Consumer confidence in August dropped to its lowest level in years, The Conference Board Consumer Research Center said Tuesday. The loss of America's AAA credit rating, lousy housing numbers, and a high unemployment rate no doubt have a lot to do with this erosion of confidence.
Here are some more indicators that the morale of the American consumer is suffering:
1. Obama hides out in Edgartown. The president hopes that shopping in overpriced bookstores and going on bike rides will make Americans recall another Martha's Vineyard-loving commander-in-chief and the booming economy he oversaw.
2. The White House's outgoing chief economic advisor shifts blame from Bush ... to acts of God. Austan Goolsbee made a career out of complaining that all that was wrong with the economy was the result of policies from the George W. Bush administration. But in an interview last week, the outgoing economics czar incredulously said that the east coast's earthquake and hurricane were preventing the economy from rebounding.
3. It takes an act of God to get Americans to spend money. Speaking of the hurricane, big-box retailers like Home Depot, Target and Wal-Mart saw a massive spike in sales as consumers bought generators, bottled water, plywood and other items to help them brave Irene.
4. Mitt Romney's campaign survives another week. The Massachusetts liberal created a socialized healthcare system as governor of that state, which should all but make his campaign fizzle out. Yet his private sector banking experience as a Bain heavyweight has Americans thinking he might have what it takes to save the ailing economy.
5. Obama replaces his top economic advisor with more of the same. There's nothing quite like entrusting a Princeton academic with turning around the economy. Haven't we been done this road before?