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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Another Intrusion from our National “Mom”, Michelle Obama

“The state is the great fictitious entity by which everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else.” — Frederic Bastiat

A significant percentage Americans oppose the Healthy Hunger-free Kids Act pushed by First Lady Michelle Obama and signed into law by President Barack Obama signed on December 13, 2010.

Among other things, the $4.6 billion law allows the USDA to set nutritional standards for foods made and sold in schools; increases the number of children who qualify for school meal programs, and “sets basic standards for school wellness policies including goals for nutrition promotion and education and physical activity.”

According to a new Rasmussen poll, however, only 23 percent of those surveyed think the federal government should have a direct role in setting the nutritional standards for public schools.

As the act was pushed through Congress, both Michelle Obama and Nancy Pelosi stressed the need for the new regulations, saying that childhood obesity was not only an “economic threat,” but a “national security issue” as well. While recent polls show that Americans are concerned about issues of obesity in the country, 51 percent failed to see the threat to national security.

Preferences for federal intervention in childhood nutrition are more divided when factoring in race. A majority of whites think parents and local governments should have the ultimate say in kids’ eating habits. Conversely, a majority of blacks believe the federal government was capable of the decision.

Overall, however, 34 percent of respondents thought that parents should have the ultimate say in their child’s nutritional diet. Seventeen percent believed state and local governments, respectfully, know best when setting such standards.

While former president and new co president Bill Clinton worked on the tax bill and other projects, President Barack Obama admits that his other co- president is behind his latest government takeover of parental responsibilities, The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act.

"Had I not been able to get this bill passed, I would be sleeping on the couch," he joked, referring to his wife, the force behind this $4.5 billion act. The act provides more free school meals to the pool, and gives the government more power to decide what foods can be offered in those meals, as well as in school vending machines and fundraisers during school hours.

The White House describes the bill thusly; “The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 will improve the quality of school breakfasts, lunches and other foods sold in schools while also strengthening nutrition programs that serve young children, including WIC and the Child and Adult Care Food Program.”

“The bill is an important advancement of the Obama Administration's goal of solving the problem of childhood obesity within a generation, which First Lady Michelle Obama has championed through the Let's Move! Initiative.”

After nominal president Obama spoke, Michelle took over: “When our kids spend so much of their time each day in school, and when many children get up to half their daily calories from school meals, it's clear that we as a nation have a responsibility to meet as well," Mrs. Obama said. "We can't just leave it up to the parents. I think that parents have a right to expect that their efforts at home won't be undone each day in the school cafeteria or in the vending machine in the hallway. I think that our parents have a right to expect that their kids will be served fresh, healthy food that meets high nutritional standards."

This free lunch bill is not quite the free lunch it appears to be; it is paid for by reductions in funding for food stamps where people can actually select what food to buy for their kids, say potatoes or potato chips, in their food desserts.

And why do so many kids get "half their daily calories from school meals"? This is another area of responsibility removed from the parent(s) and handed over to the government; parents don't even have to make their kids lunch to take to school, like my mom and wife did for our kids. Or even breakfast or dinner. A rising number of kids also eat these meals in school paid for by the government (you) relieving parents of another responsibility with a corresponding lack of familial bonding.

And the kids, crammed together in noisy lunchrooms for these not always happy meals, don't even get a healthy toy for eating all their healthy food instead of leaving their healthy food on the plate, on the floor, or throwing it at another student. This is the fate of most of the free student food.

This is another example of the growing nanny state where the government knows better how to run our lives from the cradle to the grave. Now we have some bureaucrat in Washington, D.C. telling parents what their kids should eat. I can see it now as the kids go through the line getting their little plates filled with this “nutritious” processed food supplied by the Department of Agriculture. There will, no doubt, be sections of foods for Jews, Muslims and Vegans, if not the ACLU will make sure there are. Or, in an effort to save money and satisfy all special interest groups the schools will serve only apples, oranges, broccoli, carrots and spinach — all healthy, non fattening foods. I am sure the kids will love it.

In San Francisco, and soon to be other cities where the left-wing loons run things, MacDonald’s Happy Meals containing toys have been banned. The City of New You has banned salt fro restaurant tables and the City of Los Angeles is banning the opening of any new fast food restaurants in low income neighborhoods. Los Angeles’ decision is based on the premise that low income people are too stupid to make proper eating choices. Perhaps they are, but it’s not the business of government to decide for them. Also, I am sure there will be no five star restaurants opening in these areas very soon and besides who to say an occasional Subway sandwich, a taco salad, some cashew chicken or a burger aren’t healthy. People make food choices based on their culture and budgets.  It’s not the governments business to tell us what to eat or drink. If medical affiliated groups like the American Heart Association wants to put out publications about healthy diets that’s fine — it’s their dollar. I don’t mind the government joining them in their advertising campaigns, but keep the regulators out.

We are becoming a nation of whining special interest groups. If you don’t like smoking then you get smoking banned. If you don’t like fat people you get mandatory dietary regulations enacted. If you are annoyed by barking dogs you get dogs banned. If you don’t like Christmas trees you say you are offended and get them banned and so on and on and on.

We are, by our propensity to do good, becoming an over regulated society. These regulations erode our basic freedoms and cost us billions of dollars. The problem is that everyone has their own definition of good.

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