As the fifth year of the Obama presidency draws to a close, it may be time to examine the unspoken but powerful assumption behind the policies of the president and his party.
That is the assumption that in times of economic distress Americans would be, more than usual, supportive of or amenable to Big Government programs.
The assumption was widely shared, and not just by Democrats. And it has pretty well been disproven, insofar as any abstract proposition can be disproven, in the five years of the Obama presidency.
The Obama assumption has its origins in the 1930s, in the apparent political and economic success of New Deal programs, and it was propagated with great success by the New Deal historians in books that were bestsellers in the years after World War II.