Biden: Because of Bush Administration and Wall Street ‘People Died' and ‘Homes Burned’

Elizabeth Harrington | October 19, 2011 | 5:35pm EDT
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Vice President Joe Biden said at an Oct. 6, 2011 event in Washington, D.C. that most Americans blame George W. Bush for their current financial difficulties. ( Starr)

( - Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday that “people died” and “people’s homes burned to the ground,” because the Bush administration allowed “God-awful Ponzi schemes” on Wall Street.

Speaking at a rally to promote a piecemeal provision of President Obama’s jobs proposal, Biden told police and firefighters that the budget shortfalls of state and local governments were not attributable to state and local governments.

“Those of you know it’s not really the fault of your mayor or your government,” the vice president said. “Some are more sympathetic than others, but the bottom line is they don’t have the money because of this God-awful mess we got put in.

“In many cities the result has been--and it’s not unique--murder rates are up, robberies are up, rapes are up. And folks, there’s a simple reason for that.  It’s been a perfect storm out there from the God-awful Ponzi schemes that the last outfit allowed Wall Street to engage in, resulted in this gigantic collapse of the financial industry.”

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Biden continued: “Housing--the bottom fell out, foreclosures increased, particularly in poor neighborhoods, abandoned homes were created, drug lords moved in, arson increased, budgets fall because the property taxes fall, cops and firefighters are laid off, response times increase from 5 minutes to 30 minutes and people died and people’s homes burned to the ground.”

Biden’s comments came at a rally to call for the passage of S.1723, the “Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act,” that would provide $35 billion to state and local governments to avoid government layoffs.  This is the first bill proposed to attempt to pass the President’s “American Jobs Act” piecemeal.

“What’s the criticism we hear from our friends on the other side?  This is temporary.  We’re only coming up with a temporary solution.  Well let me tell you, there’s nothing temporary about kindergartens being eliminated.  That is affecting that child for the rest of their life,” Biden said. “There is nothing temporary about your house burning down.”

The rally was held at the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill.

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