Bill Clinton, the last Democratic president, thought in effect, “Let’s get economic growth so I can tax it and pay for all my toys and games.” That was the “New Democrat” approach. Obama knows that if the economy crumbles and he’s the only one left with a checkbook, then everyone has to come to him. Where is the independent base of entrepreneurial business to which the Republicans might to to raise money against Obama? The banks, the hedge funds, the manufacturers, the municipalities, in fact everyone who is left standing in the economy is beholden to Obama. This is Chicago city politics writ large. Leave aside all of the individual things that Obama is doing that harm economic growth: Obama is the first American president (with the possible exception of FDR) to actually benefit from economic weakness.
That’s his #1 reason why the recession will last “forever.” But if dollar hegemony caves–a very real possibility–Obama may have his hands full keeping the Republic together.