Politicians originally sold AmeriCorps as an alternative to big government -- a program to "renew the ethic of civic responsibility and the spirit of community throughout the United States." With bipartisan support, the program has morphed into an all-purpose progressive slush fund. Instead of reining in the national service boondoggle, Washington has turned taxpayer-subsidized helping hands into a legion of Nanny State handout helpers. Goodbye, AmeriCorps. Hello, FoodStampCorps.
Yes, across the Internet, the feds are recruiting AmeriCorps VISTA ("Volunteers in Service to America") workers to apply for jobs as publicists for the welfare state. Their mission: to sign up as many people to federal food stamp rolls as possible. Because, you know, the record-breaking 12 million that have been added since Obama took office is apparently not good enough.
Here's a typical job ad in Boston: "AMERICORPS VISTA: FOOD STAMP COORDINATOR (INTERNSHIP) Through this project, the Elderly Commission will be able to provide information, assistance and support to senior citizens of Boston in applying for food stamps. Develop a full knowledge of the Food Stamp program and application process. Assist seniors in senior housing and community centers to fill out Food Stamp applications; assist seniors with gathering necessary proofs together for applications; follow up with the Department of Transitional Assistance to ensure seniors receive awarded benefits. Recruit volunteers to be trained on the application of the Food Stamp program."
In New York, Philadelphia and a total of 30 sites across the country, AmeriCorps and the Department of Agriculture are funding the "National Anti-Hunger and Opportunity Corps" to "increase access to food stamps."