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Despite a near doubling in unemployment payouts, Mr. Obama in February announced a multitrillion-dollar spending plan that boosted the federal deficit to a record-breaking $1.56 trillion.

“While the market income of Americans has fallen since early 2008, government assistance has offset this somewhat through greater transfer spending such as unemployment benefits and new tax credits such as the ‘making work pay credit,’ albeit at the expense of higher deficits,” said Gerald Prante, a senior economist at the Tax Foundation organization.

Mr. Obama, who just finished pushing a $1 trillion health care reform bill through Congress, is falling behind on his predictions. In a September speech, he said: “All in all, many middle-class families will see their incomes go up by about $3,000 because of the Recovery Act.”

Other numbers show dramatic differences between the state of the economy in the opening months of Mr. Bush’s first term versus that of Mr. Obama. While disposal income during Mr. Obama’s term has risen $2.5 billion, extra cash for Americans rose $113 billion over Mr. Bush’s first 15 months in office.

Meanwhile, the findings of a new survey of leading economists by the Associated Press found widespread pessimism over a quick recovery.

The finding included ominous news:

c The unemployment rate will stay high for the next two years and still be at 8.4 percent by the end of 2011.

c Home prices will remain almost flat for the next two years, even after dropping an average 32 percent nationwide since peaking in 2006.

c The economy will grow about 3 percent this year, less than usual during the early phase of a recovery, but few jobs will be added.