3/15 Readers write

Credit: pskinner@ajc.com

Credit: pskinner@ajc.com

Worth the cost to give every kid a free school lunch

There had been a program to feed every school kid lunch for free. The program worked well and greatly reduced child hunger. But it costs $11 billion per year more to feed all kids for free, and fiscal hawks decided we couldn’t afford that, so now it’s gone and hunger is back.

This year, we will give the Pentagon $170 billion to buy weapons and another $145 billion for research and development. The total tab for the military is $800 billion next year, and Congress will add a nice tip to that, as they normally do.

For the cost of pinstriping F-35 jets, we could feed lunch to every kid. Forget the cash register at the end of the line. No means testing. Everybody eats, rich or poor, so there would be no rancor.

But that would be socialism, whereas being unable to concentrate on your math because your stomach is growling is somehow noble.


Political divisions won’t be resolved without a fight

National unity is sorely lacking these days, and we clearly need to find some common ground. However, there are some big issues on the table today that we simply need to fight about, including federal spending, energy policy, free speech, border security, crime and China, where the political divisions are deep.

One side seems to favor massive federal spending increases, rapid fossil fuel elimination, censored speech, an open border, fewer police officers and cashless bail and a friendly approach to China. The other side seems to favor major limitations on federal spending, an “all of the above” energy strategy, strong free speech protections, a secure border, law and order and a very tough posture with China.

These policy differences are not minor, and the political fights to resolve them need to happen. Buckle up for a bumpy 2024 campaign, and I haven’t even mentioned social hot buttons to fight about, such as abortion, critical race theory, equity, wokeness, etc.