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Stats of the Union

Are We Better Off?

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Statistics from Mother Jones:

• 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.

• Halliburton has 15,000 workers in Iraq and Kuwait, 4000 more than the number of British soldiers deployed there.

• Less than 10 percent of the SUVs sold in America today will meet China's proposed fuel-economy standards.

• If global-warming trends continue, 15-37 percent of the world's species will be extinct by 2050.

• 61 percent of Americans think the biblical story of the world being created in six days is "literally true."

• 75,000 The Passion of the Christ "nail pendants" were sold the week Mel Gibson's film opened.

• 61 percent of American workers say they received "no meaningful rewards or recognition" for their work last year.

• 71 percent consider themselves "disengaged" clock-watchers.

• Working women make 79.7 cents on the male dollar, down from 80.4 cents in 1983. If maternity leave and other child-rearing adjustments are not factored in, women make only 44 cents on the male dollar.

• The cost of the Bush tax cuts this year alone is enough to give $9793 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.

• 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 6 pounds more than city dwellers.

• One in every 115 Americans works for Wal-Mart.

• Wal-Mart offers workers $1000 in catastrophic health coverage, but they must pay at least $500 a year for it.

• An executive making $1 million gets an annual tax savings of $63,211 -- more than the pre-tax salaries of three Wal-Mart associates combined.

• More than half of all Salvadorans would like to move to the U.S.

• Alabama became the last state to repeal a ban against interracial marriage -- in 2000.

• 41 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 could face each other in a presidential election are 1 in 26 billion.

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.

"Local Matters" will return in two weeks.

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