…I don’t want to see the ending. Last night, our president said:

“During the last two years, we have seen what can be accomplished when we work together. To lift the standards of our public schools, we achieved historic education reform which must now be carried out in every school, and in every classroom, so that every child in America can read, and learn and succeed in life. To protect our country, we reorganized our government and created the Department of Homeland Security which is mobilizing against the threats of a new era. To bring our economy out of recession, we delivered the largest tax relief in a generation. To insist on integrity in American business, we passed tough reforms, and we are holding corporate criminals to account.

Some might call this a good record. I call it a good start.”

How about this “start”:

  • November and December 2002 unemployment climbed to 6% – the highest since 1994. All told, 1.7 million jobs have been lost since January 2001.
  • Between Dec 29, 2000 and the end of the third quarter of 2002, the total market value of all US equities has dropped by 38% or by $6.65 trillion
  • 1.3 million more Americans slipped below the official poverty line in 2001, the first increase since 1993. 11.7% of all Americans fell below the poverty line in 2001, up from 11.3% in 2000
  • In two years, the U.S. had the highest rate of bankruptcy cases in history, increasing 23% since 2000
  • Requests for emergency shelter increased by an average of 19% in 2002, the largest annual increase in the demand for homeless shelter since 1990
  • A budget surplus of $236 billion in 2000 has evaporated into a $157 billion deficit for 2002, with more red ink projected. Many respected private sector budget forecasters now predict the Bush 2004 deficit to be in the $300 to $350 billion range, meaning a half-trillion-dollar negative change in the government’s fiscal picture since Bush took office. The predicted 2004 deficit of $350 billion would eclipse the previous record deficit level of $290.4 billion set in 1992 by the first President Bush
  • Weeks after the President’s promise to “write a healthy check” for education when signing the “No Child Left Behind Act”, he submitted a 2003 budget that actually cut education the programs within the No Child Left Behind Act by $90 million.
  • Almost 40% of Bush’s first tax cut went to the richest 1% of the country-those making more than $373,000 per year.
  • The number of Americans without health insurance rose by 1.4 million in 2001, after dropping in 1999 and 2000
  • Monthly premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose by 12.7% between spring 2001 and spring 2002, the largest increase since 1990
  • In June 2002, the EPA “warned in a report to the United Nations of significant effects on the environment from climate change” with “changes over the next few decades expected to put Southeastern coastal communities at greater risk of storm surges, prompt more uncomfortable heat waves in cities and reduce snowpack and water supplies in the West.” Nonetheless, “President Bush dismissed the report” suggesting “nothing to deal with heat-trapping ‘greenhouse’ pollution beyond voluntary action by industry
    (All of the above cited here.)

    And on and on and on. I almost threw up when he said this:

    “We will not deny, we will not ignore, we will not pass along our problems to other Congresses, to other presidents, and other generations.”

    How he kept a straight face I will never know. Are you ready for the next 10 years? I don’t think I am…