Drug use and violent crime among teenagers have decreased dramatically, while children raised in households with married parents are less likely to live in poverty, the president said Saturday in his weekly radio address. He cited a newly issued government report to claim progress.
"My administration is acting to encourage teens to make healthy choices," Bush said.
The report Friday by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics said family life, education and health of America's children are generally improving, though child poverty has risen for the first time in a decade. Teenage smoking has declined, as have teen birth rates.
Twenty-three girls per 1,000, ages 15 to 17, gave birth in 2002, a decrease of 40 percent since 1991, according to the report. Births among girls ages 18 to 19 also dropped to historic lows. The largest decreases were among black teens, who once had the highest rates.
So teen birth rates declined at an average of 3.33% per year from 1991 to 2002, the most recent year for which statistics are available. In 2001, they declined by 8%, which is a chunk but I don't see how Bush could have had anything to do with it. In 2002, they declined by 5.5%, also quite good, also not enough time for Bush to have anything to do with it. What, did he save our children with the sheer magic of his magnetic personality?
The Bushies will try to make you imagine that the other stats, violence, drugs, alcohol, make a bit better case for Bush, but I don't see how. Don't programs take a while to set up and a while longer to have an effect? Has Bush even started any, or is he just promising to? I'm sure he's claimin' credit for someone else's work here.
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