Biden: stimulus made recession less severe
By Matt Sepic and Bill Raack
St. Louis – Vice President Joe Biden used a Thursday visit to a police training center in St. Louis to highlight the impacts of the federal stimulus package.
"In the city of St. Louis, that means $8 million to put 50 police officers back on the beat supporting their families and protecting yours," Biden said. Thousands of other first responder jobs have also been created across the nation, but Biden said a full economic recovery will come only with the creation of many more new jobs in all areas of the economy.
The Vice President called the recession the most consequential economic blow since the Great Depression, and said heavy government spending was needed to prevent the loss of millions of more jobs. But he said the plan's success cannot be measured with numbers alone.
"It's children knowing that if they do the right thing, believe in their country and work hard, there really still is a chance," he said.
Republicans, however, called the stimulus a failure, because it did not keep the unemployment rate from climbing since President Obama took office. Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder said the stimulus package showed how out-of-touch the Obama administration is with Missouri.
"If you talk to Missouri entrepreneurs, small, medium and large-sized businesses across our state, they will tell you what they've told me - there is no stimulus. There is no stimulus effect. They know that we cannot spend our way to prosperity," Kinder said. He said the stimulus package is actually delaying the economic recovery by adding to the country's deficit.
Representative Roy Blunt, a candidate for Senate, has introduced a measure to cut off stimulus spending.
"Let's go back and have a real debate over whether these programs are important or not. And let's not do them in some almost trillion-dollar package. Let's have the kind of debate the country deserves," he said.