required community service under Obama

13 11 2008

Now that the 2008 election is over, I’m ready to move on from politics.  But just as I was about to write on a different topic, I came across one of Obama’s initiatives that I’m wondering about.

A few days ago I found, which is the official website that follows the setting up of the Obama Administration for when he takes the office of President in 2009.  At the site, there’s a page called America Serves.  (What you are about to read is what the page said when the site went live after the election.  It has since changed.  I’ll get to that in a minute.)  That page starts with a quote that sounds good:

“When you choose to serve — whether it’s your nation, your community or simply your neighborhood — you are connected to that fundamental American ideal that we want life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness not just for ourselves, but for all Americans. That’s why it’s called the American dream.”

It’s good to serve our country and the people in it.  And notice the quote says “when you choose to serve”.  Now notice what follows it:

The Obama Administration will call on Americans to serve in order to meet the nation’s challenges. President-Elect Obama will expand national service programs like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps and will create a new Classroom Corps to help teachers in underserved schools, as well as a new Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, and Veterans Corps. Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year.

Notice the word “require” in the last sentence.  It’s good to ask and encourage students to volunteer in their communities, but it’s quite different to require it.  It looks like Obama’s experience as a community organizer may come back to haunt us.

I realize the 100 hours for college students is probably part of his “American Opportunity Tax Credit” where the students (or their parents) get a $4,000 tax credit in exchange for community service.  But how does the 50 hours for younger students in public schools work?

Ahh, but since I wrote that, the website has been updated.  That page no longer says “require” (which some people have translated as “forced”, as in “forced servitude”).  The new wording is now that Obama will set a “goal” of community service, with the same numbers as before.  (At this link, you can see how the original was worded before it was changed.)

Well, it’s no surprise that Obama’s plans have changed nor that the website has changed — after all, Obama is all about CHANGE.  But I do wonder (nervously) how much change he is going to make in regards to our freedom and our democracy / republic.  Most analysts agree that Obama was elected primarily to fix the economy, but I’m afraid he has much bigger plans than that.  I’m not afraid of some changes, but not everything needs to be changed, and I don’t want America to switch to socialism or communism (to any extent), which a number of far-left people are pushing for.




One response

24 11 2008
Thomas Wayne

Perhaps Obama will include this in his inauguration speech: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what your country will require you to do.”

You know he wouldn’t, because he will sell his Communist/Socialist-style plans with smooth talking, and most of the mainstream media will accept it as awesomeness.

Also, I saw this about these plans:
The additional proposals in today’s plan will cost about $1 billion per year when fully phased in. Obama will fully pay for this new commitment without increasing the deficit by dedicating a small portion of the savings from his comprehensive effort to cut government spending, including reforming federal contracting, reducing the number of federal earmarks, improving federal procurement processes, and ending wasteful and unnecessary federal programs.
If that isn’t generic… Isn’t that what every politician promises?

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