Let me preface this by saying I think Limbaugh has become a self-important blowhard, who spends hours saying nothing, just to hear himself talk on the radio. I'm also no fan of the vast majority of idiots signed up as members of the Republican party.
But let's not try to cherry-pick historical events to make conclusions that just aren't there..... The Great Depression might have shown signs of going away before WWII, but you'd have to be kind of crazy to back the idea that America's prosperous period after WWII had nothing to do with winning the war! Essentially, on this one, Rush actually *is* right. Heck, if nothing else, one could make a strong argument that the war put America in an advantageous place in the world market simply because other major competitors were knocked out for a while. (It's easy to look good when the other players are still rebuilding decimated manufacturing capabilities and so on.)
And no... "massive govt. spending and growth" from WWII wasn't the magic ticket to prosperity.... Fools like GWB seemed to believe this, and America found out the hard way that you can't just dump a ton of money into having a war and expect automatic prosperity to result.
In reality, if America had some way to win WWII without all of the military expenditures, we would have been that much MORE well-off, post war, than we were.
Now, arguing about banking regulations, specifically? Yes, I think it's pretty widely understood that the deregulation in the Reagan era (and let's be honest here ... much of that had more to do with Reagan's economic advisers than Reagan himself) turned out pretty bad. If you had to put a face and a name to those ideas, you'd probably pin most of it on Alan Greenspan, who eventually admitted himself that he was wrong. (Essentially, he felt he did the right thing, philosophically speaking -- but didn't think the people put in charge of banking would be so short-sighted and irresponsible to do some of the things they were ABLE to do with the regulations lifted. Basically, he was guilty of believing too much in some of the people who supposedly could make wise business decisions.)
If you want to talk fundamental change that would actually help America's situation today? We've GOT to get rid of the Corporatism. Big businesses can NOT be allowed to infiltrate government and effectively become another arm of it! Too many people, today, have this simplistic notion that big businesses are evil/bad/wrong, and need to be forcibly dismantled -- or forced to give up a portion of their wealth to "everyone else". Big business, itself, is not the problem. A big business is just one of those small businesses people like to cheer for that did well enough, it got bigger and hired a lot more people. The PROBLEM comes in when government accepts financial gifts from said businesses for favors, or allows people with direct ties to the businesses to take key positions inside government itself and proceeds to get new legislation made/approved that only benefits those businesses.
IMO, Obama is just as guilty of perpetuating this as any of our last few presidents -- and the results are like a snowball rolling downhill. For example: