Rep. Jack Kingston wants work requirement for healthy food stamp recipients

Friday, Jan. 31, 2014 9:21 PM
Last updated Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014 1:04 AM
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U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston wants Georgia to require healthy individuals who receive food stamps to work.

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U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston speaks at the Georgia Young Farmers Association's 2014 annual convention at the Augusta Convention Center.  JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston speaks at the Georgia Young Farmers Association's 2014 annual convention at the Augusta Convention Center.
Meg Mirshak
Staff Writer
Twitter: @megmirshak
E-mail | 706-823-3228

Speaking Friday at the Geor­gia Young Farmers Conven­­tion at the Augusta Conven­tion Center, Kingston said he will write a letter to Gov. Nathan Deal endorsing a work requirement for “able-bodied” individuals on food stamps. He unsuccessfully pushed for the measure in the $1 trillion farm bill that passed the U.S. House on Wednesday.

The Savannah Republican is one of eight candidates seeking to replace U.S. Sen. Saxby Cham­bliss, R-Ga., who is retiring.

The new five-year farm bill cut farm subsidies known as direct payments and authorized a $8 billion cut to the food stamp program.

Kingston, who wanted bigger cuts to food stamps, said nutrition and agriculture policy should not be included in the same bill.

“What happens when we do a farm bill is most of the energy is spent on the smallest part of it – production agriculture and conservation. That’s where all the debate is, but it’s only about 20 percent,” he said. “To
me, if you split it up, each side could get a lot more scrutiny and it’d be a better product for both.”

Kingston, who recently spent $1.2 million on television commercials for his Senate campaign, said the crowded race is becoming a tough campaign.

“There’s a sense that our campaign is moving along so we get attacked by Repub­li­cans and Democrats,” he said. “We are going to try to continue to do what we are doing, which is talk directly to the people of Georgia.”

A 21-year veteran of the House, Kingston said he’s hoping to break up the Democrat-controlled Senate.

“What I have seen is so many of the reforms we pass out of the House get killed in the Senate. I really strongly believe that the battleground right now is in the Senate,” Kingston said. “We need to take the majority back
and then have a change of leadership in the White House.”


ATLANTA — U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston opened himself up for criticism when he suggested poor children sweep cafeterias in exchange for free lunch, and he is now the target of an ad released Thursday by Eugene Yu, an Augusta businessman running against Kingston in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate.

Kingston has said he was trying to show that freebies discourage a work ethic from developing in children and diminishes their self-worth.

Yu’s ad suggests the real answer is an economic one, playing up on his promise to bring back manufacturing jobs moved overseas in recent decades.

“Create an environment where companies can thrive and grow and get our unemployed back to work,” an announcer says in the ad. “It is time our congressmen learn there is no free lunch. It is time to clean house.”

In a telephone interview, Yu said, “The people are tired of all these career politicians. I don’t care what they say; they are looking purely for their own interests.”

Kingston, who is ahead in fundraising and at least one poll, announced this week that he is putting out more than $1.2 million for his own television commercials; however, he hasn’t released the scripts for the ads or provided details about their message.

– Morris News Service

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corgimom 02/01/14 - 07:56 pm
"It's about teaching children

"It's about teaching children responsibility, work ethics, and pride."

I didn't need to work in a cafeteria for that, my parents taught me that, like parents did back then. As I taught my son.

Back in my day, parents taught that, not the schools. Parents didn't rely upon the schools to raise their children.

And it wasn't about teaching responsibility, work ethics and pride, it was about getting cheap help.

Now, doing what we did back then is illegal, and it should be.

teaparty 02/01/14 - 10:05 pm
"That must have been some

"That must have been some school that you went to. Glad I didn't attend there."
I also am glad you did not.

InChristLove 02/01/14 - 10:40 pm
"I didn't need to work in a

"I didn't need to work in a cafeteria for that, my parents taught me that, like parents did back then. As I taught my son."

Corgi, don't be condescending. It's not a very nice trait. It is wonderful that your parents were so responsible in teaching you good work ethics (maybe they needed to concentrate a little more on manners) and that you passed that on to your child, but as you know and have stated here, some parents aren't responsible, some parents can be down right deadbeats. So not everyone is so lucky as you or I or others. As you are well aware of we are not in "our" day and today's world, school and society is nothing like it use to be. I'm sorry if you cannot comprehend the concept of teaching children responsibility (especially for those who's parents don't at home) and have no clue what you refer to as illegal. If a child acts up in school you can most certainly assign chores (cleaning erasers come to mind) as punishment, but Lord forbid we teach a child to be responsible and pay in ways they can for free assistance they receive. With concepts like yours it's no wonder we have so many expecting free handouts.

InChristLove 02/01/14 - 10:42 pm
"Back in my day, parents

"Back in my day, parents taught that, not the schools."

But today, parents don't teach it, so at least the school can try.

Bodhisattva 02/01/14 - 10:45 pm
Anyone working should receive

Anyone working should receive the equal salary, benefits, and number of days off as Mr. Kingston. That would increase a lot of people's self worth. Better yet, have our Congressmen and Senators work for minimum wage. They are supposed to be performing a service to the country, yet earn 6.3 times the median wage, and that with a grand total of 126 working days. Eric Cantor (R) recently announced 2014's calendar and Congress is scheduled to to 133 days this year.You want children to work for the pennies used to supplement lunches yet you draw $174,000 for 126 days work? Exactly who is it that doesn't have a work ethic? Add in an inflated sense of self worth and an entitlement mentality and you have a pretty good description of Congressman Jack Kingston.

corgimom 02/02/14 - 01:59 am
"If a child acts up in school

"If a child acts up in school you can most certainly assign chores (cleaning erasers come to mind) as punishment,"

First of all, they don't have chalkboards anymore. Now, there are whiteboards and markers, and you can't let the kids clean the whiteboards because the cleaning solution is a poisonous chemical that can't be ingested and they might drink it or spray it in their eyes, and then you would get sued.
I am not kidding, either.

Second, times have changed. Now, you assign punishments that involve cleaning and/or chores, especially to people in certain ethnic groups, and you will be threatened with a lawsuit. Because it's "demeaning" and "racist". There are some people that are very hypersensitive to that. I've seen it with my own eyes.

I'm not kidding about that, either.

corgimom 02/02/14 - 02:06 am
See. teaparty, you are

See. teaparty, you are agreeing with me! Way to go!

InChristLove 02/02/14 - 08:59 am
Corgi, sorry you

Corgi, sorry you misunderstood my comment "If a child acts up in school you can most certainly assign chores (cleaning erasers come to mind) as punishment"

I'm well aware that they do not use chalk boards today. If you took noticed my comment (cleaning erasers comes to mind) was a throw back memory, not a suggestion for todays form of punishment. That is why I placed it in parentheses.

Secondly, I never singled out any one ethnic group. I believe what I stated was that teams of children (which would include all ethnic groups because I'm sure it's not just one who are being disruptive) but it does not surprise me that you would steer the conversation towards a racist direction.

lovingthesouth72 02/02/14 - 11:00 am
Add to that -

They should get tested for drugs - And their debit cards should be limited to WIC food. Not liquor, or cigars, or fancy expensive restaurants. This welfare system has created a monster, we need to tame the beast.

KSL 02/02/14 - 01:05 pm
Well dang

According to Corgi, the collges I went to were just all wrong. The first one required each and everyone of us to work a few hours a week for free. Yikes. It didn't how rich you were. It was just required.

Oh, and starting in junior high, select ones of us were offered the chance to work as office assistants. Of course it didn't pull us out of class time. It was during study hall. And that was for no pay. How awfully we were treated.

Oh, I forgot to mention that the mandatory work time at the college was to reduce to some extent the cost of room and board across the board.

scoobynews 02/03/14 - 06:50 pm
You people seem to forget

You people seem to forget that America may offer "free" public education but many nations do NOT! In fact in a lot of Asian countries children help clean the schools and parents have to pack their lunches since there is no "free" lunch as well as "free" school. We are the most entitlement driven nation in the world. No one OWES your child a free lunch any more than they OWE them a free education. Be grateful we have free public education and lunch. I know plenty of people who apply for free or reduced lunch that live in houses that cost more than mine while their kid comes to school with the latest phone and $200 shoes. Yes, you saw right $200 dollars shoes that they openly brag about it. So give me a break!

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