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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Give back, we command you!

Nick Gillespie at reason.com seems to get even madder about overreaching government than I do. Here, he takes on Barack Obama's addled notion of government service, the $5.7 billion Serve America Act, which will spend $5.7 billion more of our tax money to "boost volunteerism" through AmeriCorps and other avenues:

First, public or national service is profoundly un-American as a historical concept and comes always and everywhere slathered in the stink of trench warfare and rhetorical horseshit. This is especially true when it is paid service even as those participating and spending your tax dollars luxuriate in the silky-smooth language of altruism. Which, last time I checked, was supposed to be free. Jesus rendered unto Caesar; he didn't ask for a block grant from Pontius Pilate in return. That Obama pushes national service and voluntarism even as he works to limit tax breaks for charitable giving that drives all sorts of philanthropy is a classic screw-you, my-way-or-the-highway move.

Second, AmeriCorps is a program with a long and distinguished history of sucking even by government standards. It effectively comes in second to the standard-issue DMV bureau, with its director in 2003 dubbing it "another cumbersome, unpredictable government bureaucracy." Yeah, yeah, they can fix all that and become squeaky clean, yadda yadda yadda, and that still doesn't address the more basic fact that it is at best superfluous to what Americans, young and old, are already doing: Which is volunteering and "giving back" to the community up the ying-yang.

You get the idea that these deranged people somehow think service to the community isn't even legitimate if its voluntarily given by people who decide what help they can give where. Only govvernment-approved and -directed charity is valuable.