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Old June 13th, 2013, 10:15 AM   #1
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The Reality of Feel-Good Government

Another reality check to a $446 million a year Government boondoggle.

James Bovard: The Reality of Feel-Good Government
After nearly 20 years and billions of taxpayer dollars, AmeriCorps has little to show.

By JAMES BOVARD
The government-supported service organization AmeriCorps got a boost from President Obama in April, when he announced a new program to "connect more professional scientists and engineers to young students who might follow in their footsteps." According to a news release, the goal is to place hundreds of AmeriCorps members in nonprofits across the country to mobilize professionals in science, technology, engineering and math "to inspire young people to excel in STEM education."

A lofty goal, to be sure, but not one AmeriCorps is likely to serve well. Judging by the program's track record over two decades—or distinct lack of a track record in several cases—taxpayers have better ways to spend some $446 million a year.

A sort of domestic Peace Corps, AmeriCorps was created in 1993 to place adult Americans in community service with nonprofit and public agencies, especially in environmental protection, health, education and public safety. President Clinton declared that AmeriCorps is "living proof" that "if we hold hands and believe we're going into the future together, we can change anything we want to change." President George W. Bush was a big supporter, too.

But the halo on AmeriCorps exists primarily because few people have examined what the corps and its members are really up to. The grandiose achievements of AmeriCorps have always been a statistical illusion, full of impressive-looking numbers of people and causes served, and yet—as the Government Accountability Office has pointed out—often missing evidence of real accomplishment.

...................

When it comes to measuring results, however, the program has always relied on Soviet-style accounting—adding up labor inputs and proclaiming victory. The Government Accountability Office criticized AmeriCorps in 2000 for this reason and rapped the organization again in 2010 for using performance measures that "do not demonstrate results" and are "poorly aligned" with stated goals. The GAO warned that the self-reported data from grant recipients was unverified and unreliable.

The current inspector general of the Corporation for National and Community Service, Deborah Jeffrey, warned in a report in April that AmeriCorps' analyses of its wrongful payments problem routinely ignore "how grantees actually spend the funds." It is not clear how much more we will learn, though. In 2012, Congress slashed the annual budget for the inspector general's office in half, to $4 million, forcing the layoff of half of its 10 auditors and most of the eight investigators, Ms. Jeffrey says.

Politicians of both parties have routinely waved through support for AmeriCorps. Who wants to come out against a group that so easily lends itself to feel-good oratory? What's often forgotten is that when the government runs a "volunteer" organization, Washington politicians are volunteering taxpayer dollars.

Mr. Bovard is the author, most recently, of the e-book memoir "Public Policy Hooligan."


James Bovard: The Reality of Feel-Good Government - WSJ.com
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Old June 13th, 2013, 11:11 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Truth Detector View Post
Another reality check to a $446 million a year Government boondoggle.

James Bovard: The Reality of Feel-Good Government
After nearly 20 years and billions of taxpayer dollars, AmeriCorps has little to show.

By JAMES BOVARD
The government-supported service organization AmeriCorps got a boost from President Obama in April, when he announced a new program to "connect more professional scientists and engineers to young students who might follow in their footsteps." According to a news release, the goal is to place hundreds of AmeriCorps members in nonprofits across the country to mobilize professionals in science, technology, engineering and math "to inspire young people to excel in STEM education."

A lofty goal, to be sure, but not one AmeriCorps is likely to serve well. Judging by the program's track record over two decades—or distinct lack of a track record in several cases—taxpayers have better ways to spend some $446 million a year.

A sort of domestic Peace Corps, AmeriCorps was created in 1993 to place adult Americans in community service with nonprofit and public agencies, especially in environmental protection, health, education and public safety. President Clinton declared that AmeriCorps is "living proof" that "if we hold hands and believe we're going into the future together, we can change anything we want to change." President George W. Bush was a big supporter, too.

But the halo on AmeriCorps exists primarily because few people have examined what the corps and its members are really up to. The grandiose achievements of AmeriCorps have always been a statistical illusion, full of impressive-looking numbers of people and causes served, and yet—as the Government Accountability Office has pointed out—often missing evidence of real accomplishment.

...................

When it comes to measuring results, however, the program has always relied on Soviet-style accounting—adding up labor inputs and proclaiming victory. The Government Accountability Office criticized AmeriCorps in 2000 for this reason and rapped the organization again in 2010 for using performance measures that "do not demonstrate results" and are "poorly aligned" with stated goals. The GAO warned that the self-reported data from grant recipients was unverified and unreliable.

The current inspector general of the Corporation for National and Community Service, Deborah Jeffrey, warned in a report in April that AmeriCorps' analyses of its wrongful payments problem routinely ignore "how grantees actually spend the funds." It is not clear how much more we will learn, though. In 2012, Congress slashed the annual budget for the inspector general's office in half, to $4 million, forcing the layoff of half of its 10 auditors and most of the eight investigators, Ms. Jeffrey says.

Politicians of both parties have routinely waved through support for AmeriCorps. Who wants to come out against a group that so easily lends itself to feel-good oratory? What's often forgotten is that when the government runs a "volunteer" organization, Washington politicians are volunteering taxpayer dollars.

Mr. Bovard is the author, most recently, of the e-book memoir "Public Policy Hooligan."


James Bovard: The Reality of Feel-Good Government - WSJ.com
The Murdoch Street Journal.

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Old June 14th, 2013, 01:25 AM   #3
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Remember, the idea is not to help people.

The idea is to control the funds.

Once you understand this basic truth then all the puzzle pieces fall into place.
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Old June 14th, 2013, 05:52 AM   #4
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The Murdoch Street Journal.

As usual, no substance just brain dead spam. Can't say I am surprised.
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Old June 14th, 2013, 11:11 AM   #5
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Another reality check to a $446 million a year Government boondoggle.

James Bovard: The Reality of Feel-Good Government
After nearly 20 years and billions of taxpayer dollars, AmeriCorps has little to show.

By JAMES BOVARD
The government-supported service organization AmeriCorps got a boost from President Obama in April, when he announced a new program to "connect more professional scientists and engineers to young students who might follow in their footsteps." According to a news release, the goal is to place hundreds of AmeriCorps members in nonprofits across the country to mobilize professionals in science, technology, engineering and math "to inspire young people to excel in STEM education."

A lofty goal, to be sure, but not one AmeriCorps is likely to serve well. Judging by the program's track record over two decades—or distinct lack of a track record in several cases—taxpayers have better ways to spend some $446 million a year.

A sort of domestic Peace Corps, AmeriCorps was created in 1993 to place adult Americans in community service with nonprofit and public agencies, especially in environmental protection, health, education and public safety. President Clinton declared that AmeriCorps is "living proof" that "if we hold hands and believe we're going into the future together, we can change anything we want to change." President George W. Bush was a big supporter, too.

But the halo on AmeriCorps exists primarily because few people have examined what the corps and its members are really up to. The grandiose achievements of AmeriCorps have always been a statistical illusion, full of impressive-looking numbers of people and causes served, and yet—as the Government Accountability Office has pointed out—often missing evidence of real accomplishment.

...................

When it comes to measuring results, however, the program has always relied on Soviet-style accounting—adding up labor inputs and proclaiming victory. The Government Accountability Office criticized AmeriCorps in 2000 for this reason and rapped the organization again in 2010 for using performance measures that "do not demonstrate results" and are "poorly aligned" with stated goals. The GAO warned that the self-reported data from grant recipients was unverified and unreliable.

The current inspector general of the Corporation for National and Community Service, Deborah Jeffrey, warned in a report in April that AmeriCorps' analyses of its wrongful payments problem routinely ignore "how grantees actually spend the funds." It is not clear how much more we will learn, though. In 2012, Congress slashed the annual budget for the inspector general's office in half, to $4 million, forcing the layoff of half of its 10 auditors and most of the eight investigators, Ms. Jeffrey says.

Politicians of both parties have routinely waved through support for AmeriCorps. Who wants to come out against a group that so easily lends itself to feel-good oratory? What's often forgotten is that when the government runs a "volunteer" organization, Washington politicians are volunteering taxpayer dollars.

Mr. Bovard is the author, most recently, of the e-book memoir "Public Policy Hooligan."


James Bovard: The Reality of Feel-Good Government - WSJ.com
Another good example of the failure of Liberalism. Government programs like these don't help the people involved acquire the knowledge it takes to live independent productive lives. It just creates more government dependency.
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Old June 14th, 2013, 12:15 PM   #6
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Another good example of the failure of Liberalism. Government programs like these don't help the people involved acquire the knowledge it takes to live independent productive lives. It just creates more government dependency.
We must all constant be aware and vigilant that this is exactly what the left wants. By having a steady supply of willing dependents on the State, the State can ensure its continued existence and power into perpetuity.

Politicians arrogantly believe that only they know what is good for all of us, and by their benevolence and forceful extraction of wealth from those greedy rich people, they can force us to live happy equal lives.

Wendy's commercial with Russian theme - YouTube
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Old June 14th, 2013, 01:44 PM   #7
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Shame on the Republicans for not killing this.
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Old June 14th, 2013, 01:57 PM   #8
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Americorps is widely seen by Congress as a success. Ignore FOX and read the facts



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. Over the years, AmeriCorps, the national service program established in 1993 during the Clinton administration, has had supporters and detractors. The former praised the opportunities for public service AmeriCorps created. The latter grumbled about the cost of the financial incentives that support the program. Now, though, there is widespread agreement about the program's merit. It has earned an enviable reputation for excellence.

Praise for the program comes from many quarters. Legislators, for the most part, now readily support the agency and its work. Congress recently approved a budget that will fund the AmeriCorps at its highest level since its inception. There was little disagreement about the amount appropriated. That is a sure sign of acceptance and approval in a Congress that is widely held to be the most, or among the most, partisan and disputatious in history.
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Old June 15th, 2013, 12:08 AM   #9
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Americorps is widely seen by Congress as a success. Ignore FOX and read the facts
Another quote??? Shouldn't you deal with the one you cited about what Rubio purportedly said on the "Marco thread", first???
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Old June 15th, 2013, 05:28 AM   #10
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Another quote??? Shouldn't you deal with the one you cited about what Rubio purportedly said on the "Marco thread", first???
Why would Congress that is so divided not have a problem funding Americorps if my quote above was not accurate ? Obfuscation Tony.
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