In 100% reality, the government -- especially the president -- isn't in charge of the economy. If this were true, then we'd have a dictatorship. For some god awful reason everyone thinks that the president has to save us all from "the recession!!!" This seems to have been started during the Great Depression, when --for the first time in US history -- the president took an active role (he even usurped Constitutional Power from the judicial and legislative branches) in "aiding" the economy.
In complete reality he was just horrendously making things worse: people were starving, and he was ordering the burning of crops and the slaughter of animals; people needed sound money, and he outlawed the ownership of gold (yes, really, he did); people needed stable banks, and he made it easier for banks to default. The first economic recession that the president was overly active in was also the worst economic recession in history -- there seems to be a connection!!!
The complete truth is that, if you want to have a stronger economy, you have to get rid of governmental intervention. The simple fact that you're asking this question shows how much trouble we're in.
President Bush was "a conservative"... BOOM= the dot.com bust.
President Obama is not "a conservative" and the glut continues.
The way to solve the problem is to get rid of Keynesian economic thought: it was DOA, but everyone still teaches it at school beacue it encourages government spending (and government officials need the spending to say "I created 1,000 jobs with my anti-recession programs!!!" in order to get re-elected.)
Read Henry Hazlitt's "Economics in One Lesson" (you'll have it done in a week, even if you're lazy at reading it and even if you don't understand economics at all), then realize that every single job that the government "creates" comes at the expense of more than one job you never saw and can not see.
Quick comments on other posts:
Deidra26 seems to think that military interventions and the such are necessary things for governments to do. This is nonsense. Every single service that the government provides could easily be done - more efficiently - by the private sector.... and it'd be Constitutional to boot!
Deidra26 also claims that greed left unregulated will lead to catastrophe, and only government can step in and stop it. Give. Me. A. Break. If you think the politicians aren't greedy, then just ask Blagojevich. If you were to notice how just about all the problems with the market are started, you'll find the treacherous hand of government: giving out monopolies and many other bonuses.
Deidre26 also thinks things are getting better. They aren't. Interest rates have been artificially set to 0% for about a decade ... this is going to end horribly.
Jon Ewall, for whatever reason, seems to think that Oil-Rig tycoons running the government will give us a benefit to the economy. This is nonsense. They got into government to line their own pockets: why else would they take a horrendous paycut? (The prez gets $400,000/year, CEOs make billions... ... but the prez is in charge of legislation, the military, and letting people off the hook.). Quit relying on government to fix economic issues, and start realizing that government- any government - is the problem.