In his speech at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, Barack Obama says he will “ask Americans to serve” and “ask for your service.” But will he ever actually ask? Sure, he can ask for our vote, and there a point where all eligible voters can choose to vote for him or not.
But when will Americans have the choice to serve or not? In his speech he outlines several new government-run tax-funded service programs. But when do we have the choice whether to fund these or not? When does he ask us, and when do we have a chance to say “no”? Or is Obama saying he wants to take our money without asking, and then with it create government programs that give others the opportunity to serve? If so, why doesn’t he say that?
Perhaps this passage explains it:
There is a lesson to be learned from generations who have served – from soldiers and sailors; airmen and Marines; suffragists and freedom riders; teachers and doctors; cops and firefighters. It’s the lesson that in America, each of us is free to seek our own dreams, but we must also serve a common purpose, a higher purpose.
“We must also serve a common purpose, a higher purpose.” Says who? Why? Who determines what this common purpose is, and what “higher” means? What happens to Americans who peacefully refuse to cooperate with this? For example, those who “must” fund the programs Obama suggests? What powers does he grant law enforcement to do to those who do not cooperate?
Here are some selections from his speech:
…I won’t just ask for your vote as a candidate – I will ask for your service and your active citizenship when I am President of the United States.
This will not be a call issued in one speech or one program – this will be a central cause of my presidency. We will ask Americans to serve. We will create new opportunities for Americans to serve. And we will direct that service to our most pressing national challenges. …
We need your service, right now, at this moment – our moment – in history. I’m not going to tell you what your role should be; that’s for you to discover. But I am going to ask you to play your part; ask you to stand up; ask you to put your foot firmly into the current of history. I am asking you to change history’s course.
And some of his proposals on how to spend taxpayers money without their consent:
As President, I will expand AmeriCorps to 250,000 slots, and make that increased service a vehicle to meet national goals like providing health care and education, saving our planet and restoring our standing in the world, so that citizens see their efforts connected to a common purpose….
I will launch a new Social Investment Fund Network. …
We’ll expand USA Freedom Corps …
We’ll call on Americans to join an Energy Corps to conduct renewable energy and environmental cleanup projects in their neighborhoods …
And we’ll also grow our Foreign Service …
We’ll enlist them in our Energy Corps,…we’ll expand the YouthBuild Program
Wow, what a great guy! Dear President, do relieve us of starting our own charities or figuring out which one we should donate to! I mean, one could argue that your programs unfairly compete with these charities, and to remedy that, taxpayers should receive a full tax credit for every dollar they donate to a non-government charity, and a competing government charity loses that dollar.
Sure, voters could hire someone one, like an investment adviser, to advise him how to donate money based on their own personal values and whether the charities actually do a good job. You know, just they do for their financial investments. Similarly, these are investments in non-profits. That is, if they don’t like Charity Navigator or GuideStar’s ratings.
But hey, we don’t want to give taxpayers too much choice, do we? The political ruling class knows that voters cannot handle that. They need to me led, and told how to donate to charity! Even after all they learn in government schools, they cannot handle the responsibility.
But wait, doesn’t Obama mention a tax credit? Yes, he does, but it’s different:
For college students, I have proposed an annual American Opportunity Tax Credit of $4,000. To receive this credit, we’ll require 100 hours of public service. You invest in America, and America invests in you – that’s how we’re going to make sure that college is affordable for every single American, while preparing our nation to compete in the 21st century.
In other words, unless you do 100 hours of public service, the IRS will “ask” you for $4000 in taxes. If you don’t pay, you end up in prison. If you want it back, you must do 100 hours of public service. How is this different from legalized extortion?
Ari Armstrong has similar comments here.