We were all hoping that February would signal the turnaround of the job market in some fashion, but the economy doesn’t seem ready to recover just yet.

Today, Nissan announced they were laying off 20,000 employees. Last week Panasonic laid off 15,000 workers and closed 27 plants. Macy’s announced they were laying off 4,000 employees. Morgan Stanley said they were laying off another 1,500 employees on top of the 7,000 that had already been announced. AOL is cutting about 700 jobs, and Starbucks is closing 300 stores. Target is eliminating about 1,100 jobs. On and on and on,…

The Senate today passed the stimulus package President Obama was looking for, and now it goes back to the House to fine tune and send to the President for his signature. It’s not perfect by any means, but at this juncture, that may not be the most important thing. This country needs a hero, someone willing to try something to get things done. We don’t need bickering anymore; we need something, anything, to at least give the country some hope.

By the way, here are the three biggest differences in the Senate and House bills:

* The Senate bill makes the first $2,400 of unemployment benefits tax free. Both the Senate and House bills extend the time that jobless workers can collect benefits.

* The Senate bill includes an amendment that would let those who buy a car in 2009 deduct the interest they pay on their car loan as well as the sales tax charged in the purchase. The House bill doesn’t include this provision.

* The Senate bill doubles the House’s tax credit for first-time home buyers to $15,000, a measure championed by Republicans in the Senate.

That doesn’t seem so insurmountable, does it? Stick around; this could end up being another historic week.

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