Joltin' Joe whiffs on his own curveball

After watching their stimulus package fail to stimulate and an increasing number of Americans wondering whether President Barack Obama has the first clue on economics, Vice President Joe Biden steps back into the fray to rescue his partner.  In a New York Times op-ed, Biden argues that voters have misunderstood Porkulus.  It wasn’t intended to deliver a big “jolt” to the economy, Biden says — apparently forgetting what he himself said last month:

Notwithstanding this progress, the nature of the Recovery Act remains misunderstood by many, and misconstrued by others: critics have suggested that the entire $787 billion is being spent on pet programs. As the person leading the administration’s efforts to put the Recovery Act into effect, I want to set the record straight. …

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.

Biden says that the administration’s progress has been right on target.  Yet Biden just three weeks ago today told ABC News that the White House had misread the economy:

“The figures we worked off of in January were the consensus figures and most of the blue chip indexes out there,” Biden said.

“We misread how bad the economy was, but we are now only about 120 days into the recovery package,” Biden added. More jobs will be created in coming months, he said.

As for the “jolt,” Jonathan Adler at The Corner and Mark Silva at Swamp Politics note that just a couple of weeks before that, Biden was Joltin’ Joe when it came to the stimulus:

As recently as June, at a roundtable in New York, Biden called the Recovery Act “an initial big jolt to give the economy a real head start.”

In March, the vice president said ”the Recovery Act, as we call it, provides a necessary jolt to our economy to implement what we refer as ‘shovel-ready’ projects.”

And in November, as a new White House in planning was assembling its new economic team, President-elect Barack Obama said: “The most important thing to recognize is that we have a consensus, which is pretty rare, between conservative economists and liberal economists, that we need a big stimulus package that will jolt the economy back into shape and that is focused on the 2.5 million jobs that I intend to create during the first part of my administration. We have to put people back to work.”

All of the above links come from the White House web site.  Maybe Biden would like to do a little research at the office before attempting to build the next ridiculous cover story for the failure of Obamanomics.

Jazz Shaw Jun 22, 2021 6:01 PM ET