The FBI reported today that America's murder rate rose a disappointing 1.1% in the first six months of 2003. Worse, the overall crime rate in the United States actually fell 3.1%, one of the worst showings in the last decade.
White House officials tried to portray the murder rate in the best light possible, saying it was a good start and an indication that soon violent killings should reach Administration projections. At the same time President Bush blamed Democrats for the dismal decline in overall crime, stating:
"If the Democrats would've let me really gut the economy like I wanted to and completely cut all social services, then I'm sure we would have had robberies and car thefts up the wahzoo. Remember, every stolen car means someone buys a new one and that's good for the economy.
"Every murder means business for the funeral companies, the casket makers, even work for low level workers like grave diggers and hearse drivers. And violent muggings bring business to hospitals. We're talking about a huge bump in the Gross National Product. Crime pays."