My left-of-center friends think it's unfair to compare the Obama recovery to the Reagan recovery. They say the underlying recessions were so different. Seems to me the main difference between the Reagan Recession and the Bush/Obama Recession is how the presidents responded. Reagan slowed the growth of government, reduced the pace of regulation, and appointed a Fed chairman who exercised monetary restraint. Bush and Obama did the exact opposite on all three points.
Data source: BEA
Michael Isenberg is the author of Full Asylum, a novel about politics, freedom, and hospital gowns. Check it out on Amazon.com.