The Corner

Richie Rich’s Free Lunch

Last month, with the federal government on the precipice of default, President Obama & Co. repeatedly warned that any cuts in government would amount to a terrorist Tea Party attack on assistance to the poor and elderly.

Funnily enough, they failed to mention the recent $4.5 billion expansion of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, which will now provide free lunches to ALL — rich and poor, needy and non-needy — of Detroit’s 65,800 public school-students. (Detroit is one of three pilot programs starting this month for a free-for-all that will ultimately cover similar districts nationwide.)

This new program is part of Obama’s orgy of spending, a binge that has ballooned the federal budget by 25 percent since his inauguration. But the program’s logic is even more insane than the price tag: The administration says it is giving rich kids free food to eliminate the shame that less-fortunate students may feel in receiving free food. We’re not making this up.

“We’ve worked very hard to reduce the stigma,” Aaron Lavallee, a U.S. Department of Agriculture spokesman, told the Detroit News. “We’re seeing a lot of working-class families who’ve had to turn to free school meals to feed their children.”

What’s next — handing out free Chevy Volts to all 16-year olds in order to reduce the stigma that low-income kids feel driving used 1990 Geo Metros?

Does anybody but a desk-bound government bureaucrat honestly think that class stigma will disappear if you give Richie Rich a free lunch? School districts with 62.5 percent or more of students from homes below 130 percent of the poverty level qualify — a threshold Detroit easily clears with 78 percent. All so that “working-class” kids can eat their lunch knowing that the “elites” eating free meals on the other side of the lunchroom aren’t stigmatizing them.

“Now all students will walk through a lunch line and not have to pay,” says Mark Schrupp, Detroit Public Schools COO. “Low-income students will not be easily identifiable and will be less likely to skip meals.”

Again, we aren’t making this up.

So much for government for the needy. Like Obama’s massive subsidies for politically connected Big Green, government has become a piggy bank for the Left to hand out favors to friends, subsidize third-car hybrid purchases for the rich, and test goofy theories about class stigma.

No wonder this country is mired in debt. And if you protest, you’re a terrorist.

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