CITIZENS AGAINST GOVERNMENT WASTE RELEASES SCATHING INDICTMENT OF THE AMERICORPS PROGRAM | Citizens Against Government Waste

CITIZENS AGAINST GOVERNMENT WASTE RELEASES SCATHING INDICTMENT OF THE AMERICORPS PROGRAM

Press Release

For Immediate ReleaseContact:  Aaron Taylor
November 6, 1998(202) 467-5300

 

(Washington, D.C.) – Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today released its latest investigative report, a scathing indictment of the AmeriCorps program. The report, entitled AmeriCorps the Pitiful, reveals a government program that has utterly failed in its mission to promote volunteerism, and wasted millions of taxpayer dollars along the way.

“AmeriCorps was sold to the public as a program to ignite the nation’s volunteer spirit and reduce the role of government in social services.  President Clinton said that ‘a massive bureaucracy’ for AmeriCorps ‘would be self-defeating,’ but it has become just that,” said CAGW President Thomas A. Schatz.  “So-called volunteers have become junior bureaucrats charged with promoting a political agenda instead of helping people who need help.”

According to the report, the volunteer programs subsidized by AmeriCorps are fraught with waste and abuse.  Additionally, it finds that the very concept of “volunteering” is foreign to AmeriCorps, which pays its personnel.  “The idea of paying for volunteers not only defeats the purpose of encouraging selfless contribution to society, but it also makes a mockery of the millions of Americans who truly volunteer their time and effort for the many worthy causes in our society,” said Schatz.

Among other recommendations, the CAGW report calls for a complete re-examination – if not the elimination – of the AmeriCorps program.  In an attempt to ensure the survival of the program, supporters are suggesting that AmeriCorps personnel put into classrooms to teach children to read.  This idea would cause the program to drift even further from its original mission, and do nothing to improve reading skills. 

“It may be difficult for Beltway insiders to understand the difference between volunteerism and bureaucracy, but the American people know,” concluded Schatz. 

CAGW is a 600,000-member nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government.

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