Tuesday :: Feb 15, 2005

Faith Based Initiatives Lose Out To Millionaire Tax Cuts With Bush


by Steve

A new voice has come forward to claim that when Bush’s support for millionaires runs smack dab into his alleged compassionate conservative agenda, it’s the millionaires who win.

David Kuo, who was deputy director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives for much of Bush's first term, said in published remarks that the White House reaped political benefits from the president's promise to help religious organizations win taxpayer funding to care for "the least, the last and the lost" in the United States. But he wrote: "There was minimal senior White House commitment to the faith-based agenda."
In his Beliefnet column, Kuo said it was "a dream come true for me" when Bush promised in 2000 that in his first year in office he would provide $6 billion in tax incentives for private charitable giving, $1.7 billion for groups that care for the poor and $200 million for a Compassion Capital Fund to assist local faith-based organizations.
"Sadly, four years later these promises remain unfulfilled in spirit and in fact," he wrote.
In June 2001, the promised tax incentives 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," Kuo said. The Compassion Capital Fund has received a cumulative total of $100 million in the past four years, and new programs for children of prisoners, at-risk youth and prisoners reentering society have received a little more than $500 million over four years, he said.
"Unfortunately, sometimes even the grandly-announced 'new' programs aren't what they appear," Kuo wrote, citing as an example the three-year $150 million "gang prevention" effort Bush announced in this year's State of the Union address. In reality, Kuo said, that money is being taken out of the "already meager" $100 million request for the Compassion Capital Fund.
These are Mr. Bush’s true moral values. As I said yesterday about the veterans and the farmers who supported Bush while trashing John Kerry as a man of questionable character, I have little sympathy now for the moral values crowd to complain that they too were used for political purposes by the GOP. We have evidence of this all around, and the GOP routinely uses the red state moral values crowd to keep in place economic policies that are adverse to the well-being of these faith-based voters. Yet they keep voting for Bush and the GOP because the GOP knows suckers when they see them.
Steve :: 7:07 AM :: Comments (6) :: Digg It!