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Biden on Economy: Best is Yet to Come

(AP Photo/Mel Evans)
For restless Americans eagerly awaiting the Obama administration's $787 billion stimulus plan to kick start the economy, Vice President Joe Biden has this message: the best is yet to come.

In an interview with CBS "Early Show" co-anchor Harry Smith during a visit to Saginaw, Mich., Biden said the stimulus plan was designed to work in two stages.

"We've only been halfway through the act," Biden said. "The job-creating portions are really loaded at the second half."

With the unemployment rate still close to 10 percent, Biden said he understands why Americans are frustrated and have criticized the administration for spending too much time on health care reform.

"We get it," he said. "We understand why they're angry."

Addressing the health care reform criticism, Biden disagreed that the Obama administration made a mistake in making that a focus of its first year in office.

Saying the over-arching goal of health care reform was to stem long-term debt. "we're in deep trouble" if we don't bring health care costs down, Biden said.

"I mean, look, this is not a business to be in if you're pessimistic.

"But I am optimistic because I think the American people's frustration is overflowing. People are getting it."

The interview also covered the Biden's take on the state of Washington politics and national security.

Having served in the Senate for more than 30 years, Biden has seen a fair share of gridlock in Congress, but the current version is the worst ever, he said.

"I don't ever recall a time in my career where to get anything done, you needed a supermajority, 60 out of 100 senators. You can block anything with 60 (votes).

"I've never seen it this dysfunctional," he said.

On terrorism, the vice president says the Obama administration has made "progress in dismantling the hierarchy of al Qaeda," but he's "very concerned" about the possibility of an individual carrying out a terrorist attack in the United States.

Watch Part One of the "Early Show" interview with Vice President Joe Biden:

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