Saturday, September 25, 2004




We’ve spent $151 billion[1] on the war in Iraq -- 3 times the original estimate.[2] Yet we’ve found no weapons of mass destruction and no link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda terrorists.[3] The war has killed over 1,000 Americans[4] and 16,000 -- mostly civilian – Iraqis.[5] It diverted us from capturing the 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden and has actually “accelerated recruitment” of his terrorist network.[6] The war was declared illegal by the head of the U.N. and has turned many allies against us.


We’ve lost 1 million jobs since President Bush took office,[7] -- the only administration to see a net loss since the 1930’s Depression.[8] Home foreclosures jumped 50%[9], and 4 million more Americans sank into poverty – now 36 million.[10] But this administration has reduced the occupations eligible for overtime pay[11] and proposed allowing states to opt out of the Federal minimum wage of $5.15.[12]


49 people die each day because they lack health insurance,[13] yet 6.3 million fewer people are insured than when Bush took office – now 45 million.[14] Drug prices have risen nearly 3 times faster than inflation.[15] But this administration passed a law barring Medicare from negotiating lower prices from drug corporations.[16]


More than 1 in 3 Americans is breathing polluted air,[17] leading to as many as 200 deaths a day.[18] 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.[19]


20,000 shipping containers a day arrive in the U.S., but only 5% get inspected. [20] President Bush refused to fund the Container Security Act[21] and resisted a law that would have secured 15,000 hazardous chemical plants vulnerable to terrorists.[22] The Bush administration has also proposed cutting funds for firefighters and first responders, and cutting funding for police in half. [23]


President Bush turned a $236 billion annual surplus into a $520 billion deficit – creating the largest national debt in history[24][25] -- mainly by cutting taxes for the wealthy.[26] Paying interest on this debt costs us more than the combined budgets of homeland security, education, transportation, justice and environment. [27]

[1] Congressional Research Service, “Supplemental Appropriations FY 2003: Iraq Conflict, Afghanistan, Global War on Terrorism, and Homeland Security,” updated April 18, 2003; House Budget Committee Democratic Caucus, “The Cost of War and Reconstruction in Iraq: An Update,” September 23, 2003; Committee on the Budget, Appropriations Update, “Fiscal Year 2004 Defense and Iraq and Afghanistan Reconstruction Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Conference Report,” November 5, 2003; Office of Management and Budget, “Estimate #17, FY 2004 Supplemental: Iraq and Afghanistan Ongoing Operations/Reconstruction,” September 17, 2003. Terence Hunt (AP White House Correspondent), “Bush signs defense bill with additional $25 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan,” Associated Press Worldstream, August 5, 2004.

[2] Elisabeth Bumiller, “White House cuts estimate of cost of war with Iraq,” The New York Times, Dec. 31, 2002, p. 1.

[3] Walter Pincus and Dana Milbank, “Al Qaeda-Hussein Link Is Dismissed,” The Washington Post, June 17, 2004, p. 1; The Associated Press, “9/11 Panel Upholds Iraq-al-Qaida Finding,” ABC News website, July 7, 2004. Accessed on Sept. 14, 2004 at

[4] “Iraq casualties,” The Washington Post, Aug. 26, 2004, p. A15. (Source: Defense Department.) Also, unofficial tally of U.S. soldiers killed, updated daily, available at Iraq Coalition Casualty Count website, accessible at

[5] Phyllis Bennis, Paying the Price: The Mounting Costs of the Iraq War (Institute for Policy Studies, June 24, 2004). Accessed on Aug. 27, 2004 at

[6] Jonathan Stevenson, Ed., Strategic Survey 2003/4: An Evaluation and Forecast of World Affairs (London: International Institute for Strategic Studies, May 25, 2004).

[7] Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Employment, Hours, and Earnings from the Current Employment Statistics survey (National)," (seasonally adjusted figures for total non-farm employment) accessed September 14, 2004 at Click “Most Requested Statistics,” to create a table listing Total Nonfarm Employment (Seasonally Adjusted).

[8] “Working Your Way Down,” The New York Times, September 5, 2004, p. 8.

[9] Mortgage Bankers Association, Press Release: “Mortgage Delinquencies Up, Foreclosures Down,” March 15, 2001. Accessed on Aug. 30, 2004 at; Mortgage Bankers Association, Press Release: “Residential Mortgage Delinquencies and Foreclosures Inventory Fall in 2004 Q1, According to MBA’s National Delinquency Survey,” June 14, 2004. Accessed on Aug. 30, 2004 at

[10] Current Population Survey, Census Bureau, August 2004.

[11] Carl Hulse, “House Votes to Block Administration's Rules on Overtime,” The New York Times, September 10, 2004, p. 21.

[12] Steven Greenhouse, “Senate Panel Gives Warm Reception to New Labor Nominee,” The New York Times, January 25, 2001, p. 20.

[13] “Insuring America’s Health: Principles and Recommendations, Committee on the Consequences of Uninsurance,” Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (Washington, D.C., National Academies Press, 2004) p. 8. Read report at:

[14] Current Population Survey, Census Bureau, August 2004. Specifically, see: U.S. Census Bureau, Press Release: “More People Have Health Insurance, Census Bureau Reports,” (U.S. Census Bureau, September 28, 2001). Accessed on Aug. 30, 2004 at; Press Release “Income Stable, Poverty Up, Numbers of Americans With and Without Health Insurance Rise, Census Bureau Reports,” (U.S. Census Bureau, Aug. 26, 2004). Accessed at

[15] AARP, “Drug Price Increases in 2003 Nearly Triple the Rate of Inflation According to New AARP Study” (AARP, May 25, 2004). Accessed on Aug. 31, 2004 at

[16] David E. Rosenbaum, “Bush Signs Law To Cover Drugs For the Elderly,” The New York Times, December 9, 2003, p. A1.

[17] Juliet Eilperin, "EPA Says Millions Are Inhaling Too-Sooty Air," The Washington Post, June 30, 2004, p. A3. Accessed on Aug. 31, 2004 at

[18] Joel Schwartz, Harvard University School of Public Health, “Harvesting and Long Term Exposure Effects in the Relations Between Air Pollution and Mortality,” American Journal of Epidemiology, March 1, 2000.

[19] National Resource Defense Council,

[20] Ruth Ellen Wasem, et al, Border Security: Inspections Practices, Policies, and Issues, Congressional Research Service, May 26, 2004. Accessed on Aug. 31, 2004 at

[21] Barton Gellman, “In U.S., Terrorism's Peril Undiminished,” The Washington Post, December 24, 2002, p. A1.

[22] “U.S. Plants: Open To Terrorists,” 60 Minutes, CBS, June 13, 2004. Accessed on Sept. 1, 2004 at; Jon S. Corzine, U.S. Senator for New Jersey, “Fact Sheet on Senator Corzine's Chemical Security Legislation.” Accessed on Sept. 1, 2004 at (Corzine’s original legislation was changed to only apply to a handful of “high priority” chemical plants, leaving the rest with no federal regulations of any kind).

[23] Robert Block, “The Bush budget proposal: Police, Firefighters to get less, “ Wall Street Journal, February 3, 2004, p. A10; Fox Butterfield, “As Cities Struggle, Police Get By With Less,” The New York Times, July 27, 2004, p. 10. Bush’s budget would cut the three main sources of federal funding for police – Community Oriented Policing Services Program (COPS), the Local Law Enforcement Block Grants Program, and the Byrne Memorial Grant Program – from $1.365 billion in ’04 to $605 million in ‘05.

[24] U.S. Government’s Office of Management and Budget, “Table 1.1. Summary of Receipts, Outlays, and Surpluses or Deficits (-): 1789-2009,” Historical Tables, Budget of the United States Government: Fiscal Year 2005. Accessed on Aug. 27, 2004 at

[25] U.S. Government’s Office of Management and Budget, “Federal Borrowing and Debt,” Analytical Perspectives, Budget of the United States Government: Fiscal Year 2005. Accessed on Aug. 27, 2004 at

[26] Isaac Shapiro, “Federal Income Taxes, as a Share of GDP, Drop to Lowest Level since 1942, According to Final Budget Data,” (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Oct. 21, 2003). Accessed on Aug. 31, 2004 at; Edmund L. Andrews, “Report Finds Tax Cuts Heavily Favor The Wealthy,” The New York Times, August 13, 2004, p. A16. Accessed on Aug. 31, 2004 at, referring to an Aug. 13, 2004 report by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

[27] U.S. Government’s Office of Management and Budget, Budget of the United States Government: Fiscal Year 2005. Accessed on Aug. 27, 2004 at

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