Editor: Further funding of AmeriCorps?
This Past Friday I was invited by my good friend Robb levis Regional Director North Central Region of AmeriCorps NCCC to attend an informational presentation basically for the benefit of First District Congressman Rod Blum. This is the season for Federal Funding battles, and AmeriCorps is no exception. I am unable to remember the last time a Congressional Budget was formed and adopted, as we continue to fund government bureaucracies’ by Continuing Resolution or CR. Until Congress has the guts to reform entitlements such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and others it is not likely we will see a balanced budget – This discussion will be for another time. Sequestration has cut the budget of the Navy, Marine Corps, Army and the Air Force dramatically. In my opinion not a wise course considering the dangers we face from the Middle East, Iran, Russia, and particularly North Korea – again a discussion for another time.
In considering the continuation of funding for AmeriCorps one must consider the Cost/Benefit of this program. Members selected are aged 18-24 and may serve one term lasting 10 months some may return for a second tour, but not a third. I learned there are no educational requirements as members range from high school drop out to those with post graduate degrees. They learn leadership skills as well as team skills. After training they may be assigned to any number of tragedies including floods, wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes and even Habitat for Humanity projects. When out in the field these kids work and work hard getting a pittance in return plus an education credit which can be used to pay off debt or help pay tuition. The give- back to the communities they help is much more than the cost of the program which in governmental finance terms is like a twenty dollar bill is to me, in other words a tiny, tiny fraction of the overall expenditures of HHS. There are few government programs I support. This program is one I will support and encourage Congressman Blum to support as well. The purse strings are in the House of Representatives, so a letter or phone call to Mr. Blum will be appreciated.
Congressman Rod Blum
1108 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2911