Sunday, August 14, 2005

Thirteen numbers that tell about George Bush - part 3

Here are the last of the numbers that the Democratic Party believes say something about George Bush. Some of these are guesswork, some are of uncertain interpretation, and none of them in my opinion say anything particularly bad about a man who is a better president than his opponents give him credit for being.

Here are points 9-13 (see below for the others):

9. 5 million - the increase in the number of people who have no health insurance since George Bush took office.
“One of the groups with the greatest risk of being uninsured is non-citizen immigrants; almost half (45.3 percent) were uninsured in 2003.” A better policy for dealing with illegal immigrants would greatly reduce this figure, and would go far to dealing with many other healthcare issues.

10. 20,000 - the number of premature deaths annually resulting from the Republican gutting of the Clean Air Act
This number is not easily proven and needs to be considered against other projections, such as the number of people who would die early because of the loss of healthcare because of their unemployment as a result of their employer’s being forced out of business by the expenses of implementing the Clean Air Act as it now stands. Some of the rationale for President Bush’s Clear Skies act are here. The act will result in more than 60% reduction in major pollutants from current levels - perhaps not as much as the Clean Air Act would have, but a lot nevertheless, and perhaps as much as we can afford.

11. $400 million - ho w much the Bush administration wants to slash the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency.
As documented here, this is a 6% reduction in the budget and reflects reductions in the spending on water cleanup. Other areas of the agency’s budget are increased.

12. 3 - the multiple by which North Korea has increased its nuclear weapons arsenal while George Bush has lead us into Iraq.
I would have thought that the Democratic party would have expected this to be an issue for the United Nations to address, just as it is addressing Iran’s nuclear weapons development plans.

13. 0 - the number of mistakes George Bush admits to making in his first term.
It’s not clear why this should be a surprise.

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