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Senate candidate Rep. Jack  Kingston (R. GA) has had a few problems with a fundraising “scandal” lately, but most political experts don’t think  the scandal will seriously  derail his candidacy to any degree.

Kingston first garnered national attention with his suggestion that school kids should have to work in order to be able to eat free or reduced price school lunches.

                  If Kids Want Health Insurance or a Meal, Let Them Get a Job.

According to news media outlets Kingston said,  "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."

This of course, is nothing new for Republican politicians. Punishing or stigmatizing low income adults and children is standard operating procedure. Back in 2009, Republicans in Georgia proposed and passed several laws that would have punished poor children for no reason other than their parents lacked money.

It occurred to me back then that the biggest problem facing poor kids and adults is a shortage of money. I wrote the following in July 2009 (with some current additions) because it seemed to me, like Rep. Kingston,  the best way to get some cash into the raggedy pants pockets of these poor kids is to put the kids to work.

For example:

The liberal Georgia Budget and Policy Institute says that some of  Georgia’s poor children are being hurt by a policy that locks them out of the state Peach Care Program for three months after their parents miss a payment or make a late payment.

First, practically all children today understand the purpose of  a “time out.”  It should not be a problem for a sick kid to stand or be propped in the corner for three months. Besides, there is no other way to discipline these deadbeat children now that spanking is all but officially prohibited.

The Georgia Department of Community Health has to do something to reduce costs and teach the little welfare recipients some sense of  responsibility while they are sponging off the taxpayers. The Department of Community Health points out that a mere 26,000 children have fallen through the cracks and not re-enrolled after being locked out of the program and that overall, the policy has had the desired effect of teaching parents that their low wage status could cost their  precious little darlings their lives.

Both the Department of  Community Health and the Budget and Policy Institute are overlooking the logical solution. Put the little malingerers to work. If these kids want health insurance or a meal, let them get a job and pay for it themselves like the rest of us.

The United States is now the Ownership Society, which means that those individuals and corporations who own the most money and property now own the United States and Georgia governments, and only they are entitled to enjoy the benefits thereof.

We also now live in the era of  Personal Responsibility, which means every one must fend for himself, including children.  Why should children be exempt from the consequences if they neglect to adopt these Republican values. Kids have to realize that if their parents aren’t doing the job, it’s up to them to pick up the slack.

Third World countries are leading by example. In Central America, 10 year old kids drop out of school to cut sugar cane to help support their families. Why can’t spoiled American kids do the same.

If  a 14 year old can work ten hours a day in a sweat shop in Southeast Asia or China sewing sneakers to put food on the table,  American kids can do the same. And they’ll get a 15 percent discount on those shoes, too.

Yes, there are Child Labor Laws that forbid employing children, but, the Georgia Legislature can continue their effort to abolish the Roosevelt legacy by repealing those outmoded age limits, and also give employers more incentive to hire children by lowering the minimum wage. Who needs a minimum wage law anyway?  Not Republican politicians.

It’s time for everyone to realize that putting children back to work in U.S. factories for fifty cents an hour like we did back in the good old days is the only thing that will stop the emigration of our jobs to the Third World.

The Georgia Legislature is doing their part by passing House Bill 221, the Mad Dad Law. The purpose of this law is to put the financial burden of child rearing back on the wives and children where it belongs by exempting divorced dads like bill sponsor Rep. Earl Ehrhart from the intolerable injustice of having to pay oh so much to support their offspring.

Among the 15 members of  the Georgia Commission on Child Support who will be rewriting the rules is a woman who has refused to have anything to do with her grandchild because her daughter is gay.  Thank goodness there’ll be no mawkishly sentimental Grandma’s writing the rules on that committee.  Georgia needs more such clear-eyed, practical leaders making decisions about our children’s welfare.

Some may object that denying health insurance is punishing the child for the faults and shortcomings of the parents, but according to the Bible, the sins of the parent will be visited upon the child. Are we as Christians doing enough in Georgia to ensure this scripture continues to hold true in this modern age? I wonder.

Someone will probably suggest that it would be simple and inexpensive to set up an automatic payroll deduction system and to electronically zap the money from the bank account of the enrollee’s employers. It’s true that would eliminate 90% of the missed payments, but that would do nothing to teach the parents and children the all important value of Personal Responsibility and Personal Accountability. Ask President George Bush and VP Dick Cheney how those Republican values improved the lives of all Americans during their terms in office.

Georgia’s Republican leadership should be commended for using these opportunities to instill values into our children. The kids who survive will never forget the lessons of  personal accountability and responsibility they have learned.  

Jim McMeans
Danielsville, GA 30633
July 2009/June 2014

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