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« Strategy Memo: Economic Stimuli | Blog Home Page | House Oversight Committee To Investigate Merrill Lynch »

Biden: Current Crisis "More Complicated" Than Great Depression

Vice President Joe Biden said this morning that government officials at all levels have an obligation to implement the program effectively, claiming that the current economic crisis is more "complicated" than the Great Depression.

"Sounds ridiculous," he quickly acknowledged, "but it was not as complicated as this is."

Biden was speaking to a room full of state officials who are charged with administering federal stimulus dollars in their states. He said that transparency is a must, and that if the money is spent wisely, citizens will support the program.

"It's important ... 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," he said. "People will support us."

He also urged officials to contact him directly with questions. And he pressed for patience, noting that the Obama administration has been in power just 52 days, and that the stimulus proposal is younger still.

"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."

President Obama echoed that message when he addressed the group later.

"If the money is being spent as it needs to be spent ... then I think all of us will benefit and our voters and our constituents, the people we work for, are going to be extraordinarily grateful," he said.