February 21, 2004

Kerry’s “National Service” plan
Posted by McQ

From the Kerry web site, more exciting things for him to do with YOUR money.

This is part of a piece entitled "Part of 100 days Plan to Enlist One Million Americans in National Service A Year "

What Kerry calls “Creating a new army of patriots”.

The clear inference? If you don’t agree you’re “unpatriotic”.

As President, John Kerry will ensure that every high school student in America performs community service as a requirement for graduation. ... However, John Kerry does not believe in unfunded mandates. No state would be obligated to implement a service requirement if the federal government does not live up to its obligation to fund the program.

How useful. We have probably one of the worst education systems in the first world and Kerry proposes to throw another non-academic requirement onto high-schools which are having trouble delivering literate graduates. Of course the point about unfunded mandates is to say, “look out Mr. Taxpayer, we’re coming after more of your money”. Translation: spend, spend, spend. Educational benefit. None. But you’ll hear Kerry claim to be deeply concerned about the state of education in this country. Yeah ... I can tell.

As President, John Kerry would create the Retired Not Tired Program. By mentoring students, helping the infirm, or working in their communities for 10 hours a week, members can earn up to $2,000 a year tax free that they can apply to an education grant for a family member or a member of their community. Alternatively, seniors will be able to use these funds to defray their own health care costs. John Kerry plans to engage 100,000 seniors a year in service in the next decade.

There are already scads of volunteer mentoring programs and resources. This simply translates into more “spend, spend, spend” and is a political bone tossed to the oldsters in an election year. We’ve got an on-going and working volunteer program, and we already spend $224 million for “Senior Corps” under the Americorps banner. But Kerry being a true liberal, feels a mentoring program can only be done well if its run by government. Yeah, like education.

A Kerry Administration will offer Americans the chance to earn the equivalent of their state's four-year public college tuition in exchange for two years of service.

One more time so all will understand: “spend, spend, spend”. If you’d love to see an out-of-control program which will spawn a bureaucracy from hell, sign on to THIS boondoggle. States like Georgia have found a way to reward academic excellence with scholarships to college by other means than raping the taxpayer (even though it does have its downside in grade inflation) through programs such as the HOPE scholarship. But Kerry has never met a taxpayer funded give-away he doesn’t like. Why? Because it gives him power and control. Sure it may work better if left to the states, but then it doesn’t benefit HIM.

Thirteen to seventeen year olds are too old for child care and too young for many summer jobs. John Kerry believes we should tap their energy and idealism through a summer of service learning. Supervised by AmeriCorps members, these young people could help out in nursing homes, clean up local areas, or teach seniors computer skills. In turn, they would receive a $500 grant to apply to their college or vocational educations down the road.

Continuing the “spend, spend, spend” theme we’ve discovered to this point, and not content to just lavish someone else’s money on oldsters and adults, Kerry now takes aim at 13-17 year olds. Again, in addition to the $500 grants handed out willy nilly, we’ll see the so-called volunteer organization Americorps will run it. Great. Americorps already sucks over a billion dollars out of the budget now. In reviewing their funding I was struck by how the program “special volunteer programs” was receiving 15 million tax dollars? For what ... IF they’re really “volunteer” programs. But of course they’re NOT. They’re just another in a long line of nonsense paraded as “necessary” to extort more tax dollars. Now Kerry wants to add this.

John Kerry believes we need a major expansion of the Peace Corps for this new century and in this new era. In the White House, John Kerry will push to expand the Peace Corps to 25,000 members.

Sigh ... again the underlying theme, yeah, you guessed it ... ‘spend”. Look I admire the Peace Corps and I think it has been a positive thing, but what is the purpose for such a radical increase in numbers? Right now the Peace Corps has 7,533 volunteers ... the highest it has ever had. The positive effect these volunteers have is based in the intensive training they receive. Increasing the size three plus times does not mean you’ll get the same results, especially if you overwhelm the system.

This sort of program is not a numbers game, it is a quality game. If the Peace Corps, a VOLUNTEER organization wants to expand to 25,000, let THEM do so by setting the time-table and ensuring the quality of volunteer and training necessary. Not make it another liberal jobs program which provides an excuse to spend more tax dollars.

Bottom line on ‘national service’: more government, more spending, more bureaucracy – pure liberal fantasy-land. We see more mandated wasted time in high school, free college (and of course, we all know NOTHING is free, we just say that to fool the taxpayers), money thrown at seniors to buy a few votes in the face of functioning mentor programs and a proposed expansion of the “Americorps” boondoggle to baby sit 13-17 year olds and pay THEM for the trouble.

Maybe you’re impressed by this sort of nonsense but I’m not. This is pure make-work government intervention which, in my estimation, simply exists to do a little of what liberals love most ... redistribution of income. They can’t just give it away, they have to pretend its being earned. And, of course, like any government program ... try getting rid of them after their established.



Amen. I once did some tutoring at an inner city school. The State had allocated funds to pay for the tutoring, so I got paid for it, but through the tutoring company. All told, they were paying about 30 bucks an hour for my services.

And what did they get for that 30/hr? Not much. They simply wanted us to review test questions and answers with the students. They could pay some kid 6/hr to do that....but it's state money! Who cares! We just have to spend it!

Posted by: Jon Henke at February 21, 2004 10:55 AM

To point out a few hole in this argument. It is argued that Kerry is just "throwing" money toward a service learning program that will not benefit the educational system? The money that would be granted to these kids would be for the pursuit of higher education. So lets look at it from this angle, Kerry would be rewarding young adults who give to their community by helping them pursue their academic endeavours. Ooooh, that sneaky little devil.

Posted by: Michael Schwalbert at April 18, 2004 01:25 PM

Kerry's plan is preferable to Bush's tax and bomb spending. I would rather see my tax dollars go toward improving our communities and helping seniors with health care costs. Our military budget is set to exceed $450 Billion. This does not include all expenses incurred during the occupation of war zones Iraq and Afghanistan. Why would anyone think it is better to bomb 3rd world wedding parties than to improve our country. Dont you see that war only enriches the profiteers (halliburton, raytheon, Carlyle group)? Lets spend our money wisely! Wake up, sheeple....bahhh bahhh.

Posted by: Dogbert at June 3, 2004 06:41 PM

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