Here’s a sample of an interesting analysis:
Obama took office at the cusp of a massive worldwide financial crisis that was bound to inflict severe damage on himself and his party. That he faced such difficult circumstances does not absolve him of blame for any failures. It sets the bar lower, but the bar still exists. How should we judge Obama against it? I would argue that both the legislative record of 2009-2010 and Obama’s personal popularity level exceed the expectation level — facing worse economic conditions than the last two Democratic presidents at a similar juncture, Obama is far more popular than Jimmy Carter and nearly as popular as Bill Clinton, and vastly more accomplished than both put together.
With an equally interesting poll from 1935 showing that 70 years ago Americans were just as clueless about the roll of government spending to create economic stimulus.
Gallup Poll [December, 1935]
Do you think it necessary at this time to balance the budget and start reducing the national debt?
Gallup Poll [May, 1936]
Are the acts of the present Administration helping or hindering recovery?
Gallup Poll (AIPO) [November, 1936]
DO YOU THINK IT NECESSARY FOR THE NEW ADMINISTRATION TO BALANCE THE BUDGET?
7 NO ANSWER
As a side note. The Duluth Chamber of Commerce oohed and ahhed over the Red Plan’s stimulation of the local Duluth economy. I never denied that spending 300 million would stimulate our economy. I argued more along the lines that the spending was, in Republican terms, “re-distributive” since it took regressive property tax money from the retired and gave it to big companies and their well paid workers. Had the Red Plan come from income taxes its stimulative effect would have been just as powerful but it would not have fallen so heavily on the backs of the poor.