By John Ballard
47. A record $6 billion will be spent on the 2012 elections, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Adjusted for inflation, that's 60% more than the 2000 elections.
45. Adjusted for inflation, federal tax revenue was the same in 2009 as it was 1997, even though the U.S. population grew by 37 million during that period.
42. According to The Wall Street Journal, "U.S. refineries are producing more gasoline and diesel than ever. And Americans' gasoline consumption is at an 11-year-low."
38. The Census Bureau now classifies nearly 1 in 6 Americans as living in poverty.
35. According to Goldman Sachs' Jim O'Neill, China's growth creates the equivalent of a new Greece every 90 days.
30. Americans age 60 and older owe $36 billion in student loans.
29. The average vehicle on the road today is 10.8 years old -- an all-time high, and two years older than in 2000.
19. In 2009 and 2010, 93% of the nation's income growth went to 1% of wage earners, according to economist Emmanuel Saez; 15,600 households captured 37% of all national growth.
18. Growth in health care spending in 2010 was the lowest in half a century.
17. In 2010, President Barack Obama set what looked like an unrealistic goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2015. After growing an average of 16% a year since, the goal is on track to be met ahead of schedule.
13. We imported 60.3% of our oil in 2005. In 2010, that figure was 49.2%, and will likely drop further as domestic production rises.
12. For the first time since 1949, the U.S. is now a net exporter of fuel products like gasoline and diesel.
6. A 2008 Swedish study found that unemployed people gradually lose the ability to read.
3. The combined assets of Wal-Mart's (NYSE: WMT ) Walton family is equal to that of the bottom 150 million Americans.
2. As the economy tanked in 2009, the top 25 hedge fund managers collectively earned $25.3 billion. On average, that works out to about $2,000 a minute for each manager.
1. Household debt payments as a percent of income are now the lowest since 1994.