1000 more points of light?

In covering his tracks from the lame initial and secondary pledges of American government aid to tsunami-struck communities, President Bush has claimed that "The greatest source of America's generosity is not our government; it's the good heart of the American people."

Sounds to me like yet another impossible claim that we should count on private giving to do what many (but not this President) think government should.

Leaving aside for a moment the ideological differences we hold about whether private generosity should be held up as an excuse for a weak public sector response, how do you think the chips will fall?

Will total 2004 giving spike up, drop down, or stay flat compared to 2003** as a result of:
1) the outpouring of end-of-year gifts to tsunami victims and
2) the unprecedented amounts of money that went into the 2004 presidential election, which may have drawn away from resources otherwise given to charity?

UP ___ DOWN ___ FLAT ___

[**Since 1971, in years without recession, the average rate of change is an increase of 3.8 percent adjusted for inflation. Source: AAFRC, Giving USA 2002]

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