Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Junk Food for Kids Lunches, but not for Low-Income Food Stamp Recipients.

Many Republican dominated states have taken aim at what can only be called big government control over what people on food stamps can buy. They say it's something about not wasting taxpayer money on the purchase of junk food.

But wait a minute. Aren't Republicans trying to reinstate serving junk food in school cafeterias, food that's also paid for by taxpayers? Not only that, they say districts can't afford the more expensive healthier food. Oh really, and the poor can with their limited amount of food stamps?

Again, Republican ideology is trying to have it both ways, with the help of the news media that hasn't said a peep about this amazing contradiction. Here's what our new big government Republicans are saying about school lunches:
As the opening bell sounds for the 114th Congress, don’t be surprised to see GOP lawmakers take on school nutrition … included provisions to allow states more flexibility to exempt schools from the Department of Agriculture’s whole-grain standards if they can show hardship and to halt future sodium restrictions 
But those same high salt foods are the target of our hypocritical GOP food stamp Nazi's. One Borg-like follower, tax attorney Jay Miller, summed it up nicely this way:
(Some) argue that having the government regulate food-buying decisions is condescending or paternalistic. They are using food stamps, i.e., government funds, which cost taxpayers over $60 billion per year. Given this investment, the government has an obligation to ensure that the program - which is designed to improve, not harm, the health of low-income people - fulfills its purpose.
But school lunches are exempt? Beautiful. Miller assumes low-income people can afford healthy foods, but congressional Republicans whine taxpayers can't afford those same foods for school lunches? 
...sparking complaints among schools and Republicans who argue the rules are too prescriptive and costly.
Here's Millers diatribe that mirrors every other Republican lawmaker trying to have it both ways:
Whether it is cirrhosis of the liver, lung cancer or diabetes, the government should not be an enabler (Except when it comes to school kids?) 

When it comes to food stamps, however, the government seems to be saying that candy or chips are of equal nutritional value to grapefruit or fresh spinach. 
And to make things worse, food stamp recipients will have to wait for local convenience stores to start stocking the expensive health foods because demand will eventually force them to carry it: 
We know that purveyors of fried chicken, pizza and burgers line the commercial streets of the inner city, whereas merchants offering healthier products rarely can be found. But if government were to mandate that food stamps could be exchanged only for such products, the marketplace would respond by making them more available there.
Our meddling big government food watchdogs want to save us from ourselves, except in schools, where taxpayer money usurps the health of our children:
Although government can't stop people from engaging in self-destructive behavior, it shouldn't abet that behavior, either. Where, as with food stamps, government's goal is to combat hunger, it ought to avoid policies that substitute one health problem for another.

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