Biden on the Record: Recovery and Reinvestment Act Implementation Conference

clear to the American people every time we spent a dollar with a new badge. And the reason why it worked is that people said, okay, this makes sense; I think this will produce results. And it did. It ended up for nine years reducing the violent crime rate on average 8.5 percent per year.

But it didn’t happen in the first year. It’s an analogous circumstance here. It’s an analogous — we’re going to have a rough year. I don’t have to tell you. DEFAC — well, in Delaware it’s called DEFAC — but all around the country you have your outside groups and internal groups giving you revenue estimates and cost estimates. And you’re not looking at a rosy picture. People will support us if it appears as though what we’re doing makes sense, we’re accountable, and we’re totally transparent.

And so what we want to do is we want to make sure that they see as quickly and as clearly as possible how we’re spending the money in each of our respective states. That way, with the implementation efforts you make, we can understand the problems that we’re going to face, because we’re going to run into problems here, and we can move more quickly to solve them. It’s also going to make it possible for us to share your concerns with other states that are being — that are experiencing similar issues, and how they’re going to be answered.

So let me finish by reemphasizing one point: We are all on the line. The American people are looking to us to get this right, and you need to do that. We have to do our part to give you the best guidance we can and the most cooperation we can. You’re an important part of helping this nation through one of the worst economic crises in the history of this country. It — the Great Depression was worse, but it was not as complicated — sounds ridiculous, but it was not as complicated as this is.

And so, ladies and gentlemen, we have, as I said, an incredible responsibility, so let’s make sure we meet it.

And now let me introduce our first presenter, a man who is doing a spectacular job as one of the real day-to-day leaders in making this Recovery Act a reality, and our administration is really fortunate to have his talents — and I mean that sincerely; it’s not hyperbole — and that is the Deputy Director of OMB, Rob Nabors. And I think Rob is around here — is he? There you are, Rob. How are you? Come on up and do the hard work. (Applause.)

Folks — and then let me make one more comment. I really instruct your — tell your governor — I know you can’t instruct your governors — (laughter.) Tell your governors, literally, if they have a problem if they’re confused, if you’re confused about what needs to be done, literally pick up the phone and call me. Call me. I’m not — that is not — look, I’ve been — I was a senator for

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