Jack Kingston Thinks Poor Students Should Work for “Free” Lunches

Mainstream mouth-breathing heart-bleeders just love it when Republicans say things that sound heartless. Republican Jack Kingston recently offered up another sacrificial victim for leftist effigy when he said that low-income students should pay a tiny fee for “free lunches” in school or at least “sweep the cafeteria floor.”

Huffington Post, of course, immediately jumped on the tear-stained soapbox to deride Kingston’s “out of touch” heartlessness. Commenters joined in the Christmas-themed chorus, saying Kingston was a “Scrooge” or that his “heart was four sizes too small.” Kingston’s proposal certainly doesn’t fill my heart with warm fuzzy feelings. The picture it paints is one of a poor dirty-faced urchin in a tattered second-hand jacket pushing a broom between lunch tables while rich kids mock him and drop their trash on the floor with guffaws.

But if we can halt the tailspin of our active imaginations for ten seconds, we might be able to see that it is good to teach children (all children) the value of things and the virtues of labor. The major problem with Kingston’s proposal is that it doesn’t strike at the heart of the problem: the government shouldn’t be in the charity business at all.

Maybe that makes me even more heartless that Kingston. But I am not recommending the removal of charity. Not by any means. It’s just that government charity is the cruelest, most inefficient, most ineffective, most dignity-robbing, debilitating force in the lives of most poor people. And I want to see a return to private charity and self-sufficiency.

Don’t you think it shames poor students that they have to be on the free lunch program at all? It might actually shame them less if they had to pay for it. And the free lunch and breakfast programs, as Kingston pointed out, are rife with payment errors. The civil government overspends on charity by millions.

I would like to see schools and programs opened up by churches and private charities that fill the void the civil government just cannot fill. Let’s offer better schooling and better lunches. Then teach children how to support themselves. The government-sponsored, taxpayer-funded free school, free lunch program is designed to create submissive dependents who believe that the civil government is their benevolent provider and parent. Kingston’s proposal won’t fix this, but I for one believe his thinking (and probably his too-small heart) is pointed in vaguely the right direction.

26 responses

  1. As someone that works for a public school food service, I can personally say that many families are ashamed that they have needed to sign up for our reduced or free meal programs. Very few show up in person to hand in their applications. They try mostly to fax or mail them in. And on top of that, are very afraid of other students knowing that their child is one of the welfare kids. We have for kids at schools a reminder stamp they get on their hands to let their parents know they hav only a little money left on their account, or have gone over into the negative (this of course pertaining to the reduced, not free kids. And it is intended for the parents behalf, because of course little kids can’t always rememeber to tell their parents). And I have had some parents beg to not have their hands stamped. Becuase they don’t want other kids or families to see that “they might be poor.”

    So while the statement of this congressman may have been off-put, the message is quite real and clear. I 100% agree with the author saying we need self-sufficiency and private charity back at the forefront.

    • Yeah we need more churches involved so they can molest little kids!! You Christians are the most hypocritcal people in the world. how christian of you to deny kids food!!!

      • Is all you say rhetoric? Is there something wrong with private charity? I didn’t even mention churches. Is there something wrong with wanting to help others better thenselv es under their own strength?

        • No there’s nothing wrong with helping others. But you christians want to deny welfare that actually HELPS OTHERS. Tell me how in the world this can be reconciled.

          • Welfare does exist for a reason and I’m not denying that it does help. However today it has gone rampantly mismanagaed and abused. On top of that, many people that get on forms of welfare and food stamps become so reliant on it that they can’t get out of it. And then don’t bother trying to support for themselves. Thats my problem with a lot of welfare in this country

      • Bob, Now you just sound foolish. Government creates dependency, not self sufficiency or personal responsibility. If it were otherwise, our Great Society started under LBJ would have eliminated poverty. It hasn’t made a dent. Government gets its money by force, by taxation.
        It distributes it as it deems fits to meet its agenda. The current group wants the dependency because its all about control. No one wants to deny help, that’s what charity is all about. But private charity is, and always will be, the best way. You talk like a socialist. You believe government welfare helps others. I agree it is better to have food than not. But our welfare programs don’t help people become self sufficient. Our system actually encourages the dependency. No one is saying let people be homeless or hungry so your rant is really a bunch of hot air.
        But you confuse the message with your agenda. You sound like you believe government is the solution, it is the problem. When people get what they believe to be free stuff, they then vote that way, for more free stuff. But nothing is free, as stated above. We can take care of our own as needed, not by the force of government, but by the goodness in our hearts. We have always been a charitable people. Government should step aside. We have now had 100 years of ever increasing government since Woodrow Wilson gave us the FED and the income tax (you know, that would never go above 1%?). All we have gotten for that increase in size is a huge and corrupt government, less freedom and 17 trillion in debt. No thanks. The author is correct. People need to help themselves as much as possible. We, as a charitable people, can fill the gaps where needed. Instead of spouting nonsense, you should be willing to participate in this, not rely on government as savior. After all, it is government that is becoming the downfall of this great country.

        • Not to mention the fact of the ‘overhead’ that is inherent in any government program. In true Charity, the labor and product (in this case food) is donated. There are food banks all over the country that help those in need, with food. Many Churches (oops Bob, I did mention churches) help members of their church and others with food, monetary help for rent, medical, and other needs.

          That is what Charity is. Welfare, run by the government, is most wasteful. If all of us had those Millions of dollars that are taken from us by the government for the ‘War on Poverty’ in all its permutations, and we had the chance to give, there would be much more money to help those in need. No government overhead, fraud or corruption.

        • Maniacs like Malibu Bob would literally run “forced labor camps” to produce food for what I consider to be th”thieves of welfare dependency”, these deranged leftists” believe only they possess the intelligence to decide how other humans live! People who have kids they cannot and will not support should be “sterilized”!

        • Malibu Bob you are the consumate asshole. When I was a poor kid in school I refused the free lunches because of my personal pride. My parents tried to instill in me that the government only wanted to enslave me with free stuff

        • For one thing someone is pretending to be me. But let’s put this in the proper perspective we spend MORE on corporate welfare then we do on social welfare but where’s the outrage over that?

          • Bob, Where’s your figures on that? While I disagree with corporate welfare, I also disagree with the welfare system instituted by LBJ, Because of him , we have spent trillions of hard earned tax dollars and not made a dent in poverty. We have, however, created a dependent class, lazy class, a class with no sense of personal responsibility and a class of people who feel they are actually entitled to the freebies (which aren’t free). We would not have either type of welfare if we had limited government, as envisioned by our Founders. Business would rise or fall on its merits and those in need would be given charity, from items and money donated by good people, like we always did before government decided to take over that game (and ruin it). By the way, I like your picture. It is probably more accurate than you know. I am sure, even back then, the people would have loved to have a job, if only the government would get out of the way.

          • sorry your identity has been stolen by someone to afraid to use their own identity to post their vile accusations. The Church I attend provided (with already taxed dollars) Christmas gifts & meals to 800 needy family’s. Where does most of our Governments money go to fight poverty? Not to these 800 poor families!!!.

      • Statements like this make it VERY hard for anyone to take you seriously. Like all or even a majority of most Churches and Ministries hurt kids! MANY kids are abused by teachers as well and the teachers unions fights to keep them paid but I won’t lump all teachers in with those ones. http://www.kjv-truth-ministries.org Welfare is a JOKE designed to create a dependent underclass of reliable Democrat (ic) voters. I support programs that would give people an education, trade or business but I do NOT and will never support generational and life long welfare.

        Also, most soup kitchens and charities that DO feed and clothe and shelter people are ran and paid for by Christians. So much for the not caring for the poor nonsense.

      • Listen buddy, you’re not denying these kids food, let their lazy as— parents get a job, or another job to feed their kids! The criminal act is when oppressive govt “robs” other self sufficient folks to feed kids that are not theirs! Very few people in America could not survive without “stealing from other folks”, and if they are having kids they cannot feed, that is wrong! GET SOME PRIDE!

    • We have failed to teach parents & children the value of WORK & earning your own way. Parents should teach children the basic principal of our society is to earn what we have. Needing help is not to be ashamed of, but not offering to do something for ourselves is.

  2. Firstly, what exactly is a Poor Student? Is that someone doing poorly scholastically, as in Letter Grade B and below or someone whose family earns less than $50,000 per family member per annum? If the answer to this appraisal is “yes” in both categories, is said student then termed a Poor-Poor Student…

  3. How about the politicians .They do not pay for their lunch ! They are suppose to pay for their lunch . That cost the tax payers million’s of dollars over the years. They should have to clean all of the capitol building’s. Jack Kingston lead by example.

  4. I know him and support Jack Kingston , whats wrong with teaching these kids self reliance? NOTHING, Growing up on the farm, my fathers words were you don’t work you don’t eat!! Plain & simple, I’m thankful my folks were like that, cause all 4 of us kids have college degrees and I got mine while in the USAF, and all of us are close to our parents, this is just a good & solid life lesson for these kids to learn.

  5. Makes sense to me, having poor students work for their “free stuff” may help them realize that nothing is free and you must work for what you get.

  6. Nothing wrong with this, our society is self destructing when we openly “rob working people by force “, but bend over backwards to keep the the “receivers of welfare” from being labeled as such! When I was a kid , lots of kids worked in the cafeteria in exchange for lunch, its good experience!

  7. I fully agree. I worked for my 15cent lunch all through high school. I left class early and went to the dining area and dispensed milk to those eating for my lunch. I though I was fortunate to be able to do that. I am now independently wealthy and it started in the lunchroom working for a living.

  8. Gotta love the righty dolts.
    Halliburton can’t account for tens of billions of dollars in Iraq.
    Rumsfeld announces the Pentagon CAN’T ACCOUNT for TWO TRILLION dollars. Not a peep from Conservatives.
    Some poor kids POSSIBLY getting a crappy lunch worth 80cents, they might not deserve and THIS
    should be an earthshaking, deficit busting issue! Can you guys at least understand the ridicule?

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