It is no small irony that those who are complaining the loudest about the length of time it takes to see the results of economic stimulus were standing shoulder to shoulder with President George W. Bush in rejecting a much-needed boost for the economy last fall. Having helped to push the economy over the cliff, they are now complaining about the mess that was made in the valley below.
The problems that President Barack Obama inherited in January have been compared repeatedly with those facing Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933. While many of the similarities and differences between these two periods have been discussed at length, one of the most important has received little attention. In March 1933, Roosevelt inherited an economy that had not only fallen off the cliff but also crashed to the bottom of the ravine. In contrast, Obama inherited an economy that was merely in free-fall.
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