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Michelle Obama Continues to Increase the Government’s Role in Parenting

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Sasha and Malia apparently aren’t enough for Michelle Obama. She wants to mother our children, too. That’s the only conclusion that can be reached when observing the First Lady’s campaign to decrease parents’ role in raising their children.

Obama’s latest method of gaining more control is through school food nutrition standards. Noting that home-packed lunches aren’t up to the First Lady’s standards, the government is making school meals free for all, regardless of income, as part of a four-state pilot program that begins this fall.

Given our penchant for free stuff, parents will be walking right into the trap. But never fear, the media cheers. The Muskegon (Mich.) Chronicle reports:

“Muskegon parents can put the peanut butter back on the shelf and the bologna sandwiches back in the refrigerator, because this year breakfast and lunch will be served free to all student.’

More disturbing than the cost of this unnecessary program is the way Obama is further cutting parents out of the picture and hijacking their critical role. We constantly hear from bureaucrats and government school apologists who say parents aren’t involved enough. Their solution? Decrease parental responsibility even more. By encouraging free government lunches for all students, Michelle Obama is creating a situation that will increase government interference in family life and take a major responsibility away from parents.

But, hey, why worry about Johnny’s lunch when Uncle Sam is taking care of it?

The government food program, formally known as the Community Eligibility Option, is a pilot program being tested in four states. The West Virginia Panhandle Daily Monitor reports it “was enacted as a result of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act” of which the First Lady was a champion.

Audrey Rowe, a USDA bureaucrat who helped Obama pass the legislation, recently visited West Virginia and shared her views of the government’s role:

"It's our opportunity and responsibility to ensure that no child in West Virginia goes hungry during the summer months just because most schools are closed," said Rowe said in a news release from the West Virginia Department of Education. "Our children need to maintain a consistent healthy diet that supports growth and learning."

So now the free school food programs will expand to the summer as well? Will they also expand to parents and anyone else that walks through the door?

And what happens when a Paul Ryan-type gets into power, is tasked with curtailing out of control federal spending, and wants to recreate a culture of personal responsibility? It’s not going to end well for those who become tricked into accepting government handouts like free school meals.

There really is no such thing as a free lunch, folks. And there shouldn’t be for kids whose parents make enough money to provide for their basic needs. The government’s effort to shove parents aside and take over that critical role is unhealthy and worrisome.

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