The drop in the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index this month was much worse than experts predicted, down 15 points to 44.5 in August.
During a healthy economy, that number is 90.
Today President Obama told veterans at the American Legion he is working to get them jobs.
"100,000 jobs for veterans and spouses, and to get this done, I've proposed a Returning Heroes Tax Credit for companies that hire unemployed veterans, and a Wounded Warrior Tax Credit for companies that hire unemployed veterans with a disability," Mr. Obama explained.
In San Antonio, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney attacked the president's handling of the economy.
"Career politicians got us into this mess and they simply don't know how to get us out!" the former Massachusetts governor said.
Experts say getting out will require a change in confidence.
The numbers may not tell the whole story.
More than half of respondents say they plan to purchase a major appliance and almost as many still plan to take a vacation.
Perhaps some confidence coming back after being pushed to the brink in the debt crisis.
We will get a lot more details on the president's plan next week when he makes a major speech on the economy after Labor Day.