Sunday, September 11, 2005

Some more bad ideas

From the NYTimes yesterday:

Republican leaders in Congress and some White House officials see opportunities in Hurricane Katrina to advance longstanding conservative goals like giving students vouchers to pay for private schools, paying churches to help with temporary housing and scaling back business regulation.

Oh goody! Conservatives never seem to miss a chance to try and tear down the public education system. It would be one thing if they were offering the displaced students federal grants or hardship scholarships to go to private schools. But vouchers simply transfer money from the public schools which are already hard up and into the pockets of the private schools.

But that's not the only place that conservative Republicans want to funnel our tax dollars:

"There are about a thousand churches right here in Houston, and a lot of them are helping people with housing, but FEMA says they can't reimburse faith-based organizations," Representative Tom DeLay of Texas, the House majority leader, said, referring to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Why do we have to reimburse churches for doing good works? My church is doing an enormous amount of work on behalf of the refugees here in San Antonio - collecting donations of cash, food and other necessities; volunteering time and resources at the various shelters - but the last thing I expect is for my church to get a big fat reimbursement check from the government. The churches should be doing things in addition to what the government has to do, not in place of what the government should be doing.

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