Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity

Bush by numbers

An interesting article in the Independent, which makes a change, uses the Republican “statistics” technique and turns it on Bush (on whom probably more later, once I’ve had a chance to read/watch/listen to his speech from last night).

A lot of this is a weak, Michael Moore-style attempt to hint at conspiracies (which does no one any favours), but there are some good ones scattered amongst the “Oh look, Bush and the Saudis!” nonsense:

14 Number of Immigration and Naturalisation Service (INS) agents assigned to track down 1,200 known illegal immigrants in the United States from countries where al-Qa’ida is active.

Amount approved by George Bush to hire more INS special agents.

$10m Amount Bush cut from the INS’s existing terrorism budget.

$3m Amount the White House was willing to grant the 9/11 Commission to investigate the 11 September attacks.

$5m Amount a 1996 federal commission was given to study legalised gambling.

$50m Amount granted to the commission that looked into the Columbia space shuttle crash.

43 Percentage of the entire world’s military spending that the US spends on defence. (That was in 2002, the year before the invasion of Iraq.)

$2bn Estimated monthly cost of US military presence in Iraq projected by the White House in April 2003.

$4bn Actual monthly cost of the US military presence in Iraq according to Secretary of Defence Rumsfeld in 2004.

$120bn Amount the war and its aftermath are projected to cost for the 2004 fiscal year.

$401.3bn Proposed military budget for 2004.

5 Estimated Percentage of US air cargo that is screened, including cargo transported on passenger planes.

22,600 Number of planes carrying unscreened cargo that fly into New York each month.

95 Percentage of foreign goods that arrive in the United States by sea.

2 Percentage of those goods subjected to thorough inspection.

4.7m Number of bankruptcies that were declared during Bush’s first three years in office.

2.3m Number of Americans who lost their jobs during first three Years of the Bush administration.

$300m Amount cut from the federal programme that provides subsidies to poor families so they can heat their homes.

$489bn The US trade deficit in 2003, the worst in history for a single year.

$5.6tr Projected national surplus forecast by the end of the decade when Bush took office in 2001.

$7.22tr US national debt by mid-2004.

9.3m Number of US unemployed in April 2004.

There’s a lot of shite in there, and a load which are highly debatable, but also some fairly interesting ones. Especially when it comes to the economy. Quite why the Democrats are rising to the Republican bait and fixing on the “war on terror” angle when they could revisit Clinton’s technique of “it’s the economy, stupid” I have no idea…

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