Late 2010, Cree Opened Its First Factory Outside North America In Huizhou, China. 'A grand opening ceremony was held on December 8, 2010 for Cree Huizhou Solid State Lighting Co., Ltd. at the Huizhou Zhongkai High-tech Industrial Development Zone in Huizhou City, Guangdong Province, China. The facility is Cree's first LED chip manufacturing base outside North America, and this also makes Cree the first international LED company to set up a chip manufacturing facility in China.' (Tim Whitaker, 'Cree Opens LED Chip Manufacturing Facility In Huizhou,' LEDs Magazine, 12/13/10)

  • More Than 50% Of Cree's Employees Are Now Working In China And Cree CEO Chuck Swoboda Says They 'Will Continue To Expand Our Operation In Huizhou.' 'Describing China as a very important market for Cree, Swoboda said that currently more than 50% of Cree's employees are working and living in Huizhou. 'We will continue to invest here for both human talent and the most state-of-the-art technologies,' he said, adding: 'We have committed that in the coming 3-5 years, we will continue to expand our operation in Huizhou.'' (Tim Whitaker, 'Cree Opens LED Chip Manufacturing Facility In Huizhou,' LEDs Magazine, 12/13/10)
  • Cree CEO Chuck Swoboda Said Cree's Strategy Is 'Cree Chip, China Heart.' 'Swoboda said that Cree's development strategy is 'Cree Chip, China Heart', adding: 'We will work to keep the close collaboration with governmental bureaus, industrial organizations and enterprises in China, where we push the healthy, scientific and orderly development of the LED industry in China with joint efforts with our business partners, to facilitate the LED installations in cities, and make many more contributions to energy savings and emission reductions in China.'' (Tim Whitaker, 'Cree Opens LED Chip Manufacturing Facility In Huizhou,' LEDs Magazine, 12/13/10)

Even Though Cree Received Millions In U.S. Taxpayer-Backed Stimulus Funds, Swoboda Said 'Cree Management Never Runs This Company As A US Company.' 'Though Cree is a US-based, Nasdaq-listed company, Swoboda said that 'Cree management never runs this company as a US company. We consider Cree to be a global company with local wisdoms.' (Tim Whitaker, 'Cree Opens LED Chip Manufacturing Facility In Huizhou,' LEDs Magazine, 12/13/10)

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