By Henry Decker

Rep. Jack Kingston: Poor Students Should Sweep Floors To Earn Lunch

December 20, 2013 1:07 pm Category: Memo Pad, Politics 97 Comments A+ / A-

U.S. Representative Jack Kingston (R-GA), one of eight candidates seeking the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Georgia in 2014, ripped a page from the Newt Gingrich playbook this week when he suggested that children from low-income families be forced to do janitorial work in exchange for receiving food aid.

As The Huffington Post’s Amanda Terkel reports, during a meeting with the Jackson County Republican Party on Saturday, Kingston explained his opposition to providing students with a free lunch:

“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?” Kingston said. “Or maybe sweep the floor of the cafeteria — and yes, I understand that that would be an administrative problem, and I understand that it would probably lose you money. But think what we would gain as a society in getting people — getting the myth out of their head that there is such a thing as a free lunch.”

Video of his comments is below, via The Raw Story:

Of course, as Kingston knows firsthand, sometimes lunch does come free. The House of Representatives spent nearly $2 million in taxpayer money on coffee and food for various events in 2012, and according to expenditure reports compiled by the Sunlight Foundation, Kingston’s office spent about $200 on meals for the congressman throughout the first three quarters of 2013.

Kingston’s comments immediately call to mind an argument that his fellow Georgian, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, advanced during the 2012 presidential election. After calling child labor laws “truly stupid,” Gingrich proposed that “you could take one janitor and hire 30-some kids to work in the school for the price of one janitor, and those 30 kids would be a lot less likely to drop out. They would actually have money in their pocket. They’d learn to show up for work.” His comments caused a major backlash among the national media, although Republican primary voters didn’t seem to mind; Gingrich won the Republican primary in South Carolina less than a week after explaining his plan at a nationally televised debate.

Kingston may be hoping that his Dickensian suggestion will galvanize the right as well. Early polling of the Georgia Senate primary has found the 11-term congressman narrowly trailing fellow U.S. Representatives Paul Broun and Phil Gingrey in a tight four-way race (former Georgia secretary of state Karen Handel follows closely behind the congressmen).

Although Kingston’s voting record ranks him among the most conservative members of the House, he has struggled to keep up with his competitors in what has shaped up to be a mad dash to the right. Gingrey, the tentative frontrunner, memorably claimed that Todd Akin was “partly right” about “legitimate rape,” and has taken a pledge not to run for a second term unless he successfully repeals Obamacare in his first six years. Broun believes that Paul Ryan’s budgets are too liberal, and has argued that evolution and the big bang theory are “lies straight from the pit of hell.” And Handel is best known for being forced out of her position with Susan G. Komen for the Cure after a politically motivated attempt to sever the charity’s ties with Planned Parenthood. Speaking out on food stamps could be Kingston’s attempt to turn some heads on the right (a task that became more urgent after Kingston enraged his Tea Party allies by suggesting that Congress should work to fix the Affordable Care Act instead of letting it collapse).

If Republican primary voters do end up simply nominating the most right-wing candidate, however, they may come to regret it in the general election. Likely Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn starts the race in a virtual tie with each of the Republican challengers, and her robust fundraising suggests that her candidacy should not be dismissed, despite Georgia’s Republican bent. If the GOP isn’t careful, it could end up with another far-right Republican joining Todd Akin, Sharron Angle, Ken Buck, Richard Mourdock, Christine O’Donnell, and others on the list of Tea Party candidates to blow winnable Senate races for the GOP.

Rep. Jack Kingston: Poor Students Should Sweep Floors To Earn Lunch Reviewed by on . U.S. Representative Jack Kingston (R-GA), one of eight candidates seeking the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Georgia in 2014, ripped a page from the N U.S. Representative Jack Kingston (R-GA), one of eight candidates seeking the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Georgia in 2014, ripped a page from the N Rating:

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Comments

  • http://mohammeddressup.com/ I Zheet M’Drawz

    Just another mental case shouting out to other mental cases.

    • mandinka

      Except he’s right and your wrong

      • mah101

        Do you ever have a hard time sleeping thinking about all the people to whom you have publicly exposed yourself as an ignorant a**?

        Shame on you.

        • Duckbudder

          NOPE! He’s proud to be an ignorant ASS!

  • Lynda Groom

    Maybe he would like to have a scarlet letter on the childrens forehead so all would know who will be pushing the broom. The man is a disgusting ignoramus…period!

    • mandinka

      Or better still bring their parents in for show and tell and let the kids know what lazy welfare dead beats look like

      • Joyce

        You are an a**. Is your last name Koch?

        • mandinka

          Ketter. Why do you ask

          • Duckbudder

            Is that German for ASSHOLE?

      • tax payer

        That;’s a good thought, but these parents do even go during school nights, when the teacher wants to show them the progress their children are doing in their schoolwork.

      • ralphkr

        Hmm, lazy welfare dead beat for show & tell sounds like a good idea BUT would Romney or Ryan actually show up. Check it out. They both profited from the government dole.

  • Independent1

    So according to Jack Kingston, children should be required to work in order to eat because their parents are having difficulty supporting them. Since when do we punish people, including children, for the shortcomings or troubles of others?

    • mandinka

      Great then their parents can sweep

      • Joyce

        What do you do to contribute to society besides criticize the poor? Why don’t you get a broom and sweep out your hypocrisy?

        • tax payer

          He is poor too, but won’t admit it.

        • plc97477

          I am not sure there is any broom that is up to the job.

      • jamcrky

        Your a moron and a hypocrite, and will probably go to church on Sunday and tell God what a good Christian you are.

        • mandinka

          I’m atheist not a moron. There is no god

          • tax payer

            For once I agree with you.

          • Independent1

            Sorry but you’re both – an atheist and a moron!!!

          • tax payer

            At least we aren’t hypocrites like those that go to church service and keep looking at their watch hoping the service will end soon, so they can get their booze.

          • Independent1

            I’m guessing you’re talking from your own experience because the last thing I would do is go to a church (which Jesus said should be tumbling down) and listen to a preacher tell me WHAT HE THINKS I should be knowing about God. My religion doesn’t work that way. It works exactly like what is actually described in the bible with respect to how Jesus sent out the apostles; not what humans have determined is the most convenient for them; running to a church building once or twice a year like most; or maybe a couple times a month.

          • tax payer

            I take my wife to church and drop her off, and I see these people walking out even before the service is over. She tells me their cell phones ring, they look at their watches constantly and walk out the door before the Priest walks to the rear to wave them off. An Atheist and a Catholic can live together in harmony. Only in America can this happen.

  • 4sanity4all

    Actually, for all children who have parents who make a decent wage, there IS such a thing as free lunch. My parents never charged me for the food I ate. Why is he not pushing really hard to raise the minimum wage? Then all of the parents who work for Wal-Mart and McDonalds would be able to pay for their children’s lunches, right? Or would the logic of that make Kingston’s head explode?

    • mandinka

      The problem isn’t those who work for minimum wage but those who don’t work or who have multiple babies with no child support. Time to throw the lot of them into work camps

      • disqus_fsqeoY3FsG

        Bah hum bug Scrooge. Please do not claim you are a “Good Christian”

      • latebloomingrandma

        Should they have numbers tattooed on their arms? You know, for ID purposes.
        Please think about what you’re saying.

      • tax payer

        Those that don’t work ” know people love them ” and these people argue about these poor lazy slobs all day, while these lazy bums keep sleeping all day. You are wasting your time fighting for these slobs. When I say slobs I am referring those that don’t work and take your tax money.

        • awakenaustin

          The group of slobs you refer to exists only in your fevered imagination. You cannot find it anywhere or establish its existence. It is a straw-man or a whipping boy. A conjured up image which permits you to pretend you have a valid reason for lack of compassion for your fellow man.

      • tax payer

        I agree with you, but those doing it don’t agree with you.

    • tax payer

      All schools provide free Breakfast to their students in Texas and maybe in every State. My daughter doesn’t like the food they serve at school, so we buy her Breakfast every morning and not because she’s spoiled since Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We can afford it, so we buy her Breakfast.

      • awakenaustin

        Wow! I fix my children breakfast. Aren’t I a wonderful guy?
        Geez. Do you ever re-read what you write?

      • WhutHeSaid

        Stop lying — you don’t have a daughter. What woman could ever get drunk enough to let something like that happen, you miserable old skinflint?

        • tax payer

          Someone had you, so I wonder how that happen .

        • tax payer

          If you were born miracles do happen.

    • Heywood Jablowme

      My parents sure as hell did, loser. “wash those dishes”. Make your bed. take out the trash. Rake the yarde.,

  • mandinka

    Why not? Its obvious that their parents will never install a work ethic in them. We have generations in this country that have never worked and stay home on $42,000 a year in various welfare benefits.
    If the parents don’t want the kids to work then they should be required to do community service. From painting, sweeping, emptying bed pans work that they are capable of doing. Better still they can work in the school kitchens serving their kids

    • disqus_fsqeoY3FsG

      Since you and Kinston want to punish children because their parents do not earn enough, or can not find a job, or are disabled and force them to sweep floors than your children and Kinston’s children should be made to mop and sweep floors for because their parents are idiots.

      • midway54

        In a word, he just doesn’t give a damn and appears to be just another dupe in the world of Dupedom South where except in rare instances ignorance is a proud tradition.

      • tax payer

        Disabled parents get benefits such as SSD or SSI.

        • CripesAmighty

          You idiots keep talking through your hats. In order to qualify for SSI or SSDI you must have no outside income and no assets. If you have a home or retirement, those must be sold and spent down before you qualify. If you inherit assets, likewise. If you begin to generate income, you must pay back all of the benefits you recieved. Hardly living in luxury on the dole.

          • tax payer

            If they have no income it’s because those people never bothered to work in their lifetime. SSD is not the same as SSI. Social Security Disability is given to workers that paid into the system while working and were unable to function as employees anymore. SSI is given to people along with Medicaid, if they have no money or anything of value and that includes Medicaid because they give everything away before applying for SSI. They take, when they are young and than take again when they are old. A life of nothing, but taking from the tax payers.

          • Independent1

            What Crap!! SSD is part of social security and people who get it PAID FOR IT!! IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH TAKING FROM THE TAX PAYERS!! And even people on SSI could well have been people who were very successful at one time in their life and who paid one heck of a lot more in taxes than you ever have but then suddenly lost their job or encountered a severe illness that created so much medical debt that it through them onto SSI. YOU ARE A SHORTSIGHTED EGOTISTICAL BIGOT AND FOR YOUR INFO JOE CONASON IS THE GUY THAT RUNS THIS PUBLICATION. YOUR CONSTANT NEGATIVISM IS REALLY GETTING TIRING AND YOU NEED TO SEE SOMEONE FOR DEPRESSION!!!

          • tax payer

            So, why do you read my comments, if they are getting tiring as you say? Maybe he should look at you and ban you, so he won’t have to hear your yelling. Ha, ha. You are one confused person because when these people ( you care so much about ) were young they took money such as Welfare because they didn’t work. You really think they worked, when they have nothing right now. People that worked have things to show for it and these people have nothing! Nothing. One thing I don’t do is ( yell ) like you are doing right now because I know you can’t hear me, so settle down and take your baby aspirins before you have a stroke. I know SSD is money people paid into Social Security because I received SSD at one time, but it was converted to regular Social Security at age 65. I worked, while these people stayed home and lived off the tax payers, and now that they are old they are doing it again.

          • Independent1

            Being a poster on the NM is not about overlooking people’s comments that are totally out line with reality, which the vast majority of yours are. Pretty much every one of the posters on the NM is going to rebut comments that are inappropriate. Which is exactly the case when you start labeling people with a broad brush – like insinuating that everyone who is currently
            struggling to make ends meet and needs a helping hand like food stamps or some other form of welfare, is a lifelong taker at the taxpayers expense – which is just PLAIN WRONG!!

            There are people who were making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, even CEOs who were making millions that over the past 5 years have found themselves almost homeless and in need of assistance. Many of these people earned far more money than you ever did and probably paid more taxes in one year than you’ve paid in your lifetime. So for you to start carping about them and saying their worthless takers, which is what a vast majority of your posts imply – is unconscionable.

            And I apologize, if I sometimes get carried away and become overly passionate about some of the things people say on the NM; that’s something I’m trying to work at. But it
            sometimes gets to be more than I can control when some right-wing posters that have gone totally over the edge start spouting their destructive propaganda; demeaning people, calling our President ridiculous names and being just outright racist. Unfortunately, sometimes I loose it.

          • tax payer

            Apology accepted. Has it ever occur to you I am referring about the people that live off the tax payers all of their life and not about those you mention that lost their jobs. I am for them to be help in any way, but to those that abuse it a lifetime that’s something else. They do it because no one checks up on them since the people that are responsible in doing that job they aren’t doing it, so the same people abuse it and never get caught. If I was earning millions I would save 50% of my salary and not have to work anymore.

          • WhutHeSaid

            Stop lying. You are whining about everybody because you are a miserable old skinflint, and for a while it makes you forget about your useless existence.

            And change that lying screen name. I suggest Tax-Snorter.

          • tax payer

            Yawn! Your remarks are putting me to sleep.

          • WhutHeSaid

            Better snort some more Viagra, you miserable old deadbeat.

          • Independent1

            Tax Payer, you need to come to the reality that there will always be some (and 1 or 2 out of 100) is some, that will always try to take advantage of the system. And to be realistic, it would cost us tax payers more to have people searching out these misfits than just letting them take a few hundred dollars a month on the dole. Can you even begin to imagine the kind of existence many of these people are living? (and i realize that there are some who are totally defrauding the system which is another matter),

            How well do you think people can be living with 600-800/month? That’s way under the poverty level. The existence of these people has to be horrendous; living day to day worrying about whether they can pay the rent or pay the electric or buy enough food to survive for another week. My sense is that the vast majority of these people that you are downing are living hellish lives. If as you say these people didn’t work when they were young, then they didn’t build up any SS quarters and therefore are not eligible for SS, so they have to be living on pretty meager handouts. And it simply would not be cost justified for the government to have people spending time trying to flesh out these takers.

            You need to come to that realization and let it lie.

          • tax payer

            If they are up in age they get SSI, so they are getting at least $700.00 for never working, so that’s more than some people that worked all of their life earning minimum wages. My aunt gets $600.00 a month and she worked in a minimum wage job all of her life and those on SSI get more than her. Now, is that fair to you?

          • Independent1

            That’s only because she’s adding the $600 on top of other income. Otherwise, she would qualify for SSI. In fact, if her other income is low enough, she may also qualify for SSI along with her regular SS. This from the government’s Social Security website:

            People who have worked long enough may also be able to receive Social Security disability or retirement benefits as well as SSI.

          • tax payer

            Has it ever occurred to you some people don’t apply for SSI since maybe they don’t believe the tax payers should support them. Their Social Security is theirs, so they are happy they are getting it. When you say the ( Government ) shouldn’t it be the tax payers. Right! Her husband gets about $1,000 a month and that prevents them from getting any benefits the poor get for having less because of not working. $1,600 a month is enough for two elderly people that worked for what they now have in their Golden Years. You are a person that believes everyone that doesn’t work should be helped and that’s not me. How can you think those that have never worked should keep up with those that worked almost a lifetime in order to have a good retirement. That doesn’t make much sense to me, but to you it does make sense. I give up since you will always be here defending them and what I say the tax payers won’t listen and will continue to support these none workers.

          • Independent1

            You’re just a hopeless cause – you just fail to see. I doubt seriously that there is more than .01% of people in our population who ‘HAVE NEVER WORKED”. Aside of course for possibly thousands of married women whose husbands had great enough jobs that they never had to work in their lives and were supported by their husband. Are these thousands of women, who have subsisted on their husband’s money, also equivalent to the worthless .01% of people ‘WHO HAVE NEVER WORKED?? What makes them any better than the people, the vast majority through no fault of their own, have to look to the government for help???

            And as I pointed out earlier, if there really are people who have existed for years with ‘never working’, it is very very unlikely that very many of them would have lived into old age.

            If getting SSI is so easy and getting by on it is so easy, explain to me if you will why there are thousands upon thousands of people in America who are homeless and have to rely on homeless shelters to sleep at night, and have to eat in soup kitchens. Why do we have these people if there are all these people that you WRONGLY CLAIM are living to old age WHILE NEVER WORKING IN THEIR LIVES? What unadulterated ROT!!! These people only exist as a figment of YOUR IMAGINATION!!!

          • tax payer

            There you are at it again yelling. Which of these two would you want in life? Work or stay home all day and still eat like those that work.

          • tax payer

            Some wives die first before their husbands and there goes the Social Security money back to the Trust Fund.

          • tax payer

            $600 to $800 a month will be enough to get benefits, so in reality they can make it compliments of the tax payers. As long as they don’t use the $800 for alcohol they’ll make it.

          • plc97477

            I realize you slept through the Clinton years but the welfare rules were changed then to make welfare a 2 year help not a lifetime career. And to get welfare since then you also have to prove that you are looking for work.

          • tax payer

            People apply for positions that they don’t qualify, so no one is going to call them for an interview, but they have proof they did apply for a job.

          • tax payer

            Comments with foul language I understand, but comments of how we feel is not the way to go. If you disagree with everyone are you going to have them banned? You would be the only person here and you would have to respond to yourself.

          • Independent1

            “I worked, while these people stayed home and lived off the tax payers, and now that they are old they are doing it again.”

            See, this is the kind of rhetoric that is total nonsense and very demeaning. The percent of the population that has been able to survive long enough for them to grow old while having lived off the taxpayers is less than 1% of our population – those right now on welfare, including those who are there because of the Great Recession, is less than 4% of our population. And 3+ % of people on welfare, either die young because they’ve eaten the wrong foods on welfare type incomes or they’ve contracted some disease that wasn’t caught in time because they couldn’t afford to see a doctor or they’ve finally gotten a job and worked their way off of welfare. So the number of these people who have grown old enough to be a burden to us taxpayers IS VERY SMALL .

            And despite all this, you seem to think it’s alright to make statements like you do because one or two people out of a 100 end up being able to live like that? You make comments which make it sound like 1/4 of Americans are takers when that is total nonsense and just plain WRONG!!

          • WhutHeSaid

            He knows all about freeloading because that’s his specialty.

            Tax Payer isn’t even a taxpayer. His real nickname is tax-snorter. He spent his entire life cheating other people, slurping up public benefits, and whining about paying his share of ill-gotten money. Now he still slurps up public benefits, but he ran out of friends and family to cheat so instead he comes out here to gloat about being a freeloader — and of course whine about taxes that he doesn’t pay.

            Don’t be too hard on him. He’s so vile, despicable and decrepit that he needs to snort copious amounts of Medicare Viagra just to get his ticker going every morning. Everyone shuns him, so he needs to blog in order to get any human contact at all. Everyone despises him, of course, but then that’s no different than the human interaction he’s always received — even from his mother. When he was born the doctor spanked his face, but he was too cheap even then to cry.

          • tax payer

            Who open up your coffin and let you out? At least I make some sense, but most people don’t agree. They think they were brought to this life to help those that don’t help themselves. Clowns like you will always be here for them. Just because you have to use viagra it doesn’t mean everyone has to take one to wake it up.

          • WhutHeSaid

            You’re just lying, of course, because you are a miserable old cuss. Everyone shuns you, so you believe that whining about others will make you feel better about being a useless old fart. It doesn’t work, now does it?

          • tax payer

            You express yourself like a three year old child.

          • tax payer

            I’ll bet you would like to be in my place and not have to depend on others to feed your family. Work hard and have it made in your retirement years and not have to be a Greeter at Walmart to supplement your income.

          • CripesAmighty

            They have no income because Wall Street trashed the economy with outrageous gambling bets that went bad. The economy hemmorhaged 800,000 jobs a month in 2008-9. There are currently 3 applicants for every job. Most of which are slave-labor at minimum wage producing three times wage in profits for the vampire squids running Wal-Mart and the rest. Shut up and pay your damn taxes, you fucking blood-sucking prick.

          • tax payer

            You are so informative, so where did you get all that information? Wall Street has nothing to do with people that have never worked and you should know those are the parasites I am referring about, so maybe you are one of them the way you jump out, and start using your profane language, Everyone blames Walmart, but their employees just laugh at you fools since they are happy getting their SNAP. I don’t think they are about to let SNAP leave their life, and here you are thinking they want to earn more money, so they will lose their benefits. Face reality because they are happy and don’t intent to leave for higher pay as long as you pay for their food. You are an Egghead.

          • disqus_fsqeoY3FsG

            Cripes, on the SSD issue tax payer is correct. It has to be determined by a medical professional that you are no longer able to work to be on permanent disability.

          • CripesAmighty

            And even so, once you qualify, you must be destitute, and any income you might recieve in the future is subject to clawback. Funny how that doesn’t apply to Jamie Dimon and the rest who wrecked the economy and were bailed out with tax dollars that they plowed into the markets which have doubled in their own pockets and those of the rich assholes they serve. Eh?

          • latebloomingrandma

            The worst aspect was many of them getting millions in bonuses, even though they wrecked the economy. And they turned against the president for calling them “fat cats.” Poor things. Got their feelings hurt. Tsk-tsk.

        • disqus_fsqeoY3FsG

          I realize that, however, if it is the only income and is insufficient to cover all their expenses than the child would be eligible for the school lunch program.

          • tax payer

            If a family gets SNAP their children automatically get free lunch at school and others get a reduced price, but it depends on their income. My daughter pays ( $2,50 ), but seldom eats at school because she tells me the food is terrible.

          • disqus_fsqeoY3FsG

            Some things never change

    • tax payer

      Within time they’ll get more than my three Pensions combined. Used to be two Pensions, but one more finally matured.

  • latebloomingrandma

    Oh great. At a time when we are trying to stamp out bullying, let’s single out the poor kids so the better off ones can make fun of them. Let’s really make them see the country as the haves and have-nots to toughen them up for what lies ahead. Is that the point? Are we soon entering Hunger Games territory? Put them on display and fight for the right to have food? At the same time, these same right wingers go on ad nauseum about how we are a Christian country. This recession and income disparity in modern times has really done a number on the psyche of our people. God help us all.
    I no longer know who we are.

    • Jane Caspar

      Almost all offspring of vertibrates are fed and cared for by their parents until they are old enough to understand how to fend for themselves

      • tax payer

        Humans are an exception.

        • Duckbudder

          How would you know what a Human would do?

        • Jane Caspar

          Not in an ideal society

    • tax payer

      In the 60’s students used to wash ( machine did most of the work ) the trays and they got to eat for free. They didn’t feel it was wrong because it saved them money they could use for something else. I took my lunch bag daily and didn’t have to wash trays, but would have done it, if I had too.

      • latebloomingrandma

        I was in grade school in the ’50’s. It was just a completely different country at that time. Schools had discipline. We could play outside for hours without worry about perverts. Even bullying was different. for one thing, no one had a lot of “stuff” and there was not a lot of disctinction between rich and poor.

        • tax payer

          Those were the days, but now you have to double lock the screen door and triple lock the regular door otherwise they’ll steal them both. Where I lived it was only poor families and some of my former friends are still living there since they don’t believe you have to work to eat, and that’s why I am not their friend anymore.

    • tax payer

      Our country isn’t compose of only Christians. There are different Religions and not everyone Worships the same God. Atheist too are here and I am one of them, but I am the type that respects the Religion of everyone in this country. I don’t care, if your children want to pray at school because it’s their right as it’s our right to be Atheists. I may not agree with their ways, so it looks like I may leave them within time.

      • latebloomingrandma

        I know this country isn’t composed of only Christians. I was referring to those on the right –the ‘family values” set, that keeps harping on how we are a Christian nation and seem to want to insert biblical laws into the Constitution.

        • tax payer

          I wasn’t being serious and I know what you meant, so my apology to you.

  • Melda Page

    A better idea: let’s require all members of Congress to do 4 hours of menial work every week at the minimum wage, and then contribute those wages to a public school. They would have to do this work for every week that they are a member of Congress. Perhaps they might learn some compassion and humility along the way.

  • midway54

    This guy is just another member of the despicable Southern rightwing scoundrels reliably supporting our plutocracy Dupedom South is rampant not just with contemptibles like him but also with the majorities whose astonishing ignorance causes them to vote these creatures into office.

  • tax payer

    Their families aren’t forced to do anything to get their SNAP, so don’t expect these children to do any physical work.

  • The Beech Bums

    Those still preaching from collectivism’s altar have abandoned Marxism for the Fabian strategy of small steps toward centralized control.

  • CripesAmighty

    Jack’s message is that there *is* a free lunch if your name is Muffy, Buffy, Chip or Trip, and Mummy and Daddykins are paying for it. And there will always be poors around to sweep up after you (‘You missed a spot, there, Tyrone’).

  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    I would be willing to bet that Kingston would be singing a different tune if he found out how many Tea Party Republican (i.e. white, lower income, lower education level) families actually receive free (or reduced price) school meals. Due to the fiasco his party generated by their slashing of financial protections, there are many more families on all sorts of public assistance than there was before 2001.

    • Independent1

      You’re so right. And the vast majority of those needing food stamps and welfare to survive these days live in red states. 21 of the 25 states that have the highest levels of those living in poverty (more than 15%) are all red states; that’s why they need more welfare.

  • http://mohammeddressup.com/ I Zheet M’Drawz

    More States Shifting Welfare Control To McDonald’s

    CHICAGO—For the past four years, the first of the month meant one thing to Chicago single mother LaTonya Mitchell: It was the day she could cash her monthly welfare check for $618—barely enough to cover her own expenses, much less purchase clothes, school supplies and double cheeseburgers for her five children.

    Hamburger Help

    But all that changed on Oct. 20, 1997. In a welfare-privatization experiment closely watched across the U.S., the Illinois legislature approved a bill to radically revamp the state’s AFDC system and transfer welfare control to the McDonald’s Corporation, giving Mitchell and 712,000 other Illinois residents living below the poverty line “a well-deserved break today.”

    According to Illinois governor Jim Edgar, the partnership between fast food and public assistance makes solid sense. “As hard as the government has tried, the reality is, McDonald’s better understands and is better equipped to meet the needs of America’s poor than the outdated federal welfare bureaucracy is,” Edgar said. “McDonald’s deals with millions of unskilled, destitute people every day—it feeds them, employs them, clothes them, and gives them shelter in its spacious, sanitary seating areas.”

    Edgar said McDonald’s will provide those living below the poverty line with a number of benefits each month, including a cash stipend; a book of 25 McFood Stamps redeemable for Big Macs and other sandwich items; immunization for children; and, for pregnant mothers, collectible Flubber cups.

    Felix Melanson, McDonaldland Secretary of Health and Human Services, said those with dependents will also receive special scratch-and-win welfare game pieces.

    “Here at McDonald’s, we strongly believe that poor people deserve a chance,” Melanson said. “And we give them just that—a one-in-three chance to win great prizes like soft drinks, official NBA game gear, trips to Disney World, and a grand prize of a free McMedicard, good for an entire year’s worth of subsidized, low-cost health care.”

    McDonaldAid recipients will also be provided with on-site day care for their children. By March 1998, Melanson said, every location will be equipped with a McDonald’s Playland, enabling single mothers like Mitchell to look for a job while their children are looked after in a safe, cashier-supervised play area.

    “Welfare recipients deserve the same secure, reliable day care for their children that other parents enjoy,” Melanson said. “That’s why we’ve made sure that all Playlands are situated in full view of the registers.”

    According to Melanson, what makes the new, privatized system different is its emphasis on “personal responsibility and self-help.” Recipients, he said, “will be required to work up to five hours a week and attend job-training instructional-video presentations in order to remain eligible for McDonaldAid.”

    A McDonaldAid welfare office on Chicago’s Dearborn Avenue.

    Welfare recipients’ duties at McDonald’s will include light lifting, cup and straw restock, and mopping. Further, all recipients who use the bathroom will be required to wash their hands thoroughly before returning to work.

    “The idea here is independence, not dependence,” Melanson said. “This is not a handout: These people will be responsible for everything from refilling ketchup dispensers to busing their own tables when they’re done eating. They are also responsible for keeping their own uniforms clean and presentable.”

    While the Illinois privatization plan has been widely praised by many welfare-reform advocates, it does have its detractors. According to state Sen. James Ory (R-Carbondale), the delicious taste of McDonald’s food will encourage many people to remain on McDonaldAid rather than look for jobs.

    “We need to provide incentives for people to get off welfare. This food does just the opposite,” said Ory, co-sponsor of a bill setting a six-piece cap on McNuggets orders for welfare recipients and limiting them to sweet-and-sour sauce only. “Those who are not interested in finding work will take advantage, feeding off the system and its tasty cheeseburgers and fries.”

    Responding to Ory, McDonald’s officials said that a number of deterrents have been built into the new system to prevent people from abusing it.

    “We want to help people, but we don’t want it to become a lifestyle,” said Justin N. King, McDonaldland Secretary of Urban Affairs. “That’s why one key feature of McDonaldAid is a strict 30-minute time limit on loitering in the seating area. While eating at McDonald’s restaurants, welfare recipients will be expected to make an earnest effort to chew and swallow at all times. If they cease eating at any point during their stay in the restaurant, or remain in the restaurant beyond the allotted 30-minute time limit, they will find themselves out on the street.”

    Further, to discourage recipients from having additional children just to receive extra food items, condiments will be removed from sandwiches on a sliding scale according to number of dependents. For example, for those with five children, the second child’s Big Mac will come without special sauce; the third child’s without special sauce and lettuce; the fourth child’s without special sauce, lettuce and cheese; and the fifth child’s without special sauce, lettuce, cheese and pickles. Those with more than five children will be ineligible for even the onions and sesame-seed bun, receiving two all-beef patties only.

    In addition, McDonaldAid recipients will not be eligible for refills once they have left the restaurant premises. “Ours is a strict ‘one-visit-per-cup’ refill policy,” King said.

    So far, the privatization experiment is proving successful. In 1996, the Illinois welfare system operated at a loss of $1.2 billion, but since taking over welfare, McDonald’s has operated at a surplus of $420 million in Illinois. Other states have taken notice as well: Minnesota, Mississippi, Georgia and Oregon are all considering similar fast-food-based welfare programs, and negotiations are already under way between California and El Pollo Loco.

    But it is America’s poor who stand to benefit the most. “Before, I didn’t have anything. Now I have a roof over my head, day care for my kids and Quarter Pounders With Cheese every night,” Chicago’s Mitchell said. “Plus, my manager says I have potential, and, within six months, I can look forward to becoming part of the McDonald’s team. For the first time, I actually have a future. This is my welfare system.”

    • CripesAmighty

      Epic! :D

  • annienoel

    This from a …..who couldn’t name ONE of the ten commandments while advocating they be posted in all schools. Yes lets punish the children for their parents inability to find suitable employment. Bah Humbug.

  • Heywood Jablowme

    and their deadbeat baby mommas should have to sweep streets.

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