Destroying a whole economy might sound like a daunting task. But if you plan carefully and have what has been referred to as "helpful idiots" willing and able to be complicit it can be done with a little effort and a lot of planning.
First, you must have premier sales skills. As the process progresses people may start asking questions. If they do, they must be convinced that you are extremely smart and know exactly what you are doing. Maybe even the smartest man ever. They must also be convinced that great results are forthcoming soon. It helps that you do know exactly what you are doing. The results may be entirely different from what people expect.
If you can start this project with a abysmal job market and an economy that is extremely overspent you have a big advantage in two ways. All you have to do is stymie a recovery and you are years ahead. Also you can blame your predecessor for what you inherited for a long long time. This gives you great cover as most people don't pay much attention to economic stuff anyway. It's complicated and boring. That is true. But it is also critical to our survival.
The next step is to go full Keynesian. This also gives good cover since many people remember the name from some class they took so it must be OK. So, you tell the people that the way out of this is for government to spend even more money that it doesn't have. It is like getting out of debt by using your credit card. It doesn't work but people still try it. Now the government must take a lot of that money and invest it into private businesses. If these investments are questionable and even if they are run by your friends, that is all right. The important thing is that you're spending. That's Keynesian! And if these companies should go bankrupt your friends, the bankruptcy lawyers, will clean up. As a fringe benefit, this will also make the job market worse. Don't forget you are destroying the economy.
Speaking of the jobs market, your administration must pass pages and pages of new regulations so that even companies that would like to hire will fear to lest the cost of new employees on top of those new regulations ruin their business. The great part of this is that you can do it through regulatory agencies. It doesn't have to go through congress.
Staging a government takeover of health care gives you a really good tool to manipulate things. Make the paperwork big enough and you can hide all kinds of taxes, fees, and regulations in it. Don't mention this to anyone, but it will also give you a leg up if you ever want to get into population control.
There are a couple more very effective things that can be done. You can crank up the printing presses and print lots and lots of new money. But give the process a fancy name like "Quantitative Easing". That sounds so positive and only a few people will realize that you are driving the value of the dollar down. Even if your not there to control things this will affect the economy for decades. By the way, a little factoid. We are up to QE 3.5. Goodbye dollar.
The last thing that I want to suggest is to raise taxes. I understand that people will balk at this as the jobs market is down, but tell them your only taxing rich people. I know that isn't true but enough people will believe it and they love picking on the rich. I know you're really taxing small business owners. But they deserve it as most of them didn't support your candidacy. They need to be punished.
Now make a lot of speeches and convince the public that you are the one and those that oppose you are stupid and old fashioned. They do not understand the new economy. And most of all let underlings handle negotiations. You must avoid negotiations at all cost. Dictate don't negotiate. This way if things start to get shaky you can throw an underling under the bus.
Sound familiar? It should. To quote Hemingway, "Know not for whom the bell tolls? It tolls for thee".