Following is the transcript of the interview on AmeriCorps with Glenn Beck late last month.
I have not been able to track down a video of the interview. (Fox didn’t come through…) Is there someplace where it is possible to order a DVD/video of a Beck interview?
Copyright 2009 Fox News Network, LLC.
Fox News Network
SHOW: GLENN BECK 5:00 PM EST
July 24, 2009 Friday
[First segment of show talked about the rising minimum wage]
BECK: All right.
Now, the unemployed, you know, teenagers and young people, where are they going to turn? Well, how about AmeriCorps? This is where it gets interesting to me.
Jim Bovard, he is the author of “Attention Deficit Democracy.”
Well, that sounds good, Jim. How are you? How are you doing, sir?
JIM BOVARD, “ATTENTION DEFICIT DEMOCRACY” AUTHOR: Good. Thanks for having me on.
BECK: Very good. I haven’t seen a — I haven’t seen a beard like that in a while. That’s a good looking beard you got there.
BOVARD: Well, yes, it’s something — it is something my fashion coach came up with.
BECK: I got one, too. Look at me.
OK. Jim, help me out on AmeriCorps. They are promoting national service and that’s great and everything. It’s just, you know, David just said, hey, look, you know, and they’re trying to do things with, you know, politicians are just trying to look and say, “Hey, maybe we can, you know, raise the minimum wage and it will help poor people.”
I don’t think that’s what’s happening here. They are pushing people into the government, and they’re pushing people into community service. Tell me a little bit about the plan that you might see with AmeriCorps.
BOVARD: Well, the Obama administration wants to triple the size of AmeriCorps, raising it from 75,000 members to more than a — to a quarter million people. This was a boondoggle when Clinton started it. It was a boondoggle when George W. Bush expanded it, and it’s an even bigger boondoggle now.
And there’s just — there is so much sanctimony about this program. This is politicians’ attempt to put a halo over the entire federal government.
BECK: Yes. OK. This is actually — if I’m not mistaken, in their executive summary, they talk about — this is a pipeline towards government service. This is a pipeline to get people in and having them serve, right?
BOVARD: Well, yes. And service — I mean, there is so much dishonesty about this program, because Obama — like earlier presidents talked about these people being volunteers — but a lot of them are earning as much or more as what they could have earned in a real job.
BECK: Oh, yes. And they’ve got all of the perks. They’ve got all of the benefits. They have all of the stability of a government job, if you will. I mean, you can’t fire these people. It’s bad.
OK. So, here is where I want to take you — I think a lot of people will talk about minimum wage and they’ll say, “Oh, well, the politicians are just stupid or whatever.” I don’t think they are. I really don’t think they are.
I think they are hiking minimum wage, because they know that will adversely affect mainly unskilled labor and mainly anyone from 16 to 24. Those are the ages that most people make minimum wage.
And so, what they’re doing is, “Oh, my gosh, that happens to be the age of service for AmeriCorps.” Once you’re 24, you got to get out — so they’re making it difficult for people to find minimum wage jobs, pushing you into service, you know and I know that Ted Kennedy wanted mandatory community service.
Do you think there’s anything to that theory?
BOVARD: Well, there are a number of congressmen who want mandatory service. There is a provision in the bill that Congress passed early this year to expand AmeriCorps to a Senate — a congressional commission to study the question whether it would be good to force all young people to serve the federal government as congressmen demand. I mean, this is a real — this is a difficult question in Washington.
BECK: Go ahead. Go ahead.
BOVARD: Well, it’s funny to see, there’s so many different levels of nonsense about this. And I’m not sure if congressmen have an explicit intent here, but congressmen do love all the photo opportunities. And this is a program which has been exploited by congressmen, mayors, governors and presidents ever since it was created and all that matters is that it’s profitable for politicians and taxpayers be damned.
BECK: I will tell you this, Jim, that I don’t think all of the congressmen or senators have any clue as to what’s going on. I think AmeriCorps is becoming our republic’s own ACORN. I think this thing is spiraling out of control and there are people like President Obama and there are people like Ted Kennedy who know exactly what the plan is with AmeriCorps.
I mean, we have been talking about it all week. We have been talking about how you can get loans, and if you work for the government, all of a sudden those loans are going to be relieved. They are driving people in to become slaves, you know, behind a government telephone working for the government. I think that’s exactly what’s happening.
BOVARD: Well — yes, there is an old saying by H.L. Mencken that America is turning into a country where there are more people voting for a living than working for a living. And that’s what happens when you expand programs like AmeriCorps and some of the other summer jobs stuff the government is up to right now.
BECK: OK. I appreciate it very much, Jim. Thank you so much.
I — you know, I have to tell you that — I mean, I don’t know if you know that there — do you remember when Barack Obama was on the campaign trail and he said, “Oh, I’m going to a — I’m going to have an army of people in America, and they’ll be better financed than, you know, than the military.” And I thought to myself, what? What? Who is he talking about?
I think AmeriCorps is part of that army. And they — you know, I got the pledge and I was going to read it to you, but I thought, you know, I can’t really read it to you, you know, sitting here like this. I mean, to really go for it, I mean, you really do the AmeriCorps pledge. I think you have to be dressed like this. I think — I think you have to stand up and take your pledge.
I will get things done for America, to make our people safer, and smarter, and healthier. I will bring Americans together to strengthen our communities. Faced with apathy, I will take action. Faced with conflict, I will seek common ground. Faced with adversity, I will persevere.
I will carry this commitment with me this year and beyond. I am an AmeriCorps member, and I will get things done.