Evidently, not a lot of people were persuaded by those television ads that suggested giving a luxury car for Christmas. According to the AP:

U.S. holiday retail sales this year grew at the weakest pace since 2008, when the nation was in a deep recession. In 2012, the shopping season was disrupted by bad weather and consumers’ rising uncertainty about the economy.

Not good news and symptomatic, perhaps, of a sense of demoralization as,

A bare 53 percent majority of all Americans are “hopeful” about their lives in 2013; some 44 percent say they are instead more “fearful.” The assessment about what’s in store for the world is even more grim: a record low 40 percent report being hopeful about the next year, with 56 percent saying they are more fearful.

So the second term begins with new taxes and, at best, slow growth. How about a chorus of Happy Days Are Here Again.
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