I'll just let the Associated Press do the explaining:
The recession that ended three years ago this summer has been followed by the feeblest economic recovery since the Great Depression. Since World War II, 10 U.S. recessions have been followed by a recovery that lasted at least three years. An Associated Press analysis shows that by just about any measure, the one that began in June 2009 is the weakest. The ugliness goes well beyond unemployment, which at 8.3 percent is the highest this long after a recession ended. Economic growth has never been weaker in a postwar recovery. Consumer spending has never been so slack. Only once has job growth been slower. More than in any other post-World War II recovery, people who have jobs are hurting: Their paychecks have fallen behind inflation.
The report slogs through a roster of malaise with sub-sections entitled, "feeble growth," "exhausted consumers," "the jobs hole," and "shrinking paychecks." CBS News rendered a strikingly similar verdict last month:
Since CBS News anchor Scott Pelley delivered those words, unemployment has increased to 8.3 percent -- with "real unemployment" (unemployed, underemployed, given up hope) ticking back up to the 15 percent mark. July marked the 42nd month in a row of 8-percent-plus unemployment. In selling his $825 Billion borrowed money stimulus scheme, the president told Americans that the massive expenditure would prevent the unemployment rate from exceeding 8 percent. Today, the president is calling for another unpaid-for stimulus program, and tax increases on productive small businesses. Higher taxes, more spending, and blame: He's grossly misreading history while blaming others -- including his opponent -- for our current state of affairs. Leadership and accountability.
UPDATE - "The private sector is doing fine."
UPDATE II - "It worked."