MsUnderestimated has a good history lesson about federal government intervention in the depression of 1920 and 1929.
Oh, you don't remember the depression of 1920? That is because the government kept its hands off and it went away quickly!
Here is an excellent "Money Quote" from the Ludwig von Mises Institute:
You cannot make a country rich by looting taxpayers and paying people to pound nails into siding at public schools! These activities amount to capital consumption. They are not sources of investment.