With the economy sputtering, President Obama would like voters to believe he faces tougher challenges than any president since Franklin Roosevelt and needs two terms to turn things around.
Sadly, the president's problems are so daunting only because his policies are not up to the task. (Read More: Michelle Obama: He'll Fix the Economy but Change Takes Time)
One need only look as far back as Ronald Reagan to find a fair but embarrassing comparison for Mr. Obama's special brand of statism.
In 1980, Americans were bearing double-digit interest rates and inflation, growing trade deficits on oil and with export juggernauts Japan and newly industrializing economies in Asia, and stuck in a malaise of self-doubt quite similar to today.
Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, appointed in August 1979, pushed interest rates even higher to halt runaway inflation, the economy suffered two wrenching recessions, and unemployment peaked at 10.8 percent just 22 months into the Reagan presidency.
The Reagan recovery package emphasized putting money and decision making back into the hands of ordinary citizens and private businesses. Immediate tax cuts, followed by tax reform-just three personal income tax rates, a top rate of 28 percent, and fewer special breaks and loopholes. (Read More: GOP Platform a ‘Vicious Attack’ on Workers: AFL-CIO)
He removed Carter-era policies that discouraged domestic oil production, and aggressively sought to right-size regulation-not slash and burn, but retaining what was needed to keep business honest and foster competition, and jettisoning the rest.