Economics

Let's Hope Joe Biden's Grasp of the Economy Is Better than His and His Boss's Reading Skills

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Remember back during last fall's election, when Barack Obama and Joe Biden barely went a sentence without reminding everyone that we were in the worst economic situation since the Great Depression?

Well, they didn't apparently mean it. Or something. Here's a quote from Vice President Biden, the man who is charged with overseeing stimulus spending (by the way, how's that going, chief?):

"We misread how bad the economy was, but we are now only about 120 days into the recovery package," Biden said on ABC's "This Week." "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 distributed the bulk of the money."…

Meanwhile, liberal economists such as Paul Krugman have argued for more public spending now, just as the stimulus money begins trickling into the economy.

Not to worry, though, America.

"And so this is just starting," Biden said. "The pace of the ball is now going to increase."

More here.

Given that little of the stimulus money has been spent so far, and indeed is mostly supposed to happen next fiscal year, when skies will be blue and clear again, it's a great time to start talking about a second stimulus, right? A smaller, more-targeted one?

"The economy took away everything they put on the table," said Lawrence Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute, a labor-leaning economic think tank.

"We strongly believe we need another stimulus, and we need it now," added Thea Lee, the policy director for the AFL-CIO.

Sounds even better with more details!

I like the idea of a fourth stimulus, one that could happen right now! Or at least tomorrow. And it includes a John Holmes joke for free! First proposed even before the first Obama stimulus plan swung into ill-advised action like former House Speaker Denny Hastert at a pancake breakfast:

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  1. Joe Biden is a Goddamn retard.

  2. Pretty freakin scary isnt it. Wow

    RT
    http://www.anonymize.tk

  3. Johnny Fivers | July 6, 2009, 8:57am | #

    Tongue-in-cheek pop culture machine-becomes-aware reference? Anonymity Bot has now officially surpassed Lefiti, joe, et al. in both intelligence AND relevance. I suppose we should be grateful that the Singularity seems to have a soft spot for libertarian ideas.

  4. Obama/Biden: “It was imperative that we pass the stimulus bill because the economy was the worst its been since the Great Depression, except we didn’t think it was that bad at the time, except it was that bad and we think that now it is that bad, but the stimulus hasn’t even started to take effect yet, but it was imperative we pass it quickly because everything was shovel ready and the economy was the worst its been since the Great Depression, except we didn’t realize it was that bad and the stimulus hasn’t even taken effect yet so give it time…Hey look over there, health care reform!”

  5. If only it were that simple. What the government needs to do is: restore everyone’s 401(k)s to the levels they were at before the crash, eliminate everyone’s credit card debt, and inflate property values to the same upward trend they were at. Yeah, right! Nobody, and I mean nobody is spending money. And add to the reasons I stated that people are afraid of losing their jobs.

    A quarterly consumer survey conducted for Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Silberman College of Business found nearly two-thirds of New Jerseyans have a friend or relative who have lost their job, up nine points from January. As a result, more Garden State consumers are increasing their savings, especially younger workers.

    – by The Associated Press
    Monday July 06, 2009, 5:30 AM

    It’s great that people are saving more money, but it sure as shit doesn’t help my, or many other, small businesses that rely on individual spending. And a tax cut doesn’t help anyone if they are not making any money to begin with. In my 30 years of being in the construction trades, I have never seen it this bad. Stimulus and/or tax cuts are not going to help a damned thing. Break up these “too big to fail” banks, once and for all, and sell off their assets to the smaller community banks. You know, the ones that actually know what the fuck they are doing.

  6. Remember, this was the same stimulus plan that had to be passed or else unemployment would reach 8.5%!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Of course, the fact that it’s currently 9.5% is probably not relevant to anyone in Washington since they’ve “saved” so many jobs that they can’t actually prove they saved.

    So…uh…what was the point of that stimulus again? Oh yeah, to screw me and my kids future. Gotcha.

  7. Joe Biden is a Goddamn retard.

    Don’t forget, Joe Biden suffered at least one brain aneurysm, and thus has suffered non-trivial brain damage.

    Show a little compassion, folks!

  8. “Don’t forget, Joe Biden suffered at least one brain aneurysm, and thus has suffered non-trivial brain damage.”

    I didn’t know that.

    This my friends, is exactly what’s wrong with this country.

    Yeah, I’m just looking for stuff to be mad at this morning…

  9. Don’t forget, Joe Biden suffered at least one brain aneurysm, and thus has suffered non-trivial brain damage.

    Yeah, i was using “retard” as a technical term. The man should be in a home in Delaware playing with model trains, not next in line for the presidency.

  10. Biden is the fucking Stimulus CZAR!

    Of course he knows more than we do.

  11. My mind reads, “We misrepresented how bad the economy was, and we had hoped the stimulus funds would be fully dispersed a lot faster. But instead, the economy is trudging along without much of our help and we got caught with our pants down.”

    Am I wrong?

  12. Payroll tax holiday! I hope it comes with a pill you can take too.

  13. Am I wrong?

    You’re right, but Krugman seems to assume a second stimulus package would be spent quicker than the first, which is moderately confusing.

  14. Anyone who writes or comments on this web site (trolls excepted) saw this coming. Yet the entire administration, and the, like, 3 or 4 economists they talk to (aka “EVERYONE”) thought it wouldn’t be this bad. I-d-i-o-t-s. Even more so are the people who buy this bullshit.

    I still think we would have been better off spending all that money on eliminating the income tax altogether, permanently. Imagine the stimulus of everyone earning a paycheck getting a 25%+ raise. We could afford to save, AND spend more, AND pay our mortgages. Starting immediately.

  15. It’s obvious the “stimulus” isn’t really about stimulus, it’s about supporting the Democrats by putting a ton of money out during the 2010 mid-term elections. The timing of the spending is to too suspicious to be coincidence.

  16. It’s great that people are saving more money, but it sure as shit doesn’t help my, or many other, small businesses that rely on individual spending. And a tax cut doesn’t help anyone if they are not making any money to begin with. In my 30 years of being in the construction trades

    On net, you are likely right. I would add though that the high rate of savings is likely the only factor that has a chance of keeping inflation in check under current conditions.

    . Stimulus and/or tax cuts are not going to help a damned thing. Break up these “too big to fail” banks, once and for all, and sell off their assets to the smaller community banks. You know, the ones that actually know what the fuck they are doing.

    Quite right, that is exactly what should have been done in October of last year. With those smaller banks being spread out far and wide, Boston, Charlotte, San Fransisco and other banking oriented towns there would have been a massive power shift from Wall Street to a more diffused financial sector from all across the country. Which from a political economy standpoint is much more in our interest than a few firms on Wall Street pulling the strings. However, that was a little more radical than the establishment and its peons would allow.

  17. Why is it, that when Bush spent money we didn’t have, it was called debt spending, but now that Obama is spending 4 times as much, it is called stimulus?

  18. “What the government needs to do is: restore everyone’s 401(k)s to the levels they were at before the crash, eliminate everyone’s credit card debt, and inflate property values to the same upward trend they were at.”

    Tricky, have you considered running in 2012? Your plan is so much better than the usual “I’ll just raise wages and lower prices” crap. Throw in “Pay off everyone’s mortgage [only primary, of course — for fairness]” and you’ve got *my* vote.

  19. “We misrepresented how bad the economy was, and we had hoped the stimulus funds would be fully dispersed a lot faster. But instead, the economy is trudging along without much of our help and we got caught with our pants down.”

    brotherben, look at Biden’s quote: “[N]o one expected that that recovery package would in fact be in a position at this point of having distributed the bulk of the money.”

    That’s the opposite of what you’re saying. He’s saying that everybody knew that the stimulus package would be this slow at spending the money. Indeed, that was the main criticism by the Republicans and others, having conceded the idea of a stimulus. The alternative packages included things like payroll tax cuts that could take place immediately, but Biden and his party insisted on spending that would take a long time.

    And now he’s saying that everyone knew all along that the criticisms were correct, that the preferred stimulus (government spending as opposed to tax cuts or sending out checks) would take a long time. The money from the stimulus that has been spent is mostly sending out welfarish checks and/or tax cuts. So he’s saying that “We knew it would take too long, but we thought it was sufficiently important that the government get to spend it on this instead of tax cuts.”

  20. “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 distributed the bulk of the money.”

    The truth of the matter was, they knew that criticisms of the stimulus for not spending fast enough were dead-on, but they really, really wanted to make sure that the money was spent by the government instead of in tax cuts or letting welfare recipients and the unemployed decide where to spend their money.

    I don’t see how you can read this as other than, “We thought it wouldn’t be so bad, so that we would have time to spend money on our pet projects instead of doing the fastest thing.”

  21. Give everyone $500,000 on the condition that they
    1) reduce their mortgage or renovate their home
    2) buy a new Ford, GM or Chrysler product
    3) put a % into their IRA
    4) pay down their credit card debts
    5) buy something or take a vacation in the US

    assume 200 million folks that’s a trillion but all plowed back in and not a funky program/project in sight

  22. Remember, here at H & R we don’t use the C-word, we use the T-word:

    Biden is the fucking Stimulus CZAR TARD!

  23. John Thacker, sometimes, I ain’t the brightest bulb in the drawer.

  24. However, that was a little more radical than the establishment and its peons would allow.

    Of course. It wasn’t in the “best interest” of the politicians to cut off their own financial backing. Two people, both women, FDIC Chairperson Sheila Bair (Chair Bair) and a woman by the name of Terry Jorde, Chair of Independent Community Bankers of America ICBA [pdf] proposed this. Jorde’s testimony before House Committee on Financial Services. [pdf]

  25. Joe Biden is a Goddamn retard.

    Game.
    Set.
    Match.

    Lets go get a beer.

    Here’s a great idea for stimulus, don’t collect income tax for two years. Imagine all the stimulus that would by. I could would have enough for hookers and coke through at least 5 week long Vegas stimulus binges. And some left over for a medical detox.

  26. Helping both the hospitality industry and health care industry nearly simultaneously, Hmm, I say that would make you a Gawddanged patriot if you went through with your plan.

  27. 2) buy a new Ford, GM or Chrysler product

    No. Fuck GM and Chrysler.

  28. Here’s a quote from Vice President Biden, the man who is charged with overseeing stimulus spending

    Did I miss something somewhere. In all fairness to VP Biden, I thought he was chosen for his foreign policy experience, not his economic knowledge. Oh, I forgot. With Ms. Clinton running foreign policy affairs, there isn’t any room for someone who actually has foreign policy experience. My bad.

  29. R C Dean | July 6, 2009, 11:49am | #
    Remember, here at H & R we don’t use the C-word, we use the T-word:

    Biden is the fucking Stimulus CZAR TARD!

    Hmm. Didn’t get any laughs on the other thread, either. Guess we’ll just put it down to old folks repeating themselves.

  30. Hey look, Nick’s wearing the leather jacket again! He’s a Rebel?.

  31. Give everyone $500,000…assume 200 million folks that’s a trillion

    Do you know how much a trillion is?

  32. Abject apologies, I dropped a couple of 0’s. I was using my democrat calculator…you know where in reality it’s always more expensive than you think or wish or hope.

  33. Hey look, Nick’s wearing the leather jacket again! He’s a Rebel?.

    Nick is actually wearing the skin of a vanquished enemy. He has to rotate them around, so he’s stuck wearing one pretty much all the time.

  34. And, just close that off…

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