Continuing his holy war against government assistance, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan declared during a conservative PAC speech that giving children free meals deprives them of something vital – their souls.
Ryan was speaking before the Conservative Political Action Conference when he made his uneducated opinion on social welfare programs, specifically referring to free school lunches.
Ryan claimed that free school lunches deny children their dignity, giving them “a full stomach – and an empty soul.”
The Speaker shared a personal story he had heard second-hand of a small child who said he was embarrassed to accept the free school lunch because he wanted to be like the other children.
“She once met a young boy from a poor family. And every day at school, he would get a free lunch from a government program. But he told Eloise he didn’t want a free lunch. He wanted his own lunch — one in a brown-paper bag just like the other kids’. He wanted one, he said, because he knew a kid with a brown-paper bag had someone who cared for him.”
While we sympathize with the child’s embarrassment and wish for love from parental figures, how exactly does sharing this story do anything to help the situation?
What would Ryan have the government do? Deny millions of children free-to-them school lunches so that they might not be embarrassed? Something makes me think that depriving them of these lunches will not help the situation one bit.
Now, instead of having a full stomach and an empty soul, that same child will be so hungry that they won’t be able to worry about social ridicule. But they will also be so hungry that they might resort to stealing to eat. They might not pay attention in school. Their physical, emotional, and intellectual growth might be stunted. But at least that soul will be full, right Ryan?
This demonization of social groups and the leftist politics that promote them is just preposterous. Unless Ryan can offer a real solution to this child’s situation, he should sit down and shut up.
Watch our commentary on Paul Ryan’s plan for struggling Americans: