Friday, October 14, 2005

Bush to poor: Drop dead?

Larry Elder wrote in Townhall President George W. Bush, according to Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., doesn't care about the poor.

Dems frequently say things that have no basis in fact
.... Since Bush took office, according to the Heritage Foundation, federal anti-poverty spending -- including Medicaid, food and nutrition programs, housing, earned income tax credit and child credits, plus other programs -- increased 42 percent. This is nearly double the rate of increase under President Clinton. Some critics claim increased poverty has driven up poverty costs. But poverty rates have increased less than 1 percent under Bush, and remain lower than the average poverty rates under Clinton.

Bush doesn't care about the poor? Let us count the ways.
  • Education: Under No Child Left Behind, Bush increased federal spending on education -- in inflation-adjusted dollars -- from 2001 to 2005 by 38 percent.
    And if the teachers had embraced the program, and improved the job they were doing, rather than fighting it every step of the way, I am sure even more money would have gone into it.
  • Job TrainingCommunity Service: The budget of the Corporation for National and Community Service -- which includes funding for former President Bill Clinton's pet project, AmeriCorps -- grew by an inflation-adjusted 76 percent from 1995 to 2005.
  • Health Care: The federal share of Medicaid, the joint federal/state program, increased from $129 billion in 2001 to $176 billion in 2004, a 36 percent increase, averaging over 10 percent a year. Health research and regulation funding has gone from $42 billion in 2001 to $63 billion in 2004, a 48 percent increase.
  • Faith-based Initiatives: Tracking of faith-based spending only began in 2003, and was not broken out separately before then. Under President Bush, 600 religious organizations received federal grants for the first time in 2003 and 2004, and faith-based groups received 8 percent of available social service grants in 2003, and 10 percent in 2004.
  • SBA Loans: The Small Business Administration provided twice as many loans in 2004 than it did in 2001, providing over $19 billion in loans and venture capital to almost 88,000 small businesses.
  • Homeownership: Half of all minority households are homeowners, an all-time high.
    And owning your own home can mean everything.
    In 2002, Bush vowed to increase minority homeownership by 5.5 million families by 2010. Bush pushed for programs on down payment assistance, and called for increased funding for housing counseling services.
But, Bush doesn't care about the poor.

There's a saying: We don't care how much you know, until we know how much you care. If one measures compassion by "outreach," the president placed more minorities and women in his government and with power positions than any president before him. If one measures compassion by spending, the president owes no one an apology.

None of this matters, of course, as long as you're a Republican. If "love means never having to say you're sorry," being a Republican means always having to say it.

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