Tyler Cowen argues against a government jobs program. His sense of the current economic climate:
Right now we’re looking at a double dip recession. Still, some parts of the stimulus have been useful, including the extension of unemployment insurance and the aid to state governments. Pretty soon, before we know it, those parts of the stimulus will run out. So if we feel we have more money to spend (a debatable proposition), let’s extend those programs.
They’re already in place and they can have an economic impact more or less immediately. A new direct jobs program will mean more bureaucracy, more delays, and a new and permanent constituency for a program, which, at best, should not exist for more than a few years’ time.