And away we go. Here is what is likely to be the start of a long list of new government programs/spending. From Real Time Economics:
Amid another huge increase in U.S. jobless claims, the White House said Thursday it now supports an extension of unemployment benefits.
“Because of the tight job market, the President believes it would be appropriate to further extend unemployment benefits, and he would sign the legislation now pending in Congress,” White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said.
The Senate will vote as soon as Thursday on a House-passed measure to extend unemployment insurance by seven weeks for those without jobs whose benefits have run out and 13 weeks for those in states with an unemployment rate higher than 6%.
Earlier Thursday, the Labor Department said the number of U.S. workers filing new claims for unemployment benefits soared again last week to its highest level in 16 years, suggesting more pain ahead for already struggling labor markets.
“The recent financial and credit crisis has slowed the economy, and it’s having an impact on job creation,” Perino said. “The President is always concerned when anybody loses their job and wants to ensure that anybody who wants to work can find employment.”
Initial claims for jobless benefits jumped 27,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 542,000 in the week ended Nov. 15. That’s the highest since July 1992.
“We will continue to aggressively implement the rescue package so businesses and consumers are able to get loans so our economy can once again grow and create jobs.” –Henry J. Pulizzi
Although this is a start, it's not anywhere near Paul Krugman's estimated $600 billion.