After eight years of George W. Bush how is the country fairing?

Republican Ronald Reagan ended the 1980 presidential debates by famously asking: “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” It’s a fair question to ask at the end of a President’s term so we should stop to considering if we’re better off now after eight years of George W. Bush. The answer according to NBC is not so much:

UNEMPLOYMENT RATE
Then: 4.2% (Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2001)
Now: 6.7% (Bureau of Labor Statistics, November 2008)

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE (1985=100)
Then: 115.7 (Conference Board, January 2001)
Now: 38.0, which is an all-time low (Conference Board, December 2008)

FAMILIES LIVING IN POVERTY
Then: 6.4 million (Census numbers for 2000)
Now: 7.6 million (Census numbers for 2007—most recent numbers available)

AMERICANS WITHOUT HEALTH INSURANCE
Then: 39.8 million (Census numbers for 2000)
Now: 45.7 million (Census numbers for 2007—most recent available)

U.S. BUDGET
Then: +236.2 billion (2000, Congressional Budget Office)
Now: -$1.2 trillion (projected figure for 2009, Congressional Budget Office)

That last one just kills me every time I see it. We were in the black and now we’re deep in the red. This is George W. Bush’s legacy.

Presidential “Shocker”

Do you think the President and all the other people in the following photo have a clue what that hand gesture they’re making actually means?


Click to embiggen!

That’s off of the official White House homepage. For those of you who don’t know yourselves, that’s known as the Shocker and it has sexual connotations. It’s often accompanied by the phrase “two in the pink, one in the stink” which should give you a pretty good idea of exactly what sexual connotation it holds. If you still don’t get it then go read the Wikipedia entry for it.

Maybe they think it’s supposed to be a W or maybe they just thought it was funny to do a “gangsta” sign. I don’t think they realize what it actually symbolizes. Or maybe they do and that’s part of why they’re doing it. It’s the sort of naughty thing I’d probably do if I were a lame duck president counting down the hours till I get booted out of office.

Found over at Fark.com.