Fast-forward to 2012. Call in the search teams. Since being appointed the nation's stimulus spending cop, Sheriff Joe has taken a permanent donut break. He's AWOL on oversight. In fact, he's been bubble-wrapped, boxed and kept completely out of sight. The garrulous gaffe machine hasn't sat down for a national media interview in five months.
The Democrats' trillion-dollar "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," however, keeps piling up waste, failure, fraud and debt. Who benefited most? Big government cronies.
According to Investor's Business Daily this week, a new analysis by Ohio State University economics professor Bill Dupor reported that "(m)ore than three-quarters of the jobs created or saved by President Obama's economic stimulus in the first year were in government."
Dupor and another colleague had earlier concluded that the porkulus was a predictable jobs-killer that crowded out non-government jobs with make-work public jobs and programs. Indeed, the massive wealth redistribution scheme "destroyed/forestalled roughly one million private sector jobs" by siphoning tax dollars "to offset state revenue shortfalls and Medicaid increases rather than boost private sector employment."
Will this Keynesian wreckage come up during Thursday night's vice presidential debate? It should be a centerpiece of domestic policy discussion. Nowhere is the gulf between Obama/Biden rhetoric and reality on jobs wider.
Remember: Obama's Ivy League eggheads behind the stimulus promised that "(m)ore than 90 percent of the jobs created are likely to be in the private sector." These are the same feckless economic advisers who infamously vowed that the stimulus would keep unemployment below 8 percent -- and that unemployment would drop below 6 percent sometime this year.
Sheriff Joe rebuked the "naysayers" who decried the behemoth stimulus program's waste, fraud and abuse. "You know what? They were wrong," he crowed.
But Biden was radio silent about the nearly 4,000 stimulus recipients who received $24 billion in Recovery Act funds -- while owing more than $750 million in unpaid corporate, payroll and other taxes. (Cash for Tax Cheats, anyone?)
He had nothing to say about the $6 billion in stimulus energy credits for homeowners that went to nearly a third of credit-claimers who had no record of homeownership, including minors and prisoners.