I've said this before. It needs to be said again. The world is not coming to an end. This is not the Great Depression. This is a bad recession. We have been phenomenally fortunate over the last 25+ years and we came to believe that it was normal. It wasn't.
Everyone just needs to calm the frack down. Since we're obviously going to pass this
If you want too get all Machiavellian about this... If you're inclined toward the conspiracy minded then chew on this for awhile.
Why have the Dear Leader and the rest of the Democrats been so ruthlessly pessimistic about the economy? The reason was obvious during the election but why keep it up?
Simple. They are maintaining the narrative they crafted and they are writing its conclusion. In that story, the downturn is the result of "flawed Bush policies." With the connivance of the media (and the lack of a forceful response from Senator McCain - who probably agreed with them), they have largely succeeded in establishing that concept. Now, they have crafted the solution. The Stimulus! This will take care of everything! Bush and the Republicans created the problem, Obama and the Democrats have solved it! Now the march into ever-rising uplands can begin!
In other words, if they had started talking up the economy before they took action people might have realize it is just a cyclical downturn and that there isn't anyone in particular to blame for the whole thing. In other words, people might see that Obama (and a lot of other, for that matter) had scared them into doing things they wouldn't otherwise have agreed to. And, of course, that's the other reason not to talk up the economy. If people aren't scared there is no way on God's green earth that they are going to let all this money get spent. If the Dems wanted to write this check, the only way they could do it was to keep you scared.
They have succeeded.