Multimillion-dollar nanny state

Multimillion-dollar nanny state

May 17th, 2011 in Opinion Free Press

Consider one recent example of federal waste, and then decide whether President Barack Obama and a majority of the members of Congress are the least bit serious when they talk about cutting spending.

In just five elementary schools out in San Antonio, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has spent $2 million to install supposedly calorie-counting cameras in the lunchroom. The cameras will photograph what students put on their trays in the lunch lines, then they will photograph what remains uneaten when students return the trays after lunch. The cameras use those images to calculate how many calories the students consumed.

Of course, there are obvious technical difficulties with that. What if a student gave away part of his lunch, or traded part of it for a snack that a fellow student brought from home? That would skew the calorie count.

But there are two more important points:

• First, this is the nanny state run amok. Students have eaten some of their lunch items and left others on their trays for many decades. It is no mystery that they tend to eat the things that taste good and leave the other items behind. Do we really need high-tech cameras to confirm that?

• Second, how are we ever going to get our $14.3 trillion national debt under control when we're still throwing money away on wasteful and unconstitutional projects such as these?

So we ask once again: Do you think Washington is serious about cutting spending?