The Corner


I knew David a little bit in one of his previous incarnations. I forget for whom he was working back then: Ralph Reed, maybe? Anyway, from the pre-release hype I can’t tell whether his experience of working with the faith-based initiative has made him reconsider whether direct government grants to faith-based groups–as opposed to voucherized programs or tax credits that steered money to such groups indirectly–was such a great idea to begin with. One reason Kate O’Beirne and I wrote so negatively about the idea back in 2001 was that it seemed tailor-made to result in political manipulation of religious groups. Perhaps Kuo and his colleagues were unusually weak in their resistance to this temptation, but I suspect that the existence of the temptation was the bigger problem.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.


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