What do these subjects have in common? They're symptoms of the unsustainable economic policy of the US. Everyone wants a painless solution to the recession. The NY Times article advocates a little trickery to make us spend our money faster. No consideration is given to whether we should spend money (instead of saving it). Nope, if we can just get the people spending more, the thinking goes, we'll come out of this recession. Damn the consequences.
California is one of the largest economies in the world. What are we doing asking the Federal Government for a hand out in the forms of credit guarantees? We're a bunch of big boys and girls and need to make some cuts.
It's sad that our mentality has shifted so much. I'm saving my money and waiting for the "hand out mentality" to get washed out. Hopefully I'll make some prudent decisions at that point. When all the games are done being played and we actually face our problems, that will be the buying opportunity of a lifetime.