The Blog

Biden Rips Off Reagan Line?

2:00 PM, Jun 27, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Vice President Joe Biden had this to say today about whether there's a "depression" in America: 

"The unemployed are in real trouble," Biden said. "My grandpa used to say, from Scranton, he’d say, ‘Joe, when the guy in Dunmore - the next town over – when the guy in Dunmore is out of work, it’s an economic slowdown. When your brother-in-law is out of work, it’s a recession. When you’re out of work, it’s a depression. It’s a depression for millions and millions of Americans."

But the last bit is particularly curious since it sounds an awful lot like something President Ronald Reagan said.

"A recession is when your neighbor loses his job," Reagan said during the 1980 presidential campaign. "A depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his."

Indeed, it's also something President Harry Truman reportedly said. "It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it's a depression when you lose your own," said Truman.

One wonders whether Biden's grandpa got the quotation from Reagan or Truman--or whether Biden considers Reagan or Truman a grandfatherly figure and got confused. Or perhaps it's just a striking coincidence.

Recent Blog Posts

The Weekly Standard Archives

Browse 20 Years of the Weekly Standard

Old covers