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Stats of the Union
Just a few numbers to give pause
Reprinted with permission from 'Who's Better Off? A Special Report on the State of the Union,' in the May/June issue of 'Mother Jones' magazine, online at www.motherjones.com.
* The U.S. government is going into the red at the rate of $991,000 per minute.
* The IRS website is maintained by a company incorporated in Bermuda.
* Since 2001, corporate tax collections have fallen by $11 billion.
* The cost of the Bush tax cuts this year alone is enough to give $9,793 to each of the 2.9 million people who've lost their jobs since he took office.
* Revenue loss from the Bush tax cuts over the next decade equals Social Security's baby-boomer reserve.
* Without Social Security, 48 percent of senior citizens would live in poverty.
* Less than 10 percent of the SUVs sold in America today will meet China's proposed fuel-economy standards.
* If global-warming trends continue, 15 percent to 37 percent of the world's species will be extinct by 2050.
* Halliburton has 15,000 workers in Iraq and Kuwait, 4,000 more than the number of British soldiers deployed there.
* In 2001, 476 more Americans died of malnutrition than from terrorism.
* American adults have gained an estimated total of 150 million pounds in the last year.
* Suburbanites weigh an average of six pounds more than city dwellers.
* Sixty-one percent of Americans think the Biblical story of the world being created in six days is "literally true."
* Seventy-five thousand The Passion of the Christ "nail pendants" were sold the week Mel Gibson's film opened.
* Sixty-one percent of American workers say they received "no meaningful rewards or recognition" for their work last year.
* Seventy-one percent consider themselves "disengaged" clock-watchers.
* One in every 115 Americans works for Wal-Mart.
* Wal-Mart offers workers $1,000 in catastrophic health coverage, but they must pay at least $500 a year for it.
* Alabama became the last state to repeal a ban against interracial marriage--in 2000.
* Forty-one percent of Alabamans voted against lifting that ban.
* Paperless voting machines were named the worst technology of 2003 by Fortune magazine.
* The odds that two members of Yale's Skull and Bones society, such as George W. Bush and John Kerry, could face each other in a presidential election are 1 in 26 billion.
What Did Bush Give to You?
We all know that the Bush income-tax cuts were a boon to the richest Americans. But did you know that an executive making $1 million gets an annual tax savings of $63,211--more than the pretax salaries of three Wal-Mart associates combined? Here, the Bush income-tax cuts represented as an hourly take-home raise, across the income spectrum:
Annual income $10,000
Take-home raise from Bush tax cuts: 5 cents/hour
That's like $8 every month: a medium Domino's pizza
Annual income $20,000
Take-home raise from Bush tax cuts: 21 cents/hour
That's like $36 every month: a basic cable bill
Annual income $35,000
Take-home raise from Bush tax cuts: 43 cents/hour
That's like $71 every month: two Pampers Baby-Dry value packs
Annual income $55,000
Take-home raise from Bush tax cuts: 74 cents/hour
That's like $123 every month: car insurance on a '99 Accord
Annual income $100,000
Take-home raise from Bush tax cuts: $1.73/hour
That's like $289 every month: an iPod mini with 40 iTunes
Annual income $200,000
Take-home raise from Bush tax cuts: $3.72/hour
That's like $620 every month: a pair of Manolo Blahnik Sedara d'Orsay pumps
Annual income $1,000,000
Take-home raise from Bush tax cuts: $31.61/ hour
That's like $5,268 every month: a 12-day cruise for two on the Queen Mary 2
Still Glass, Getting Lower
Working women currently make 79.7 cents on the male dollar, down from 80.4 cents in 1983. That's already adjusting for maternity leave and other child-rearing factors. If such choices are not factored in, women make only 44 cents on the male dollar. Female professionals average $10,000 less than their male counterparts. Over a 40-year career, that difference (compounded 10 percent annually) costs each of them $4 million.
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From the May 26-June 1, 2004 issue of the North Bay Bohemian.