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Bankrupt government feeding already-fed kids

The Augusta Chronicle Some gift horses not only need to have their mouths looked into, but could use an experienced veterinarian to do it. This is one of those times. No one is against feeding children. And when the government announces that every student in a school district will be fed for free ‘“ both breakfast and lunch ‘“ it sounds great and looks ultra-compassionate. Such an announcement was made this past week in Richmond County. Beginning this school year, all students will be fed for free. We trust the tried and true economic principle ‘there’s no such thing as a free lunch’ won’t be covered in class. This isn’t really about feeding children, either. The barefaced truth is, every student in Richmond County who needs free or reduced-price meals is already getting them: that’s nearly 80 percent of the student population. This new federal program will be feeding kids who don’t need to be fed by the government. That’s according to the government’s own standards. Truth is, even at only 80 percent free meals, there are plenty of kids who are getting government-subsidized meals who don’t need them. Instead of reducing that population ‘“ and requiring able-bodied parents to perform their basic duty of feeding their offspring ‘“ the government is going the opposite direction: adding kids to the free-lunch program who don’t need to be on it. How can that possibly be justified when the federal government already is borrowing 40 cents of every dollar it spends? Moreover, consider this: Since today’s federal borrowing must someday be paid back ‘“ likely by the future generations we are ‘borrowing’ it from ‘“ it’s many of those kids who are receiving free lunches today who will, as adults, have to pay for them. Compounded with interest. We thought it was an interesting contrast that, on the day the free meals were in the news, a group of Richmond County taxpayers was protesting the school district for thinking about raising property taxes. ’We don’t want our taxes raised at all, period,’ the Rev. Christopher Johnson told the Board of Education. ‘In bad economic times, we cannot afford to be raising taxes … We’re asking you to consider going back to the trough again and try and see what you can come up with before raising these taxes.’ We absolutely agree with the reverend. The thing is, when budgets need balancing the alternative to raising taxes is to cut spending. That’s precisely what is needed at the federal level, where future generations will inherit a debt that is about $17 trillion and climbing. Yet, Santa Fed has just arrived with free food! It’s the same federal government that offers free cell phones willy-nilly. It’s supposedly for those who can’t afford them, and you’re only supposed to get one of them. Yet, Jillian Kay Melchior of Virginia’s Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity ‘“ who is not financially eligible for the phones ‘“ applied for eight of them and got three. Others have reportedly obtained free government cell phones by the double-digits. And now, President Obama is also promising universal preschool! This country cannot go on spending like there’s no tomorrow ‘“ because there is ‘“ and hoping someone else (China, future generations) will keep picking up the tab. To amend the axiom that there’s no free lunch, we would simply add that there’s no such thing as a gift horse, either.

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