If one day of carping in the blogosphere is enough to get The One to reverse himself, maybe we can work with this guy after all. The Change.gov plan as of yesterday:
Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year.
Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by setting a goal that all middle school and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year and by developing a plan so that all college students who conduct 100 hours of community service receive a universal and fully refundable tax credit ensuring that the first $4,000 of their college education is completely free.
Interesting that he suddenly decided to slap a number on the program, too. Read Tom Blumer for a back-of-the-envelope analysis of what it could cost and what kind of bureaucracy, potentially, we’re looking at here. The feds already oversee millions of student loans so there’s presumably plenty of institutional knowledge already available to phase this in. Exit question: Why the sudden turnaround? Had they really not thought this through before putting it online, or do they have no real intention of making it happen and are happy to play with the rhetorical particulars so long as it keeps people off their backs?