John Mauldin (see writeup here) recently explained how difficult such forecasts are because of a complex chain of interdependent variables.
Politicians know only one way — stimulate. Because the world is overly concerned about U.S. deficits, surreptitious QE will be tried first (it is likely that it has already begun). As the economy continues to sink, QE will become an overt policy.
Unfortunately large monetary easing will not produce a recovery. Another fiscal stimulus package (probably before the election so as to “buy” votes) will be implemented. Other than the possible vote-buying aspects, it will also fail.
We have gone well past the point where the government can effectively stimulate the economy via either fiscal or monetary policy. The economy is overdosed on both forms of medication. More will likely kill it or change its character in such a manner that no one will be happy.