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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Agape probably won't pick this up

Posted by: Hammer / 1:04 PM

David Kuo on why Bush's faith-based initiative has floundered:
...And when [Bush] became the president, there was every reason to believe he'd be not only pro-life and pro-family, as conservatives tended to be, but also pro-poor, which was daringly radical. After all, there were specific promises he intended to keep.

Sadly, four years later these promises remain unfulfilled in spirit and in fact. In June 2001, the promised tax incentives for charitable giving were stripped at the last minute from the $1.6 trillion tax cut legislation to make room for the estate-tax repeal that overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy. The Compassion Capital Fund has received a cumulative total of $100 million during the past four years. And new programs including those for children of prisoners, at-risk youth, and prisoners reentering society have received a little more than $500 million over four years--or approximately $6.3 billion less than the promised $6.8 billion.

Unfortunately, sometimes even the grandly-announced 'new' programs aren't what they appear. Nowhere is this clearer than in the recently-announced 'gang prevention initiative' totaling $50 million a year for three years. The obvious inference is that the money is new spending on an important initiative. Not quite. The money is being taken out of the already meager $100 million request for the Compassion Capital Fund. If granted, it would actually mean a $5 million reduction in the Fund from last year.

This isn't what was promised.

Whenever there's a choice between helping regular people and helping donors, Bush rewards the donor class. Five will get you ten that the folks chanting "flip flop" at Bush campaign events were big fans of faith based initiatives. Too bad his base doesn't hold him accountable on issues that could help the country.


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