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A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have! - Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Bob Barr Criticizes Obama Proposal for Mandatory Service

“Americans are among the most generous people on the planet and excel at serving one another,” says Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party presidential candidate. “Unfortunately, Sen. Barack Obama wants to turn service into a government requirement” by forcing middle, high school, and college students to work in federally approved jobs. “But service must be an outgrowth of the heart to be life-changing for both parties. It isn’t possible to mandate generosity or coerce compassion,” Barr explains.

Moreover, “it certainly isn’t Washington’s responsibility to dictate to every middle school, high school, and college across America the sort of activities they should require of their students,” notes Barr. “If local school boards and college presidents believe mandatory service to be a good idea, they can—as many have done—make it a graduation requirement. There’s no justification for the federal government to set a national standard.”

Indeed, Barr observes, “the next president and Congress will have a lot of serious issues on their hands. Such as cutting the federal budget deficit. Restoring the Constitution’s protections for civil liberties. Withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq. Confronting the entitlements budget crisis. Dealing with high energy prices. Reforming taxes. The list goes on and on.”

These are the challenges that Americans expect their leaders to meet. “Washington politicians should not be telling schools across America how many hours their students should work, and in what kinds of jobs,” says Barr. “The Founders displayed great genius when the framed the Constitution, because they limited the federal government to national problems while preserving state and local authority over such issues as education, including youth service.”

“Everyone agrees that service is a wonderful gift from those with much to those with little. But we should not sacrifice the great value of voluntary service by turning it into a government requirement,” Barr concludes.

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