George W. Bush on Welfare & Poverty
President of the United States, Former Republican Governor (TX)
2002: Close the homeownership gap for minorities
On October, 15, 2002, Bush announced a new national goal: "We have a problem here in America because fewer than half of the Hispanics and half the African Americans own their own home. That's a home ownership gap we've got to work together to close for
the good of our country, for the sake of a more hopeful future. We've got to work to knock down the barriers that have created a home ownership gap. I set an ambitious goal: that by the end of this decade we'll increase the number of minority
homeowners by at least 5.5 million families. And it's going to require a strong commitment from those of you involved in the housing industry."
By mid-2006, not yet four years after Bush's speech, minority home ownership had grown by
2.7 million, trumpeted the Weekly Standard, in "Closing the Gap: The Quiet Success of the Bush Administration's Push for Home Ownership."
Source: Suicide of a Superpower, by Pat Buchanan, p. 22-24
, Oct 18, 2011
2002 National Service agenda: community & compassion abroad
Bush announced in the 2002 State of the Union address: "We want to be a nation that served goals larger than self," the president said, explaining that 9/11 had caused Americans to begin "to think less of the goods we can accumulate, and more about the
good we can do." Then he asked every American to commit two years--four thousand hours--of service over their lifetimes and outlined his community and national service agenda.
The national service agenda had three priorities: responding to emergencies
such as 9/11, strengthening communities, and extending American's compassion abroad. The president also announced that a new White House council, reporting directly to him, would coordinate these service efforts throughout the federal government.
It was called USA Freedom Corps and it helped direct an extraordinary amount of good works to productive endeavors and ranks as one of the most successful service campaigns in our country's history. The results are there for all to see.
Source: Courage and Consequence, by Karl Rove, p.292-293
, Nov 2, 2010
Appoints Laura Bush to lead anti-gang initiative
Because one of the deepest values of our country is compassion, we must never turn away from any citizen who feels isolated from the opportunities of America. Our government will continue to support faith-based and community groups that bring hope
to harsh places.
Now we need to focus on giving young people, especially young men in our cities, better options than apathy, or gangs, or jail. Tonight I propose a three-year initiative to help organizations keep young people out of gangs,
in programs ranging from literacy to sports. And I am proud that the leader of this nationwide effort will be our First Lady, Laura Bush.
Source: 2005 State of the Union Speech
, Feb 2, 2005
I would have increased the minimum wage
KERRY: We need to hold on to equal pay. Women work for 76 cents on the dollar for the same work that men do. That’s not right in America. We had an initiative that we were working on to raise women’s pay. The Republicans have stopped it. They don’t
enforce these kinds of things. It’s a matter of fundamental right that if we raise the minimum wage, 15 million Americans would be positively affected. We’d put money into the hands of people who work hard, who obey the rules, who play for the American
dream. If we did that, we’d have more consumption ability in America, which is what we need in order to kick our economy into gear. I will fight tooth & nail to pass the minimum wage.
BUSH: Mitch McConnell had a minimum-wage plan that I supported that
would have increased the minimum wage. But let me talk about what’s really important for the worker you’re referring to. And that’s to make sure the education system works. The No Child Left Behind Act is really a jobs act when you think about it.
Source: [Xref Kerry] Third Bush-Kerry debate, in Tempe AZ
, Oct 13, 2004
Compassionate conservatism means self-help over gov’t help
Rove recommended books to Bush to read that mirrored Bush’s thoughts that the feel-good, permissive values of the 1960’s undermined the strength of families and helped create dependency on government, ultimately harming the disadvantaged classes.
Bush, in discussions with the authors, fashioned the concept of “compassionate conservatism.”
It was not a catchy phrase, and conservatives didn’t like it because it implied that there was something wrong with being a conservative
-like calling someone a realistic liberal. But the phrase accurately described Bush’s philosophy. His goal was to help people. He believed the best way to do that was to develop government programs and policies that allowed them to help themselves.
He did not see the government as the enemy, as the traditional conservatives did. Often, adjusting existing programs could achieve results while saving taxpayers money. Reducing taxes, in turn, was yet another way to help people.
Source: A Matter of Character, by Ronald Kessler, p. 58
, Aug 5, 2004
Created USA Freedom Corps to strengthen culture of service
In his second year in office, the President created the USA Freedom Corps to help all Americans to answer his call to service. The USA Freedom Corps is working to strengthen our culture of service and help find opportunities
for every American to start volunteering. To accomplish this, they are bringing together the resources of the federal government with the non-profit, business, educational, faith-based and other sectors to begin that process and to measure our results.
Source: 2004 Presidential website, georgewbush.com
, Aug 29, 2003
Calls for 4,000 hours of national service for every citizen
For too long our culture has said, “If it feels good, do it.” Now America is embracing a new ethic and a new creed: “Let’s roll.” We want to be a nation that serves goals larger than self. My call tonight is for every American to commit at least
two years-4,000 hours-over the rest of your lifetime to the service of your neighbors and your nation.
To sustain and extend the best that has emerged in America, I invite you to join the new USA Freedom Corps. The Freedom Corps will focus on three
areas of need: responding in case of crisis at home, rebuilding our communities, and extending American compassion throughout the world.
And America needs citizens to extend the compassion of our country to every part of the world, so
we will renew the promise of the Peace Corps, double its volunteers over the next five years and ask it to join a new effort to encourage development and education and opportunity in the Islamic world.
Source: State of the Union speech to joint session of Congress
, Jan 29, 2002
Housing: Help low-income purchasers, and housing developers
Bush’s main proposals on housing:
Source: Washington Post, p. G5
, Oct 28, 2000
- Creation of an “American Dream Downpayment Fund” to allow low-income families to use HUD rental vouchers to make a down payment on a home. Bush says this could help as many as 650,000 families become homeowners.
- A tax break aimed at real estate investors that would provide them with tax credits of up to 50% of costs, totaling $1.7 billion over five years. This tax credit would provide incentives for private investors to redevelop single-family housing or
build new homes for low- and moderate-income Americans. Bush said he expects this plan would build or rehabilitate 100,000 homes in five years.
- Individual development
accounts giving tax credits and other financial incentives for low-income families to save money for a home purchase, for education costs, or to start a business.
Housing: Use HUD rental vouchers for first home purchase
Creation of an “American Dream Downpayment Fund,” which would allow low-income families to use up to a year’s worth of HUD Section 8 rental vouchers to make a down payment on a home. “When a low-income family is qualified to buy a house but comes up
short on the down payment, we will help them,” Bush said. “If they and the bank can come up with 25% of the down payment, the government will pay the rest, up to $1,500.” Section 8 vouchers can already be used to help with mortgage payments.
Source: Washington Post, p. G5
, Oct 28, 2000
Bush’s Texan philosophy for the poor: up-by-the-bootstraps
From 1995 to 1998, the poverty rate in Texas decreased more than 10%, compared with an almost 9% drop nationwide. Tax cuts & economic reforms have resulted in the lowest state unemployment rate in nearly 20 years; welfare reform has cut public assistance
rolls in half; and legal changes have expanded the role of religious groups in helping the poor.
In many ways, Bush’s record dovetails with the Texas worldview, which places the burden for escaping poverty on the poor, not the government. Conservative
groups and analysts praise the governor and his actions precisely for their strong embrace of basic Republican philosophies. Texas has an up-by-the-bootstraps culture and people often loath to give-or ask for-help. The Texas Constitution prohibits the
Legislature from spending more than 1% of the state budget on poor children. Cash welfare benefits are $201 a month for a mother and two children in 1995. California, by comparison, pays $611 a month for a similar family.
Source: La Ganga & Miller, L.A. Times
, Oct 16, 2000
Transform low-income rentals to home ownership
We will transform today’s housing rental program to help hundreds of thousands of low-income families find stability and dignity in a home of their own. And, in the next bold step of welfare reform, we will support the heroic work of homeless
shelters and hospices, food pantries and crisis pregnancy centers -- people reclaiming their communities block-by-block and heart-by-heart. My administration will give taxpayers new incentives to donate to charity.
Source: Speech to Republican National Convention
, Aug 3, 2000
Focus welfare on transition to work & responsibility
Bush has called for a $8 billion plan to get religious and other volunteer organizations to assume more responsibilities for the needy. He supports welfare time limits, work and education requirements. He has proposed a requirement that unwed
teen mothers live at home or in group home. In Texas, Bush proposed increased child-care aid and other transition benefits.
Source: NY Times
, Jun 5, 2000
$1.7B over 5 years for home rehabs in poor neighborhoods
Bush today unveiled a plan to encourage private developers to build and rehabilitate houses in run-down, struggling neighborhoods. The incentive would be money: $1.7 billion, over five years, in federal tax credits for developers working in poor and
moderate-income areas. Bush estimated that the program would make work easier on as many as 20,000 houses a year. More important, he said, it would introduce to an increasing number of Americans the experience of home ownership, which he described as a
fundamental aspiration that should be more easily attainable. “Part of the American dream is owning your own home,” Bush said. “Part of the American dream is saying, This place is mine.” In recognition of that, Mr. Bush said, he continually asks-and
tries to answer-the question, “How do I help people own? Not just those who are entrepreneurs or those at the top of the economic ladder-how do we help every willing heart, everybody in America, own a piece of this great land? And I’ve got some ideas.”
Source: Frank Bruni, NY Times, part of “Renewing America’s Purpose”
, Apr 19, 2000
50% tax credits for 20,000 home rehabs per year
Bush would allow developers to apply for as much as 50% of the cost of their work on certain houses in tax credits. The houses in question would have to be for people making no more than 80% of the median family income in their area-nationally, the
median is about $51,000-and living in neighborhoods where most residents fall into the same income bracket. The impact of the plan, which Bush’s aides said could contribute to the building or rehabilitation of 100,000 houses over five years, would be
limited. But a Bush aide said the new housing initiative, like the others, was a supplement to an array of existing federal housing programs. “We’re not aiming today to solve the nation’s housing problems,” he said. “What we’ve proposed over the last
week is a bucket of new tools.” [Unlike Gore’s low-income housing plan, which is aimed at subsidizing rent], Bush’s initiatives are specifically aimed at home ownership, which he described as a catalyst for safer streets and better schools.
Source: Frank Bruni, New York Times
, Apr 19, 2000
New Prosperity Initiative: rent vouchers; homeowner credits
To Expand Homeownership [as part of the New Prosperity Initiative], Governor Bush will:
- Reform HUD’s Section 8 rental voucher program to permit recipients to use up to a year’s worth of vouchers to finance the down payment on a home.
- Establish the “American Dream Down Payment Fund” to provide $1 billion of matching grants to lenders over five years to help as many as 650,000 low-income families, who are not enrolled in Section 8, to become homeowners.
To Build Savings and Personal Wealth, Governor Bush will:
Source: Fact Sheet: “New Prosperity Initiative/Renewing America”
, Apr 11, 2000
- Support the creation of more than 1 million Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) by providing
a tax credit to banks that match the savings of low-income earners, who can withdraw the matched funds tax free to finance a home, a business, or education.
$1B & tax credits for Individual Development Accounts
The 1996 Welfare Reform law allowed states to incorporate matched savings accounts-“Individual Development Accounts” (IDAs)-into their welfare programs. IDAs are designed to help low-income families accumulate wealth. Financial institutions, charities,
& faith-based groups match low-income depositors’ savings. Depositors can then withdraw the funds for education, homeownership, and entrepreneurship.
Bush believes the private sector should take the lead in encouraging IDAs. To help accelerate their
development, his New Prosperity Initiative will:
Source: Fact Sheet: “New Prosperity Initiative/Renewing America”
, Apr 11, 2000
- Support legislation encouraging low-income families to save and invest through IDAs
- Provide $1 billion of tax credits over five years to sustain 1.3 million or more IDAs
- Provide a 50% tax credit
to financial institutions that match deposits of up to $300 annually made by individuals making less than 60% of the area median income.
- Banks will receive a Community Reinvestment Act credit equal to 10% of matched contributions.
Remove tax “tollbooths” for poor single moms
“The hardest job in America is to be a single mom, making $20,000 a year,” Bush declared. He promised that as president, he would reduce the struggling woman’s marginal income tax rate and “knock down her tollbooth to the middle class.”
Source: Boston Globe, p. A1
, Jan 22, 2000
Supports low-income heating oil assistance program
Bush said he strongly backed a federal program to provide heating oil assistance to low-income residents. “I do support LIHEAP,” Bush said, referring to the federal Low Income Heat & Energy Assistance Program, which has provided billions in relief to
families during the cold winter months. At last week’s debate, Bush said he would push for more oil exploration but did not mention LIHEAP. However, he said he has always backed the program and would oppose efforts in Congress to impose cuts.
Source: Boston Herald, p. 14
, Dec 9, 1999
Work and responsibility to replace welfare
I proposed two sweeping welfare reform packages, to:
Source: “A Charge to Keep”, p. 32
, Dec 9, 1999
- place time limits on welfare benefits;
- require able-bodied welfare recipients to get a job, attend school, or train for work;
- require participating mothers to identify the fathers of
their children so they could contribute to their support;
- and emphasize personal responsibility by requiring welfare recipients to sign an independence contract pledging to stay drug-free and keep their kids immunized and in school.
Too much government fosters dependency
The new culture said if people were poor, the government should feed them. If criminals are not responsible for their acts, then the answers are not in prisons, but in social programs. People became less interested in pulling themselves up by their
bootstraps and more interested in pulling down a monthly government check. A culture of dependency was born. Programs that began as a temporary hand-up became a permanent handout, regarded by many as a right.
Source: “A Charge to Keep”, p.229-230
, Dec 9, 1999
1972: early job as inner city youth counselor
After flirting briefly with the idea of running for the state legislature, George W.'s first notable full-time job was in 1972 as a youth counselor for the Professionals United for Leadership League (Project P.U.L.L.), an inner-city antipoverty program
in Houston, of which his father was a "benevolent supporter" and honorary chairman. George W. remained for a few months counseling the hardened black youth in the city's tough Third Ward, playing basketball and wrestling with them, and taking the
teenagers on field trips to juvenile prisons.
Bush so impressed his African-American co-workers with his dedication that they still speak highly of him almost 30 years later. "He was the first real white boy that all of the kids really loved," said one
co-worker, who noted that George W. forged a special bond with boys whose upbringing in no way resembled his own. Another co-worker recalled that Junior was "so down-to-earth, I just thought he was a poor kid trying to make his way in the world."
Source: Fortunate Son, by J.H.Hatfield, p. 49
, Aug 17, 1999
George W. Bush on Faith-based organizations
Praised political involvement by people of faith
Rather than a programmatic approach to social issues, Bush emphasized the importance of religion in several dimensions. Like Ronald Reagan 16 years earlier, he praised political involvement by people of faith.
He advocated a greater role for religion in partnering with government to help solve social problems such as alcoholism, drug addiction, and crime.
And he talked about the importance of religion in his own life in helping him give up drinking and thereby stabilize his marriage.
Bush emphasized the need for a greater role for religion in public life, up to and including a greater role in governmental programs via the faith-based initiative.
Source: The Case for Polarized Politics, by Jeff Bell, p. 62-3
, Mar 6, 2012
1996: faith-based groups change lives; secular ones can't
"We need to fix the foundations," a TX pastor said, "and your old government programs aren't doing the job." He said he had a better alternative. It was the most effective welfare system in the world. It had buildings on many street corners, a list of
willing workers, and regular meetings to study the perfect manual for saving lives.
He was talking about houses of worship. And he was right. Faith-based programs had the potential to change lives in ways secular ones never could. "Government can hand
out money," I said, "but it cannot put hope in a person's heart or a sense of purpose in a person's life."
Source: Decision Points, by Pres. George W. Bush, p.277-279
, Nov 9, 2010
Armies of compassion receive payment in another form
The trip was [my daughter] Barbara's first time to Africa and it touched her deeply. After volunteering on my 2004 campaign, she went to work at a pediatric AIDS clinic in South Africa. Inspired by her experience, she later founded a nonprofit, Global
Health Corps, which sends recent college graduates to clinics in 3 African countries and 2 American inner cities.
[My other daughter] Jenna also discovered a passion for working with AIDS patients. She volunteered for UNICEF in several Latin American
countries. She wrote a bestseller called "Ana's Story" about a girl who was born with HIV.
Laura and I are very proud of our daughters. They have become professional women serving a cause greater than themselves. They are part of a larger movement of
Americans who devote their time and money to helping less fortunate. These good souls are part of what I call the armies of compassion. Many come from faith-based organizations and seek no compensation. They receive payment in another form.
Source: Decision Points, by Pres. George W. Bush, p.343-344
, Nov 9, 2010
By 2007, 11% of $20B in annual grants went to FBOs
Bush's ideas were radical, that faith-based groups should be allowed to compete for government grants. They couldn't use taxpayer dollars to preach or refuse to serve someone because of religion, but Bush said, "The days of discriminating against
religious institutions, simply because they are religious, must come to an end."
He set up a White House office to promote these efforts and issued an executive order providing religious charities equal access to government grant monies.
No longer could only secular nonprofits apply for the roughly $20 billion each year to confront addiction, homelessness, and domestic violence. By 2007, roughly 10.8% of these funds were going to faith-based charities. Bush's focus was not whether you
were a sacred or secular organization, but whether your program changed lives.
We were accused of using the Faith-Based Initiative to channel money to evangelical groups as "patronage for its friends on the Christian right."
Source: Courage and Consequence, by Karl Rove, p.239
, Nov 2, 2010
Never discriminate against religious charities
Because religious charities provide a safety net of mercy and compassion, our government must never discriminate against them.
Source: 2004 Republican Convention Acceptance Speech
, Sep 2, 2004
Faith-based charity doesn’t violate church-state separation
Bush pushed to allow religious groups to compete for federal money to operate programs for the needy. At first blush, mixing religion with government appeared to be a violation of the principle of separating church and state. But, if organizations were
already in place to help the needy, why not give them more funds to do their jobs? Those funds were available for organizations that had no religious affiliation. The fact that an organizations that was affiliated with the Catholic, Jewish, Protestant,
or Muslim faiths received federal money did not mean the money would be used to fund religion. It meant the money would be channeled to help those who are hungry, addicted to drugs, or illiterate in the most efficient way possible because the overhead
for attacking those problems and the volunteers to work on them already existed. Thus, taxpayers would not have to pay for the new layers of bureaucracy to distribute the aid. In effect, it was a way to leverage the government’s money.
Source: A Matter of Character, by Ronald Kessler, p.122-25
, Aug 5, 2004
TX first: religious charities delivering welfare services
In time, he would persuade the Texas legislature to pass a bill that permitted faith-based institutions to opt out of certain state licensing requirements.
He issued an Executive Order making Texas the 1st state to establish the option of using private
and religious charities to deliver welfare services. He set up a level playing field for both religious and nonreligious groups for Texas social service contracts, abstinence education grants, and poverty-fighting initiatives.
He made Texas the 1st state to permit a state prison unit to be operated by a ministry. He recommended and signed a law requiring governmental agencies to develop welfare-to-work partnerships with faith-based groups in a way that respects those
groups' unique religious character.
Even detractors soon realized that Bush was actually doing what conservatives had talked about in theory for decades.
Source: The Faith of George W. Bush, by Stephen Mansfield, p.101
, Apr 12, 2004
Unleash the passion of religious charity
It’s important to strengthen our communities by unleashing the compassion of America’s religious institutions. Religious charities of every creed are doing some of the most vital work in our country:
mentoring children, feeding the hungry, taking the hand of the lonely. Yet government has often denied social-service grants and contracts to these groups just because they have a cross or a Star of David or a crescent on the wall.
By executive order, I have opened billions of dollars in grant money to competition that includes faith-based charities.
Tonight I ask you to codify this into law so people of faith can know that the law will never discriminate against them again.
Source: 2004 State of the Union address to joint session of Congress
, Jan 20, 2004
One of first acts was establishing faith-based initiatives
One of the President’s first official actions was to establish the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. The purpose of the initiative is to recognize our greatest strength-the hearts and souls of the American people-and apply that strength to
Source: 2004 Presidential website, georgewbush.com
, Aug 29, 2003
Faith-based initiative keeps separation of church and state
Q: The mixing of religion and government, for centuries, has led to slaughter. The very fact that our country has stood in good stead by having this separation - why do you break it down?
A: I strongly respect the separation of church and state.
You wouldn’t have a religious office in the White House if you did.
A: I believe that so long as there’s a secular alternative available, we ought to allow individuals who we’re helping to be able to choose a program that may be run by a faith-based
program. I understand full well that some of the most compassionate missions of help and aid come out of faith-based programs. And I strongly support the faith-based initiative that we’re proposing because
I don’t believe it violates the line between the separation of church and state. And I believe it’s going to make America a better place.
Source: White House news conference
, Feb 22, 2001
Religious groups must be part of solution to society’s ills
Bush is trying to defuse criticism of his proposal to shift certain government-funded assistance programs to religious institutions. Just as his voucher plan has drawn fire, battle lines are being drawn over Bush’s “faith-based action” plan. Critics say
its programs blur the constitutional lines separating church and state. They also say that religious groups cannot really take the place of government programs. Even some churches are wary of strings that might be attached to money from the federal
The new president says religious groups must be part of the solution to society’s ills. “A compassionate society is one which recognizes the great power of faith,” Bush said. “We in government must not fear faith-based programs, we must welcome
Source: Frank Bruni & Laurie Goodstein, NY Times, p. A17
, Jan 25, 2001
Establish federal & state “offices of faith-based action”
Bush plans to establish an “office of faith-based action” to oversee the programs and distribute money, and wants each state to do the same. He has not said who will head the office, which is expected to spend several billion dollars over the next 10
years on new funding for programs and tax credits.
One program Bush holds up as an example is Faith Works, a nondenominational social service agency in Milwaukee that helps troubled fathers with drug treatment, job training and placement. Its
residential program also offers clients parenting and marriage counseling. Bush last summer visited the center, which claims an 80 percent success rate, and said it was “exactly the kind of program I envision” on a broader scale. A religious liberties
organization, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, has filed suit in federal court, saying the program should be terminated because it conveys “a message that the Christian religion is favored, preferred and promoted over other beliefs and nonbelief.”
Source: Frank Bruni & Laurie Goodstein, NY Times, p. A17
, Jan 25, 2001
Government solving social problems crowds out compassion
My concern about the role of the federal government is that an intrusive government, a government that says, ‘Don’t worry, we will solve your problems’ is a government that tends to crowd compassion out of the marketplace, that too often in the past
people said: ‘Somebody else will take care of the problem in my area. Don’t worry. The government is here.’
The problem with that point of view is that government can hand out money. No question about it. And we will in the Bush administration in a
responsible way. But what government cannot do is put hope in people’s hearts, a sense of purpose in people’s lives. Government cannot make people love one another. I wish it could. I’d sign the law.
I’m here for a reason: to make it as clear as I can
the power that faith can play in people’s lives, the notion that a soul searches for a better way and that there are programs throughout our society where a loving person puts an arm around a shoulder and says, ‘Somebody loves you, brother or sister.’
Source: Remarks at Cityteam Ministries, San Jose, CA
, Oct 31, 2000
Supported church-based poverty program in Rio Grande Valley
If the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, the 42 border-region counties, were a separate nation, they'd look like a Central American republic. The people here constitute the largest segment of Texas' working poor.
The border region is desperately in need of
public money and infrastructure. But in spite of back-to-back budget surpluses exceeding $10 billion in the 1997 and 1999 legislative sessions, there is no evidence that George W. Bush ever considered a coordinated plan for the Valley or any other
stretch of the border. What he wanted was big tax cuts in a state that already ranks 50th in per capita state spending.
"He doesn't veto any of our stuff. That's the best we can say about him," said Sister Judy Donovan, who works with Valley
Interfaith, a church-based advocacy group in the lower Rio Grande Valley. She added that over the past four years Bush has provided $1.6 million from his discretionary funds to a regional job-training program Valley Interfaith lobbied to establish.
Source: Shrub, by Molly Ivins, p. 170-172
, Oct 1, 2000
Devolve welfare to both state and private charities
A cornerstone of Bush’s campaign is “compassionate conservatism.” He wants to encourage the voluntary sector to deliver services to the poor. While not dismissing the role of the federal government, he is keen to devote
as much responsibility as possible to the states. He plans to:
Source: The Economist, “Issues 2000” special
, Sep 30, 2000
- encourage more private giving by making charitable contributions tax-deductible for all taxpayers
- allow faith-based organizations a bigger role in spending public
funds to provide services for the needy
- cut the bottom rate of federal income tax to 10% and double the $500 child tax credit
- introduce tax credits to encourage poor Americans to buy health insurance, and to help them save
for the down payment on a house
- expand Head Start and focus it on improving reading skills.
Fund faith-based private programs that promote independence
The cornerstone of Bush’s welfare reform agenda gives states the flexibility to fund private, public or faith based programs that successfully move people from welfare to work. Welfare reform is an ongoing mission. Through successful efforts in states
across America, millions of people have moved from welfare to work, and Bush says we must continue to help others develop the skills and find the jobs that will lead to truly independent lives. Bush said, “I have made welfare reform a priority as
Governor, and I will do so as president. I will renew our national commitment to the principles of welfare reform: Job training. Independence. Personal responsibility. A safety
net for those who still face struggle. And flexibility for the states, to continue doing the fine work we see here today.“
Source: Press Release, “Welfare Reform”
, Jun 27, 2000
Church-based solutions for drugs, daycare, & crime
Proposals to promote solutions to social problems based on Faith-Based and Community Organizations:
Source: GeorgeWBush.com: ‘Issues: Policy Points Overview’
, Apr 2, 2000
- Open certain federal after-school programs to faith-based and community groups
- Fund certificates to help lower-income parents pay for
- Launch a new program, offering competitive grants to faith-based and community groups, to address the needs of children of prisoners
- Make performance-based drug treatment grants available to the states and ensure
that non-medical, faith-based providers are eligible for funds on the same basis as other groups
- Provide funding for pilot, faith-based prison pre-release programs
- Establish pilot ‘Second Chance’ maternity homes, through a block grant to the
states for certificates to individuals or competitive grants to providers
“No-strings” vouchers for religious groups to do charity
Bush advocates letting government rely on religious groups to handle social issues. His attitude toward the federal role in administering [drug programs and other social] programs is, essentially, that the government should not have any restrictions at
all. “This is a program that receives no federal or state money. I asked the director, would you accept a voucher attached to a person seeking help? The director said yes, under only one condition: No strings. And I agree with that concept.”
Source: Boston Globe, p. A12
, Jan 22, 2000
Religious charities deserve government support
Participation in faith-based programs must be voluntary, and we must make sure secular alternatives are available. But government should welcome the active involvement of people who are following a religious imperative to love their neighbors through
after-school programs, child care, drug treatment, maternity group homes, and a range of other services. Supporting these men and women. is the next bold step of welfare reform.
Source: “A Charge to Keep”, p.232
, Dec 9, 1999
Churches provide “armies of compassion” to help the poor
Bush spoke so often about “armies of compassion” -- the phrase he uses to communicate his idea that churches and charity groups, rather than Government, should assist the poor -- that he sounded like something of a drill sergeant. Bush’s aides said the
Baptist church at which Bush spoke was chosen because it was known for for helping the poor with its own resources. “Government can hand out money,” Bush said. “But what it cannot do is put hope in our hearts and a sense of purpose in our lives.”
Source: New York Times, p. A18
, Oct 5, 1999
Look first to faith-based organizations
“In every instance where my administration sees a responsibility to help people, we will look first to faith-based organizations, charities and community groups that have shown their ability to save and change lives.” Governor Bush has stressed the
necessity of encouraging acts of compassion. “These aren’t ‘crumbs of compassion’ to people whose lives are changed, they are the hope of renewal. These are not the crumbs, they are the bread of life. They are strengthening the soul of America,” he said.
Source: News Release: “Great Outdoors”
, Aug 11, 1999
Religious groups compete for state service contracts
In 1996, Bush allowed religious-based organizations to compete for Texas state contracts to provide welfare services while maintaining their “unique ecclesiastical nature.” The Governor’s Faith-based Task Force [led to laws which]:
Source: GeorgeWBush.com/News/ “Faith in Action”
, Jun 12, 1999
- Permits child
care facilities to be accredited by private sector entities.
- Exempts licensing for alcohol & drug treatment programs which rely exclusively on faith.
- Protects from legal liability those who donate medical devices in good faith.
- Click here for 10 older quotations from George W. Bush on Welfare & Poverty.
- Click here for definitions & background information on Welfare & Poverty.
- Click here for VoteMatch responses by George W. Bush.
- Click here for AmericansElect.org quiz by George W. Bush.
Other past presidents on Welfare & Poverty:
George W. Bush on other issues:
George W. Bush(R,2001-2009)
George Bush Sr.(R,1989-1993)
John F. Kennedy(D,1961-1963)
Harry S Truman(D,1945-1953)
Past Vice Presidents:
Natural Law Party
Page last updated: Jan 10, 2015