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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Facebook group forms to stop HR 1388; massive expansions in volunteerism bills

DateSaturday, March 21, 2009 at 05:03PM

Ed. Note: Group membership now stands at 1,259 members in approximately a 24 hour period. Links to additional blogs and articles are posted on the message board at Stop HR 1388.

Screen shot of the US Public Service Academy fundraising and lobby site. An excellent tool for growing a class of political elitists.

The new group Stop HR 1388 has formed at Facebook for the purpose of derailing HR 1388 as it heads to the US Senate after marching its large body through the House of Representatives. The bill is a massive social program that many libertarians and conservatives believe will not only once again contradict the U.S. Constitution, but also create yet another expensive, ineffective program at a time when taxpayers are levying heavy criticism at administrations past and present. The bill makes bloated social programs of the past look stick thin. Hundreds of people have signed up; the group was formed one day ago.

Officially titled the “Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act” (GIVE), the bill amends and broadens the National and Community Service Act of 1990 and the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973. Had the government a grip on reality, members would realize volunteerism is alive and well in the US, and it doesn't come near the cost this program expansion requires.

No one disputes the value of volunteerism and efforts to improve communities. America is and has been blessed with all manner of volunteerism, as those of us who live in the real world know. Many of us dispute not only the exorbitant funding HR 1388 will require, but the shifting of responsibility from the populace to the government on the grand scale typical of government.

Much of the language in the bill attempts to persuade by referencing national disasters. I think it safe to say our communities and states should be smart enough to prepare for our own disasters, having witnessed what a mess various levels of government manifested during and after Katrina.

A major problem involves states’ rights. The bill requires states to develop comprehensive plans for volunteer and paid service by Baby Boomers and older adults.

The cost during a period when a recession is underway and the administration is already proposing obscene levels of spending is extremely worrisome. The government never reduces; like a marshmallow held over a fire it continues to expand and we all know what happens with that—the mushroom ultimately deflates as it cools.

GIVE also “expresses the sense of the Congress” that the number of AmeriCorps, VISTA and NCCC participants should grow to 250,000 (from 75,000) by 2014.

There are provisions for such matters as a “musician and artists corps program” for low income communities. Rarely is art subsidized by the government of a quality anyone in her right mind would praise. Communities at present have free public libraries holding numerous works on every type of art a creative might seek.

The program is all-reaching and more invasive than a root canal. Childhood obesity, juvenile crime recidivism, old people, young people and everyone in between will be addressed by this legislation. The language is full of terms like “social entrepreneur,” and on first glance, I assumed this indicated an attempt to assist the world’s oldest profession.

On the list of goals is a Public Service Academy, a perfect entity for breeding a whole new generation of political elites. It strikes me the political class is healthier than ever because the government is the only sector growing jobs, having launched such a successful assault on small businesses in the form of taxes, ridiculous regulations and fees that it’s a wonder there is a single entrepreneur left in the land.

Government entitlement programs direct funding to constituents of select politicians, and the constituents go on to form fiefdoms wherein power and money accrue and favors are doled out to the loyal.

Some might question the sanity of an administration and a Congress bent on enacting another expensive social program even as those in other countries ask questions like, “Is this the end of America?”

This bill is nothing more than an enormous document that will commit billions of tax dollars to waste. I’ve written here about doing real community organizing, and most of us learn the truth about that early on. If it’s effective, it didn’t come from the federal government. And if the federal government wants to reach into every nook and cranny of this nation, that represents yet another in a long line of infringements on states’ and individual rights.

As the federal government grows, individual liberty and resources decline. Hundreds of years of recorded history at home and abroad validate that statement.

It is obvious Congress and the administration cannot oversee or manage the federal government we have now. Those with any degree of intelligence should be acting to downsize rather than expand.

The GIVE Act is yet another attempt by liberals to revisit the Age of Aquarius. It is another unnecessary attack on the taxpayer wallet, and if you think you will escape the tax increases necessary to pay for the myriad wishes of this administration, you are not thinking clearly.

To join the Stop HR 1388 Facebook Group, visit the website. To read commentary and other articles about HR 1388, visit links in the ‘References’ section below.

Above all, tell your senator to reach deep inside his or her soul and vote no on the Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act. And if said senator refuses, remember that at election time and remember that when yet another federal program aiming at social engineering eats more tax dollars than AIG ever thought about.

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