The Joe Biden Chronicles: The Vice President Can't Handle The Truth

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on May 14, 2009

In shocking news, the Vice President has been caught making things up:

In his first quarterly report on the nation’s stimulus package, Vice President Joe Biden uses anecdotes to paint a glowing picture of an economy on the rebound. In reality, the picture is incomplete and the colors far more muted.

It is not disputed that Washington is spending historic amounts of money at a rate far faster than normal. Workers are getting tax breaks, Washington is picking up a greater share of state Medicaid costs and road construction projects are beginning.

Even Recovery.gov, the Web site that has yet to live up to its billing as a one-stop way to track every penny, offers more information than typical government programs, and faster.

But the effect of that spending is less clear. Many of the claims the White House is making are based on anecdotes selected to fit the Obama administration’s message. For instance, the report cites a newspaper article about workers being rehired at a factory in Chicago. That account is true, but is no more an accurate snapshot of the nation’s economy than a story, not cited in the report, about a Roanoke, Va., railcar factory closing.

Capturing the full effect of the stimulus at this early stage is difficult, but the administration has set high bars for success. In championing those successes, however, the White House plays a little loose with the facts.

Cue the plagiarism/cheating in law school jokes.

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