Biden: ‘We Misread How Bad the Economy Was’

The Obama administration “misread” the depth of the economic troubles it inherited and still expects more new jobs in the long term as the spending pace from the $787 billion stimulus plan quickens, Vice President Joe Biden said.

Republican congressional leaders expressed disappointment about the impact of stimulus spending. “I’m very skeptical that the spending binge that we’re on is going to produce much good and, even if it does, anytime soon,” Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said in a statement Sunday.

“I think the economy is just as likely to begin to recover on its own, wholly aside from this, before much of this has an impact.”

Biden, in an interview that aired on ABC’s “This Week,” said the 9.5 percent unemployment rate is “much too high.” The administration had predicted unemployment would stay below 8 percent with its stimulus plan.

“The figures we worked off of in January were the consensus figures,” Biden said. “We misread how bad the economy was.”

House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio said the GOP had wanted the bill to focus on small businesses and helping people keep more of what they earned.

“This was supposed to be about jobs, jobs and jobs. And the fact is it turned into nothing more than spending, spending and more spending on a lot of big government bureaucracy,” Boehner said.

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