President Franklin Roosevelt gave us a pretty good model to follow, I believe, in that the New Deal he put together with his brain trust addressed major areas of concern in the economy.
First, he provided immediate relief with jobs and food, which we are doing today with unemployment benefit extensions and more money for the Food Stamp program.
Secondly, he saved the major economic systems we would need if we were ever to come out of the Depression: Agriculture, Housing and Banking. Agriculture still receives subsidies today, so it is intact and functioning reasonably well. Housing has not yet bottomed out, but the government has offered and extended a generous tax credit to people who buy houses, and soaking up the bad loan debts of banks. Lastly, we have done the most for the banking industry, though you could say we were a little sloppy. The bank bailout stabilized the system so that loans could be the future engine of a recovery. This was not only wise, but essential, even if it was painful.
I agree with what we have done thus far in response to recession. But our economy is too large for a government policy of any kind to save it. The best they can do is keep us afloat until the economy heals itself, and regulate it so future harsh recessions don't happen.