CLIFTON PARK - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden touted his administration's economic stimulus plan June 9 during a speech he gave at Shenendehowa High School - and area Democrats basked in the spotlight in the event, the first visit by a U.S. vice president to New York's Capital Region in a decade.
In his speech, Biden said the Saratoga-Glens Falls region exemplified the prosperity that lies ahead, jump-started by the federal Recovery Act.
Countering recent criticism that the Obama administration hadn't taken enough action to spur the economy, Biden said the stimulus plan, with $16 billion committed to New York State, was already yielding benefits.
"People are putting shovels in the ground, jackhammers in old concrete and putting new steel on bridges," he said, referring to 300 infrastructure projects in the state, including transportation construction.
He said that New York State had been affected the worst by the "Great Recession" as he called it - so New York was getting the most help, and would gain the most from the Recovery Act.
"Six months ago, the market was in freefall. Our banking system was on the verge of collapse - job losses were staggering, there were foreclosures on every block - We inherited the largest economic crisis since the 19030s," Biden said, stressing that the economy recovery would take time.
"I guarantee you we will come out of this," Biden said to the crowd. "I guarantee you it's going to get better and you can see the progress we're making, right here in the Capital District."
Biden talked about the state's reinvestment of $1.14 billion in federal stimulus money in job retention and creation.
"Right here in New York State, it has meant $2 billion made available to the Governor and to localities to keep 26,000 teachers, that got pink slips, on the job," he said.