Joe Biden on Budget & Economy

Democratic Sr Senator (DE); Vice President-Elect

Obama’s economic plan focuses on middle class

Q: Was the bailout the worst of Washington or the best?

BIDEN: It’s evidence that the policies of the last 8 years have been the worst policies we’ve had. Obama laid out criteria for a rescue plan. He, first of all, said there has to be oversight. Second, he said you have to focus on folks on Main Street. Third, he said that you have to treat the taxpayers like investors. And, last, you have to make sure CEOs don’t benefit from this. We’re going to focus on the middle class, because when the middl class is growing, the economy grows and everybody does well.

PALIN: A good barometer is go to a kid’s soccer game and turn to a parent and ask, “How are you feeling about the economy?” You’re going to hear fear. Two years ago, it was John McCain who pushed so hard with the Fannie & Freddie reform measures. There will be greater oversight, thanks to John McCain’s bipartisan efforts that he was so instrumental in bringing folks together, even suspending his own campaign to put politics aside.

Source: 2008 Vice Presidential debate against Sarah Palin Oct 2, 2008

Deregulationgot us into the housing crisis

Q: Who is to blame for the subprime lending meltdown?

BIDEN: Barack warned about the sub prime mortgage crisis. We let Wall Street run wild. John McCain thought the answer is that tried and true Republican response, deregulate, deregulate. And guess what? The middle class needs tax relief. They need it now.

PALIN: It was predator lenders who tried to talk Americans into thinking that it was smart to buy a $300,000 house if we could only afford a $100,000 house. There was deception, and there was greed and there is corruption. Joe Six Pack, hockey moms across the nation, we need to band together and say never again. We need to demand from the federal government strict oversight of those entities in charge of our investments and our savings. Let’s do what our parents told us before we probably even got that first credit card. Don’t live outside of our means.

Source: 2008 Vice Presidential debate against Sarah Palin Oct 2, 2008

Balancing budget is about priorities; GOP made wrong choices

Q: Would it be a priority of your administration to balance the federal budget every year?

A: You don’t have to make a choice of balancing the budget and/or leading with the priorities that most of us feel strongly about, from health care, to education, to the environment. And I’ll just put it in real stark terms: It’s about priorities. Just by eliminating the war, & eliminating the $200 billion in tax cuts that goes to the top 1%, if you add it all up, [with $350B in cuts to military special programs], that would allow me to do everything I want to do -- my priorities on education, health care and the environment -- and still bring down the deficit by $150 billion. So, the Republicans are trying to sucker us into this, “You either have to balance the budget and do nothing to make people’s lives better, or you’re going to balloon the deficit.” They have ballooned the deficit with their bad priorities.

Source: 2007 Des Moines Register Democratic debate Dec 13, 2007

Save Pentagon spending by getting the troops out of Iraq

The defense department’s gigantic. It’s not just the war in Iraq. Over the first four years I think all of us are going to try to get the troops out of there. I think I can do it in the first year. We shouldn’t buy into the Republican paradigm, and that is the idea they’ve built this deficit up, the republicans, in order to make it difficult to do the things we need to do. You can take 20 Billion a year out of the defense department just by eliminating weapons systems. You can, in fact, cut.
Source: 2007 Des Moines Register Democratic Debate Dec 13, 2007

More transparency for hedge funds and private equity funds

Q: The Fed lowered the discount rate for banks to address the mortgage crisis. Should they lower rates for everyone else?

A: The answer is yes. But we need more transparency, particularly with regard to hedge funds and private equity funds. They are the ones that are causing this thing to go under. And there’s no transparency, no accountability. We don’t know how deep this problem is. I think it’s almost as deep in terms of dollars, not liability, as the savings and loan crisis.

Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate on “This Week” Aug 19, 2007

Invest in new programs by ending war & eliminating tax cuts

Q: On your website you say about programs for energy research, health insurance, tuition deductions--all noble goals for Democrats, but it’s more money, more money. Where you going to get it?We have a fancy word--a new “paradigm” [about crime, health, and energy]: Investment in these areas saves money. But you need start-up dollars. I’d start off with $220 billion a year by the tax cuts and ending the war.

Q: But, senator, we have a deficit. We have Social Security and Medicare looming.

A: The answer is you have to put it all on the table. We put Social Security on the right path for 60 years. Social Security’s not the hard one to solve. Medicare, that is the gorilla in the room, and you’ve got to put all of it on the table.

Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series Apr 29, 2007

Joe Biden on Financial Bailout

FactCheck: McCain didn’t “lurch” from “strong” to “crisis”

The Statement:Biden said, “At 9 AM on Sept. 15th, when the bottom started to fall out of the market, McCain said ‘the fundamentals of the economy are strong.’ At 11 AM that morning, he said, ‘There’s a great economic crisis.’ Lurching from one view to another in a matter of hours is not what presidents do.”

The Facts:On Sept. 15, at 9 AM, McCain said: “There’s been tremendous turmoil in our financial markets. I think still, the fundamentals of our economy are strong. But these are very, very difficult times.“ About 3 hours later, McCain said: ”We’re going to put an end to the abuses on Wall Street that have resulted in the crisis that we are seeing unfold today.“ At the same event, McCain said, ”The American workers, those are the fundamentals of America & I think they’re strong. But those fundamentals are being threatened today because of greed & corruption on Wall Street.“

The Verdict: Misleading. Biden takes some of McCain’s remarks out of context.

Source: CNN FactCheck on 2008 vice-presidential race Oct 13, 2008

Voted NO on $40B in reduced federal overall spending.

Vote to pass a bill that reduces federal spending by $40 billion over five years by decreasing the amount of funds spent on Medicaid, Medicare, agriculture, employee pensions, conservation, and student loans. The bill also provides a down-payment toward hurricane recovery and reconstruction costs.
Reference: Work, Marriage, and Family Promotion Reconciliation Act; Bill S. 1932 ; vote number 2005-363 on Dec 21, 2005

Voted NO on prioritizing national debt reduction below tax cuts.

Vote to table [kill] an amendment that would increase the amount of the budget that would be used to reduce the national debt by $75 billion over 5 year. The debt reduction would be offset by reducing the tax cut in the budget framework from $150 billion
Reference: Bill S Con Res 101 ; vote number 2000-55 on Apr 5, 2000

Voted YES on 1998 GOP budget.

Approval of the 1998 GOP Budget which would cut spending and taxes.
Status: CR Agreed to Y)78; N)22
Reference: H. Con. Res. 84 as amended; Bill H. Con. Res. 84 ; vote number 1997-92 on May 23, 1997

Voted YES on Balanced-budget constitutional amendment.

Approval of the balanced-budget constitutional amendment.
Status: Joint Resolution Defeated Y)66; N)34
Reference: S. J. Res. 1; Bill S. J. Res. 1 ; vote number 1997-24 on Mar 4, 1997

Other candidates on Budget & Economy: Joe Biden on other issues:
GOP: Sen.John McCain
GOP V.P.: Gov.Sarah Palin
Democrat: Sen.Barack Obama
Dem.V.P.: Sen.Joe Biden

Third Parties:
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
Constitution: Amb.Alan Keyes
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Socialist: Brian Moore
Independent: Ralph Nader
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Page last updated: Feb 08, 2010