Friday, March 27, 2009

AmeriCorps federalizing volunteerism.

I just saw today that the Senate voted to triple the size of AmeriCorps, in a further attempt to federalize every single part of the American life. The public sector is now seeping into volunteer life. The main problem with this expansion is twofold I think.

One: This is the government stepping into an area long driven by Christian charity and trying to influence the direction of volunteers in our country. The American spirit is one of giving, as Americans give and volunteer more than any other country in the world. This is undoubtedly due to the Judeo-Christian spirit of generosity and charity. But, it is worth noting that volunteering is not popular in Europe, or elsewhere in the West for that matter, mainly because when government influences giving of time or money, it is detrimental and devastating to generosity. Because, if the government can provide for the needs of the downtrodden, as all socialized governments have efficiently done over the many examples of socialism and communism, what is the need for Christan charity? (that last part was sarcasm)

Two, this will draw volunteers away from smaller (and Christian) volunteer organizations because Americorps pays their volunteers substantially more money per month. This new expansion will draw volunteers from actual charitable organizations and make them subjects to governmental whims of what is just and charitable. The government will dominate the volunteer community and create the standard.

Mark Steyn even had a comment on this topic earlier this week:

"I’m a bit sick of the government annexation of public spirit. Tocqueville, two hundred years ago, identified America’s great resource in the civic spirit of its citizenry, that they form what they call the little platoons of society, organizational groups. The minute the federal government federalizes volunteerism, it’s just a big bureaucratic boondoggle."

Also interesting to many of you in the volunteer community would be the new administration's intentions of canceling itemized deductions on families making more than 250,000 dollars a year, no doubt to help pay for the recent increases in federal spending of B.O and cronies. This will cost charitable organizations by conservative estimates (that is by estimating on the low side) at least 4 billion dollars a year in total. And, as we can see from the example in Europe, when government discourages charitable giving instead of encouraging it, charitable organizations die. How will this downturn in charity affect organizations already suffering from lack of funding due to the recession?

This is my point: when government grows and increases public spending on domains that should be left to Christians and raises taxes which in turn gives individuals less money to spend generously on acts of Mercy, the government hinders Christians in building the Kingdom. Here are two suitable examples I think.

If you think I'm being too much of a conservative such and such, etc. etc. I'd love to hear some counter arguments.



Bobby Jones said...

Could you link to the news story you site here, I would like to read first hand what they are planning to do.

Samwise Gamgee said...

Steyn's take:

conservative take:

liberal take:

Anonymous said...

It is inarguably true that people will reduce charitable donations if they become non tax-deductible.

All taxpayers who itemize know and use this deduction to the fullest extent of the law, as they can and should.

dies irae said...

The gov't doesn't like anyone or anything doing a better job especially the followers of the real Savior.