Paul Krugman makes the point that 1938 is a very good analogy for our current economic and political state. The line that struck me, "Even under F.D.R., there was never the political will to do what was needed to end the Great Depression; its eventual resolution came essentially by accident." The accident of course being the ginormous spending of WWII.
I look at our economic path through time as a ship heading down a channel. Since Reagan we first pulled to one side of the channel and then decided to go even further and take a "shortcut" out the right side. We suddenly found ourselves among rocks and shoals. Obama began to steer us back, but the shortcutters began to scream*. This made the ship's officers begin to vacillate and their supporters among the passengers wrung their hands and fell silent. A wrecker's light has sprung up, luring us back towards the rocks. The shortcutters are now hoping for a takeover so we can head towards the light.
What happens next?
*not surprising, since navigation is a science