Obama and the Democrats tried for the better part of a year to get Republican input on the "ObamaCare" health care law, but the Republicans weren't interested in actually doing their job and governing, so the Democrats had to figure out something on their own. The health care system we had/have is stupid and capricious and it needs to change. We've been trying to update for 50 years, most notably with President Clinton's failure in the '90s. We needed to do something and because the Republicans decided to boycott the process in the hope that they could stop anything from happening, their interests were never entered into the equation (any more than what the Democrats threw in to try to appease them). It's certainly not Obama and the Democrats' fault that the bill didn't get any Republican support. They tried darn hard to get it, but the Republicans made a political calculation that if the bill failed, it would help their election prospects. So they have no one to blame except themselves for getting a "Left-wing" bill passed and signed into law.
When do you think the rest of the world got out of the Great Depression? 1936-37? That's about the time that most of Europe was gearing up for war. Was the rest of the world doing painful austerity during that whole period where the US was trying Keynesianism? The wartime spending, government spending, certainly helped to pull everyone out of the depression. In my view, the point of government policies should be to soften the pain of events beyond our control. If you have the choice between a boom and bust system and a government-damped system, I think I would prefer the damped system, even if that that kept the peaks lower than they could potentially rise, just so long as it also kept the troughs from getting as low as they could go.
I would rather have an economy like this:
_______ / \ / \_______/than like this:
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Codebox is being really stupid, but I hope you get the idea.