Joe Biden admits the Obama administration misread the depth of the current economic crisis.
That's interesting, notes CNBC broadcaster Rick Santelli, since the administration has been saying all along it's the worst slowdown since the Great Depression.
That doesn't sound like such a misread.
"I don't think they were really surprised by the depth of the slower activity," Santelli said this week. "Maybe they're just surprised that all that (stimulus) money really didn't create jobs ..."
And yet, there's talk of Stimulus II. Unbelievable.
The truth is becoming clear: For many in Washington, it's not about getting out of the economic crisis -- it's how. And the road, for them, has to go through Washington.
They just love spending your money. They love the power, the relevance, the ego-cuddling TV time it brings them, the gut-busting sense of accomplishment of spending other people's money. It really is that simple.
We've been sounding the alarm about Barack Obama's government-centric approach to life since the campaign. But recently, we've been seeing an uptick in readers' concern, and a newfound urgency in their worries about the direction America is headed.
Obama officials Wednesday claimed that the president isn't talking about a second stimulus -- though in an interview overseas, he said nothing is off the table. Moreover, his economic adviser, Laura D'Andrea Tyson, said very clearly on Tuesday that the country should be preparing for a second stimulus.
Her utterance signaled to world financial markets that the Obama administration sees a recovery as even farther off in the distance, and the markets suffered as a result.
Nor did the administration eschew the notion of a second stimulus until Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid flatly ruled it out.
The Obama administration appears increasingly confused and inept, in addition to being reckless with our money. First they are considering a second stimulus, then they're not. First they give Israel a green light to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, then they don't. First they know how bad the economy is -- and, oh by the way, just what to do to fix it -- then they admit they "misread" the financial picture.
These are not marginal issues. They are top-of-mind important and delicate matters of big-picture policy. Yet, administration officials are singing from different hymnals and, by their own admission, getting it wrong.
But even if the Obama folks had it together, a second stimulus would be a disastrous idea. The first one has been monumentally ineffective, as unemployment figures have crept up (despite Obama's promises of 3 million jobs) right along with the national debt.
The problem isn't a misreading of the economy. The problem is Obama and Co.'s fundamental philosophy that the economy 1) could and 2) should be micromanaged from the behind the white columns of Washington. It's a government-centric approach that has failed in nation after nation after nation.
Not only does Obama believe far too much in the power of government to be all things to all people, but at the same time he seems to believe that money grows on trees in the private sector, that American wealth is bottomless. Not only can we bleed businesses dry while borrowing even more from the Chinese to pay for everyone's health care, but we can also expand jobs by the millions.
How is that supposed to happen?
The worsening economic picture and the dissonant voices from the White House make you wonder if anyone there has a clue.