George Bush today proposed creation of a $100-million federally supported foundation to encourage America’s “affluent youths” to volunteer their help for the less fortunate.
“I want our affluent to help our poor,” the Republican presidential candidate said in a speech unveiling his proposal for a YES to America Foundation. “I want the young men and women of our tree-lined suburbs to get on a bus, or the subway, or the metro, and go into the cities where the want is.”
Bush’s speech marked an effort to flesh out his campaign call for a “kinder, gentler nation” and also to combat the Democrats’ portrayal of him as an uncaring member of the upper class.
He said some kids have "$40 jeans and $50 sneakers” while others live “lives of utter desolation in the poorest neighborhoods.” One group should help the other, he said.
Bush said a quarter of a century of massive federal spending programs has demonstrated that “we can’t buy our way out” of the problem.
Bush said he would serve as chairman of his proposed Youth in Service to America Foundation.
An aide to Bush, Deborah Steelman, said the vice president envisions a $100-million annual federal contribution for the program. She said that the foundation would set broad guidelines for community activities but that local leaders would have discretion in the types of program they set up. She said some activities could involve payment.