A Republican congressman from Georgia, Jack Kingston, thinks the national school lunch program sends a terrible message to our youngsters. "We need to get the myth out of their head," Kingston said last weekend, "that there is such a thing as a free lunch."
How to counterbalance the pernicious effects of the federal program that "provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children" whose family income hovers around or below the poverty line?
Stick a broom in their hands.
Yes, that's right. Gather up the children from impoverished backgrounds after they have finished eating, outfit them with cleaning supplies, and put them to work earning their keep while the non-free-loading children who paid for their lunches like real Americans look on, or head out for recess.
Here is how the congressman put it:
"But one of the things I’ve talked to the secretary of agriculture about: Why don’t you have the kids pay a dime, pay a nickel to instill in them that there is, in fact, no such thing as a free lunch? Or maybe sweep the floor of the cafeteria."
Lest you think this post is an Onion-esque satire of Republicans' disdain for the welfare state, there is hard video evidence. Watch and (s)weep:
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