"I want to be clear about something: Less Bad is Not Good," Vice President Joe Biden said today. "That's not how President Obama and I measure success."
However just the day before, Biden defended the administration efforts on the economy saying Thursday,
"The recovery act has played a significant role in changing the trajectory of our economy, and changing the conversation in this country," Biden said. "Instead of talking about the beginning of a depression, we are talking about the end of a recession."
His more pragmatic comments Friday were offered in response to the latest numbers on job losses for August 2009 showing yet another monthly rise in unemployment from 9.4% to 9.7%, the worst levels in 26 years. We have now reached a level of more than 6.9 million jobs lost since the recession began in December 2007.
According to the Wall Street Journal, teenage unemployment hit 25.5%, the highest since the government began keeping records in 1948. Most economists expect the rate to top 10% in coming months and stay over 9% through 2010.
Obama still has time to fulfill his promises. I believe all Americans should hope for a swift and full recovery of our economy. But let me also remind you again of what has been promised in exchange for unprecedent increases in debt, no comprehensive review of stimulus plans, and the most aggressive passage, bailout and distribution of public tax monies in the entire history of the United States of America.
As a federal judge announced in a ruling on Aug 24th against demands by the Fed Reserve not to release information on where bailout money was spent, she ruled that the American people have become "Involuntary Investors" to 11 different economic bailout programs of the Obama administration - the judge affirmed that the American people have a right to know where their money has gone. We the people are still waiting for a Freedom of Information Act release of this accounting from the Fed.
And here again are key promises we have heard time and again from Obama on the campaign trail to his address of a joint session of Congress earlier this year.
I am grateful that this Congress delivered, and pleased to say that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is now law.
Over the next two years, this plan will save or create 3.5 million jobs. More than 90% of these jobs will be in the private sector – jobs rebuilding our roads and bridges; constructing wind turbines and solar panels; laying broadband and expanding mass transit.
Because of this plan, there are teachers who can now keep their jobs and educate our kids. Health care professionals can continue caring for our sick. There are 57 police officers who are still on the streets of Minneapolis tonight because this plan prevented the layoffs their department was about to make.
Because of this plan, 95% of the working households in America will receive a tax cut – a tax cut that you will see in your paychecks beginning on April 1st.
Because of this plan, families who are struggling to pay tuition costs will receive a $2,500 tax credit for all four years of college. And Americans who have lost their jobs in this recession will be able to receive extended unemployment benefits and continued health care coverage to help them weather this storm.
President Barack Obama the clock is ticking, our debts are rising, and we are watching.