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  • Serve America, Not the Government

    Yesterday the Senate passed the Serve America Act which broadly expanded government “service” programs like AmeriCorps, by over 300%. As we explained last week when the House voted, the legislation dramatically increases federal involvement in the realm of volunteerism, continuing the trend toward an America in which “public service” only means working for the government.

    Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) hammered this point home from the Senate floor:


    What works in America today is our civil society–a lot of the volunteer groups that many of us have been a part of. I know for years I spent more time in United Way and a lot of the charity groups, being on their boards back in my community, and I saw what the volunteer arts groups and PTAs and health groups did to build a strong community. Civil society works in America. They are small groups. They are the true engines of character in our country. They promote service and patriotism. In this time where we have seen some of our economic institutions let us down, we have certainly seen our Government and our policies let us down, civil society does not let us down. It works in America today.

    It is understandable why Congress would want to get involved. We see that passion to serve, that desire to do something that is greater than yourselves. We look at that working in our civil society and we want to get involved and expand it.

    Unfortunately, our history shows us when Government gets involved, it tends to take something that is working and make it not work nearly as well. Civil society works because it is everything Government is not. It is small, it is personal, it is responsive, it is accountable. Civil society must be protected from any effort to make it more like Government.

    That is what we are doing with this bill today. This bill centralizes control of important functions of our civil society. There is a downside to good intentions here in Government. The Founders created a limited government and our oath to support and defend the Constitution means that is our focus here. Our oath is to a limited government. The Founders wanted the people to be free from our good intentions. Government charity is anathema to what our Founders intended and what our Constitution stands for. Despite our good intentions, where we try to implement those good intentions and our compassion through the force of Government, we are effectively violating our oath of office here.

    Read the whole speech here.

    Posted in First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    23 Responses to Serve America, Not the Government

    1. Ken Hall says:

      This sounds a lot like the Hitler youth. We are walking a very tight rope. We cannot allow this bill to be passed. This is a move designed to lay a foundation for cutting the influence of the parent and indoctrination to the socialist point of view. I am interested in exploring the idea of filing thousands of small claim suites against our elected officials who show support for any bill that is, by its nature, unconstitutional and outside the authority granted to congress by the Constitution. This gesture would make an impressive impact on the government’s ability to proceed and force a review of the powers of congress.

    2. Franklin's Lock says:

      They are slowly strangling our freedoms. This exemplifies how they are taking it piece by piece by forced service by our children. What has happened to our country?


    3. Lori Levi says:

      What a great idea. I am in. Lets start with filing civil suits against the govt officials who supported this. I am sure heritage can lead the way, let us know what to do>

    4. Johnd Sheets, Utah says:

      Like Michelle Obama, who for the first time, was proud of her country when her husband Barry was nominated by the democrat party as it’s presidential candidate, I am for the first time in my life, ashamed of my government. I have lived through the administration of 13 presidents from Herbert Hoover to George W. Bush and although I’ve not agreed with all their doings I was never truly ashamed as I am now.

      • I am ashamed of a government that cannot find cabinet members who are above reproach in all aspects of their lives.

      • I am ashamed of a government that uses strong arm tactics to force financial institutions to increase their numbers of “Sub Prime” loans and then, when the inevitable happens, blame the very people they pressured.

      • I am ashamed of a government that pressures financial institutions who are not in financial peril to take TARP funds, with all the conditions, who will then be pressured to make sub prime loans spreading the toxic assets and losses to new territory.

      • I am ashamed of a government that has constantly for the two years prior talked the financial markets into a contraction by using the words, depression, crisis, worst economy in years, depleting savings and retirement accounts of millions of hard working, tax paying people of the country.

      • I am ashamed of a government that uses subterfuge and out right lies to hoodwink the public into believing that their taxes will be reduced and then rams through legislation on “Cap and Trade” which will increase the cost of heat, electrical, transportation, food, etc. Estimated impact on disposable income would be between $4,000 and $6,000.

      • I am ashamed of a government that tries to convince the masses that a check to someone who pays no income tax is a tax reduction and not welfare.

      • I am ashamed of a government that twists the language to ameliorate the meaning of “secret ballot ” to “Employee Free Choice”. And a government that uses it’s power to squelch free speech, as in HR 1388 legislation to prevent Government employees from protesting or participation in religious instruction, conducting services etc.

      • I am ashamed of a government that refused to include the minority party in negotiations on the bail out programs, rushing the legislation through with zero minority votes in the House and 3 in the Senate; then allowing bonuses of $165 million paid to AIG employees at the time the majority party was supplying them with our tax money to the tune of $130 billion. Follow the money and you may find a snake in this black hole, in spite of all the protesting of the administration.

      • I am ashamed of a government that ignores the constitution and tries to cover their donkey ass’s by taxing away AIG bonuses they had knowingly approved.

      • I am ashamed of a congress who have no problem with confiscating bonuses of AIG employees and say nothing of the bonuses paid to high ranking members of congress, you may call them “Campaign Contributions” but if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck it’s probably a bonus for some consideration. All contributions to congress by AIG should be repaid.

      In addition to being ashamed, I’m mad as hell about everything that is happening to our country and I blame politicians who have found an old folks retirement home with full pay, health insurance, the use of air transportation, taxpayer paid junkets all over the world, perks to numerous too mention and retirement unequaled by any private institution. There is something very wrong when congress signs legislation which they have not read. It’s time for congress to do the job that we pay them for and stop spending our children, our grand children and perhaps our great grand children’s money. If congress does not act it may be to late to save our country from socialism and then totalitarianism.

    5. Barb -mn says:

      Yes! It is a great idea.

      It saddens me that the government would use the term "volunteer" and yet "pay" for people to do what they call volunteer. Volunteers do their work at will, out of the kindness of their hearts, not for money!

      It is concerning that Obama's only ideas all come to increase government. Taking all of what people freely do for themselves away. While the government takes tax dollars to create costly and unnecessary programs with preferential, personal benefit.

      Obamas training of the military wreaks of a suspicion that Obama's military will be to serve the government, not to serve the people of America. He is a dangerous man. Look where we are. Directly and indirectly, Obama's a part of it all.

      He is taking our liberties and freedoms away and what better way to get the job done then by having his own personal, national, military force.

    6. Barb -mn says:

      Mr. Demint,

      Thank you for your words of truth and dignity of America. You are a realist. Extremely articulate, and a true patriot. Sure could use the majority on those but it takes strength they won't bare to have. Thank you for taking a stand for the true America and her people true to her. May God bless you.

    7. jr., Michigan says:

      these people must be stopped, before they drag us off to their work camps….oops, i mean our new non-salery community service careers.

    8. Dan, New Mexico says:



    9. L. Naylor, UT says:


      This is a very enlightening short video/speech.

      If anyone is interested in something small they can do for America, please watch.

    10. Phil, NC says:

      Government volunteerism? Sounds like mandatory volunteerism resulting in a separate army of human cattle being let to water…I mean the koolaid trough.

    11. Dennis A. Social Cir says:

      What happens when government is out of controll, total chaos. This government is out of controll. Obama, Pelosi, Reid and the dems are just giving this country away. They only want what is best for them. The caninet of obama is not the kind of people that need to be in charge of anything, but the out house. They ahve lead their personal lives like the law does not matter, and it must not, look how many owed back taxes. Would we as citizens have been given as long to pay our taxes. Oh, I forgot, it was just a mistake, according to the "ruler obama". Think I may try that when it comes time to file my taxes, It was just a mistake when I did not send them in. How far will I get with that story?????

    12. Richard says:

      I bet that the way the money is funded and the program structured, you won't be able to work for America. I am a firm believer that every able bodied men and women should spend 6 months in the military going through boot camp after high school before they are allowed to go to work or college.

    13. Bryan Erion Sun Lake says:

      I fully blame our justice department. Our constitution is being destroyed. Were is our justice department who are suppose to protect the people, not the Goverment. This is true socialism. Come on Supreme Court Do your job. I am tired of lies by our President

    14. Dennis, Idaho says:

      Ken- My first thought was the similarity to Hitler's youth corps. Indoctrination into loyalty to the leadership and government. This man is not an American. He has no loyalty to America or the Constitution. He was born in Kenya and is a naturalized citizen of Indonesia. The Supreme Court needs to remove him and declare a new election. The check and balance is their responsibility. If they won't address the problem then they need to be impeached also.

    15. Patricia Moseley Ben says:

      This bill is wasteful, and also indentured labor

      and against our constitution. Where is the need for this, how will it be managed. Our children will be indoctrinated and out of the control of their family's moral training.

      NO NO NO Who is there to defend our consitution.

      This is kind but too lengthy speech adressing a huge problem!!

    16. mike baker Dallas Ce says:

      What this country needs is about half a million more government employees who can't get real work. That's some great community organizing there Barry!

    17. Kevin, Addison,TX says:

      It is time to stand up to this presodent. he is a bully, plain and simple. This is America. The land that I love. This communistic plan that Obama has can not be implemented. Can anyone say civil war?

    18. H L PUCKETT VA. says:


    19. charles, wyoming.usa says:

      Nothing like a good solialist state to cure all of our problems….BULL!!! There's nothing but communists in them there hills. A second revoltution is in the making and the war of 1860-65 will be nothing in comparision.

    20. Terry-Wichita,KS says:

      It's time to wake up people! Things are happening way too fast. Our president actually fired the CEO of a private company. The congress utilized taxation to threaten AIG execs to tax their legal bonuses.(approved by the same body that approved them)The media readily covered ACORN and it's liberal allies when they took 40 people on a bus to intimidate AIG families,but yet (other than FOX News) they won't even cover thousands of people having "Tea Parties" protesting Obama's tax and spend socialist policies! Notice that the CEO of GM was fired,yet the Union Bosses still have their jobs and are awaiting "Card Check" to go through to get their Obama payback! Obama is capitulating to Iran,and Russia,ready to dismiss the missle defense program,ready to cut our military budget in these dangerous times,made certain that overseas abortions were paid for by taxpayers money (even during a financial crisis),doing away with E-Verify to allow illegal aliens in our country,already working on removing the second amendment,putting 600 billion in resrve for socialized medicine without even holding hearings to see what the plan is,ready to start Cap & Trade creating huge utility costs in the name of so-called Global Warming,getting ready to appoint an unamerican lawyer to the state department(you must read about HO-believes in Sharia Law,places the US on terrorists list and more,read the New York Post!),looking into meeting with Barbra Boxer on the UN/Switerland Human rights council to have our own children regulated on how to raise them (again, a fact read about it!)Places radical Arne Duncan in charge of the NEA to brainwash our children in the education system,uses the whitehouse and staff to attack talk radio,ie Rush Limbaugh,Hannity etc…or anyone that disagrees with him,closes GITMO,cancelled drilling, and this is just all I can think of,I am certain I am missing plenty more! Is anyone getting the picture? This all has happened in a few short weeks!Folks these are dangerous times! The part that makes it all even more dangerous is having a complicit media,and an accomodating Hollywood! Imagine 4 years of this,where will we be as a country? Start reading everything you can, email everyone you know,join in the "Tea Parties", start new protests,email your congressmen daily. We must save our country before the damage has been done,and it's too late to change course!

    21. Bayley, Kansas City, says:

      John Sheets and Terry from Wichita, I applaud your passion, honesty, concern, and accuracy in your descriptions of the swift actions and well orchastrated plan Obama and his henchmen have implemented to turn America into a socialist country! The biased main networks, ABC, NBC,CBS, and cable TV News shows like MSNBC,CNN,and newspapers have been their willing partners in duping our naive and trusting citizens. America, the land of the free and home of the brave, is bleeding to death under this regime. We can still turn this country around but we have to make our voices heard above the propaganda flowing from the White House and the Democrats in Congress. Join your local "Tea Party" on April 15th, or whenever your city has scheduled one. Keep e-mailing and calling ALL members of Congress, not just your state Representatives and Senators and tell them we want our America back NOW! Let them know that we will fight them by voting them out in 2010, which is what they are really afraid of when the rubber meets the road. Whenever and wherever you are, spread the word of what is really happening to our liberties and freedoms as we sleep. As a parent, I can tell you right now, I won't stand for my kids being forced to "volunteer for Americorp" and live at Obama's "Youth Engagement Centers" where they will be indoctrinated into socialism and marxism. This group is completely ignoring our constitution and stripping us of our rights guaranteed by our forefathers who wrote it. Have you noticed that many of the president's new laws have been signed with no media attention or announcement to the American people until after his signature is dry on the paper? Where is the transparency and bi-partisanship he promised during his campaign? Smoking mirrors, that's all Obama has in his bag of promises. He can't and won't "walk the talk." It is time for the American people to stop talking about the mess we are in and start doing something about it! We must unite our voices and actions to reclaim our country!

    22. Rich Smith,Ohio says:

      American people have a real problem, we know Obama needs to be impeached! In just 5 months he has broken several laws and ignored the Constitution, and has several blatant examples of abuse of power!

      Our representatives in congress are the only authority that can start impeachment procedures, but will they?

      Probably not!

      I have started calling every member of congress in the state of Ohio telling them to impeach Obama! But the response is not encouraging,we can only get to them through the voting booth!

      I just can't believe so many Americans can't see the evil that Obama is pushing! He is a arrogant punk, drunk with power, and we can't let him stay in office 4 years!

    23. lagunadeb, Laguna CA says:

      Hey all of you hypocrites- if you are ashamed of your government then move to a great country like IRAN-their government wants you badly. Oh yeah, a great idea you all have to spin your wheels and the wheels and money of our government with frivilous lawsuits to satisfy your childish baby fits of not being the leaders any more. There is a good reason your not the leaders any more. It is obviously because you all failed, not the government itself. Individuals make the government and when thy fail as the Bush years failed the people will VOTE YOU OUT! I think sadly that none of you have 1/5 of the brains of Barack Obama. Why don't you all please move to a country that would serve your narrow minds and philosphies. Obama is trying to make positive changes in our country beacuse he is a real leader with open eyes and listens to the voice of the people, not the voices of those with the biggest checking accounts. A country is greater than the sum of it's parts, espically when some of the parts are burned our and think everyone should have their world view. I don't care about your world view and I don't care if you agree with me. That is called FREEDOM of speech. I bet this won't be approved by your bloggers because I disagree with everyone of you and you are all nodding heads who do't use critical thinking skills. Peace

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