April 24, 2009, The Wall Street Journal — This week, the president signed into law the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which authorizes a huge expansion of the Americorps program, potentially tripling the number of its government-paid "volunteers." The legislation -- which also promises federal funds for "effective solutions developed by social entrepreneurs" -- was heralded as a victory for patriotism and public service. It was enough to draw Jimmy Carter to share the podium with Ted Kennedy -- both on hand for the signing ceremony at a charter school in a poor section of Washington, D.C. But is it truly good news? Those who cherish the independence of American philanthropy and the nonprofits it supports actually have reason for worry.