| The school lunch debate comes right down to money. No money = no improvement in nutrition of lunches. Plain and simple. You can raise the nutrition standards for lunches, but if schools can't afford to meet those standards (and they can't), then it does no good. You can enact policies to help more low income children get free lunches (as it seems Congress will do), and while it's fantastic that we're filling empty bellies, we'll end up filling them with bad food. Unless we find some money for the school lunch program.
Unfortunately, when Blanche Lincoln went looking for a way to fund school lunches, she took money from a conservation program, the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. EQIP certainly isn't the best of our conservation programs because a disproportionate amount of the money goes to factory farms BUT when EQIP money goes to the good guys, they really use it for good.
And this morning, Nebraska Sen. Johanns (R) offered an amendment to put the money back into EQIP and instead take it from a different conservation program, CSP. That would be REALLY bad. CSP is arguably the BEST conservation program we've got, because it pays farmers for implementing conservation practices on land that is under production. (Many of the other programs instead pay farmers to take land out of production entirely, which does nothing to help the way they farm on the land that remains in production.) Fortunately, this measure was defeated.
So where's the money? Well, here's a novel idea. Why don't we make the corporations pay their taxes. I'm not saying increase taxes. I'm saying we should make them pay AT ALL. Because currently, many do not.
Two-thirds of U.S. corporations paid no federal income taxes between 1998 and 2005, according to a new report from Congress. The study by the Government Accountability Office, expected to be released Tuesday, said about 68 percent of foreign companies doing business in the U.S. avoided corporate taxes over the same period. Collectively, the companies reported trillions of dollars in sales, according to GAO's estimate.
I got your school lunch money RIGHT HERE. And while we're at it, we could probably pay off the national debt and then fund universal healthcare with all of that money.