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Compassionate Conservatism Lite...Very Lite

In 2002 Bush promised this....

"Along with many of you, I'll be in Monterrey, Mexico, next week as leaders from around the world focus on the important work of reducing global poverty.

I'm here today to announce a major new commitment by the United States to bring hope and opportunity to the world's poorest people. Along with significant new resources to fight world poverty, we will insist on the reforms necessary to make this a fight we can win.

The United States will lead by example. We will increase our development assistance by $5 billion over the three -- over the next three budget cycles. This new money above and beyond existing aid requests -- is above and beyond existing aid requests in the current budget I submitted to the Congress.

These funds will go into a new Millennium Challenge Account. Under this account, among other efforts, we will expand our fight against AIDS; we will bring computer instruction to young professionals in developing nations; we will assist African businesses and their people to sell goods abroad; we will provide textbooks and training to students in Islamic and African countries; we will apply the power of science and technology to increase harvests where hunger is greatest.

These are some of the examples of what we intend to do. The goal is to provide people in developing nations the tools they need to seize the opportunities of the global economy. In return -- in return for this additional commitment, we expect nations to adopt the reforms and policies that make development effective and lasting."

People across the world are working to relieve poverty and suffering, and I'm proud of their efforts. I appreciate Bono. I appreciate groups like the Sisters of Charity. Some were motivated by simple decency, some serve a God who is impatient with injustice. And all have made this commitment. We cannot leave behind half of humanity as we seek a better future for ourselves. (Applause.) We cannot accept permanent poverty in a world of progress. There are no second-class citizens in the human race. (Applause.)

I carry this commitment in my soul."

So two years in, how are we doing in this "major commitment?" See below, from the DemocracyArsenal blog:

"Compassionate Conservatism Lite

In the C'mon-You've-Got-To-Be-Kidding category, a report by the new report by the General Accounting Office on the Administration's Millenium Challenge Account revealing that the Administration has obligated only 2% of the funds of the initiative to reduce poverty in the developing world.

As Byron Dorgan's Democratic Policy Committee reports, the report shows the Administration's commitment to this crucial draining-the-swamp enterprise to be the peeling, plastic band-aid it is. Their report:

Three years after his promise, however, and two years after Congress passed the MCA into law, President Bush has yet to deliver on his promise. The MCA has not contributed a single dollar of foreign assistance to a developing nation. Furthermore, the President has not requested the $5 billion per year he promised for the account in any of the four budgets he has submitted to Congress after he announced the initiative.

In two years, the Bush Administration has obligated only two percent of MCA funds. The developing world is facing a series of destabilizing crises, including the AIDS pandemic, intractable poverty, floods of migrants and refugees, that not only cripple development efforts, but also represent threats to the security of the U.S. and the world. MCA funds could be a critical tool in confronting these crises; however, the Bush Administration has failed to get these funds into the areas of the world where they are needed most. The GAO reports that the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the agency responsible for implementing the MCA, has only signed an agreement with one nation, Madagascar, worth only $110 million. Worse still, this $110 million will be made available over four years, meaning that only $55 million - two percent of the $2.5 billion appropriated through two years by Congress - has been obligated for the MCA's first two years."
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