Fact Check: Joe Biden Repeats False Claim About ‘Shovel-ready’ Jobs

Joe Biden / YouTube

CLAIM: The Obama-Biden administration provided “shovel-ready” jobs in the 2009 “stimulus” that Joe Biden managed.

VERDICT: FALSE. Even President Barack Obama himself admitted that the “shovel-ready” jobs did not really exist.

Former Vice President Joe Biden delivered a short speech in New Castle, Delaware, on Tuesday, in which he proposed offering new child care and elder care benefits (paid for by raising taxes, including taxes on real estate investors).

Biden reminded Americans that he had been in charge of the 2009 “stimulus,” which cost $862 billion but barely made a dent in unemployment, since it was targeted at state and local governments and favored Democrat special interests.

The stimulus, otherwise known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also featured some high-profile flops, including the bankrupt Solyndra solar cell company, which Biden personally visited. The website also had major bugs.

But Biden cast his record as a successful one, adding: “When we usually talk about jobs packages, there’s a big push on ‘shovel-ready jobs.’ I’m the guy, as you may remember [who] managed the Recovery Act of 800-plus billion dollars. I always focused on ‘shovel-ready jobs,’ what we could do immediately, to get the money out in communities.”

What Biden failed to mention is that the Obama-Biden effort to fund “shovel-ready jobs” was an abysmal failure.

By October 2010, President Barack Obama was already admitting that “‘there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects’ when it comes to public works,” as the New York Times reported in an article titled “The Education of President Obama.”

The following year, Obama joked at his jobs council: “Shovel-ready wasn’t as…uh…shovel-ready as we thought.”

Biden now claims that he “focused” on “shovel-ready jobs,” but Obama admitted numerous times that they did not exist.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.