[Homestead] Fwd: Think This Over
don.bowen at earthlink.net
Tue Sep 21 13:46:36 EDT 2004
Compiled by the Small Planet Institute, created by Frances Moore Lapp,
author of the book "Diet for a Small Planet." Sources, printable
fliers, and additional info available from:
THINK THIS OVER THEN YOU DECIDE
SNAPSHOT OF OUR LAST FOUR YEARS
RESULTS OF WAR
We've spent $151 billion on the war in Iraq - 3 times the original
estimate. Yet we've found no weapons of mass destruction and no link
between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda terrorists. The war has killed
over 1,000 Americans and 16,000 - mostly civilian Iraqis. It diverted
us from capturing the 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden and has actually
"accelerated recruitment" of his terrorist network. The war was
declared illegal by the head of the U.N. and has turned many allies
JOBS AND THE ECONOMY
We've lost 1 million jobs since President Bush took office, - the only
administration to see a net loss since the 1930 s Depression. Home
foreclosures jumped 50%, and 4 million more Americans sank into poverty
- now 36 million. But this administration has reduced the occupations
eligible for overtime pay and proposed allowing states to opt out of
the Federal minimum wage of $5.15.
HEALTH CARE ACCESS
49 people die each day because they lack health insurance, yet 6.3
million fewer people are insured than when Bush took office - now 45
million. Drug prices have risen nearly 3 times faster than inflation.
But this administration passed a law barring Medicare from negotiating
lower prices from drug corporations.
More than 1 in 3 Americans is breathing polluted air, leading to as many
as 200 deaths a day. Yet the Bush administration s Clear Skies Act
would repeal key parts of the Clean Air Act and allow more pollution
from coal-fired plants.
20,000 shipping containers a day arrive in the U.S., but only 5% get
inspected. President Bush refused to fund the Container Security Act
and resisted a law that would have secured 15,000 hazardous chemical
plants vulnerable to terrorists. The Bush administration has also
proposed cutting funds for firefighters and first responders, and
cutting funding for police in half.
President Bush turned a $236 billion annual surplus into a $520 billion
deficit - creating the largest national debt in history - mainly by
cutting taxes for the wealthy. Paying interest on this debt costs us
more than the combined budgets of homeland security, education,
transportation, justice and environment.
OUR WAR IN IRAQ
NO WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION FOUND
President Bush took us to war based on an imminent threat from Saddam
Hussein s weapons of mass destruction. None were found.
IRAQ NOT INVOLVED IN 9/11
The official 9/11 Commission found that Iraq had no role in the 9/11
attacks and no relationship with Al Qaeda. Yet, as early as the day
after 9/11, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld urged President Bush to
bomb Iraq - against the advice of his counterterrorism officials.
COSTS OF WAR GROW... AND GROW
The Bush administration first told us the cost of war would be $50
billion, but it's already hit 3 times that - now $151 billion - with
economists predicting it could go as high as $300 billion. (The first
Gulf War, to compare, cost us under $9 billion). Less than $1 billion
has been spent searching for weapons of mass destruction.
SPAWNING MORE TERRORISTS
A military think tank found that the Iraq War "accelerated recruitment"
for Al Qaeda - an estimated 18,000 active members are now part of this
DIVERSION FROM OSAMA BIN LADEN
After only 4 months searching for Osama bin Laden -- reports General
Tommy Franks -- President Bush pulled crucial resources out of
Afghanistan to prepare for the Iraq war. That was 8 months before the
Senate had approved the war on Iraq. The CIA has fewer experienced case
officers in its headquarters unit assigned to capturing Osama bin Laden
than before 9/11.
OSAMA BIN LADEN STILL AT LARGE
9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden is believed to be hiding along the
Afghanistan-Pakistan border. The Bush administration put Pakistan in
charge of finding Osama bin Laden, even though its military is known to
have members sympathetic to his radical Islamist agenda.
Over 1,000 U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraq, as well as more than
15,000 Iraqis, two-thirds of them civilians. 7,000 American soldiers
have been wounded.
JOBS AND ECONOMY
LOST JOBS -- A FIRST FOR ANY PRESIDENT IN 60 YEARS
We've lost nearly a million jobs, making Bush's administration the only
one since the 1930s to lose rather than gain jobs. President Bush
promised his 2003 tax cuts would create jobs, but they have produced
2.7 million fewer jobs than his administration had predicted - not
enough to keep up with new people entering the work force each month.
FULL-TIMERS SETTLE FOR PART-TIME WORK
On President Bush's watch, the number of Americans who say they are
working part-time because they can't find full-time jobs has increased
35%. This is the largest increase for any president on record.
MANUFACTURING WORKERS ARE HIT HARDEST
Between 2001 and 2003, almost 1 in 10 manufacturing workers were
laid-off from a job they had held for at least 3 years. By the
beginning of 2004, 33% of displaced manufacturing workers had still not
returned to work; and when they did, 73% of them had to take a pay cut.
DENYING OVERTIME TO MORE WORKERS
President Bush tried to pass new overtime regulations denying overtime
pay to about 6 million workers by allowing employers to redefine more
workers as administrators and executives.
TAX CUTS FAIL TO SPUR ECONOMY
Bush's tax cuts have contributed more to our record-breaking federal
deficits than all other new government spending combined, including
Iraq and terrorism-related costs.
RECOVERY HELPS CORPORATE PROFITS FIRST
Of the economic gains in the last 3 years, only 15% has gone to wages
and salaries, the smallest share in 50 years. 47% has gone to corporate
profits, more than in any period since World War II.
RECORD TRADE DEFICIT MAKES US DEPENDENT
Under President Bush the U.S. has experienced the largest trade deficit
in history, making us dependent on foreign countries, especially China
and Japan. They loan the United States 87% of the dollars needed to
cover the gap between what we import and export.
MORE AMERICANS LACK ACCESS
49 people die each day because they lack health insurance; yet, 6.3
million fewer people are insured than when Bush took office - now 45
million. About 1 in 3 of us under age 65 lacked insurance for some time
in 2002-2003. We're the only industrialized country failing to cover
all its citizens.
SPENDING ON HEALTH CARE SOARS
Under President Bush, health care spending has climbed 4 times faster
than inflation. America spends far more per person on health care than
any other nation, yet our medical system ranks 37th -- behind countries
like Spain and Italy. Citizens of 23 countries live longer on average
HEALTH CARE PREMIUMS RISE SHARPLY
Under Bush's watch, health insurance premiums have risen to their
highest rate in 13 years. American households will spend an average of
$15,000 on health care costs, or almost one-fifth of their total income
PRESCRIPTION DRUG PRICES CONTINUE TO RISE
Drug prices have risen nearly 3 times faster than inflation under
President Bush, but his Medicare plan bars the government from
negotiating lower prices with drug companies. The result? $139 billion
in new profits for drug companies over the next 8 years.
RECORD MEDICARE PREMIUM INCREASE
Medicare health insurance premiums will rise by 17.5% in 2005, amounting
to the largest Medicare premium increase in dollars in history.
POOREST ELDERLY LOSE IMPORTANT COVERAGE
President Bush's new Medicare legislation strips the poorest 6 million
elderly Americans of eligibility for joint coverage by Medicare and
WORSENING AIR QUALITY
More than 1 in 3 Americans breathes polluted air, leading to 200 deaths
a day. Yet the Bush administration's Clear Skies Act would repeal key
parts of the Clean Air Act and allow more pollution from coal-fired
DIRTIER, TOXIC WATER
President Bush's appointees changed the Clean Water Act so it no longer
applies to up to 60% of our rivers, lakes and streams - permitting
industries to pollute these waterways.
LOGGING NATIONAL FORESTS AND ANCIENT TREES
President Bush has opened millions of acres of our national parks and
wilderness to logging, mining, and oil drilling, and plans timber sales
in Alaska's national forests, Oregon's ancient forests, and the Grand
Canyon game preserve. The Bush administration says 190 million acres of
national forests must be "thinned" to prevent forest fires - an area
100 times greater than the Forest Service's estimates.
CITIZENS NOW PAY FOR CLEAN-UP
The Bush administration has shifted the environmental clean-up burden
from the polluter to the taxpayer. One in 4 Americans lives within 4
miles of a toxic "Superfund" site. In 1995, taxpayers paid 18% of the
cost to clean up toxic waste sites - now we pay all of the cost.
MORE VULNERABLE TO OIL PRICE HIKES
George Bush's energy plan virtually ignores renewable energy - instead
giving over $40 billion in tax credits and subsidies to coal, oil and
nuclear corporations. The administration let auto fuel efficiency sink
to a 22 yr. low. Yet, scientists predict that within 16 years we'll hit
"The Big Rollover" - when demand for oil outstrips capacity, leading
to massive, permanent price hikes.
WORSENING GLOBAL WARMING
Global warming is a greater threat than terrorism, says the Pentagon. In
his 2000 campaign, George W. Bush called for regulating carbon dioxide,
the main cause of global warming. But he then refused to set limits on
this greenhouse gas and pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol, a
global-warming prevention treaty signed by 155 countries.
OUR NATION'S DEBT NOW BIGGEST IN HISTORY
Our national debt has hit a record $7.3 trillion - equal to $1 million a
day for 20,000 years. The longer we wait to reduce this debt the more
we'll have to raise taxes, cut public services, face massive inflation,
or pass on an irresponsible burden to generations to come.
OUR DEBT IS GETTING MUCH WORSE
President Bush turned a $236 billion annual budget surplus into a $422
billion deficit. When he took office the nation's total debt was $5.6
trillion and declining, but President Bush has increased it by over 30%
-- $1.7 trillion. That's more than any president in history.
INTEREST PAYMENTS ARE SOARING
At current rates, by 2009 our government will spend more on interest on
this debt than on all domestic discretionary programs combined. As it
is, paying interest on the debt costs us more than homeland security,
education, transportation, justice and environment budgets combined.
TAX CUTS ARE MAINLY TO BLAME
President Bush's tax cuts resulted in $166 billion less revenue in 2003
or about 44% of our deficit. In 2000, 63% of the nation's corporations
paid no federal taxes at all -- yet President Bush wants to give
companies an additional $119 billion in tax cuts.
PROGRAM CUTS ARE NOT A SOLUTION
Bush plans to cut biomedical research, health care, job training and
veterans funding, but we'll still end up with a deficit of $422 billion
this year alone.
SCHOOL ACHIEVEMENT GAP GROWS
Under President Bush, the U.S. has continued to fall behind other
industrial nations in academic performance. Our high school graduation
rate is lower than in countries like France, Germany and Japan.
BROKEN PROMISE FOR "NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND" ACT
President Bush said the No Child Left Behind Act was designed to close
this achievement gap, yet in 2004 his budget provided $9 billion less
for the Act than Congress authorized. In fact, President Bush has never
met the level of funding authorized to implement his key education Act.
AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS: UNDERFUNDED
Up to 15 million children go home from school to empty homes, yet
President Bush's 2005 budget includes only half the funding he promised
for after-school programs in the No Child Left Behind Act.
SCHOOLS REJECT DEMANDS NOT BACKED WITH FUNDS
Under funding the No Child Left Behind Act means that many schools are
unable to meet the Act's strict requirements. In Reading, Pennsylvania,
the school board has sued the state and federal governments, saying the
Act has created an unfair financial burden on the schools.
NO HELP FOR SOARING COLLEGE COSTS
College tuition and fees have risen 35% since President Bush took
office, yet the Bush administration has refused to provide funding that
would allow more students to attend college. For 3 straight years,
Bush has broken his campaign promise to increase the federal student
Pell Grant maximum to $5,100 a year.
NEW LIMITS ON EARLY EDUCATION
The country's biggest early education program, Head Start, has proven to
help poor children succeed. Yet President Bush plans to freeze Head
Start enrollment, preventing 40% of children now eligible for Head
Start from benefiting from the program.
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