From Mark Thoma's The Great Lesson For The Great Recession for the Fiscal Times,
"Fiscal policymakers in Congress deserve more blame and scorn than they have received for their poor response to the recession. Congress failed to implement a fiscal stabilization package that was large enough to address the big problems the economy was facing, and due to Republican opposition it refused to implement additional measures when it became clear the initial package was too small in both size and duration. Congress could have, for example, followed up by putting people to work on infrastructure projects that would have more than paid for themselves just in terms of their value to society, never mind the additional benefits from helping the unemployed.
That failure was bad enough. But even worse is that fiscal policymakers actually began moving in the wrong direction – toward austerity – at a time when just the opposite policy was needed. The result has been a much slower recovery than we might have seen otherwise."