Ron Paul
2009 Ron Paul Chapter 33

Ron Paul Statement in Opposition to HR 1388 - National Service

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Statement in Opposition to HR 1388 - National Service

2009 Ron Paul 33:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Chair, I rise to oppose HR 1388. The idea that it is legitimate for the federal government to take money from one group of citizens and use that money to bribe other citizens into performing “national service” violates the basic moral principles of individual liberty that this country was founded upon.

2009 Ron Paul 33:2
I would make three points to those of my colleagues who try to justify this bill by saying that participation in the programs are voluntary. First, participation in the program is not voluntary for the taxpayers. Second, nothing in the bill prevents federal taxpayer dollars from being used to support state and local programs that force children to perform “community service” as a condition of graduating from high school. Because an increasing number of schools across the nation are forcing children to provide “service” as a condition of graduating, it is quite likely that the funds authorized by this bill will be used to support mandatory service. Third, and most importantly, by legitimizing the idea that it is an appropriate role for the government to promote “service,” legislation such as H.R. 1388 opens the door for mandatory national service. Today, influential voices in both major parties are calling for a national program of mandatory service as well as a resumption of the military draft. With the increased need for more troops for the administration’s expanded military adventurism in Afghanistan, as well as the continuing movement to conscript young people not eligible for military service to serve the government at home, can anyone doubt that this bill is only the down payment on a much larger program of mandatory national service?

2009 Ron Paul 33:3
The moral case against national service was eloquently expressed by former President Ronald Reagan in the publication Human Events in 1979: “. . . it [national service and conscription] rests on the assumption that your kids belong to the state. If we buy that assumption then it is for the state – not for parents, the community, the religious institutions or teachers – to decide who shall have what values and who shall do what work, when, where and how in our society. That assumption isn’t a new one. The Nazis thought it was a great idea.”

2009 Ron Paul 33:4
Mr. Chair, millions of Americans including many young people, are already volunteering their time and talents to help their fellow citizens and better their communities without being bribed by the government. In fact, to suggest that the young Americans need a federal check as an incentive to volunteer is an insult to the American people. I hope all my colleagues to join me in standing up for individual liberty, the great American tradition of true volunteerism, and the Constitution by opposing H.R. 1388.

2009 Ron Paul 33:5

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