Now you can engage in your own private pursuit of happiness at taxpayer expense.  From CNS News, Obama to Sign National Service Bill on Tuesday

The AmeriCorps program started by President Bill Clinton will triple in size over the next eight years, and tens of thousands of other Americans will soon see new opportunities to give back to their communities.

It’s all part of a $5.7 billion national service bill President Barack Obama is scheduled to sign Tuesday to foster and fulfill people’s desire to make a difference, such as by mentoring children, cleaning up parks or building and weatherizing homes for the poor.

Hate to rain on this feel-good parade, but millions have already found ways to fulfill their desire to make a difference and give back to their communities and have done so for generations without the need for billions of taxpayer money.

So, in what areas does  the Self-Empowerer-In-Chief  think you can best realize your potential?

The legislation provides for gradually increasing the size of AmeriCorps to 250,000 enrollees from its current 75,000. It outlines five broad categories where people can direct their service: helping the poor, improving education, encouraging energy efficiency, strengthening access to health care and assisting veterans.

Helping the poor–nobody’s ever thought of doing that except religious groups and thousands of charitable organizations and millions of private citizens.  Good one.  Improving education–like in Washington, DC, maybe?
Encouraging energy efficiency–maybe participants can fly the surveillance planes.  Strengthening access to health care–???  I have no idea what that means.  Assisting veterans–again, a brilliant idea that no one else has picked up on, except for the hundreds of organizations dedicated to helping veterans.

If you participate you get more than a pat on the back:

The bill also ties volunteer work to money for college.

People 55 and older could also earn $1,000 education awards by getting involved in public service. Those awards can be transferred to a child, grandchild or even someone they mentored.

Students from sixth grade through senior year of high school could earn a $500 education award for helping in their neighborhoods during a new summer program.

Consider yourself privileged to be in on the birth of a new oxymoron:  paid volunteerism.  Accepting this perversion of rational thought will definitely make a difference.  It makes the concept of volunteerism meaningless.

There’s no mention of who will be “directing” peoples’ service in the article.  These efforts have to be organized by someone.  A good bet would be the organizations that serve as lieutenants in Obama’s army, like ACORN, or parts of the communications brigade, like Media Matters, or at least people who share their big-government views.   They stand to make windfall profits from this exercise.  If you think the bulk of the money won’t go to the middlemen running the show, you need to learn how bureaucracies work.  They know, and they will make sure they get theirs.

This is just another big, fat wealth distribution scheme, from taxpayers to politically-favored groups with a few crumbs thrown to the tax-paying participants. Calling it “volunteering” doesn’t change that fact.  The only question I have is, who will be named Fulfillment Czar?