We all wish former President Bill Clinton a quick recovery from the medical procedure in which two stents were inserted in a single artery. That, following his 2004 quadruple bypass, when four arteries were 90 percent clogged.
We're told that gone are Clinton's presidential days, when his dietary indulgences included regular binges on Big Macs. But it seems that Washington is still in the business of supersizing government regulations and union power over what kids eat in our public schools.
On the one hand, I want genuinely to commend first lady Michelle Obama for her passion to launch her campaign against childhood obesity, "Let's Move." In particular, I like the part that seeks to "mobilize public and private sector resources ... to help kids be more active, eat better, and get healthy."
My concern, however, is that the first lady's nutritional quests, like Washington's health care crusade, ultimately will lead to more big-government and union-based solutions, as well as enact more faulty legislation like the 1966 Child Nutrition Act, which the Obama administration is seeking to update, or "overhaul." (Of course, update and overhaul in government translates into upgrade and expand; you can bet your last tax dollar on it.)
And sure enough, incorporated in the first lady's health initiative is the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act: "The Administration is requesting an historic investment of an additional $10 billion over ten years starting in 2011 to improve the quality of the National School Lunch and Breakfast program."
At first glance, that sounds like a no-brainer. Who doesn't want to care for neglected kids? But the Child Nutrition Act goes so much further than providing meals for those in poverty. It has become another cover for increasing big government and union power, with the Service Employees International Union being one of the biggest beneficiaries.
Rather than rubber-stamp that 44-year-old piece of legislation, which has been renewed every five years ever since by both Republican and Democratic administrations, Washington needs to reconsider every facet of its tenets and find a better way forward by giving back to the American people more of their power over our children's well-being. Washington needs to rewrite and reduce, not renew and expand, the Child Nutrition Act.
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