Skip to comments.To GIVE and To SERVE: The $6 Billion National Service Boondoggle
Posted on 03/25/2009 3:07:25 AM PDT by Kaslin
Maybe it's just me, but I find federal legislation titled "The GIVE Act" and "The SERVE Act" downright creepy. Even more troubling: the $6 billion price tag on these bipartisan bills to expand government-funded national service efforts.
Volunteerism is a wonderful thing, which is why millions of Americans do it every day without a cent of taxpayer money. But the volunteerism packages on the Hill are less about promoting effective charity than about creating make-work, permanent bureaucracies and left-wing slush funds.
The House passed the "Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act" -- or the GIVE Act -- last week. The Senate took up the companion SERVE Act Tuesday afternoon. According to a Congressional Budget Office analysis of the Senate bill (S.277), it would cost "$418 million in 2010 and about $5.7 billion over the 2010-2014 period."
Like most federal programs, these would be sure to grow over time. The bills reauthorize the Clinton-era AmeriCorps boondoggle program and the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973.
The programs have already been allocated $1.1 billion for fiscal year 2009, including $200 million from the porkulus package signed into law last month. In addition to recruiting up to 250,000 enrollees in AmeriCorps, the GIVE/SERVE bills would create new little armies of government volunteers, including a Clean Energy Corps, Education Corps, Healthy Futures Corps, Veterans Service Corps, and an expanded National Civilian Community Corps for disaster relief and energy conservation.
But that's not all. Spending would include new funds for:
-- Foster Grandparent Program ($115 million);
-- Learn and Serve America ($97 million);
-- Retired and Senior Volunteer Program ($70 million);
-- Senior Companion Program ($55 million);
-- $12 million for each of fiscal years 2010 through 2014 for "the Silver Scholarships and Encore Fellowships programs";
-- $10 million a year from 2010 through 2014 for a new "Volunteers for Prosperity" program at USAID to "award grants to fund opportunities for volunteering internationally in coordination with eligible organizations"; and
-- Social Innovation Fund and Volunteer Generation Fund -- $50 million in 2010; $60 million in 2011; $70 million in 2012; $80 million in 2013; and $100 million in 2014.
Social Innovation Fund? If that sounds familiar, it should. I reported last fall on the Democratic Party platform's push to fund a "Social Investment Fund Network" that would reward "social entrepreneurs and leading nonprofit organizations" and "support results-oriented innovators." It is essentially a special taxpayer-funded pipeline for radical liberal groups backed by billionaire George Soros that masquerade as public-interest do-gooders.
Especially troublesome to parents' groups concerned about compulsory volunteerism requirements is a provision in the House version directing Congress to explore "whether a workable, fair and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people could be developed, and how such a requirement could be implemented in a manner that would strengthen the social fabric of the Nation and overcome civic challenges by bringing together people from diverse economic, ethnic and educational backgrounds."
Those who have watched AmeriCorps from its inception are all too familiar with how government volunteerism programs have been used for propaganda and political purposes. AmeriCorps "volunteers" have been put to work lobbying against the voter-approved three-strikes anti-crime initiative in California and protesting Republican political events while working for the already heavily tax-subsidized liberal advocacy group ACORN.
D.C. watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste also documented national service volunteers lobbying for rent control, expanded federal housing subsidies and enrollment of more women in the Women, Infants and Children welfare program. AmeriCorps volunteers have also been paid to shuffle paper at the Department of Justice, the Department of Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Legal Services Corporation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
(Now, imagine Obama's troops being sent overseas -- out of sight and unaccountable -- as part of that $10 million a year USAID/Volunteers for Prosperity program. Egad.)
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.
Supporters of GIVE/SERVE are now fighting those restrictions tooth and nail, screaming censorship and demanding the provisions be dropped -- which tells you everything you need to know about the true nature of this boondoggle. Taxpayers GIVE their money to SERVE a big government agenda under the guise of helping their fellow man. It's charity at the point of a gun.
Personally, I'd rather face those aliens.
As for joining Hitler's greenshirts, nope, not going to happen.
Freedom and liberty, two words you will never hear Obama the Kenyan Marxist never say.
Bump for later reading.
I would like to know why so many pubbies voted for it.
From the bill:
Section 125 (42 U.S.C. 12575) is amended to read as follows:
SEC. 125. PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES AND INELIGIBLE ORGANIZATIONS.
(a) Prohibited Activities- A participant in an approved national service position under this subtitle may not engage in the following activities:
(1) Attempting to influence legislation.
(2) Organizing or engaging in protests, petitions, boycotts, or strikes.
(7) Engaging in religious instruction, conducting worship services, providing instruction as part of a program that includes mandatory religious instruction or worship, constructing or operating facilities devoted to religious instruction or worship, maintaining facilities primarily or inherently devoted to religious instruction or worship, or engaging in any form of religious proselytization.
`(9) Conducting a voter registration drive or using Corporation funds to conduct a voter registration drive.
`(10) Such other activities as the Corporation may prohibit.
Oh, yeah, this is a great idea! Let’s have a youth brigade. We could get them all together in huge rallies and march and sing and chant and eat starchy foods, and lot’s of red banners waving majestically over gigantic stadiums, and Obama could make rousing speeches, and we could get film makers to document it all and then play the films endlessly on the Jay Leno show. Hey, wait, there’s something vaguely familiar with all this.....
It was good that you started exposing this nightmare bill. Probably the strongest justified criticism of this dangerous legislation is in the following article by Paul Josph Watson.
Senate Rubber Stamps National Enslavement Bill
Paul Joseph Watson
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Senate Rubber Stamps National Enslavement Bill
The Senate last night rubber stamped a nightmare domestic draft bill that legislates mandatory national service and creates an army of at least 7 million civilian enforcers working at the the behest of the government, while also containing language that threatens to ban free speech and the right to protest.
Last week, we reported on the House passage of the Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act, known as the GIVE Act, which was carried with a 321-105 margin vote.
A passage contained in section 6104 of the original House version entitled Duties, in subsection B6, states that a commission will be set up to investigate, Whether a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people could be developed. This language has been dropped from the version passed by the Senate.
However, Section 120 of the bill discusses the Youth Engagement Zone Program and states that service learning will be a mandatory part of the curriculum in all of the secondary schools served by the local educational agency.
This part remains in the version passed by the Senate.
Roles which will be staffed by members of the programs, labeled Required National Service Corps, include criminal justice, environmental stewardship, and public safety.
Aside from the programs aimed at college students and young people, others will be specifically targeted towards, Retired and other former law enforcement, fire, rescue, and emergency personnel, and other individuals with backgrounds in disaster preparedness, relief, and recovery.
The bill was rubber stamped by the Senate last night in a 74 to 14 motion, in what is described as a procedural vote, a move that creates An army dispersed to help with education, health services and the environment, (which) would vastly enlarge the notion of community organizing, and allow, as Senator Barbara Mikulski, Democrat of Maryland, said tonight, for about 7 million people to be engaged in such work, reports the New York Times.
The Senate will meet tomorrow morning to formally ratify the bill and finalize amendments. Call your Senator and demand that at least the mandatory language contained in this bill be removed.
References to the program as the creation of a civilian army have dominated mainstream news coverage of the legislation.
7 million members of this civilian army equates to about one member for every 50 Americans, a similar figure to the number of East Germans who collaborated with the Stasi and informed on their own citizens during the cold war.
The GIVE Act is just one of many pieces of legislation that vastly expand service organizations in line with Obamas agenda to create a national civilian security force.
In January we also reported on the introduction by the Department of Defense of a civilian expeditionary workforce that will see American civilians trained and equipped to deploy overseas in support of worldwide military missions.
The DoD report states, Management retains the authority to direct and assign civilian employees, either voluntarily, involuntarily, or on an unexpected basis to accomplish the DoD mission.
Though the civilian expeditionary workforce program is restricted to DoD employees, similar programs have already been established for public sector workers.
One such program has seen hundreds of police, firefighters, paramedics and utility workers recently trained and dispatched as Terrorism Liaison Officers in Colorado, Arizona and California to watch for suspicious activity which is later fed into a secret government database.
Similar initiatives have been introduced in other western countries, including recently in the UK with the announcement that MI5 is currently training up to 60,000 UK citizens as part a civilian network of terrorist spotters, according to Prime Minister Gordon Brown and home secretary, Jacqui Smith.
In addition, Obamas Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, publicly stated his intention to help create universal civil defense training in 2006.
In an interview with Ben Smith of the New York Daily News, Emanuel outlined the agenda for military-style training, essentially a domestic draft, aimed at preparing Americans for a chemical or biological terrorist attack.
Asked by Smith about the universal service plan and whether people would have to live in military barracks, Emanuel laughed before responding, Were going to have universal civil defense training, somewhere between the ages of 18 to 25 you will do three months of training .but there can be nothing wrong with all Americans having a joint similar experience of what we call civil defense training or civil service in service of the country, in preparation, which will give people a sense of what it means to be an American.
It will be a common experience and we will be prepared, God forbid, God forbid that there is a chemical hit, another terrorist act or natural disaster becoming more frequent - therell be a body of citizens who are ready and capable and trained - thats all you have to think about, said Emanuel before smugly declaring, Were all here for you OK? Its a circle of love.
Asked if the training would be military style, with people wearing uniforms, Emanuel stated, If youre worried about are you going to have to do 50 jumping jacks the answer is yes, adding that the service could be done through state national guard.
Shockingly, the GIVE legislation also contains language that could completely demolish the 1st amendment.
The 12th amendment to the act states, Amendment to prohibit organizations from attempting to influence legislation; organize or engage in protests, petitions, boycotts, or strikes; and assist, promote, or deter union organizing.
As Gary Wood writes, Those in support of this legislation will argue this amendment is limited in scope and is not meant to interfere with the rights of citizens to protest, petition, boycott, or strike in resistance to government proposed laws. However, the people associated through service under the GIVE Act are considered volunteers, still free citizens, yet it will be unlawful for them to take part in any protests against any legislation. This is as close to a sedition act, a violation of 1st Amendment rights, as has been proposed in recent history. A basic right as a part of our natural, inalienable rights, is to resist government. Our founders not only knew it was a right but it was a responsibility. This legislation begins to break that down significantly.
Fears about Obamas plans to create involuntary servitude and domestic spy squads were first stoked in July 2008, when Obama told a rally in Colorado Springs, We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives weve set. Weve got to have a civilian national security force that is just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded.
Despite denials that Obama plans to institute a mandatory program of national service, his original change.gov website stated that Americans would be required to complete 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year. The text was only later changed to state that Americans would be encouraged to undertake such programs.
Numerous other national service bills have been introduced which target everyone from schoolchildren to the elderly. They include the Service For All Ages Initiative, the Summer of Service Act, the Semester of Service Act, the Encore Service Act and the ACTION Act.
Regarding the GIVE Act, The bills opponents and there are only a few in Congress say it could cram ideology down the throats of young volunteers, many of whom could be forced into service since the bill creates a Congressional Commission on Civic Service, reports Fox.
We contribute our time and money under no government coercion on a scale the rest of the world doesnt emulate and probably cant imagine, said Luke Sheahan, contributing editor for the Family Security Foundation. The idea that government should order its people to perform acts of charity is contrary to the idea of charity and it removes the responsibility for charity from the people to the government, destroying private initiative.
Lee Cary of the conservative American Thinker warns that Obamas agenda is to, tap into the already active volunteerism of millions of Americans and recruit them to become cogs in a gigantic government machine grinding out his social re-engineering agenda.
The passage of such shocking legislation with barely a whimper from political activist groups goes to show how well the corporate media has performed in camouflaging the legislation with flowery characterizations of helpful volunteerism, when in reality the bill creates the pretext for mandatory national service and the creation of a multi-million man domestic civil defense unit who will be tasked with spying on their fellow Americans under the justification of protecting the country from terrorism.
“To Give and to Serve”
Paging Mr. Stalin, Mr. Hitler and Mr.Mussolini, Mr. Stalin, Mr. Hitler and Mr. Mussolini, please pick up one of the lobby telephones!
Michelle Malkin was really off base when she commended Republican Rep. Virginia Foxx as follows:
“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.”
The fact is that the following is what is in the bill, HR 1388, AS IT WAS DELIVERED TO THE SENATE:
GIVE Act (Placed on Calendar in Senate)
SEC. 1304. PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES AND INELIGIBLE ORGANIZATIONS.
Section 125 (42 U.S.C. 12575) is amended to read as follows:
`SEC. 125. PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES AND INELIGIBLE ORGANIZATIONS.
`(a) Prohibited Activities- A participant in an approved national service position under this subtitle may not engage in the following activities:
`(1) Attempting to influence legislation.
`(2) Organizing or engaging in protests, petitions, boycotts, or strikes.
`(3) Assisting, promoting, or deterring union organizing.
`(4) Impairing existing contracts for services or collective bargaining agreements.
`(5) Engaging in partisan political activities, or other activities designed to influence the outcome of an election to any public office.
`(6) Participating in, or endorsing, events or activities that are likely to include advocacy for or against political parties, political platforms, political candidates, proposed legislation, or elected officials.
`(7) Engaging in religious instruction, conducting worship services, providing instruction as part of a program that includes mandatory religious instruction or worship, constructing or operating facilities devoted to religious instruction or worship, maintaining facilities primarily or inherently devoted to religious instruction or worship, or engaging in any form of religious proselytization.
(END OF EXCERPT}
Note that Section 125(a) after “Prohibited Activities” the bill says “A PARTICIPANT (empasis added) in an approved national service position may not engage in the following activities, etc.”
In other words, the bill does not just prohibit volunteer national service ORGANIZATIONS or UNITS from attempting to influence legislation, taking part in political campaigns or being involved in religious instruction, but tells INDIVIDUALS what they may not do.
So Virginia Foxx’s amendment is really TERRIBLE, and has to be exposed!
Oh Now I just have to change my tagline to
said Emanuel before smugly declaring, Were all here for you OK? Its a circle of love.
CHECK THIS WEBSITE OUT. GIVE Act Amendments to H.R.1388
H.Amdt49 Passed - Amendment to prohibit organizations from attempting to influence legislation; organize or engage in protests, petitions, boycotts, or strikes; and assist, promote, or deter union organizing. http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h1388/show 206 Comments
Then we could get back to a budget thatwe could afford, and not pay for Soros' brownshirts.
Maybe when the House and Senate versions get reconciled they can settle on an acronym that spells out The SERF Act, or the LICK OUR BOOTS Act.
Y'all need to get with the program!
“...A participant in an approved national service position under this subtitle...”
Read the line above. It applies to those in the Mandatory Volunteer Service org. Not your ordinary keyboard warriors like you and me.
Of course, this is subject to change as time passes. This will have to be watched carefully.
Look Who Supports Americorps
by Michelle Malkin (January 20, 2001)
Where have all the fiscal conservatives gone? Have these Republicans forgotten the countless examples of AmeriCorps-sponsored projects that paid participants to lobby for left-wing causes? Like the tax-subsidized AmeriCorps volunteers who lobbied against the voter-approved California initiative to put violent criminals in prison for life after a third violent crime. Or the recruits who showed their community spirit by disrupting Republican political events while working for the liberal advocacy group, ACORN.
Or the AmeriCorps foot soldiers who pressed for rent control, expanded federal housing subsidies, and enrollment of more women in the Women, Infants, and Children welfare program. Or the AmeriCorps enrollees who distributed low-flush toilets as part of a government campaign.
What about the millions of dollars that were wasted during the programs first three years, when nearly 3,000 recruits were sent to do busy work for bureaucrats at the Department of Justice, the Department of Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Legal Services Corporation, and the National Endowment for the Arts?
Citizens Against Government Waste, the Washington, D.C.-based watchdog group, has vigilantly tracked such stomach-churning examples since AmeriCorps inception. In a recent report, the group concluded that Clintons pet cause has become a showcase for the waste, abuse and cynical political manipulation inherent in many federally subsidized civic enterprises. Both private and public investigators have deemed AmeriCorps financial books unauditable. AmeriCorps own inspector general documented cases in which recruits received grants for working at McDonalds, not working at all, and while incarcerated in prison. Nearly half of the participants drop out before their service term is over.
Nevertheless, government spending on AmeriCorps is up 248 percent since its creation. And theres no end in sight.