I think the idea of the government paying for residential homes to have better insulation is a great one. The benefit is broadly received, both by the home owners and the local contractors who do the work. Much better than simply filling the coffers of one or giant construction firms.
By almost any metric you want to choose 2008 has been a shitty year. Economically, the sub-prime sneeze of 2007 turned into our new reality of the “Global Financial Crisis™” and only looks to get worse in 2009. Politically, despite the ascendency of left leaning governments in many parts of the world, there been fuck all done to address inequality in our society, with the voters of California even turning back the clock by voting to abolish gay marriage in their state. Environmentally, the Murray Darling system threatens to turn back into a series of muddy puddles, while wingnuts continue to deny that humans have a part to play in climate change, if they even admit that it exists.