Monday, March 17, 2014

Pet Projects and Wasted Money: the Lunchtime Saga Continues

During the New Deal, President Franklin Roosevelt had an impasse with his Interior Secretary Harold Ickes. Ickes came to the president to argue against a hare brained scheme of the First Lady.  She wanted to build socialist commune style towns in the mountains of West Virginia.  There people would make traditional handcrafts, living off whatever pittance consumers decided to throw their way.  As Arthur Schlesinger wrote, the pragmatic Roosevelt assured Ickes that he knew it would not work. But, he needed to get Eleanor off of his back.

Arthurdale and Eleanor turned out, as predicted, to be wastes of taxpayer dollars.  The project of Michelle Obama, designed to force unappetizing meals into children while encouraging exercise, has as well.

According to the Washington Examiner, Obama cherry picked information from a Centers for Disease Control report.  She claimed that her program had caused a 43 percent drop in childhood obesity, which would have been a breathtaking change, were it true. The CDC report actually concluded that no appreciable change had taken place.

Schoolchildren often rejected the new mandated lunches.  Districts across the country reported higher levels of waste.  Meanwhile the 850 calorie limit imposed for a time left athletes, who need hundreds of calories more than the average student, underfed.

Had Obama merely stopped at encouraging more exercise, perhaps trying to find ways to get schools to allow more time for it, that would have helped.  But, being an Obama, she had to move into pointless social engineering which undermined the original goal.

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