Sharing the Shared Wealth

Originally posted at American Thinker. blog

Baby carrots may have made it into vending machines in Cincinnati and Syracuse, but it doesn’t look like the Salisbury steak and French fries on school menus are going to be swapped for turkey burgers and string beans any time soon.

First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move (the chicken nuggets off the lunch tray)” campaign “has stalled in Congress after anti-hunger groups and more than 100 Democrats protested the use of food stamp dollars to pay for it.”  Mrs. Obama, together with Congressional leaders, want to improve school lunches and offer low-income students $4.5 billion in feeding programs on the back of the national Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/Food Stamps).

It’s the newest socialist scheme to “share shared wealth.” Personal opinion of welfare programs aside, one must admit that for the wife of the Maharishi of Entitlement Programs to sanction purposeful deprivation to ensure healthy school lunches for children is perplexing at best.

Statistics show that “90% of black children will be clients of… [SNAP]…at least once by the time they turn 20.” In order for Michelle, disguised as the Department of Agriculture, to have ample funding to dictate fat and sugar content on school menus, needy families must receive fewer food stamps and less food.

Many don’t agree. Well fed/well off Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) received a missive from Democrats calling the plan “egregious.” “It’s just plain wrong,” said Jim McGovern, (D-MA).  McGovern, a longtime advocate for childhood nutrition programs, queried the bill’s sponsors, asking, “[is] dipping into people’s food stamps the way you plan to subsidize child nutrition?”

SNAP annually costs the American taxpayer $56 billion, which is why Republicans overwhelmingly opposed the healthy kid bill and its exorbitant price tag. Question: Can’t food stamp parents pack healthy school lunches with items already purchased with supplemental income?

Despite the opposition, Michelle Obama is a forceful supporter of stalled school lunch legislation.  Apparently the First Lady attempted, through “extensive outreach,” to goad Speaker Pelosi into denying food stamp provisions in order to fund foods eaten at school. What better way to interject government control than by replacing home-based Cocoa Puffs with school-based whole-wheat pretzels?

The healthy school lunch program, the “Let’s Move” campaign, and childhood obesity concerns are all part of the same “Ditch the Doritos®” movement.  However, with simple math, hesitant legislators could be influenced to support the bill. Crunching a few numbers reveals that if food stamp money is used, with minimum effort chubby kids could ultimately benefit.

Recent statistics indicate that 35.1 million people receive food stamps. Food stamps cost $4.68 billion a month.  The price tag for Michelle’s school lunch initiative is $4.5 billion, approximately one month’s worth of SNAP monies. Children require 1600 calories a day, so over 30 days that’s 48,000 calories.  It takes a 3,500-calorie deficit to lose a pound, so if one month’s worth of calories are eliminated, every SNAP youngster stands to lose 13.7 pounds. Thus, if the lost calories are not replaced elsewhere, in due course, Michelle Obama would have singlehandedly tackled childhood obesity by simply wresting a “piece of welfare pie” from the mouths of corpulent children.

If Michelle can successfully synchronize cutting SNAP calories, slashing salt, sugar and saturated fat from school lunches, and getting “Let’s Move” workouts implemented in America’s schoolyards, her efforts could justify denying $4.5 billion in funding to impoverished children.

Either way, the suggestion that food stamp money be used to fund healthy school lunches for low-income children signals a new low for the government, where even entitlements are now being considered “spreadable wealth.”

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