Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Draft is Coming Back

For years, New York Congressman Charles Rangel has introduced a bill in Congress to reinstate the draft. It's purely political theater. The dimmer bulbs on the Left occasionally discover the bill, don't bother to read any deeper than the summary, and then start hollering about "Bush is bringing back the draft!" I'm sure Rangel giggles every time it happens.

But now, Rangel is really serious. He does want to bring back a draft -- one that is a requirement of everyone who turns eighteen, no exceptions. This draft does have a diversion in it, where you can opt out of military service and go into "National Service." Read about it here. You may not go to war, but you will serve.

Tie this in with Obama's call earlier this month for a new volunteerism and a massive expansion of the AmeriCorps:
At $3.5 billion a year, his service plan, laid out last December and expanded on only slightly Wednesday, has been derided by conservatives as an example of big government. He would expand the AmeriCorps program established by President Bill Clinton by 250,000 slots, double the size of the Peace Corps by 2011, expand the Foreign Service, and create an Energy Corps to conduct renewable-energy and environmental-cleanup projects. Veterans would be enlisted to help other veterans find jobs and support, and a Social Investment Fund Network would support the nonprofit sector.

An American Opportunity Tax Credit would offer $4,000 to college students for 100 hours of public service. A planned expansion of the Army and Marines by 92,000 would be fostered with pay raises, more family-friendly policies and an end to recruiting impediments such as "stop-loss" decrees that prevent service members from leaving on schedule.
Note the part about the tax credit for college-student service.

There's already a strong movement by high schools and colleges to require some form of community service in order to receive a degree. (More here and here.)

Bring this all together, add in an Obama presidential win, and I think every 18- to 24-year-old out there has something to think about. Imagine having to put all those prime college years, early career/family years, or prime slacking / drinking / gaming / fucking around years on hold, to do the bidding of old farts like ... Charley Rangel!

It's not that Democrats are opposed to involuntary national service, just to what ends you put it to.

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