Rebekah Rast
Guest Columnist
President Obama has stressed the need for more federal revenue. His No. 1 suggestion on how to do so is to raise taxes on the wealthy.
“The tax cuts I’m proposing we get rid of are tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires; tax breaks for oil companies and hedge fund managers and corporate jet owners,” Obama said during a press conference earlier this summer.
Some mega-rich people like Warren Buffett agree — though he has yet to follow through on his own words by writing a personal check to the U.S. Treasury for above and beyond what he pays in taxes.
So as the rich continue to come under fire for being rich, the least the president and his team can do is provide them with a free lunch, right?
If you are rich and your children attend a public school in Detroit, then yes, they are part of a federal government pilot program giving free lunches to all students, regardless of income levels.
Included in President Obama’s spending binge this year was a $4.5 billion expansion of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, which provides free lunches to low-income public school children. But through the expanded program, this administration is taking it one step further — free lunches for all.
Why? “One of the primary goals of this program is to eliminate the stigma that students feel when they get a free lunch, as opposed to paying cash,” Detroit Public Schools Chief Operating Officer Mark Schrupp said in the Detroit Free Press. “Some students would skip important meals to avoid being identified as low-income. Now, all students will walk through a lunch line and not have to pay. Low-income students will not be easily identifiable and will be less likely to skip meals.”
This is ironic considering the latest jargon coming from the White House is rich folks already have too much and need to start giving back even more.
Yet, the Department of Agriculture agrees that low-income students shouldn’t feel singled out. According to the National Review, “the administration says it is giving rich kids free food to eliminate the shame that less-fortunate students may feel in receiving free food.”
What this administration is saying is as long as no one is able to identify the low-income from the rich in the school lunch line, then it is OK for the rich to indulge in the entitlement programs of the poor. Will this carry over to government-assisted housing, food stamps and welfare checks?
It’s as if a free-lunch-for-all program will break down the class warfare barriers. It won’t, and in fact, it makes America’s financial situation even more perilous.
“No wonder America is so deep in debt,” says Bill Wilson, president of Americans for Limited Government (ALG). “There is no such thing as a free lunch, Mr. Obama.”
He’s right. Every “free” government program has to get funds from somewhere and someone. If this program takes root nationally, as it is projected to do so by 2014, more than a $4.5 billion boost will be needed to support it.
That money will come from taxpaying Americans, who will then be supporting lunch for every public school student.
That is one expensive cafeteria meal.
Rebekah Rast is a contributing editor to Americans for Limited Government (ALG) and NetRightDaily.com. You can follow her on twitter at @RebekahRast.