Rossville, TN (WMC) - Vice President Joe Biden visited Mid-Southerners on Wednesday.
He visited the Memphis Regional Intermodal Facility on the border of Rossville, Tennessee, and Byhalia, Mississippi, to celebrate the seventh anniversary of President Barack Obama's stimulus package, also known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. More than $52 million in stimulus money helped build the $105 million intermodal facility.
"We knew we had to do something big and it's a dirty word in Washington, to stimulate the economy," Biden said. "We needed it to be big to get the country back on it's feet."
Biden said the stimulus package had a short term goal and long term goal, both of which were accomplished.
The short term goal was to rescue the economy and the long term goal was to change the direction of the country.
In spite of the economic crisis the country faced, Biden said the administration also saw the stimulus package as an opportunity.
"We also saw a chance to lay a new foundation," Biden said. "We founded the pioneer works on advanced biofuels."
Biden said the stimulus was the "most ambitious energy legislation" in history, but believes it paid off in the long run.
"Wind and solar are now almost as cheap per kilowatt as coal," Biden said.
He spoke of the large amounts of dollars poured into states and resources to create jobs and improve the economy. Additionally, he touted the lack of fraud and abuse found among those large dollars.
"We had less than two tenths (.2) of one percent of waste fraud abuse reported," Biden said.
However, Biden made a pitch for more investment in infrastructure, citing the United States being 27th in the world in terms of having the most modern infrastructure was "unacceptable."
"We're in a competitive place in the world, better than we've ever been since WWII," Biden said, referring to the United States as the "epicenter" of energy for the world.
"There's no quit in America. There's no quit in average workers," Biden said.