Good bye to all that

The new issue of Harper’s (January 2009) has an special three-page edition of the Harper Index – this one devoted entirely to “A retrospective of the Bush era”.

As we say good bye to the old year and to the reign of W, here are just a few of the choicer items. Read ’em and weep. Happy New Year!


Minimum number of laws that Bush signing statements have exempted his administration from following: 1,069

Number of all U.S. war veterans who have been denied Veterans Administration health care since 2003: 452,677

Percentage change from 2004 to 2007 in the number of Army recruits admitted despite having been charged with a felony: plus 295

Date on which the White House announced it had stopped looking for WMDs in Iraq: 1/12/05

Portion of all U.S. income gains during the Bush Administration that have gone to the top 1 percent of earners: 3/4

Estimated percentage by which Social Security benefits would have declined if Bush’s privatization plan had passed: minus 15

Number of Republican officials who have been investigated by the Justice Department since 2001: 196

Number of Democratic officials who have been: 890

Ratio in 1999 of the number of U.S. federal employees to the number of private employees on government contracts: 15:6

Ratio in 2006: 14:15

Total value of U.S. government contracts in 2000 that were awarded without competitive bidding: $73,000,000,000

Total in 2007: $146,000,000,000

Amount by which the federal government has underfunded its estimated cost to implement NCLB: $71,000,000,000

Number of press conferences at which Bush has referred to a question as a “trick”: 14

Average percentage of Americans who approved of the job Bush was doing during his second term: 37

Percentage of Russians today who approve of the direction their country took under Stalin: 37

The complete Harper’s Index of Jan. 2009

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