The various deals in Washington on extending the "Bush tax cuts," returning the payroll (FICA) tax to previous rates, increasing taxes paid by "millionaires and billionaires, delaying action on the debt ceiling, and so forth have, evidently, not worked to reassure the rest of America that we are on the road to recovery and that happy days will be here again ... any day now. As Bloomberg reports:

Confidence among U.S. consumers declined more than forecast in January, reaching the lowest level in more than a year as higher payroll taxes took a bigger bite out of Americans’ paychecks.

Washington, however, keeps trying and “Congress is now debating how best to reduce the nation’s budget deficit. Automatic spending cuts are slated to go into effect March 1.”

Oh. Good.

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