Biden on the Record: Recovery and Reinvestment Act Implementation Conference

so we’re moving as fast as we can. And that’s why we’re so thankful you’re here to help us — help us figure out how to move this so everybody knows what the rules of the road are.

Just as importantly, as I said earlier, we want to hear from you. We’re urging you and your governors to regularly update us regarding projects that are being funded through the Recovery Act. We want to keep track of the innovations and successes you have. Again, I’m not being solicitous. Some of you in the states have done innovative things that are beyond the capacity of the federal government to do quickly. And we want this to be a clearinghouse, as well. Some of you are going to do very well in some things and come up with some very good ideas, and others aren’t, and others are going to be in other areas. We want to share all this information as rapidly and as close to real time as we can. That’s a great way for us and for others states to learn, as well.

It’s important for the people in your state to know about the jobs that are being saved, as well; restored, as well; created. Some of these 3.5 million jobs are just jobs we’re going to keep from being lost. Most economists have acknowledged that had we done nothing in this area, we would have lost another 4 to 5 million jobs this year — an additional 4 to 5 million jobs, on top of what has already been lost since the recession has been officially declared as having started in the fall.

So, folks, we have a lot to show for — show to our constituents. It’s important, as I said, that they see that citizens know in your state what long-term investments are being made and that there’s a prospect, in their view, that it will pay off. People will support us. They know this isn’t going to turn around quickly. I can make an analogy to the crime bill. Years ago some of you I worked with on the crime bill. I wrote that bill in the early ’90s; it got passed in ’94 because of the great leadership of President Clinton, and we passed the bill. And everybody got all nervous after it got passed — said, Biden, you talked us into this and we’re spending $30 billion and the crime rate is not going to go down in a year. And the crime rate could not go down in a year, it would not go down in a year. It was going to take time to build this in.

But guess what. We were transparent with all of you, we were transparent with the American people. We pointed out exactly how many cops we were funding, how many prisons were being built, how much money was being spent with regard to prevention. We made it absolutely transparent. We went all over the country. You, governors, congresspersons, all made it

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