American Elephants

There is often more than one way to do things. by The Elephant's Child
April 24, 2009, 11:30 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: ,

Victor Davis Hanson, on “trashing your predecessor,” from The Corner on National Review Online:

From a July 2002 Bush Press Conference, when GWB was asked about the topic of the recklessness and re-regulation of the 1990s:

Q.  Sir, you said in your speech tomorrow you’re going to talk about some of the excesses of the 1990s when a lot of money was flying around, people were playing a lot of games…money.  You weren’t president then.  Bill Clinton was president.  Do you think in some way he contributed to that?  Set a moral tone in any way?

A. No.

Volunteerism is no longer free. It just got very, very expensive. by The Elephant's Child

About a month ago, I wrote a post   called “Obama’s Civilian Mandatory “Volunteer” Brownshirt Corps. ” The title probably indicated pretty clearly that I didn’t think much of the idea.  Since Americans lead the world in their altruism, their unpaid volunteer giving of time and money, I thought it was probably not a good idea to try to turn it into another government funded bureaucracy.  I was right.

“The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act”, was signed into law on Tuesday by President Obama.  I assume that this is the same bill, since it has the same sponsor, and I can find no trace of the original GIVE Act at Thomas, the Library of Congress site.  It will triple the number of AmeriCorps members from 75,000 to 250,000.  Officially it:

reauthorizes and expands national service programs administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency created in 1993.  The Corporation engages four million Americans in result-driven service each year, including 75,000 AmeriCorps members, 492,000 Senior Corps volunteers, 1.1 million Learn and Serve America students, and 2.2 million additional community volunteers mobilized and managed through the agency’s programs.

Nick Gillespie of Reason Magazine says: “The law shovels out $5.7 billion of taxpayer dollars over the next five years to “boost volunteerism at AmeriCorps and elsewhere.  In an era of  trillions of dollars in wasteful spending, that’s a real bargain.”  He also notes that they already got an extra $200 million from the stimulus bill.

At the time, with a little cursory research into AmeriCorps, I found it lived up to my skepticism.  But now, I have found more — much more — from Nick Gillespie and from James Bovard who is not only a splendid researcher, but has 8 fine books to his credit. They don’t like AmeriCorps either, and pull no punches in explaining why. Jim Bovard’s piece can be found here.  Here are the dirty little secrets that the liberals don’t want you to know.

As far as I am able to tell, no program or policy ever introduced by Democrats is a failure.  Programs that take welfare recipients off the streets and send them into classrooms as reading tutors have “taught millions of children to read.”  Never mind that many of the tutors have only an eighth-grade education.  These programs are all a success, and with a little reorganization and a lot more money, will be an even greater success. That’s why it doesn’t matter what the results are.

Democrats appreciate the goals or intent of legislation. They mean well, and  they are quite unconcerned about the consequences. It is enough if the law promises the requisite amount of hope and change.  Doesn’t matter if the promises are empty. The intent is all.

UPDATE: We had a bad link here.  It’s fixed now.  Sorry.

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