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I did notice I seemed to be opening a lot of socks on Christmas. (AP Photo/File)

Still not buying enough

As far as I could tell, the malls were packed over the holidays.

But the latest numbers are described as "weak", and part of the blame goes to all the fiscal cliff talk, which apparently spooked enough shoppers to hold back.

It's the big "U" - uncertainty. Nobody knows how much money they'll get to keep in the coming year.

I did notice I seemed to be opening a lot of socks on Christmas. Although, have you noticed? Socks aren't a cheap gift anymore. They all have some sort of high-tech wicking system, special shock absorbing impact zones, patented open mesh ventilation technology, anti-bacterial odor suppression. I believe some of them update themselves online overnight.

But apparently even $30 socks aren't enough to juice the economy.

So the President will be back in town tomorrow to see if he can get a deal done in the five days that remain.

I'm beginning to think it's going to have to take another shock - like the stock market dropping 2,000 points - to get them off the dime. Did you hear what pollster Frank Luntz said on CBS this morning?

"I'm not sure if either side is watching very carefully or listening to what the American people think," said Luntz.

Still not listening. If they were listening they'd hear that people want a deal.

Seventy percent want rich people to pay higher taxes.

"But an even higher percent support significant spending cuts."

So the polls say Americans want a compromise, and congress doesn't get it, which is why Congress's approval rating has now dropped to 11 percent. How bad is that?

"Gaddafi had a 15 percent job approval rating and that was among the people who killed him.

Well, if we do find ourselves lining up for soup at least we'll have warm socks.

Dave Ross, KIRO Radio Morning News Anchor
Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.
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