Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The Emperor is Naked

A Tim Grieve item in today's Salon War Room links to a new essay by David Kuo.
    Kuo, who was until December 2003 deputy director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, has just written an essay for belief.net in which he says Bush's commitment to faith-based initiatives -- especially those aimed at helping the poor -- was essentially a sham.
Though still professing personal affection for * and a belief in his good intentions, Kuo writes,
    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.
Kuo remains deeply troubled by all this words-but-no-deeds stuff, but can't bring himself to lay the blame squarely at *'s door. Well, I'll be happy to do it for him: THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES.

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