Thursday, August 19, 2004

Indians, Shmindians.

From McSweeney's Daily Reason to Dispatch Bush: DAY 98: President Bush praised an American Indian housing program during a speech last week but did not mention that he plans to cut almost 80 percent of its funding. Speaking to a crowd of about 1,000 in Albuquerque, Bush said of the program, "Doesn't it make sense to have public policy aimed at helping people own their own home? I can't think of a better use of resources." Bush's proposed budget, however, reduces the Indian Housing and Guarantee Fund's funding from $5.3 million to $1 million, and seeks the return of $33 million in additional funds. Chester Carl, the chairman of the National American Indian Housing Council, said that the cuts would cripple the program. "It's going to go backward," Carl said. "We're just now starting to see tribes understand that there's another way and banks understand that they can make loans on trust land. You're pulling the rug out from under them." Arnold Reano, whose family was the first from Santo Domingo Pueblo to take advantage of the program, stood with Bush on stage in Albuquerque while the president said that the program showed that the American dream of home ownership was "valid for everyone." Reano was not told that Bush had chosen to cut back funding for the program. "If I had known, I would have asked the president about it," he said. (Sources: "Bush to Cut Indian Housing He Praised," Associated Press, August 14, 2004. See article at: Leslie Linthicum, "Bush Sends Mixed Messages," Albuquerque Journal, August 13, 2004. See article at:

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