Unofficially our unemployment rate is 12.5% the highest in recent record. And if we consider UNDERemployment rates we’re in even poorer shape. This is how Obama responds:

On the heels of more grim unemployment news, President-elect Barack Obama yesterday offered the first glimpse of what would be the largest public works program since President Dwight D. Eisenhower created the federal interstate system in the 1950s.

Obama said the massive government spending program he proposes to lift the country out of economic recession will include a renewed effort to make public buildings energy-efficient, rebuild the nation’s highways, renovate aging schools and install computers in classrooms, extend high-speed Internet to underserved areas and modernize hospitals by giving them access to electronic medical records.

“We need to act with the urgency this moment demands to save or create at least 2 1/2 million jobs so that the nearly 2 million Americans who’ve lost them know that they have a future,” Obama said in his weekly address, broadcast on the radio and the Internet.

There is a lot more to do. Obama hasn’t even touched the consumption crisis. But I’m reminded of the moment we had right after 9/11, where for the first time Bush had the support of a wide swath of Americans. And instead of using that moment to create a better world…Bush asked us to go shopping. Obama is not going to get it right. But this move is one that brings us closer.