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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Video: Obama's Call to Service

Obama channels Kennedy: I am asking you, my fellow Americans, on this Fourth of July to .. step into the strong currents of history and to start shaping your country's future."


Obama called public service a responsibility of citizenship and said Americans should “think about what you can do to shape the country that we love.”

That theme echoed the familiar lines of John F. Kennedy’s January 1961 inaugural address when he said, “Ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country.”

In a speech that was mainly a comprehensive repackaging of proposals Obama has been talking about for months, the presumptive Democratic nominee laid out a plan to encourage service by expanding AmeriCorps, doubling the size of the Peace Corps, expanding the Foreign Service and increasing the size of the U.S. military to ease the burden on troops.

The proposal would integrate community service into education at all levels by making federal assistance to school districts conditional on the development of service programs and tying college tuition credits to community service. It would also encourage veterans and retirees to give back to their communities and help nonprofits expand successful programs.

The plan would cost about $3.5 billion per year when it is fully implemented, according to the campaign fact sheet. Obama would pay for it in part by ending the war in Iraq and cancelling provisions that help multinational corporations pay less in U.S. taxes on income earned abroad.

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