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In this unusual period of deep economic decline, it is helpful to begin with the positive factors first. The Obama Administration's economic stimulus program will succeed in spending an unprecedented amount of money. The federal deficit will reach an all-time high as will the public debt. The federal government will become more involved in the business of the private sector- and of state and local governments- than at any time since World War II. This unusual flurry of public sector activity, on balance, is likely to have a positive effect on the overall level of the American economy in the short run, although not in the long run.