WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday there is no "magic bullet" for curing the country's economic woes, urging patience and saying he hopes a recovery can be achieved in the next two years.
"We'll come of this recession, and when we come out we'll have a stronger middle class, more competitive nation, and the 21st century will be ours," he said.
Speaking a day after President Barack Obama outlined the challenge to a joint session of Congress, Biden said that Republican critics have failed to offer a meaningful alternative to the nearly trillion-dollar stimulus program. And he cautioned that getting employment back to pre-recession levels will be difficult, noting that labor markets typically have been the last to return to return to full health.
Biden said the recovery will take some time, but that the nation could be "back in the saddle" within two years if things go according to plan.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, also appearing on NBC, said that Obama had said several things Republicans could agree with in his speech. But he also repeated the GOP's criticism of the $787 billion stimulus plan that the president signed into law earlier this month, saying it represents too much government spending and too little in the way of revitalizing businesses.
Jindal said that "rather than all the wasteful spending," Republicans would have preferred targeted infrastructure investments and targeted tax relief, such as a cut in the capital gains tax.
"There's not enough money in Washington to grow our economy," he said. "We think we need a focus on getting our businesses to hire people, to create jobs."
Jindal did say he agreed that Republicans and Democrats "both have a spending problem" and that the GOP has to "match our actions with our rhetoric."
"Bipartisanship is not just having people over for lemonade and cookies at the White House," he said. "We want to give this president a chance. We want to work with him. But where we disagree, we're going to be unafraid to offer principled, conservative solutions."
Biden appeared on NBC's "Today" show, CBS's "The Early Show," and ABC's "Good Morning America." Jindal was interviewed on NBC.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.