The problem for Herbert Hoover was that the commonly held economic theory at the time was that recessions were simply part of the business cycle, meaning there were times of boom and bust. The belief held that if government interfered with the business cycle, they could do permanent harm. Because of this, Hoover was hesitant to do too much. He actually wanted to do more but was told not to by his advisors. Hoover gets a bad rap for the depression. He actually does more than any president ever had to that point, but he was not willing to go as far as Roosevelt will. But because he is compared to Roosevelt, it makes him look like he failed. He is judged harshly also because Roosevelt is seen as taking America out of the Depression, which is actually untrue, WWII took us out. If seen in that light, Hoover may not be as bad a president as history has made him.