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America AmBUSHed! Report Card on Bush’s Four Years in the White House

Friday, October 1, 2004

As the United States heads towards elections on Tuesday, November 2, 2004, the world is watching. The election outcome will not only have an impact on America, but will reverberate across the globe. This fact sheet documents the outcome of the Bush administration’s policies on Americans with the hope that it will provide voters with information and help them make an informed choice on November 2, 2004. Also visit



Today American poverty levels have swelled to 35.9 million Americans, that’s an additional 1.3 million Americans living in poverty since 2002. Most alarming is that 1 in 5 children are living below the poverty line. This is a decade high of 12.9 million children. African Americans suffer the worst, with twice the national rate living in poverty, 24.4 percent. 



Wages & Unemployment

1.6 million jobs have been lost since January 2001 under Bush’s leadership. The actual number of Americans suffering from employment woes is 14.1 million. Officially and unofficially, this includes those unemployed, underemployed (only able to find part-time work) and those so discouraged that they have given up looking for work. This means that one in four families are ‘working poor,’ that’s 9.2 million American workers incapable of supporting their families with full time or multiple jobs. African Americans held the highest percentage of unemployment at 10.9% – almost twice that of white Americans and the nation as a whole!! One in five women, versus one in eight men, received an annual income below the official poverty line for a family of four. Women’s average earnings reached a record low since 1995, with women earning an average $30,724 per year. This means the ratio of female to male earning is $0.76 to $1.00.  




The number of uninsured Americans has increased to 45 million, up from 43.6 million in 2002. These newly impoverished Americans have increased the number of Medicaid recipients to 35.6 million, escalating already outrageous insurance rates. Bush has proposed tax credits and Healthcare Savings Accounts to help the 45million Americans without health insurance, but has proposed no actual funding.  



Corporate America vs. Average Americans

Corporate profit gains account for the optimistic perception of the economy, not workers’ incomes. Income growth for workers’ wages and salaries has hit a record low at a meager 15 percent growth. This is in contradiction to the growth income of corporate profits, which have been the highest of any recovery period, at a startling 47 percent growth. In fact, in the FY 2003, the median annual income for a full time worker was $32,240.Yet in the same year, CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies enjoyed a median annual income of $4.6 million! The average American has not experienced an advantageous economy as the Bush Administration would have us believe. On October 22, 2004, Bush signed into law a new sweeping $136 billion tax cut for corporate America, which constitutes the most far-reaching rewrite of corporate tax law in two decades. This new tax law, which will benefit multinational corporations is intended to replace the $49.2 billion export tax incentive and aims to shower corporations in a wide array of industries with extensive tax breaks over the next decade.  



Domestic Programs

Overall Bush has imposed a hold on the majority of domestic programs: transportation, environment, education, housing, veteran assistance and job training. He is proposing to hold these departments at a 0.5 percent annual increase, which amounts to substantial cuts in real dollars since it is less than half the amount of current inflation (1.3%). The Bush budget for 2004-2009 lays out a plan for 128 programs to be eliminated, 65 this year and 63 over the next five years. Most are small programs and only account for $4.9 billion of the $2.3 trillion budget, nonetheless they are programs that predominantly serve children, the poor, the sick and public housing communities. The Environmental Protection Agency will be cut by 7.2 percent (Bush actually proposes $1.2 billion funding for research into alternative energy sources, but does not actually propose direct funding from the budget for this effort. Instead, he suggests the funding come from the sale of leases for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge!!)  



National Deficit

Since September 30, 2003, the national debt has increased an average of $1.72 billion each day. The National Debt Clock marks America’s current outstanding national debt at over $7 trillion. With America’s population at 294 million, that makes each citizen’s share of that outstanding debt $25,046.66. While the Bush Administration blames this on recession’s slow recovery and September 11th, many point to Bush’s excessive tax cuts, predominantly benefiting the wealthiest Americans.  



Defense Spending

The UN estimates that the $1trillion global military spending cap could be broken this year because of the increase of worldwide defense spending. The United States is responsible for almost half of this global defense spending, meaning that the United States is spending on defense almost as much as the rest of the world combined. The US’ projected budget for FY 2005 includes an estimated $1.15 million per day, or $11,000 per second on defense spending.


* Research compiled by Shannon Laliberte, Research Associate, The Oakland Institute.

(C) 2004 By The Oakland Institute. All Rights Reserved. Please Obtain Permission to Copy.