Figuratively Speaking for March 21, 2010

Percentage of Americans who consider not reporting all income on one's taxes to be morally wrong, according to Pew research: 79

Amount of the "tax gap," the difference between the amount of tax that taxpayers should pay and the amount that is paid voluntarily and on time -- resulting from an overall noncompliance rate of about 16 percent in 2001 (the last year for which it had conducted such research), according to a report issued earlier this year by the IRS: $345 billion

Source: Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

Year that President Franklin D. Roosevelt, on his first full day in office, closed every bank across the nation for 10 days to address the growing financial disaster of the Great Depression, which had caused many banks to fail while creating public panic, according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 1933

Estimated number of banks and branch offices with total deposits of nearly $14 trillion that are insured by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.), which was created to cover individual accounts and to protect banks from failure: 97,000

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Percentage of people who said they would spend more money on a mattress if they thought it would improve their sex life, according to a survey by Sit 'n Sleep: 33

Source: Sit 'n Sleep.

Percentage of Americans who said they prefer their toilet paper to roll over, according to the results of Cottonelle brand's Roll Poll: 72

Percentage of "overs" who admitted to flipping the direction of a roll at a friend's home: 27

Source: Kimberly-Clark Professional.

Percentage of executives and managers who spend up to an hour getting to and from work each day, according to NFI research: 71

Percentage who say they spend the time listening to news/talk radio: 41

Percentage who spend it thinking: 36

Source: NFI Research.

As the number of women surpasses men in the work force, percentage of teenage boys who said they needed perks such as a promotion and raise to excel on the job, according to a Junior Achievement/ING poll: 56

Percentage of girls who said the same: 38

Source: ING.

Percentage of brides who are personally paying for some portion of their wedding, according to a survey by Get Married Media: 92

Percentage of brides who claim that establishing the wedding budget is the most surprising wedding planning stress: 44


Average amount of money that American travelers can save by booking their hotel and flight as a "package" -- defined as booking them simultaneously, according to $450

If all U.S travelers who required a flight and a hotel had saved just $100 by booking their flight and hotel together, estimated amount they would have collectively saved in 2009 alone: $10 billion


Percentage of adults who consider a "major national bank" as the place where they do most of their banking, according to a Zogby poll: 37

Percentage of U.S. adults who say they have considered moving some or all of their banking from a large national bank to a community bank or credit union because they are unhappy with the policies or behavior of large national banks: 32

Source: Zogby International.

Percentage of certified public accountant executives who expressed pessimism about the economy, according to a nationwide survey conducted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School: 38

Percentage who believe that conditions will not return to pre-recession levels until after 2012: 36

Percentage who thought conditions would snap back to pre-recession levels this year: 4

Source: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Idle Thought

"If God exists, I hope he has a good excuse." -- Woody Allen, author, actor and filmmaker

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)

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