Goal setting and visualizing success are key elements in planning your approach to problems or mapping out a plan for your future. Every bookstore has a section of self-help books and much has been written about setting goals to meet expectations.
In the world of business today having a business plan is a minimum standard for any well-run company or department. Voters hear from politicians during every campaign about some plan they have and how successful it will be.
In 2008 we heard about a plan that would deliver “hope and change”, a plan that would improve our economy and provide jobs. Voters embraced the plan; we were sold a costly stimulus expenditure to turn around the economy and we bought it. Judging the success of the plan as we look back has a lot to do with your expectations and what you perceived to be the goal.
When we evaluate our success as a nation in solving our economic problems we must of course look at the expectations of the leadership that presented the plan. We can never know for sure what their real expectations were but we do have at least one public statement that clearly gives us their own evaluation of the success.
On September 24, 2009 during a conference call with State Governors from across the country Vice-President Joe Biden gave a review of the administration’s economic stimulus plan. Did he feel the stimulus had worked well enough to meet the administrations expectations? In the words of Joe Biden when speaking about the economic stimulus he said, “In my wildest dreams, I never thought it would work this well.”
The call lasted 45 minutes and only four questions were allowed one of those questions came from Democratic Governor Jay Nixon of Missouri. He was concerned about accuracy in reporting state employment figures, so he asked if states could have more time to fact check the numbers before releasing the data to the public. Is it a surprise to find out he was told, no?
Joe made it clear the Governors need not worry about reporting numbers; he made his expectations clear and concise saying the figures are “not going to be perfect.” So that is the level of expectation and evaluation we can now expect from the current administration based on history and experience.
Mr. Biden did have a vision of the future and the level of expectation he anticipated from the economic stimulus package he oversaw for the administration. Today every voter also has chance to look back and judge the success of the same economic plan. In your opinion it has either been a success or failure and you can make your own plans for the future.
At the end of the call Governor Nixon thanked the vice president for his work on the stimulus. “I cannot tell you how much we appreciate your…interest,” he said. “Pure self-interest, Jay,” Biden responded. “If it fails, I’m dead.” You have to wonder was Joe Biden giving us his vision of this 2012 Presidential election, if he was and he loses let’s hope he is not dead, but rather happy in retirement.