Bush's Bait-And-Switch On Job Training

George W is proving to be a master of the political bait-and-switch scam, saying one thing for political gain, then quietly switching to an entirely different position in his budget proposals.

In January's "state of the union" speech, Bush declared that his number one economic priority was "jobs," adding with a rhetorical flourish that "when America works, America prospers." Indeed, with the high-tech bust, with more corporations moving our jobs offshore, with the job-crash following September 11th's terrorist attack, and with job-busting finagling by top executives of outfits like Enron -- the number of unemployed Americans has risen by 40 percent in the past year, and job programs are needed more than ever, so Bush's rhetoric was on target.

Two weeks later, however, came his budget, which is where a president's real priorities are written in ink. Far from pushing jobs, George whacked the meager job-training budgets already on the books, particularly for programs to help those most in need today -- laid-off workers and young adults.

For example, "youth opportunity centers" are effective training and job-search programs that help move young people from poverty to work, and Bush even visited one in Portland just days before his state of the union speech. He lauded the program and got his picture taken with trainees, but back in Washington, he took the ax to these centers, chopping 80 percent of their funding!

Adding insult to injury, Bush & Company are lying about what they're doing, asserting that while some programs are being cut, they're increasing the total money going to job training. But, as the New York Times found, the Busites are counting federal job funds sent to the states this year as new money for next year, even though that money has already been spent by the states. This is a funny-money maneuver that would make Enron blush.

This is Jim Hightower saying ... To know the truth about what Bush is doing, don't read his lips...read his budget.


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