Monday, November 10th, 2008 | Author:

Apparently, the Obama camp monitors internet traffic (surprise, surprise) and changes their Change.gov website accordingly. (Is this the kind of change he’s been touting?) Since I posted just three days ago about his “America Serves” proposal to turn our young people into forced government labor, he’s decided the forced approach might not fly. (HT to J.D. Tuccille) Instead, he’s dangling carrots. Here’s his original plan [subsequent changes emphasized]:

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. Obama will encourage retiring Americans to serve by improving programs available for individuals over age 55, while at the same time promoting youth programs such as Youth Build and Head Start.

And here’s the changed version: [changes emphasized]

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 setting a goal that all middle school and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year and by developing a plan so that all college students who conduct 100 hours of community service receive a universal and fully refundable tax credit ensuring that the first $4,000 of their college education is completely free. Obama will encourage retiring Americans to serve by improving programs available for individuals over age 55, while at the same time promoting youth programs such as Youth Build and Head Start.

So the goal is for middle school and high school students to do 50 hours of community service, but the means to this end are not specified – better grades, perhaps? extra days off? gold stars? And instead of forcing college students to work for the government for free for 100 hours a year, we will now offer to pay them at the rate of $40 an hour – not bad for part-time college work. Some obvious differences between this plan and the somewhat free market that we now have are these:

  • the government will be defining what work is considered “community service” and qualifies for the tax credit; we’ll obviously need another bureaucracy to handle this
  • the taxpayers will be paying the college students to work, instead of private businesses, so taxes (or inflation) must rise some more
  • traditional part-time jobs will be priced out of the market, (who pays $40/hr to flip burgers?) so say goodbye to your cheap BigMac

Tuccille chose to view Obama’s changed plans as a sign that he’s responsive to internet criticism.

Frankly, if all it takes to defeat bad ideas is to stay up late and write more columns, I’ll make an extra pot of coffee and highlight every intrusive proposal I can find.

I thank him for his work and hope he drinks lots of caffeine, but I guess I’m a more suspicious type. I think it’s far more likely that Obama’s crew floated this proposal to test the reaction. When the results came back negative, they decided to make it more palatable, but the bottom line has not changed.

They still want to control how our young people spend their time, whether they’re in school or out – and that’s still fascism.

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Category: fascism, Obama
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3 Responses
  1. threecollie says:

    Thanks again for keeping me informed! We noticed the changes too, within hours of your post. Amazing!!!

  2. Wendy says:

    The community service for High School students probably has no attached reward… simply, do this or don’t graduate. High school students can’t vote, so you don’t need to bribe them.

  3. akaGaGa says:

    It is amazing, 3C. They also took down the page that specified their gun control plans, but it's still in the google cache, at least at this writing. It includes a provision to make guns child-proof. Wouldn't want the little buggers getting mad about their "community service."

    http://209.85.173.104/search?q=cache:IcYml6GIwSAJ:change.gov/agenda/urbanpolicy/+http://change.gov/agenda/urbanpolicy/&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us&client=firefox-a

    Of course, Wendy! Silly me! I forgot that kids don't have any rights. Thanks for commenting.