Forget about the polls. If you want to know who's going to win on Election Day, just ask 7-Eleven!
The convenience store, which is in 34 states, offers coffee cups with Obama or Romney on the side. The Arizona Republic reports that more people are picking up Obama cups than Romney cups, by a margin of 59-41.
(If you're a supporter of Gov. Romeny, don't worry, this is just for fun…I'm just trying to lighten the mood!)
On a more serious note, new Census Bureau data shows that the average American family has a lower income today (inflation adjusted) than it did in 2000. That's ugly because it basically means last decade was a lost decade in terms of increased standard of living.
The average American's household income is down by 8% since 2000, according to the Census numbers. That is gigantic. By comparison, our income rose on average by nearly 30% each decade after World War II.
What we have in the country right now is "insecure optimism." Sure, people have a little more money in their wallets overall, they're spending more, and even making the major commitment of buying cars in big numbers for the first time in a few years. Those are all signs of optimism.
But it's kind of like a duck in the water. Ducks appears to be so calm on the surface, yet underneath they're paddling furiously. That's what I sense out there when I talk to people.
That's why I think the debates had such a large viewership because people are trying to figure this out. The average person hears the campaign rhetoric, but they don't know which guy will lead us to better days.
Finally, there's a disturbing new report from the Tax Foundation that finds, in the last decade as incomes were going down, state tax burdens rose by a significant amount.
The average in the country is right at a dime scarfed up by state and local government out of every dollar you make. But in New York, it's nearly 13 cents, followed closely behind by New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.
The state with the lowest tax burden? Alaska, though they have the benefit of a small population and high revenues from oil to offset things. Other states with light burdens include South Dakota, Tennessee, and Louisiana, to name three more.