President Barack Obama has made no secret of the fact that he considers Franklin D. Roosevelt as one of his role models. President Obama's economic plans are very similar to those of FDR: increased government spending and intervention in markets to try to spur economic growth. Amity Shales, author of the excellent book The Forgotten Man, offers a terrific summary of why the New Deal didn't work.(hat tip: Nota Bennett)
The fundamental problem with President Obama's economic policies is the underlying assumption that government action can solve problems that can be more effectively and efficiently dealt with by market forces. The only guarantee with the President's proposals is that the economy will be no better off and in fact probably be in much worse shape no matter how much new spending is dressed up as "stimulus".
If the President's program actually helps the economy recover it will be the first time that increased government spending has spurred economic growth. History (and particularly the New Deal) suggest that the President's stimulus is doomed to fail.