I’ve published columns here and elsewhere about the National Service Reauthorization Act—it has managed to move its bloated body through the House [HR 1388] in record time. Here’s an update from GovTrack—it’s hard to get on that site right now. Hopefully the senators are actually reading this bill: “This bill has been passed in the House. The bill now goes on to be voted on in the Senate. Keep in mind that debate may be taking place on a companion bill in the Senate, rather than on this particular bill. [Last Updated: Mar 24, 2009 8:11AM]” Transparency is the favorite unkept promise of Congress.
The bill sounds like a benign reauthorization of an existing program. But as of this writing, 12 amendments have been added and if you can read through the cloudy language and wade through the primordial legislative stew, you’ll realize the House added new spending.
One commenter at Red State and others at the Facebook group Stop 1388 mentioned an infringement on the 1st amendment to the constitution. I didn’t bring that up because the bill prohibits organizations receiving funding from politicizing, not individuals on personal time.
Another commenter at Facebook called Republicans people who “use fear and paranoia to help assemble their masses.” Had that commenter used an intelligent argument, he might have checked the bill and learned Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) are among co-sponsors of this bill. He might have also realized many of us consider ourselves fiscal and national security conservatives, terms not necessarily in sync with some Republicans or Democrats in Congress today. And some of us might point out liberal Democrats use greed and entitlements to beg for votes, so it all balances out in the polls. There are conservatives among Democrats AND Republicans. Let there be a light bulb flashing in your head on that point.
I’ve done community organizing, on my dime, without receiving a cent of federal or other government funding. I’ve volunteered to help low income residents who are literally imprisoned right now in a plantation mentality, a cycle of perpetual need that can never be met by government.
This bill should not pass as it now stands because it increases spending, and in some cases, that spending is indexed to inflation. It expands federal entities at a time when we do not need a single federal dollar increase in anything. What will happen to those entitlement classes in years to come when the money runs out, when there are no more “rich” to tax? What happened to endorsing personal responsibility, to taking responsibility for your community and using existing laws to remedy social problems? And don’t tell me you know more about it than I do.
I reclaimed a drug infested neighborhood, along with the help of the residents. I lived there. When you reclaim a community like that, work with your neighbors and see home prices rise, then maybe you can tell me you know more than I do.
Read the amendments to this bill. They crammed everything from arts groups in low income neighborhoods to clean energy in rural areas.
Stop HR1388 has more than 3,000 members at Facebook right now. If you’re not involved in politics, now’s the time. They’re not just spending our money, they’re spending our children’s and our grandchildren’s money. And like all other social program sinkholes, those dollars will not make a large difference.
We absolutely must monitor this government and report on it. Establishment media isn’t interested in real reportage. They’re interested in sound bites and news of the minute. The Facebook Group Stop 1388 formed just a couple days ago is doing a job media traditionally did, and membership grows by the minute. Hopefully we’re sending a loud message to Washington. If we don't continue to do so, we'll see our taxes rise, indexed to the rise of federal programs.