Editorial: Government handouts skyrocket

Should the government feed everyone in America?

The answer from progressives, particularly in public education, increasingly seems to be yes – every American should guaranteed three square meals a day.

The free school lunch program is a noble idea. For decades, it has helped poor children who for a variety of reasons don’t get proper nutrition at home. And educators are correct when they point out that hungry children don’t learn as well as those provided with good nutrition.

But the program keeps expanding. What started out as government help for the poor has become an entitlement. Oklahoma City Public Schools give a free lunch and a free breakfast to every student – even the rich kids.

And a summer program that feeds kids when they are not in school continues to skyrocket.  When children are taught that the government has an obligation to feed them, they learn a terrible lesson about the lack of self-determination. They learn that their parents are not responsible for their welfare but they must rely on the government.

That is socialism.

The lesson should be that we will offer you charity until you can stand on your own. Obviously, some children need more help than others.

But during a so-called budget crisis, why are public schools feeding rich kids for free? It makes no sense. It is the primary responsibility for parents to feed their children, not the schools.

No one should go hungry in Oklahoma. We are a rich society. But help should go only to those who need and it should accompany a sense of responsibility.