Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) generated some national attention last month when he suggested struggling children should either pay more for food at public schools or tackle janitorial tasks in their schools.
"Why don't you have the kids pay a dime, pay a nickel to instill in them that there is, in fact, no such thing as a free lunch? Or maybe sweep the floor of the cafeteria?" Kingston told a Republican audience in Georgia. He added, "[T]hink what we would gain as a society in getting people, getting the myth out of their head that there is such a thing as a free lunch."
The controversy that followed apparently gave the NBC affiliate in Savannah an idea. If there's no such thing as a free lunch, why does Kingston seem to get so many of them?
"Kingston and his staff expensed nearly $4,200 in meals for business purposes to his congressional office, paid for by the American taxpayer," WSAV 3's Dave Kartunen reported. The amount could have purchased nearly 2,000 Georgia school lunches. WSAV also found that Kingston also racked up $4,289 of free meals paid for by third-party groups like the Georgia Bankers Association and the Congressional Institute.
On top of this, Kingston has taken several trips abroad in recent years, and when he travels, he enjoys "a generous per-diem allowance," financed by taxpayers.
Maybe there is such a thing as a free lunch after all?