WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden said the Obama administration "misread how bad the economy was" but stands by its stimulus package and believes the plan will create more jobs as the pace of its spending picks up.
Biden, in an interview airing Sunday on ABC's "This Week," said the nation's 9.5 percent unemployment rate is "much too high."
"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.
Biden noted that the $787 billion economic stimulus package was set up to spend the money over 18 months. Major programs will take effect in September, including $7.5 billion for broadband Internet service, plus new money for high-speed rail and the nation's electrical grid, he said.
Biden said it's premature to say whether the country will need a second stimulus package
Jake Tapper and Karen Travers report: In an interview with Bloomberg News’ Al Hunt today, President Obama says he thinks unemployment will hit 10% this year.
Will unemployment reach 10%? asks Hunt.
“Yes,” says the president.
Before the end of this year? asks Hunt.
“Yes,” says the president.
“I think that what you’ve seen is that the pace of job loss has slowed,” Mr. Obama says, “and I think that the economy is going to turn around. But as you know, jobs are a lagging indicator. And we've got to produce 150,000 jobs every month just to keep pace.”
But, he said, “we will end up seeing recovery shortly.”
In January, the incoming administration predicted in a white paper study that without a huge stimulus package, unemployment would reach just over 8%, and would be contained at under 8% with a stimulus package.
(When asked about this discrepancy, one of the authors of the study – Jared Bernstein, the top economic adviser to Vice President Biden – recently said that “when we made our initial estimates, that was before we had fourth-quarter results on GDP, which we later found out was contracting at an annual rate of 6 percent, far worse than we expected at that time.” The bottom line, Bernstein said, is that without the stimulus the unemployment rate “would have been between 1.5 and 2 points higher than it otherwise will be.&rdquo
Hunt’s interview with the president today was scheduled as a way of setting up the president’s announcement tomorrow of greater financial regulations and a new government organization, the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, which will have a mission to regulate credit, savings, payment and other consumer financial products and services, and to protect consumers who use those institutions.
Does Wall Street “get it”? Hunt asks the president.
“Wall Street seems to maybe have a shorter memory about how close we were to the abyss than I would have expected,” the president says, chuckling. “All we’re doing is cleaning up after the mess that was made.”
-Jake Tapper and Karen Travers
Perhaps some of the statest can clear this up for me.Is the administration changing their tune on the stimulus pkg? I thought this was going to cure every thing according to them? Biden says we mis read the economy? Obama says unemployment will hit 10%? Why the hurry to push the bill through in the first place?Didnt Obama say it would prevent the unemployment rate from rising? We had to act now? Stay tuned Obamanites!Another stimulus is on the way w/more taxes for the middle class!CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN!!!