Biden: Stimulus has 'primed the pump' of the economy

The Obama administration's stimulus has "primed the pump" of the U.S. economy, Vice President Joe Biden asserted Tuesday.

Biden defended the signature $787 billion recovery act signed into law early in 2009 as essential to bringing in private investment in the economy.

"What we've done is basically primed the pump. We've come up with $80 billion in investments in new technology, the kind of thing that's going to take us into the 21st century," Biden said during an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "And it's created $150 billion in private investment."

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Biden has served as the chief administrator of the stimulus program, a position to which he was designated by President Barack Obama shortly after the stimulus took effect. Since then, the vice president has regularly worked on stimulus implementation, as well as in combating Republican attacks on the program.

And Biden took a somewhat veiled shot at the GOP on Tuesday, accusing them of being inconsistent on the stimulus in opposition to President Barack Obama and his economic policies.

"What everyone initially said was this recovery act is a waste, it's not working," Biden argued. "I find it interesting now, they're saying is it worked, the federal government carried us this far and they can't keep carrying us."

But the vice president conceded that, for as much as the Obama administration had talked about "shovel-ready" projects, there's still time ahead before the entirety of the program takes effect.

"It's going to take somewhere between the next month and the next two years to lock these things in," Biden said, referencing the time it takes to build infrastructure programs.

But the vice president defended the agenda as part of a partnership with the private sector to boost the economy, to induce additional investments beyond what the government spends.

"It's the story of every innovation that's occurred America," Biden said. "That's how we view it: not as the government doing it, but generating interest in the private sector."