Biden: Obama misread crisis

JOSEPH Biden, the US Vice President, has admitted President Barack Obama&rsquo;s administration underestimated the scale of the recession and failed to foresee unemployment levels nearing double digits.<br /><br />He said the Obama team &ldquo;misread how bad the economy was&rdquo;, and admitted the unemployment figure of 9.5 per cent released last week was &ldquo;much too high&rdquo;.<br /><br />&ldquo;There was a misreading of just how bad an economy we inherited,&rdquo; he said in an interview with ABC News, which aired yesterday.<br /><br />He insisted the administration has taken the right approach to guiding the world&rsquo;s largest economy out of recession, adding Obama&rsquo;s $787bn (&pound;482bn) economic stimulus was &ldquo;the right package&rdquo;. But it will take more time for the stimulus package to take effect, as many of its investment programmes to boost the US economy are still not operational, he said. <br /><br />The programmes will roll out over the next 18 months, he added. <br /><br />He yesterday refused to rule out Obama having to launch another stimulus package to salvage the economy, saying it is &ldquo;premature to make that judgment&rdquo;.&nbsp; <br /><br />Criticism has been mounting of Obama&rsquo;s stimulus, with experts suggesting it should have been positioned more towards cutting taxes to allow businesses to recover, rather than towards government spending. <br /><br />Biden&rsquo;s remarks come after Obama&rsquo;s central administration has recently hinted of &ldquo;green shoots&rdquo; of an economic recovery. <br /><br />The Vice President launched his own bid to become President before accepting the Vice Presidency from Obama, but failed to attract the spotlight amid competition from Obama and Hillary Clinton.