I also recognize, though, that not allowing the market to contract will be more devastating in the long run. First, from what I know, the market is "contracting" because it has been artificially inflated through lending of way too much credit; so this sort of contraction is inevitable. All Congress would be doing here is giving $700 billion of tax-payer money to the same agents responsible for the crisis we're facing, with few strings attached. There go even more social programs, etc. into Wall Street's gluttonous maw.
Even more importantly though is that the current program of economic growth uber alles is what is threatening the very survival of humanity or at least of civilization as we know it, in terms of resource depletion and global warming.
A crash would not be pleasant to anyone, although the poorest among us would probably feel it least, ironically, having endured privation in the midst of the economic "boom" of the last few decades. But it might give us a chance to start anew, and approach our economies more wisely, with people and the planet in mind.