While everyone was watching GM get swallowed up by the state, actions were being taken to move our kids a step closer to being swallowed up as well.
The GIVE Act passed the house, went to the Senate and was renamed the SERVE Act. It's on it's way back to House to be accepted "as is" before heading to Obama. I found couple summaries from Michelle Malkin here and here. She describes it as "charity at the point of a gun." Well said.
Some text from the Desert News:
The bill by Kennedy and Hatch would authorize spending $5.7 billion over five years to expand or create a variety of national service programs, including tripling the size of AmeriCorps from 75,000 positions to 250,000. It has been seen as a sort of going-away honor for Kennedy.
Well, isn't that touching. Orin Hatch (R-UT) can be thanked for this so-called honor, and for this waste of my money and yours. And this...
The legislation would increase the education reward for participants in national volunteer programs from $4,725 to $5,350 a year, and that will automatically increase with the maximum Pell grant in the future. Volunteers older than 55 could transfer the education reward to a child, foster child or grandchild.
So you can participate and get money...and even give it to your kids or grandkids. Isn't this a system of paid volunteerism? Aren't people paid to work otherwise known as employees? Why volunteer for church when I can "volunteer" for ObamaCorps?
Rep Foxx (R-SC) gets honorable mention for this attempt:
One vigilant House member, GOP Rep. Virginia Foxx, successfully attached an amendment to the GIVE Act to bar National Service participants from engaging in political lobbying; endorsing or opposing legislation; organizing petitions, protests, boycotts or strikes; providing or promoting abortions or referrals; or influencing union organizing.
This included ACORN and Planned Parenthood in practice, but reports say it was eventually blocked.
Thankfully (as is, thank you Congress for not taking away my God-given freedoms), the requirement for our kids to participate was dropped from the Senate bill. However, keep an eye on H.R.1444. It exists "To establish the Congressional Commission on Civic Service to study methods of improving and promoting volunteerism and national service, and for other purposes." The commission is acting on these findings:
Congress finds the following:
(1) The social fabric of the United States is stronger if individuals in the United States are committed to protecting and serving our Nation by utilizing national service and volunteerism to overcome our civic challenges.
(2) A more engaged civic society will strengthen the Nation by bringing together people from diverse backgrounds and experiences to work on solutions to some of our Nation’s major challenges.
(3) Despite declines in civic health in the past 30 years, national service and volunteerism among the Nation’s youth are increasing, and existing national service and volunteer programs greatly enhance opportunities for youth to engage in civic activity.
(4) In addition to the benefits received by nonprofit organizations and society as a whole, volunteering and national service provide a variety of personal benefits and satisfaction and can lead to new paths of civic engagement, responsibility, and upward mobility.
I don't know where these findings came from, but they are needs already well-met by our traditional system of churches and nonprofits. A key section is here:
(5) The effect on the Nation, on those who serve, and on the families of those who serve, if all individuals in the United States were expected to perform national service or were required to perform a certain amount of national service.
I'm strongly against spending billions on ObamaCorps, but I'll console myself that it's voluntary. This country certainly does not need "help" by our government in the form of required service.
Get offa my lawn!!!! (h/t to peg_c.)