QUOTES OF THE DAY….Housing prices are spiraling downward and consumer confidence plunged four points in September. But that’s dry and analytical. For an earthier view of what this means, here’s a summary from a set of focus groups run by Democracy Corps:

In the focus groups, we handed people a page of positive facts about the economy….These swing voters — about half non-college and half college graduates — nearly attacked the moderator because many are on the edge: “Over half of Americans are what? Two paydays away from living on the street”; “absolutely”; “that’s me.” Nobody except the super-rich has seen salary increases in years; not if you are in a “straight regular job”; “people don’t make any raises,” and if you are lucky, your spouse gets 2 percent in some years. Some are working 2nd and 3rd jobs because they “can’t make ends meet”; “I’ve never known so many people to have two jobs or more than I have lately.” Still, “they are cutting back on everything.” They are struggling to fill up the gas tank twice a week; and they fear a visit to the hospital will wipe them out. They are watching their own companies, even the large ones, reduce and freeze hiring.

The full report is here.