Education Epic Fail Ethics Food

Jack “Kids Should Sweep the Floor” Kingston Eats a Lot of Free Lunches


In December prior to the holiday break, Representative Jack Kingston (R-GA) asked are there no workhouses?

KINGSTON: “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? 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.”

Not very many people were amused by Kingston’s remarks, myself included, because there is a such thing as a free lunch and it turns out Jack knows all about that.

Local NBC affiliate WSAV dove into Jack Kingston’s expenses and found that he eats quite a lot of free lunches.

“Kingston and his staff expensed nearly $4200 in meals for business purposes to his congressional office, paid for by the American taxpayer,” WSAV 3′s Dan Kartunen reported. The amount could have purchased nearly 2,000 Georgia school lunches.

WSAV also found that Kingston also racked up $4,289 of free meals paid for by third-party groups like the Georgia Bankers Association and the Congressional Institute. Kingston has also travelled to a handful of continents on congressional business racking up $24,313 in costs. Those expenses include more than just meals. What’s more, Kingston also expensed $145,391 worth of meals for campaign events.

It’s clear that where poor students went wrong was not having a third party, a lobbyist, or their campaign pay for their lunch.

Think of what we would gain as a society if we impress upon children at a very young age that there are plenty of free lunches for me but not for them.

I’m not suggesting that members of Congress have no right to expense their meals if and when it’s appropriate, but not every member of Congress is out there saying we should make poor kids sweep the floor if they want to eat.

Kingston claimed that he was only expressing concern for the “work ethic” in America when he said kids should sweep the floor, but Kingston’s idea of work ethic is saying exactly what his top contributors want him to say while his constituents suffer the consequences.

  • trgahan

    Nah, I’d say any racial dog-whistle using, faux-free market pushing public dollar leech in the House of Representatives can brown bag it like the rest of us.

    Also, I assume that his concern for America’s “work ethic” is that THOSE people won’t happily work for nothing, and be grateful for the chance to do it! At least that is what his campaign donors want….

  • Mike_Norris

    More of that Republican lack of self awareness. Hypocritical son of a bitch.

  • Draxiar

    This country really is at a “let them eat cake” era isn’t it?

  • Groundloop

    Kids in school have a job. It’s called going to school. They’re required to be in an office type setting for roughly 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 10 months of the year. And unlike most of our jobs, the payback doesn’t come every two weeks. They might not see any benefit of what they learn and experience until well after they graduate.

    So in conclusion, fuck Jack Kingston.

  • Ned F

    Kudos to WSAV for practicing actual journalism. Kingston must have been the guy in the room nodding his head when Newt Gingrich thought this up the first time, since it worked out so well then.