Monday, December 22, 2008

Dubya by the numbers

In the most recent issue of Harper's, the researchers/highly efficient copy editors/robots on their staff came up with a special three-page edition of the celebrated Harper's Index. They called it a "retrospective of the Bush era."

And what an era it was.

I've posted some of the more interesting nuggets from the Index below this graf. Let's just put it this way: if there's ever a biopic produced about the Bush Administration, it will almost certainly resemble a blooper reel.

Portion of Baghdad residents in 2007 who had a family member or friend wounded or killed since 2003: 3/4.

Percentage of Republicans in 2005 who said they would vote for Bush over George Washington: 62.

Portion of his presidency he has spent at or en route to vacation spots: 1/3.

Percentage change since 2001 in the average amount U.S. workers spend on out-of-pocket medical expenses: +172.

Days after Hurricane Katrina hit that Cheney's office ordered an electric company to restore power to two oil pipelines: 1.

Days after the hurricane that the White House authorized sending federal troops into New Orleans: 4.

Portion of the $3.3 billion in federal Hurricane Katrina relief spent by Mississippi that has benefitted poor residents: 1/4.

Percentage change from 2003 to 2007 in the amount of money invested in U.S. faith-based mutual funds: +88.

Percentage change in the number of Iraqis aged nine to seventeen detained: +285.

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 billion.

Total in 2007: $146 billion.

Number of the five directors of the No Child Left Behind reading program with financial ties to a curriculum they developed: 4.

Rank of Bush among U.S. presidents with the highest disapproval rating: 1.


maria said...

thanks for this.
WTF is a "faith-based mutual fund?"

i think that's kind of what they all are now.

blackink said...

Haha. I know. I'm not sure if it was Chris Hitchens or someone else who said the Bible Belt wouldn't exist if not for 501(c)(3) status.

I hope Obama is more effective and sensible about investing our tax dollars into "faith-based" initiatives. I don't see how he couldn't be.