The House Democrats have released a first draft of their stimulus plan. It's a mix of relief (medicare/unemployment) and infrastructure investment. With current bond rates, those are good ideas; but what we will need most are employment projects and there's not a whole lot of jobs here. Most proposals are capital-intensive. It's a good idea to do capital-intensive infrastructure when rates are low; but that won't help most people in fear of losing their jobs.
What I would add to the program is jobs-related programs. Do things that aren't done now, at least not enough, which don't require much skill or physical prowess, and which pretty much everybody likes. My initial ideas would be cleaning public spaces (especially of grafitti), neighborhood patrols, landscaping, ecological restoration (wetland recreation, elimination of invasive species), and public art. Not only would this make the country a nicer place, those kinds of activities feel constructive to the worker and make for good temporary work where the pay needs to be low.
4 million people at $8/hour is 64 billion a year, which is smallish compared to this overall proposal or to the TARP. In addition to the direct benefits, if we make it clear that we *aren't* going to get depression-level unemployment then other stimulus proposal can be addressed level-headedly without the kind of panic that was used to shove through the TARP.