Thursday, October 08, 2009

Joe Biden on Jobs: Mission Accomplished

From the

Vice President Joe Biden is spending much of his time these days stumping for Democrats occupying vulnerable House seats. In the last month, he has campaigned in 10 districts held by freshman Democrats, and raised more than $1 million for them. Political strategists have started referring to him as the House Democrats' "sugar daddy."

But Mr. Biden's gaffes of late may make him more of a liability than an asset for House members whose seats he's supposed to be saving. Last week he pronounced that the stimulus plan was working beyond "my wildest dreams." Three days after the Labor Department announced another 260,000 lost jobs in September, he boasted in Connecticut that the stimulus has "saved or created one million jobs." In reality -- one that too many voters have experienced first-hand -- the economy has lost 2,884,000 jobs since the stimulus passed.

Mr. Biden may be upbeat, but political operatives in the White House are getting slightly panicked about the economy. In the past, lousy job numbers were written off by Robert Gibbs and the White House spin machine because "we are losing jobs at a slower pace." In September, we lost jobs at a faster pace. Larry Kudlow of CNBC notes that the Department of Labor's Household Survey (as opposed to the survey of businesses) indicates a 785,000 job loss in September -- a "really bad number that indicates small businesses just aren't hiring."

If job losses persist, Democrats seem to have no idea how to respond beyond more deficit-financed government spending. "Plan B," says Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina, "is more of Plan A," i.e., another debt bomb stimulus. Given how out of sync Mr. Biden's euphoria is, one wonders how much longer vulnerable Democrats will be inviting Mr. Obama's chief cheerleader into their districts.

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