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More Info Please

Maybe someone in Senator Obama’s traveling press corps can follow up on this section of his big “public service speech.”

For college students, I have proposed an annual American Opportunity Tax Credit of $4,000. To receive this credit, we’ll require 100 hours of public service. You invest in America, and America invests in you – that’s how we’re going to make sure that college is affordable for every single American, while preparing our nation to compete in the 21st century.

Really?  His website says something different:

Create the American Opportunity Tax Credit: Obama will make college affordable for all Americans by creating a new American Opportunity Tax Credit. This universal and fully refundable credit will ensure that the first $4,000 of a college education is completely free for most Americans, and will cover two-thirds the cost of tuition at the average public college or university and make community college tuition completely free for most students. Obama will also ensure that the tax credit is available to families at the time of enrollment by using prior year’s tax data to deliver the credit when tuition is due.

Two different plans.  In the new plan, to get the credit, you only get the credit after you’ve done 100 hours of community service.  As tuition is due before any community service throughout the school year could be performed, the family won’t have the money to pay.  The new plan also mentions nothing about the tax status of the student’s family.   
The old plan on the website mentions nothing about compulsory service and indicates that some sort of income qualification is necessary to achieve it.
As for the compulsory service for middle and high school students, Obama said:

Finally, we need to integrate service into education, so that young Americans are called upon and prepared to be active citizens.
Just as we teach math and writing, arts and athletics, we need to teach young Americans to take citizenship seriously. Study after study shows that students who serve do better in school, are more likely to go to college, and more likely to maintain that service as adults. So when I’m President, I will set a goal for all American middle and high school students to perform 50 hours of service a year, and for all college students to perform 100 hours of service a year.

Got that, parents?  Senator Obama will make your kids pick up trash to become “active citizens,” but saying the Pledge of Allegiance is still optional.  And just a thought here, if parents can already opt out of certain school activities like frog dissection, why can’t parents simply opt out of this plan as well?

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