The Ford-Carter recession was pretty deep. Personal income dipped more than 5%. The Carter-Reagan recession seems pretty shallow: not even a 3% decline in personal income. Bush-Clinton was pretty deep, but nothing compares to the -- let's be fair here -- Bush-Obama personal income crash of over 10%.
This suggests two things to me. 1. That this recession isn't going to get better soon. That's an awfully large hole in personal income that needs to be filled. And 2. That when the government was smaller and less entangled in the private sector, took less of our paychecks, and meddled less in our business, recessions and recoveries were faster.