Mississippi Hypocrisy

Isaiah J. Poole

A $3.7 billion program that channels federal money to local communities for projects designed to improve blighted areas and help produce jobs has been in the Bush administration crosshairs almost from the day the administration took office. The Bushies never liked the Community Development Block Grant program, and has justified trying to kill it by rating it “ineffective.” But killing it outright has been a step too far for even some Republicans on Capitol Hill, who have seen it as at least a convenient channel for pork-barrel spending in their districts and have thus helped Democrats keep it on life support.

So, unable to kill it—it is expected to get about $3 billion in fiscal 2008, down from $4 billion two years ago—the Office of Management and Budget keeps railing about how funds ought to be better targeted at its ostensible mission, which is to give a boost to poor communities where the free market isn’t spreading the wealth on its own.

It’s in that context that a news story in the Friday edition of The New York Times should make people furious:

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