Tuesday, February 15, 2005

What? Never really wanted the 'poor people stuff'? I'm amazed!

According to David Kuo, who was deputy director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives for much of Bush's first term, over at Beliefnet.com, the Bush administration doesn't really buy into the faith-based initiatives. Bush and his advisors have reaped a lot of benefits of showing they care about faith-based initiatives, but have done very little. Kuo's biggest hit, I think, is

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.
I know it is unbecoming, but I told you so.

David Kuo explains the whole process of how the ideas fell on stony ground, but the summation is
At the end of the day, both parties played to stereotype -- Republicans were indifferent to the poor and the Democrats were allergic to faith.

You know what really stinks about this whole thing? Americans could be helping other Americans with a little leadership. Instead we have a much trumpeted, but questionally run (see here) policy.

Amy Sullivan, one of my favorite religious-political bloggers, has the political angle on Bush's policies and failure to see them through. The Washington Post also has a good article with some background that both Amy and Beliefnet leave out.