"Anyone who says that we are 'out of the woods' or even moving into the woods has got to be lost at sea. There is no evidence that this economy is doing much better. The best that can be said is that we are getting worse more slowly," Reich said.
The New York Times on Sunday compared President Barack Obama with President Lyndon Johnson because of the two presidents' attempts to aggressively tackle a domestic agenda while fighting a war abroad.
Reich argued that the focus has been predominately on health care, that Americans are too concerned with issues at home.
"I don't think the American people have focused on Afghanistan at all," Reich said. "I mean, health care and the economy dominate the agenda, which is good for Obama. I mean, he has some time because they haven't focused."
Others felt there was no parallel between the two, that Afghanistan is not what Vietnam was.
"This is not LBJ," Krugman said. "This is not 500,000 American troops who are drafted. This is not your son, your neighbor's son, being sent off to the war. This is not every college student terrified about that letter arriving, saying, greetings from the president of the United States."
"So although this could work out very badly, I'm very nervous about it," added Krugman, "I don't think it has all that much political relevance."