The red line shows unemployment starting in January 1982; the blue line starts in January 2009 and projects forward. What the chart nicely shows is the parallel economic situations faced by Reagan and Obama -- a sharp rise in unemployment peaking at around 10%. But unemployment under Reagan dropped pretty precipitously after that. This was due, in part, to aggressive moves to loosen up lending by Fed chair Paul Volcker, who believed (correctly) that inflation would not be a significant concern. Conversely, current Fed chair Ben Bernanke seems more concerned about inflation and is willing to tolerate much higher levels of unemployment as a result.
The horrifying part, to me, is that the Obama administration seems okay with this. Indeed, they just pushed Bernanke's renomination through the Senate. Remember, Democrats are supposed to be the party that generates jobs. If Obama is someday asked why his administration wasn't as good at generating jobs as Reagan's was, "Reagan had a more liberal Fed chair" was always going to be a pretty lame excuse, but now it's a useless one since Obama decided to keep Bernanke in charge.
Hopefully, the economy will outperform these dour expectations. Today's news is encouraging.