The Politics of HopeAt home, the administration addressed the mounting economic crisis with a $787 billion stimulus act designed to bring growing unemployment down to manageable levels. The legislation doubtless saved or created many jobs, but it failed to prevent unemployment — officially estimated at 7.7 percent of the labor force when Obama took office — from increasing to a high of 10.1 percent, then receding just a bit. The loans to large investment and commercial banks begun during the Bush administration with the objective of restoring a stable financial system were mostly repaid with a profit to the government, but a few remained outstanding as the president began his second year in office. In addition, the government invested heavily in two giant auto makers — General
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national health care, large Democratic majorities, giant auto makers, comprehensive national plan