More headlines: George W. Bush on Welfare & Poverty
(Following are older quotations. Click here for main quotations.)
Fund faith-based social services, not worship services
President Bush, facing broad opposition to his plan to help churches get federal contracts for social services, is trying to revive the legislation by adding stricter requirements for use of the money, administration officials said.
The change is part of an effort by Bush and his staff to get the legislation back on track after Republican lawmakers told the administration privately that it is dead in its current form. Bush plans to tell the Conference of Mayors annual meeting
that under his plan, federal money that goes to religious organizations “must be spent on social services, not worship services.”
The president’s faith-based initiative was one of the earliest entries on his list of six top goals and is the one to
which he is most personally attached. It is designed to allow religious groups the chance to win federal contracts to help juvenile delinquents, the homeless and the elderly without making the programs secular.
Source: Mike Allen, Washington Post, p. A1
Jun 25, 2001
Blueprint: promote charity, community, and safety
The Bush plan will:
Source: Blueprint for the Middle Class
Sep 17, 2000
- Promote charitable giving. Allow all taxpayers, not just those who itemize, to claim a tax deduction for their donations to charity.
- Strengthen faith-based groups. Permit faith-based groups to compete for
federal funds without forcing them to abandon those religious aspects of their programs that make them effective.
- Protect the environment. Preserve America’s natural resources and National Parks.
- Provide tools for the New Economy.
$400 million for free Internet access, computer training, and professional skills development through community technology centers.
- Increase access for Americans with disabilities into community life through enforcement of laws and more than
$1 billion in new resources.
- Reduce crime. Provide support to state and local police efforts. Strictly enforce existing gun laws, and increase support for drug interdiction, prevention and treatment.
Competition determines which programs government funds
Government should energize private action, not control it, by identifying what works and helping to bring good ideas to scale. Resources should be devolved, not just to the states, but to charities and neighborhood healers- including religious
ones. Organizations receiving resources should not be forced to compromise their core values and spiritual mission. Participation in faith-based programs should be truly voluntary, and secular alternatives should exist for beneficiaries.
Source: Press Release, “Welfare Reform”
Jun 27, 2000
Use financial incentives for social needs via private sector
Bush does not, for the most part, want the federal government to provide or administer services directly; he wants the tax code and other financial incentives to make it easier for low-income Americans to use the private sector to
meet their needs. Bush last week advocated several forms of assistance to help low-income Americans buy their own houses. He said today that while those housing initiatives addressed demand, today’s rounded out the picture by addressing supply.
Source: Frank Bruni, NY Times, part of “Renewing America’s Purpose”
Apr 19, 2000
‘Armies of compassion’ are next step of welfare reform
Government can spend money, but it can’t put a sense of purpose in our lives. This is done by churches & synagogues & mosques & charities. [We should] rally these armies of compassion. As president, I will lift the regulations that hamper them. I will
involve them in after-school programs, drug treatment, prison ministries. I will lay out specific incentives to encourage an outpouring of giving. Supporting these soldiers in the army of compassion is the next, bold step of welfare reform.
Source: Candidacy Announcement speech, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Jun 12, 1999
Invigorate “a Civil Society” to protect vulnerable citizens
Bush said government must be alert to the “danger that lurks” for some workers from an economy in transition and should care for society’s most vulnerable citizens. But he would not use government to solve all these problems. Instead he said he would try
to invigorate “a civil society” by encouraging churches and charities - ‘little armies of compassion’ - to help combat persistent social problems, such as drug abuse, teenage pregnancy or welfare dependency.
Source: Dan Balz, The Washington Post
Apr 25, 1999
More assistance for transition off welfare
Those who remain on welfare [need] this clear message: If you are able to work or train, you must work or train. And if you refuse to help yourself, then Texas cannot help you. For those who are working to win their independence, the state can do more
to help. I propose increased child care funding for low-income mothers; transition benefits to help those moving from welfare to work and second chance homes to help unwed teenage moms nurture their children in a safe and structured environment.
Source: 1999 State of the State Address, Austin TX
Jan 27, 1999
Help people become independent of welfare.
The 1997 [Texas] Legislature supported my initiatives to allow churches, synagogues, and other faith-based organizations to continue addressing our worst social problems, free from unreasonable government interference.
Source: www.governor.state.tx.us/divisions/faq_index.html 12/31/98
Dec 31, 1998
Limit benefits and require work
We put time limits on benefits, required work and education.. We’ll give you a hand, but you owe something in return for taxpayers’ help. We should require unmarried teen mothers to live with their parents or in a group home to qualify for taxpayer
assistance. We should not give additional cash benefits for having more children while on welfare. We must enforce sanctions against able-bodied welfare recipients who refuse to work or even look for work.
Source: 1997 State of the State Address, Austin TX
Jan 28, 1997
Compassion Capital Fund to foster church-based welfare
Proposals to Promote Faith-Based and Community Organizations:
Source: GeorgeWBush.com: ‘Issues: Policy Points Overview’
Apr 2, 2000
- Lift federal regulations that hamper faith-based institutions from involvement in the delivery of services to the needy
- Expand ‘Charitable Choice’ to all federal social service
programs, allowing religious organizations to be eligible for funding on the same basis as any other provider, without impairing their religious character
- Establish an ‘Office of Faith-Based Action’ in the Executive Office of the President
- Provide federal matching funds for the establishment of state offices of faith-based action
- Promote alternative licensing regimes that recognize religious training as an alternative form of qualification for delivery of non-medical social
- Establish a ‘Compassion Capital Fund’ a public/private partnership to identify and invest in charitable best practices
- Provide civil liability protection for corporate in-kind donations of equipment or facilities to charities