Big Government

The government has no business telling people what to eat or forcing schools to provide healthy lunches, right? Right?

via ThinkProgress

Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) proposed a bill on Tuesday that would amend the government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) so that low-income Americans can’t use it to buy unhealthy food, despite his previous opposition to public health initiatives under Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign. The GOP lawmaker says that the stricter standards will prevent the government from from funding unhealthy purchases like sugary drinks.

Of course the government has no business telling people what to eat, unless they’re poor. In that case it’s okay for Republicans in government to micro-manage their daily caloric intake.

When the USDA recently overhauled school lunch standards to encourage kids to eat healthier cafeteria food, Roe was one of several Republicans who claimed it represented an “overreach of government” that forced students to go hungry.


  • Nefercat

    Really, republicans? Never mind the pros and cons of such legislation.

    Do they really think that the mega-corporations pushing junk food will tolerate this legislation for one minute?

    For many people, the only available shops may not sell much except pre-packaged foods. High fat and sugar is not healthy long-term, but it is quick energy right now, today, after a long shift for low pay. Of course it wold be great if everyone could or would make healthy choices and some of those choices are indeed inexpensive (rice and beans). However, for many people, it is important to have ready-to-eat or easy to prepare foods because of utility issues (shut-offs), or food preparation or storage problems (refrigeration, cooking appliances, pests).

    In this case, the republicans don’t care about poor people’s health. They care about humiliation and power and control over the smallest decisions “those” people (the 47% lazy, parasitic “takers”) make in their daily lives.

    For a republican, a hungry person’s stomach = a woman’s uterus. Rich, white, male republicans should have dominion over other people’s body’s down to the tiniest decisions. Hungry? Female? Poor? Come crawling to us and we will decide what you are and are not permitted to do with your own body. We will make sure you feel appropriately shamed for the sin of being hungry, or poor, or female!

  • Victor_the_Crab

    It’s obvious that dunderheads like Phil Roe have no memory recollection of what they say. Nor do they have a conscience that keeps them from saying that very same thing. Fucking idiot!

  • IrishGrrrl

    I work in IT for a company that will remain nameless that has knowledge of the goings on within the USDA and states about the distribution of federal funds for the various childcare and school food programs. About a day or two ago I found out something pretty interesting…..the USDA recently did a study and found that the number of students getting free and reduced lunches has dropped drastically, putting the states in a real bind since they’ve already based expenditures on previous participation stats–i.e., they’ve spent more money than they’ll end up being able to keep. Conservatives at work are loudly proclaiming the numbers have dropped because kids don’t want to eat healthy so their parents are letting them take their lunch.

    I responded by saying it’s cheaper for me to let my child take her lunch than to pay for cafeteria food even at a reduced price. I reasoned out loud that maybe struggling families have exhausted other cost savings measures and are finally turning to their kid’s food budget (which is always the last thing that gets cut by a loving parent, parents will go without eating so their kids can eat). OR maybe it’s the opposite, the economy has been improving slowly and families are finally recovering enough that they feel they can splurge a little and make their kids better lunches than what’s in the cafeteria?

    Looking at me as if I’d grown a second head, I was told that no it was expressly the fault of Mrs. Obama who was a fascist for trying to push healthy food on our children. This is from the same guy who just now loudly and proudly proclaimed that “niggardly” is a legitimate word and he knew someone who had gotten fired from their job for using it, which was wrong.

    I need a drink or a Valium or both…..On far too many days I sit at my desk repeating in my head ad nauseum: Serenity Now!

    • JMAshby

      People are the worst.

    • SEPA_Q

      In many cases, there is no “take your lunch” option. If the child doesn’t receive lunch at school, s/he has none. Some of the states have been “cracking down” on all those “freeloading” kids who used to get free lunch, which may be the reason that fewer children are participating. In Philadelphia, there were programs where, if a certain percentage of the students would qualify for the free lunch (or breakfast) program, the entire school was fed — because it cut down on administrative costs. But those who are afraid that an extra kid or two was eating insisted on “means testing”. I suspect that this weeded out not only the small percentage of those who didn’t qualify, but that many were lost because of the process of having to be “certified” as “worthy”. The number of participants, as planned, declined.

      [Hate to say it but the guy is right. “Niggardly” is a word that has nothing to do with race. It means cheap or stingy. A few years ago, there was a news story in which someone did use it — correctly — and was punished in some way, though I don’t recall how, perhaps by being fired. And that is wrong. Broken clock… twice a day… ]