AmeriPork Takes a Whack
Jim Grichar (aka Exx-Gman)
by Jim Grichar
a move that upset the hogs that gorge at the federal trough, the
House of Representatives last Friday cut out $100 million from a
disaster spending bill that would have funded 20,000 positions in
the Corporation for National Service, better known as AmeriCorps.
Modeled on previous Raw Deal and Pork Society (oops, I meant to
say FDR’s New Deal and Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society) programs,
and actually a modification of a law passed during Poppie Bush’s
administration, AmeriPork (the term I prefer to use for the whole
mess) is just another way of buying votes and paying off political
cronies, including contractors and local community officials. Designed
as another socialist/fascist national service program, in fact AmeriPork
actually pays volunteers for their work. When is the last time you
volunteered for work and got paid for it?
concept of civilian national service that all citizens owe some
time to the State began with that socialist/fascist Franklin Delano
Roosevelt, when he got the Congress to authorize and appropriate
money for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the Civilian
Conservation Corps (CCC) during the Great Depression. Under the
WPA, workers were hired for so-called public projects, which were
often nothing more than make-work. Digging holes in the ground and
filling them up again was actually one of the main activities of
this federal agency. How this was supposed to bring about an economic
recovery can only be explained by the "crystal ball school
of economic theory."
CCC was not much different, except that these employees lived in
barracks out in the woods, cleaned up forests, planted trees, and
sometimes helped build roads. Again, this make-work did not help
bring the country out of the depression and instead gave those on
the dole false hopes for the future.
cut to the 1960's, with a booming economy no thanks to federal
government and Lyndon Johnson decides he wants to fight the
Vietnam war and pump up non-defense social spending with your tax
dollars and by inflating the currency (sounds like the current Bush-man).
Make-work programs like VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America),
Jobs Corps, and other so-called community service programs were
concocted and tons of money were wasted on them. With poor or shoddy
financial controls (a lot of the money was given out as grants,
meaning that the feds had no real control over what the recipient
did), local politicians and their contractor and other cronies
all wired into Lyndon made out like bandits. Focus groups,
junkets, training sessions for "volunteers," and a variety
of other nonsense took a lot of your money.
socialist/fascist mess lasted even beyond the Reagan administration,
which did manage to get rid of one or two of the more notoriously
wasteful but minor Johnson boondoggles. Given the Bush family
penchant for spending as much as liberal Democrats, it should not
come as a shock that Poppie Bush signed into law the National and
Community Service Act of 1990, which formed the basis for Bill Clinton’s
Corporation for National Service/AmeriCorps in 1993.
by der Schlickmeister as an alternative to military service and
as a way for youngsters to earn money towards college, it was still
called a volunteer program even though the enlistees were getting
paid. Some could earn over $4,000 in college tuition bonuses for
their "volunteer work."
program was just as corrupt and stupid as all its predecessors.
Der Schlickmeister actually used various AmeriPork grant recipients
as his political shock troops, cheering him and other Clinton administration
officials when they toured the country and harassing his political
opponents. In fact, the neo-con Newt Gingrich, when he still had
the public bamboozled into thinking he was a real conservative,
went after AmeriPork in the 1994 campaign that brought the Republicans
into control of both the House and the Senate. It seems that one
AmeriPork grant funded a group the Acorn Project that
staged a protest against Gingrich at a speech he gave at the National
Press Club in DC. Now that took national service and volunteerism
too far, even for Gingrich.
this point, let me interject my own observations of AmeriPork. In
1994, I was still in the federal government and had the chance to
observe an AmeriPork training session that lasted about 2 and ½
days. The raw recruits were brought into what looked like a former
military base, where they slept, ate, and received their training.
The grant recipient had a contractor conduct the training sessions.
Lots of touchee-feelee stuff plus new age psychobabble was the order
of the day. It was like they were trying to brainwash these folks
into being mouthpieces for the Clintons’ Marxist social and cultural
incidents confirmed to me how totally useless and wasteful AmeriPork
was. A colleague of mine and I were watching one afternoon session.
The theme of the indoctrination session was that everyone was okay homosexual males, lesbians, you name it and that to be a team
player, AmeriPorksters had to fully embrace such views and even
open your mind to adopting such practices yourself. Touchee-feelee
time then commenced. My colleague spotted one cute girl, sitting
on the lap of and being hugged by what he thought was her boyfriend.
I looked and pointed out to my colleague that the so-called boyfriend
was instead a "butch," a male-looking girl. We both shook
our heads in disgust.
the end of the training session, the grant recipient took over from
the contractor and led the whole group in the "hokey-pokey,"
a kids’ grade school dance in which everyone forms a big circle,
holds hands, and then sings and dances (anyone remember "You
put your right foot in, your put your right foot out, ...,"
etc.). Well, that’s government. I remember lifting a copy of the
training pamphlets and sending them and a description of these activities
to a genuine conservative columnist nationally syndicated
at the time. But the columnist would not do a story on it. Apparently
it was old and stale news at that point.
back to AmeriPork and its trials and tribulations before the Congress.
During 1995, the first year of the so-called Republican congressional
majority, Newt and his crew made a feeble attempt to kill AmeriPork;
it seems that they settled for provisions that kept grantees from
using the funds for political campaign purposes. Feeble attempts
resurfaced periodically to flush the whole mess down the toilet
of political and financial oblivion, but they invariably failed,
although the level of benefits to individual "volunteers"
may have been scaled back a tad.
then along came George II, whom some hoped would get rid of the
monster. No such luck. He ditched that option within a few months
of taking office. In fact, after 9/11, Bush decided to create a
USA Freedom Corps that would be added into AmeriPork. The AmeriPorksters
were elated, conjuring up visions of bureaucratic permanency and
financial ecstasy. The actual spending for the whole Corporation
for National Service mess was $404 million in fiscal year 2002 (Oct
1, 2001Sep. 30, 2002), about $516 million for 2003, and an
estimated $659 million for 2004.
AmeriPork needed a further infusion of emergency cash as it has
authority to hire up to 50,000 volunteers this year and it overhired that is, brought in too many "volunteers" too quickly
and depleted its budget. With the proposed cut of $100 million from
the disaster funding bill by the House, AmeriPorksters were in a
state of extreme angst and would not be able to hire as many as
they had promised.
an article that appeared in the July 26 Washington
Post, AmeriPorksters howled with indignation over being
cut $100 million by the House of Representatives. The so-called
cut would force AmeriPork to not hire 20,000 out of the 50,000 authorized
hires this year. "Democracy is being thwarted," stated
a coalition of 12 AmeriCorps groups.
of AmeriCorps said that the parent agency the Corporation for
National Service was badly managed, not that the whole concept
was a waste. After all, George Bush still nominally supports it,
having promised to raise the number authorized "volunteers"
to 75,000 next fiscal year.
this support from George II, Representative Randy "Duke"
Cunningham, a Republican from California, was quoted in the article
as saying, "To me, a volunteer, at a church or something, they
get coffee and doughnuts. When you define ‘volunteer,' let’s make
sure that volunteer is volunteer – not paid."
was quickly countered by the reporter with a quote from Representative
George Miller, Democrat of California, who is one of the really
big spenders and a strong supporter of AmeriPork. "Because
of a mistake by the executives in the corporation, we’re now going
to hold these young people liable, we’re now going to decimate this
program." It looks like such government projects as home building
(was the government funding Jimmy Carter’s Habitat for Humanity
projects?), literacy coaching (say what?) and cleaning parks and
streams (the CCC wearing hip waders) will go undone.
Post quoted one man, Alan Khazei, the Chief Executive of City Year,
a 15-year-old program that recruits 1724-year-olds for community
service projects in urban areas. He fretted that his allotment of
AmeriCorps workers would be cut in half, to 500, and that five of
his group’s 13 programs would close, with 50,000 children being
cut from its tutoring, mentoring and literacy efforts. In other
words, people might have to take care of themselves. I wonder if
Alan Khazei will have to take a pay cut. The horror!
you real taxpayers out there should not get your hopes up. The Senate,
with such spenders like Ted Stevens of Alaska, will in all likelihood
loot the public and bludgeon the House into funding AmeriPork in
volunteerism in this country still exists, and if taxpayers were
not being mulcted for every goofy and evil social welfare scheme,
they would have the time and resources to devote to increased genuine
AmeriPork, or other federal programs, the real horror is always
the same you as a taxpayer pay more and get less than you
would have if the private sector either for-profit businesses
or nongovernment-funded private charities handled the
problem. The inefficiency, waste, fraud, other corruption and abuse
inflicted on taxpayers by the federal government like all
governments it has a territorial monopoly of power and the authority
to tax citizens to pay for its activities appears endless,
a price we have to pay for progress.
increasingly see that the real horror is not reduced funding for
the Leviathan State, but that it is their continued subjection to
plunder by a central government that is nothing more than a protection
racket and that operates under a thinner and increasingly transparent
cover story of "doing good."
this racket cannot last forever. The cover story whether
for more warfare or more welfare has become so thin that
even the average Joe and Jane are starting to complain about it.
It will be interesting to see if voters continue to get conned into
supporting the State or whether they decide not to vote in
record numbers, an action that would call into question the legitimacy
of the whole scam. A massive non-turnout would say a lot more about
disgust with government than voting for turncoat politicians who
later renege on their promises to actually cut the size of the central
Grichar (aka Exx-Gman) [send
him mail], formerly an economist with the federal government,
writes to "un-spin" the federal government's attempt to con the
teaches economics part-time at a community college and provides
economic consulting services to the private sector.
© 2003 LewRockwell.com