Revelations that the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative groups for discriminatory treatment, and leaked confidential information about those groups to a left-wing outfit, ProPublica, should make us think twice about the White Houseâ€™s plans to give the IRS even more authority â€” over our medicine cabinets.
Thatâ€™s right. The IRS is being put in charge of enforcing the presidentâ€™s health care law, Obamacare. The controversial law fills 2,801 pages; its various regulations, another 13,000. This mountain of paper forms a stack seven feet high, or, laid end to end, a paper trail stretching for two and a half miles. And it turns out no federal agency is given a more important role in implementing all that red tape than the IRS, the recipient of no fewer than 47 new duties and enforcement powers under the law.
Those duties include imposing tax penalties on individuals and businesses, and providing tax subsidies to millions of people who buy insurance through government â€œexchanges.â€ According to the IRS inspector general, the new health care powers and duties â€œrepresent the largest set of tax law changes the IRS has had to implement in more than 20 years.â€
Hmm. Are we really prepared to put our health insurance system under the same agency that, as weâ€™ve learned from the targeting scandal, took 1,138 days to approve just one non-exempt groupâ€™s tax application?
[…] Â If citizens who hold a disfavored political view are already being harassed with excessive paperwork requests and delays, whatâ€™s preventing politically motivated IRS bureaucrats from leaking sensitive health information to groups like ProPublica, or subjecting those with disfavored medical conditions to discriminatory audits?
[…] Â One of the many troubling facts to emerge from the targeting scandal has been the incredibly personal nature of the questions asked of groups applying for non-profit status. The IRS made some groups disclose all of their employeesâ€™ resumes, as well as information about the nature of personal relationships between employees. They even demanded to know the contents of a religious groupâ€™s prayers. If this level of detail is required for a rather simple business matter, determining tax-exempt status, imagine what the tax bureaucrats will do with our intimate health-related information.
The Internal Revenue Service is now facing a class action lawsuit over allegations that it improperly accessed and stole the health records of some 10 million Americans, including medical records of all California state judges.
According to aÂ reportÂ by Courthousenews.com, an unnamed HIPAA-covered entity in California is suing the IRS, alleging that some 60 million medical records from 10 million patients were stolen by 15 IRS agents. The personal health information seized on March 11, 2011, included psychological counseling, gynecological counseling, sexual/drug treatment and other medical treatment data.
“This is an action involving the corruption and abuse of power by several Internal Revenue Service agents,” the complaint reads. “No search warrant authorized the seizure of these records; no subpoena authorized the seizure of these records; none of the 10,000,000 Americans were under any kind of known criminal or civil investigation and their medical records had no relevance whatsoever to the IRS search. IT personnel at the scene, a HIPPA facility warning on the building and the IT portion of the searched premises, and the company executives each warned the IRS agents of these privileged records,” it continued.
Obamacare is not merely a massive overhaul of the health care system. It is also a substantial expansion of the Internal Revenue Service. Thatâ€™s because the law relies on the tax collection agency to both enforce its individual mandate and administer the tax credits the law offers to subsidize the purchase of health insurance. Following recent revelations that agents in multiple IRS offices, including tax officials in Washington, targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny, a number of former and current Republican legislators are already counseling caution about the agency’s role in administering the law.
Concerns about the agencyâ€™s oversight of the health law are well-foundedâ€”and not only because of general concerns about the agencyâ€™s judgment.
For one thing, the IRS appears to have specifically targeted groups that opposed the health care law. According to The Washington Post, â€œalthough some of the groups were explicitly labeled â€˜tea partyâ€™ or â€˜patriot,â€™ others that came under intense scrutiny were focused on challenging the Affordable Care Act â€” known by many as Obamacare â€” or the integrity of federal elections.â€
In other words, the agency has singled out Obamacare opponents for unusual treatment. That does not speak well of the agencyâ€™s ability to fairly carry out its duties under the law.
[O]bamaCare’s individual mandate takes effect in 2014, all Americans who file income-tax returns must deal with and report personal health information to the IRS.
The IRS will require the name and health insurance identification number of the taxpayer, the name and tax identification number of the health insurance company, the number of months the taxpayer was covered by this insurance plan and whether the plan was purchased in one of ObamaCare’s “exchanges.”
Heavy fines will be levied for failure to jump through all the government’s hoops.
The new tax mandates and penalties in ObamaCare will require up to 16,500 new IRS personnel to collect, examine and audit new tax information mandated on families and small businesses, according to an analysis by the Joint Economic Committee and the then-minority GOP staff of the House Ways & Means Committee in 2010.
Will the IRS enforce the mandate rules impartially, or will it go after only those who support individual liberty and oppose government encroachment on it?
Will ObamaCare resisters also be considered enemies of the state?
Over one-third of the 9.1 million full-time jobs among America’s diverse business franchises could be cut back or eliminated by Obamacare as small businesses struggle to maintain profitability while coughing up money to pay for Washington-mandated health care coverage, according to the International Franchise Association.
Cause premiums to skyrocket.Â In December,Â state insurance commissioners warnedÂ Obama administration officials that the law’s market regulations would likely cause “rate shocks,” particularly for younger, healthier people forced by ObamaCare to subsidize premiums for those who are older and sicker.
“We are very concerned about what will happen if essentially there is so much rate shock for young people that they’re bound not to purchase (health insurance) at all,” said California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.
That same month, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said ObamaCare will likelyÂ cause premiums to doubleÂ for some small businesses and individuals.
And a more recent survey of insurers in five major cities by theÂ American Action ForumÂ found they expect premiums to climb an average 169%.
Cost people their jobs.Â The Federal Reserve’s MarchÂ beige bookÂ on economic activity noted that businesses “cited the unknown effects of the Affordable Care Act as reasons for planned layoffs and reluctance to hire more staff.”
Around the same time,Â Gallup reportedÂ a surge in part-time work in advance of ObamaCare’s employer mandate. It found that part-timers accounted for almost 21% of the labor force, up from 19% three years ago.
Meanwhile, human resources consulting firmÂ AdeccoÂ found that half of the small businesses it surveyed in January either plan to cut their workforce, not hire new workers, or shift to part-time or temporary help because of ObamaCare.
Tax the middle class.Â IBD reportedÂ in February that much of the $800 billion in tax hikes imposed by ObamaCare will end up hitting the middle class, including $45 billion in mandate penalties, $19 billion raised by limiting medical expense deductions, $24 billion through strict limits on flexible spending accounts, plus another $5 billion because ObamaCare bans using FSAs to buy over-the-counter drugs.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he would not include language to defund Obamacare in the continuing resolution bill when it returns to the House, stating, â€œour goalâ€ is â€œnot to shut down the government.â€
Why on earth are they so afraid of a government shutdown? Â It certainly didn’t kill us in the 90’s – most people can’t even remember how (or if) it even affected them!
Maybe what they’re REALLY afraid of is Americans realizing that their lives can go merrily along just fine – and a lot freer – without Big Government interference every step of the way. Â Â That we really don’t need them as much as they need us (and our money) to legitimize their existence.
All Republican members of the SenateÂ voted to defundÂ Obamacare as an amendment to the Continuing Budget Resolution. The vote definitely puts a little heat onÂ certain Dem. SenatorsÂ up for re-election in 2014.
House Republican leadership recently pushed through a Continuing Resolution that included funding for Obamacare, despite the protests of many members of the GOP. Speaker Boehner and House Majority Whip Eric CantorÂ received flakÂ in conservative circles for rushing through a hasty vote.
The House of Representatives possesses the â€œpower of the purseâ€ under Constitutional law, so it is not required to fund the executive branchâ€™s activities. It would be extremely rare to withhold funding for government programs, but if there ever was a program as unethical and fiscally ruinous ever devised, it would be Obamacare.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted 267-151 on Wednesday to approve a $982-billion continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government through the rest of fiscal 2013 that fully funds the implementation of Obamacare during that period.
The House Republican leaders turned aside requests from groups of conservative members to include language in the bill that would have withheld funding for implementation of all of Obamacare, or, alternatively, that would have withheld funding for the Obamacare regulation that requires health-plans to provide cost-free coverage for sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs.
Watching the filibuster, the thought occurred to me that this is exactly what should have been done with Obamacare in 2009/2010.Â Why didnâ€™t Mitch McConnell use every parliamentary procedure to block Obamacare?Â More relevant to today, these same senators should engage in the same educational filibuster against funding Obamacare next week when the Senate considers the CR.Â Â If nothing else, weâ€™re long overdue for a national discussion over Obamacare, personal liberty, and free markets.Â We need to take this #StandWithRand show and run with it.
Come January, many children currently enrolled in the State Childrenâ€™s HealthÂ Insurance Program (CHIP) will be compulsorily moved out of their current health plans and into state-run Medicaid plans â€“ as a result of Obamacare.
During the 2012 election campaign, Democrats denied that ObamaCare made $716 billion in cuts to Medicare in order to provide funding toward $1.9 trillion in new entitlement spending over the next ten years.
In an announcement on Friday, however, the Obama administration revealed that it would be significantly reducing funding for Medicare, a move that one health insurance analystÂ saidÂ â€œwould turn almost every plan in the industry unprofitable.â€
[…] Â Â Regarding the cuts, Americaâ€™s Health Insurance Plansâ€™ (AHIP) president Karen Ignagni said, â€œWashington cannot tax and cut Medicare Advantage this much and not expect seniors to be harmed.”
Younger, healthier people, many of whom voted forÂ Mr. ObamaÂ in droves, will see their insurance premiums climb sharply as Obamacare demands that insurers provide them with more medical coverage than they want or need.
[…] Â Mark Bertolini, CEO ofÂ Aetna Inc.Â â€” the nationâ€™s third-largest health insurance company â€” warned at the end of 2012 that Americans will face a â€œpremium rate shockâ€ when the presidentâ€™s tidal wave of regulations kick in next year.
Mr. BertoliniÂ predicts unsubsidized insurance premiums will shoot up by 20 percent to 50 percent, on average.
Those numbers may be just for the lucky ones. Some consumers will see their costs double. â€œWeâ€™re going to see some markets go up as much as 100 percent,â€Â Mr. BertoliniÂ toldÂ BloombergÂ News.
In less than a year, Americans will be hit with not only higher insurance premiums, but massive tax increases:
While much of the dialogue on healthcare reform centers on the federal mandate of health coverage for all Americans â€“ which many conservatives call the largest tax increase in U.S history â€“ less attention is being given to the massive sales tax increase on the purchase of health insurance also implicit within the legislation that will dramatically escalate costs for employers and consumers.
[T]he tax increases that remain on the books will cost taxpayers more than $675 billion over the next ten years. Chief among these will be the sales tax on the purchase of health insurance, totaling $101.7 billion, and making it larger than all the other industry-specific taxes combined.
â€œThe health insurance tax will add a financial burden on families and small businesses at a time when they can least afford it, and it should be repealed, â€ says AHIP, a trade association representing health insurance industry providers, in todayâ€™s call for the repeal of the health insurance tax before it can take affect.
Last month, the CEO of the nationâ€™s largest health insurance company warned that he and his peers may balk at participating in Obamacareâ€™s insurance exchanges â€” online, government-run portals where consumers and small businesses without conventional employer-sponsored coverage may shop for policies starting next year.
[…] Â Thatâ€™s ominous news for Obamacare. If insurers donâ€™t participate in the lawâ€™s exchanges, then consumers who had hoped to secure affordable coverage through the new marketplaces will instead find few choices and high prices. Taxpayers could be hit hard, too, as higher premiums in the exchanges will require more public spending on subsidies.
[A]s ObamaCare’s official launch date approaches, even its backers are beginning to admit that the law could actually create powerful incentives for millions of people and thousands of businesses to drop their coverage, despite the mandate.
[…] Â “We are very concerned,” California Insurance Commissioner Dave JonesÂ told federal health officialsÂ at a December meeting, “if there is so much rate shock for young people that they’re bound not to purchase (health insurance) at all.”
The cause of this rate shock is simple: ObamaCare imposes what is called “community rating” on insurance companies, effectively forcing them to charge the young and healthy more so they can charge older and sicker consumers less.
[…] Â ObamaCare also forbids insurance companies from turning anyone down â€” a reform called “guaranteed issue” â€” which also will provide an incentive for some to drop coverage, knowing they can get it back any time.
“Even with the tax penalty … some healthy people would avoid purchasing coverage until they are sick,” Howard Shapiro, director of public policy at the Alliance of Community Health Plans,Â told regulatorsÂ .
The problem is that if the young and healthy drop coverage, the result would be what the industry calls a “death spiral.” Premiums will climb as the pool of insured gets sicker, causing still more to cancel their policies.
â€œLet me be exactly clear about what health care reform means to you…if youâ€™ve got health insurance, you like your doctors, you like your plan, you can keep your doctor, you can keep your plan.Â Nobody is talking about taking that away from you.â€
I’ll put it this way: if it begins with “let me be clear,” it’s guaranteed to be a lie. Â “Let me clear” is code for, “make sure you listen to my whitewash talking points to hide what’s REALLY going on.”
President Obamaâ€™s health care law will push 7 million people out of their job-based insurance coverage â€” nearly twice the previous estimate, according to the latest estimates from the Congressional Budget Office released Tuesday.
CBO said that this yearâ€™s tax cuts have changed the incentives for businesses and made it less attractive to pay for insurance, meaning fewer will decide to do so. Instead, theyâ€™ll choose to pay a penalty to the government, totaling $13 billion in higher fees over the next decade.
The FDA is notoriously prejudiced against raw dairy products, and if they personally are opposed to consuming them, fine! Â But what constitutional authority do they have to tell American citizens what they can and cannot eat and drink? Â Answer: NONE. Â With the government takeover of health care, however, you can rest assured that tyrannical attempts to control your diet will increase, not decrease.
The FDA, like so many other federal bureaucracies, has become a tyrannical, unelected, unaccountable apparatus for the Nanny State to rule over Americans instead of representing and serving them. Â Their goal is not to protect citizens from harming one another, but to protect us from our own choices by restricting them and making them for us. Â But this abuse of government power is not a victimless crime.
This small, family-armed dairy is the latest casualty in a long line of victims of government abuse and over-regulation. Â Will your business be next?
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Mo. — After a two and a half year legal battle, 15 tons of cheese made and aged near Mountain View was hauled to a dump.Â To fans of natural foods, it is monumental waste and over-regulation.Â ToÂ Missouri’s Milk Board, it’s merely protecting public health.
“I see the destruction of what my wife and I and family have worked to build,” said Joseph Dixon, owner ofMorningland Dairy.
Dixon and his family aren’t the only ones outraged by the trashing of about 30,000 pounds of cheese produced on the farm in Howell County.
[…] Â Â “They really haven’t found anything, no sicknesses, no illnesses in 30 years. But it’s what-if.Â And in the United States of America, if what-if now wins, we have no country left,” Dixon said.
Both Howell County Court and the Missouri Court of Appeals sided with the milk board’s decision to destroy all the cheese.
“We asked for trial by jury; we were denied because it was a regulation, not a law.Â It wasn’t passed by congress,” said Dixon.
A couple of years ago, the Dixons still had hope of someday making cheese again and were milking daily, but now, the milking barn is empty because the dairy herd is gone.
“If I tried to start back up, it would cost so much to get it in the cooler, and then, if they find, quote, one thing they can complain about, one thing, I’m shut down again, and every bit of that has to be destroyed,” said Dixon.
The Milk Board shut down Morninglandâ€™s manufacturing operation and ordered all cheese at the facility embargoed on August 26, 2010 after receiving a report from the California Department of Food and Agriculture that Morningland cheese seized in a raid of the Rawesome food club in Venice, California in June 2010 had tested positive forÂ Listeria monocytogenesÂ andStaphyloccocus aureus. Not a single block of cheese in the warehouse had the same batch number as the cheese seized in the Rawesome raid. A Milk Board inspector initially told Joe Dixon that he would only be shut down for a few daysâ€”but that changed when FDA stepped up their involvement in the case a short time later and pressured the Milk Board not to let Morningland resume their operations.
On October 1, 2010 the Milk Board sent the Dixons a letter requesting that they destroy the entire inventory of cheese at the facility; when the Dixons refused, the Milk Board filed a petition in the Circuit Court of Howell County to obtain an order for the destruction of the Morningland cheese.
After a two-day trial before Judge David Dunlop, the judge issued a decision onÂ February 23, 2011Â ordering the destruction of the cheese. Morningland appealed the decision but onÂ September 27, 2012Â the Court of Appeals sided with the Milk Board. A petition to the Missouri Supreme Court to hear the case was rejected onDecember 18, paving the way for the destruction of the cheese to take place.
Neither the Milk Board nor FDA ever tested any of the cheese stored at Morningland. FDA did take 100 environmental swabs at the facility, all of which tested negative for listeria. There was no accusation that any cheese Morningland produced had made anyone sick; there had never been any reported illness from the consumption of Morningland products in the thirty years the farmstead cheese operation had been in business.
The Morningland case was about FDAâ€™s agenda to restrict access to raw dairy products with the eventual goal of banning them. The agency doesnâ€™t hesitate in sacrificing a business like the Dixonsâ€™ in order to move its agenda along.
What message does this send toÂ entrepreneursÂ who are considering starting their own business and creating jobs? Â Who wants to take the risk of running afoul of busybody bureaucrats with an ax to grind?
Health insuranceÂ companies across the country are seeking and winning double-digit increases in premiums for some customers, even though one of the biggest objectives of the Obama administrationâ€™sÂ health care lawÂ was to stem the rapid rise in insurance costs for consumers.
Particularly vulnerable to the high rates are small businesses and people who do not have employer-provided insurance and must buy it on their own.
Why should this surprise?Â The must-issue regulation built into ObamaCare increases costs for the insurers, who cannot draw all of the needed revenues from the high-risk pool, thanks to mandates on rates.Â That means those costs have to get spread out to everyone in the pool.Â This is nothing more than Risk Pool 101, a course that Congress flunked repeatedly in the ObamaCare debate.
And why are rates rising higher on individual premiums than employer-based premiums?Â First off, the economics of aggregation are always going to work out that way; insurers want large groups of customers, and itâ€™s less costly in the long run to find customers that way rather than one at a time.Â Iâ€™d guess that the employer-aggregate pool might generate somewhat lower costs than the general population too (especially after must-issue), but thatâ€™s just speculation.Â WhatÂ isnâ€™tÂ speculation is that ObamaCare heavily regulates the individual markets in 2014 based on a law that doesnâ€™t have many details in how that is supposed to be accomplished, based on state exchanges that may never exist in more than half of the states.Â In that kind of environment, can anyone blame the insurers for basing premiums on worst-case scenarios this year?
None of this surprises those who both understand risk pools and the dynamic reaction to regulation.Â Itâ€™s amusing to see everyone else be shocked,Â shockedÂ that ObamaCare ends up driving costs upward even further.
This is the problem with the unconstitutional “fourth branch” of the federal government: unelected, unaccountable bureaucracies.
This proposal never went to the voters or their representatives in congress, who are supposed to pass new laws. Â Instead, theÂ National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asked for this new mandate, and the White House approved it. Â Your privacy behind the wheel was just taken away without so much as a vote.
This is NOT how our founders designed our republic to work. Â If we don’t rein in all these departments, agencies and bureaucracies that routinely abuse unconstitutional powers, we will wake up one day to find all our freedoms GONE.
The White HouseÂ Office of Management has approved a request from theÂ National Highway Traffic Safety AdministrationÂ (NHTSA) toÂ mandate event data recorders, commonly referred to as â€œblack boxes,â€ in 100-percent ofÂ new vehiclesÂ sold.
In the very near future, then, the car you drive may monitor your every action behind the wheel, from speed to steering angle to brake pressure to whether or not you and your front seat passengers are buckled up.
If that makes you paranoid, this wonâ€™t help much: if you drive a newer car, chances are thereâ€™s already some kind of black box logging your actions, something that most consumers are blissfully unaware of. Today, The Detroit News tells us, 91.6 percent of light-duty autos utilize black boxes, so the latest directive would merely take that to 100 percent.
The idea is to gather information that can help investigators determine the causes of accidents and lead to safer vehicles. But privacy advocates say government regulators and automakers are spreading an intrusive technology without first putting in place policies to prevent misuse of the information collected.
Data collected by the recorders is increasingly showing up in lawsuits, criminal cases and high-profile accidents. Â […]
There’s no opt-out. It’s extremely difficult for car owners to disable the recorders. Although some vehicle models have had recorders since the early 1990s, a federal requirement that automakers disclose their existence in owner’s manuals didn’t go into effect until three months ago. Automakers that voluntarily put recorders in vehicles are also now required to gather a minimum of 15 types of data.
Besides the upcoming proposal to put recorders in all new vehicles, the traffic safety administration is also considering expanding the data requirement to include as many as 30 additional types of data such as whether the vehicle’s electronic stability control was engaged, the driver’s seat position or whether the front-seat passenger was belted in. Some manufacturers already are collecting the information. Engineers have identified more than 80 data points that might be useful.
Privacy complaints have gone unheeded so far. The traffic safety administration says it doesn’t have the authority to impose limits on how the information can be used and other privacy protections. About a dozen states have some law regarding data recorders, but the rest do not.
“Right now we’re in an environment where there are no rules, there are no limits, there are no consequences and there is no transparency,” said Lillie Coney, associate director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a privacy advocacy group. “Most people who are operating a motor vehicle have no idea this technology is integrated into their vehicle.”
Tonight’s stunning financialÂ piece de resistanceÂ comes from Wyatt Emerich of The Cleveland Current. In what is sure to inspire some serious ire among all those who once believed Ronald Reagan that it was theÂ USSRÂ that was the “Evil Empire”, Emmerich analyzes disposable income and economic benefits among several key income classes and comes to the stunning (and verifiable) conclusion that “a one-parent family of three making $14,500 a year (minimum wage) has more disposable income than a family making $60,000 a year.” And that excludes benefits from Supplemental Security Income disability checks. America is now a country which punishes those middle-class people who not only try to work hard, but avoid scamming the system. Not surprisingly, it is not only the richest and most audacious thieves that prosper – it is also the penny scammers at the very bottom of the economic ladder that rip off the middle class each and every day, courtesy of the world’s most generous entitlement system. Perhaps if Reagan were alive today, he would wish to modify the object of his once legendary remark.
You can do as well working one week a month at minimum wage as you can working $60,000-a-year, full-time, high-stress job.
My chart tells the story. It is pretty much self-explanatory.
Stunning? Just do it yourself.
Almost all welfare programs have Web sites where you can call up “benefits calculators.” Just plug in your income and family size and, presto, your benefits are automatically calculated.
The chart is quite revealing. A one-parent family of three making $14,500 a year (minimu wage) has more disposable income than a amily making $60,000 a year.
And if that wasn’t enough, here is one that will blow your mind:
If the family provider works only one week a month at minimum wage, he or she makes 92 percent as much as a provider grossing $60,000 a year.
Exactly two years ago, some of the more politically biased progressive media outlets (who are quite adept at creating and taking down their own strawmen arguments, if not quite as adept at using an abacus, let alone a calculator) took offense at our article “In Entitlement America, The Head Of A Household Of Four Making Minimum Wage Has More Disposable Income Than A Family Making $60,000 A Year.” In it we merely explained what has become the painful reality in America: for increasingly more it is now more lucrative – in the form of actual disposable income – to sit, do nothing, and collect various welfare entitlements, than to work. This is graphically, and very painfully confirmed, in the below chart from Gary Alexander, Secretary of Public Welfare, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (a state best known for its broke capital Harrisburg). As quantitied, and explained by Alexander,Â “the single mom is better off earnings gross income of $29,000 with $57,327 in net income & benefits than to earn gross income of $69,000 with net income and benefits of $57,045.”
We realize that this is a painful topic in a country in which the issue of welfare benefits, and cutting (or not) the spending side of the fiscal cliff, have become the two most sensitive social topics. Alas, none of that changes the matrix of incentives for most Americans who find themselves in a comparable situation: either being on the left side of minimum US wage, and relying on benefits, or move to the right side at far greater personal investment of work, and energy, and… have the same disposable income at the end of the day.
Federal welfare spending has grown by 32 percent over the past four years, fattened by President Obamaâ€™s stimulus spending and swelled by a growing number of Americans whose recession-depleted incomes now qualify them for public assistance, according to numbers released Thursday.
That makes welfare the single biggest chunk of federal spending â€” topping Social Security and basic defense spending.
Sen. Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on theÂ Budget CommitteeÂ who requested theÂ Congressional Research ServiceÂ report, said the numbers underscore a fundamental shift in welfare, which he said has moved from being a Band-Aid and toward a more permanent crutch.
The so-called healthy lunch mandates restrict the amount of protein a school cafeteria can serve; meat is no longer allowed on the breakfast menu, according toÂ The Blaze. Wisconsin high school athletes are particularly outraged at new rules promoted by the United States Department of Agriculture and Michelle Obama. Many of the students perform farm chores before school, have sports practice after school, and do not get home to eat dinner until 8 pm. The teenagers and some concerned teachers have spoken out against the protein and calorie restrictions, claiming that children are going hungry.
Even though the new regulations have reduced the portion size of many items, the cost of a school lunch has increased by 20 to 25 cents per tray in many areas. High school cafeterias are now prohibited from supplying lunch trays which contain more than 850 calories. The standard recommendations for caloric intake is different for males and females, but the USDA did not see fit to make that distinction when drafting the new legislation. A senior football player is allowed no more calories than a 100-pound freshman girl.
Public schools are allegedly seeing a decrease in the number of lunches ordered since the new rules took effect this school year. Students who attend school with an open lunch policy are simply walking home, to nearby fast food restaurants, or to convenience stores to calm their rumbling bellies. Grabbing a bag of chips and a candy bar to supplement the scant offerings on a cafeteria lunch tray is surely not what Michelle Obama and theÂ USDAÂ had in mind when attempting to thwart the mountingÂ obesityÂ problem in the United States. Poor students who do not have any cash in their pockets to go elsewhere for lunch are forced to make do with what is offered at the school.