In our Wednesday report, we touched on a very difficult point for many people to comprehend:  Namely, who should really be allowed to vote in America.

I proposed something that could be called Social Contribution-Based Voting.

In the early days of America, as you may know, only people who were landowners could vote.  Since they paid the bills, why not?

In modern times, this would never fly for any number of reasons, not the least of which is it doesn’t recognize the rights of renters.

So it occurred to me that since government is already moving toward auditing every nickel in, or out, and worried about confiscating cash if we have too much, and so on, that we should just go ahead and set up a real double-entry accounting program to see who is costing the country a lot and who’s a contributor.

Things like Social Security would not be considered a burden since we all paid into it, but outstanding  student loans that have not been paid back, or being a professional welfare recipient, well those people would not be allowed to vote. 

Because they cost more than they contribute, seems to me they should not be allowed to vote because if they are, at some point, the professional welfare class will allocate itself everything and the real contributors (like those who work, pay taxes, and invest) will be stripped of benefit.

So half an hour after posting, along comes a note from subscriber Fred up in the Jonesboro, Arkansas area.   It asked, rather pointlessly, “Who says there ain’t no free lunches” and it contained an editorial by Chris Wessel, editor of the Jonesboro Sun newspaper.

Mr. Wessel generously agreed to let us repost his report of June 22 which goes as follows:

(If you have high blood pressure, a pill would be suggested about here…)

Free food free-for-all

The hamburger, I’m guessing, weighed about a quarter pound and included fresh sliced tomatoes and a slice of American cheese on a soft, fresh bun.

A small portion of fries was included along with an apple, a small carton of 1 percent milk and the condiments needed to jazz up the taste of the burger and fries.

I didn’t get to eat the lunch until an hour or so after it was brought to me Monday, but it was still tasty after I nuked the burger and fries at home in the microwave.

I actually thought it was quite good. My only complaint was that I could have eaten a few more fries.

The best part: It was free.

Roger Watkins brought it to me to prove a point.

He had called earlier that morning to say he had eaten a free breakfast at Micro Society Academy as part of the Jonesboro School District’s summer youth feeding program. He wanted to know if I’d go to lunch with him at Parker Park where they hand out free lunches.

I told him that anyone older than 18 had to pay $3.25 for a breakfast or lunch. Roger, who is a half dozen decades the other side of 18, said the age requirement to pay wasn’t true, that they were giving out free breakfasts and lunches to anyone who showed up and asked for one or two — or six.

“Our story said anyone 18 or older had to pay,” I told Roger, quoting from an article Sun reporter Chris Pinkard wrote June 7 about the program’s first week in which 5,700 meals were served.

“Let’s go to lunch, and I’ll show you,” Roger insisted.

I told him I would go to breakfast with him sometime later in the week, just to let me know when he wanted to go.

About 11:30 later than morning, Roger showed up with a Styrofoam container and a small cartoon of milk with a note attached.

“Meal on Wheels care pkg for less fortunate. Will try to get you on food stamps + Medicare + any + all other entitlements that you & I qualify for. Enjoy your meal, Roger.”

I caught Roger before he got out of the building. He told me he had gotten the lunch free at Parker Park.

“All you have to do is give them your name,” he said. “I told them I was Chris Wessel.”

Laughing, Roger quickly admitted he hadn’t really used my name. He’s a funny guy.

He also said he had gotten a meal for himself, his wife, a friend and even one for his dogs.

He proved his point: Jonesboro Public Schools’ summer breakfast and lunch program isn’t just about feeding hungry children during the summer months when school is out. It’s also about hiking numbers to inflate the need and to get more tax dollars.

You see, the program doesn’t cost the school district a dime. The Arkansas Department of Human Services is reimbursing the district for 100 percent of the costs, Becky Head, general manager for the Child Nutrition Department at JPS, told The Sun.

DHS gets the money from the federal government. The more meals given out, the more reimbursement of tax dollars to the school district. The reimbursement costs cover food, labor, transportation and supplies, Head said, noting that because of the summer feeding program, she can also keep her staff working during the summer months when they normally would have been off.

The program, which runs from May 31 to Aug. 5, is designed to give away 60,000 free breakfasts and lunches Monday through Friday to youngsters 18 and younger. That’s 47 days. In order to give away 60,000 free meals, that means Head and her staff would have to give away 1,277 meals each day — 6,385 a week. That’s a lot of meals.

That’s why Roger says anyone can get a free meal, regardless of age.

“The program is pretty loose,” Roger said. “I just wanted to show you it’s free meals and anybody can get it, whether you’re 4, 40 or 80. It’s open range. A lot of them (in line) are getting four, five or six to go. It’s a waste — a government waste. And pretty soon, seemingly, there will be more takers than givers.”

Listing a half dozen, Roger complained about all the other freebies government agencies provide these days.

“All these free government programs, it ain’t right, but I can’t solve it,” he said. “It’s buying votes. All these free programs are all about buying votes.

“It would be a laughing matter if it wasn’t so serious,” Roger added. “It’s ridiculous. There’s so much fraud. There’s no oversight. It’s just abuse.”

Roger said he’d pick me up this morning at 8 to get free breakfasts at Micro Society.

After my column today, I hope he brings some cash.

Chris Wessel, editor of The Sun, can be reached at 935-5525, Ext. 250, or by email at

By the time I finished talking to Wessel (who we again thank for reprint permission) it became clear that this scam is being worked all over the country.  Give away free breakfasts – and lunches – and care to guess who foots the bill?

In the meantime, we are shocked

High paid administrator of a public college who lives in a state-owned mansion, drives a taxpayer supplied car, with taxpayer paid gas in it?  Even  the poor dispossessed offspring of such people can qualify for a “free lunch.”

The nifty way this works is even more outrageous:  Because such programs really can give away free lunches, it will be used as “proof” of the program’s success and next year, you can bet your last5 tax dollar, it will be expanded again.

And so goes another fine example of our motto around here:  Everything is a Business Model – even the free lunch.

What a national restaurant organization isn’t suing the government for unfair business practices, especially those in an income bracket where they should be buying their own food, is totally beyond me.

But pay attention under those golden arches, government’s coming for you, too  At a price point of zero, thanks to sticking us tax-paying types with the bill, how long before government will pass the billion meals served market?

When the new glasses get fitted, we get back from a cooling spell up north and such, and I’m OK to fly, maybe Elaine and I can fly up to Jonesboro.  See if we can get Chris Wessel get us lunch. Or at any of the other give-away locations nationwide.

On you, of course.  Might even pick up lunch for Zeus the Cat, while we’re at it.

Write when you get rich….