- May 9, 2010
- Reaction score
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vx7RFophuo]Biden owns-up to bad economy: "We're in charge. So they're angry..." - YouTube[/ame]
Speaking at a rally to promote a piecemeal provision of President Obamas jobs proposal, Biden told police and firefighters that the budget shortfalls of state and local governments were not attributable to state and local governments. Those of you know its not really the fault of your mayor or your government, the vice president said. Some are more sympathetic than others, but the bottom line is they dont have the money because of this God-awful mess we got put in.
In many cities the result has been--and its not unique--murder rates are up, robberies are up, rapes are up. And folks, theres a simple reason for that. Its been a perfect storm out there from the God-awful Ponzi schemes that the last outfit allowed Wall Street to engage in, resulted in this gigantic collapse of the financial industry. Biden continued: Housing--the bottom fell out, foreclosures increased, particularly in poor neighborhoods, abandoned homes were created, drug lords moved in, arson increased, budgets fall because the property taxes fall, cops and firefighters are laid off, response times increase from 5 minutes to 30 minutes and people died and peoples homes burned to the ground.
Bidens comments came at a rally to call for the passage of S.1723, the Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act, that would provide $35 billion to state and local governments to avoid government layoffs. This is the first bill proposed to attempt to pass the Presidents American Jobs Act piecemeal. Whats the criticism we hear from our friends on the other side? This is temporary. Were only coming up with a temporary solution. Well let me tell you, theres nothing temporary about kindergartens being eliminated. That is affecting that child for the rest of their life, Biden said. There is nothing temporary about your house burning down. The rally was held at the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill.
Frustrated Democrats in the Senate embraced Bidens fiery remarks. They privately credit Biden with filling a major void in the Obama White House. Some of these members have publicly blamed President Obama for not communicating more with his former colleagues on Capitol Hill. Others have bristled at Obamas constant critiques this summer of Congress instead of Republicans in Congress. Bidens salvos at the GOP are part of the administrations full-court press to pass pieces of the presidents jobs bill after every Senate Republican rejected the entire package earlier this month.
I dont know where these guys live, said Biden, implying that GOP leaders have fallen out of touch with the concerns of average Americans. The critics say this costs money. Surprise, surprise it does cost money, Biden added. My dad used to say if everythings equally important to you, nothings important. Everythings about priorities. Biden joined Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) at a campaign-like rally that packed the Senate Russell buildings famous Caucus Room.
Biden asserted on Wednesday that some millionaires are willing to pay more in taxes to pay to keep teachers, police officers and firefighters in their jobs. But these guys want to curry favor with guys who arent even asking for it, Biden said of the Senate GOP. So I say to the American people, watch your senator, watch him or her choose, Biden told the crowd, many of them wearing yellow International Association of Fire Fighters T-shirts.
Democrats are looking to crack the GOPs unity on Obamas jobs bill, clearly targeting centrists such as Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), who is up for reelection next year. It remains unclear, however, if all Democrats will back the incremental jobs bill. Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), who is facing a tough reelection fight last year, has balked at raising taxes. Biden said, Are you going to put 400,000 school teachers back in classrooms, are you going to put 18,000 cops back on the street and 7,000 firefighters back in the firehouses? Or are you going to save people with average incomes of $1 million a one-half of 1 percent increase in tax on every dollar they make over a million?