Moral Low Ground

US Government

‘No Free Lunch’ GOP Congressman Jack Kingston Billed Taxpayers Thousands for Free Meals

WSAV: News, Weather, and Sports for Savannah, GA

A Republican US congressman and US Senate candidate from Georgia who proposed that poor children be forced to perform janitorial work in exchange for subsidized school lunches has billed thousands of dollars worth of his own meals to taxpayers.

WSAV reports Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), who made national headlines last month after he told a gathering of the Jackson County Republican Party that children benefiting from the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) should be forced to sweep cafeteria floors, has been enjoying thousands of dollars worth of free meals at taxpayer expense.

“Why don’t you have the kids pay a dime, pay a nickel to instill in them that there is, in fact, no such thing as a free lunch?” asked Kingston during his speech, part of which was recorded and posted on YouTube . “Or maybe sweep the floor in the cafeteria… Think what we would gain as a society in… getting the myth out of their head that there is such a thing as a free lunch.”

For Rep. Kingston and his staff, there have been at least $8,471 in free meals paid for by either taxpayers or special interest groups over the past three years. According to a WSAV investigation, Kingston and staff have logged $4,182 worth of “meals for business purposes” and an additional $4,289.33 in free meals paid for by third-party interest groups, including the financial industry lobby group Georgia Bankers Association.

WSAV points out that the amount Kingston and staff expensed to taxpayers could have bought nearly 2,000 Georgia school lunches for needy children.

Additionally, WSAV reported $145,391.26 in expensed meals while Kingston was campaigning for Congress, including $26,066.45 spent at the members-only Republican Club of Capitol Hill.

When asked by WSAV if his expensed meals constituted “free lunches,” Rep. Kingston replied that he works 60-70 hours per week.

“This is what we need in America,” Kingston asserted. “We need workfare over welfare. I learned a lot when I was 14 and 15 years old doing chores inside and outside the household and as a result I grew up with a good work ethic… It’s hard in today’s society to have a discussion where you want to challenge the status quo because of the ‘I gotcha’ politics.”

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