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"Government spending as a share of the economy has climbed to levels not seen since World War II. The geyser of money has turned Washington into an essential destination for more and more businesses. Spending on lobbying is up, as are luxury hotel bookings in the capital.
"President Barack Obama has vowed to reduce the government's role in the private sector as soon as possible. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says most of the central bank's emergency programs will be unwound within a few years. But a recent Wall Street Journal poll of economists found that only 16% believed the federal government would be able to meet its goal of ending rescue programs soon without fundamentally altering the competitive landscape of the private sector.
"The intervention helped stabilize the economy, but could slow growth in the long-run. Some economists and business leaders worry the intervention will result in rules that hamstring the way some businesses operate, and that it will sustain unproductive zombie firms and burden the next generation with debt or inflation."