Fed Chief Bernake's comments to Congress this morning call for a quick stimulus to the economy. A quick and equitable "jolt" would be a sales and fuel tax "holiday." For the next 90 - 120 days, all States would stop collection of sales and fuel taxes at the point of sale. On a monthly basis, each state could submit to the Federal Government a total of what they would have collected and be reimbursed for that.
This will hit immediately every pocketbook in America, and in many ways where it is most needed -- on food, staples and transportation costs. The difference in sales and fuel tax rates among states would most likely be equalized by the differences in cost of living in those states. It won't be perfect, but it should generally be an equal benefit across the country.
Waiting for tax credits or the ripple from investing in public works projects may not be quick enough. Moreover, extending unemployment benefits doesn't help those who are struggling to get by even with employment. This would help those who are working as well as those who are not.