Biden's New Math: 25% = 100% So Free-Lunch For Everybody

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by Tyler Durden
Saturday, Mar 30, 2024 - 01:20 PM

Authored by Mike Shedlock via,

The Biden administration just issued a new directive. If 25 percent of a school is low income, then everybody gets a free lunch.

Free Lunch for Everybody

The Wall Street Journal comments on Biden’s Free Lunch for Rich Kids

There’s no such thing as a free lunch, but the Biden administration insists otherwise. The U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to provide free lunches to children—including many whose parents earn six-figure incomes—year-round.

As usual, this story begins with a supposedly temporary program. As schools closed in 2020, Congress allowed states to send extra payments to families whose children qualified for free and reduced-price school lunches. The following year, it added summer payments to the package, depositing money directly onto families’ electronic benefit transfer, or EBT, cards, which are used for food stamps. Finally, in December 2022, Congress made this “Summer EBT” program permanent—beginning in mid-2024. The USDA would automatically enroll millions of families and create a separate, means-tested application process for others.

The White House is now exceeding what Congress intended. In September 2023, the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service finalized a rule that expands the number of students who qualify for reduced lunches during the school year.

[New Rule] If a mere 25% of a public school’s students meet the requirements, 100% of its students will be eligible to receive the benefit. The rule imposes no income limits, meaning middle- and upper-class children will get subsidized meals. The Biden administration also is preparing to add the summer months to the expansion.

No Means Testing, Just Free

Biden’s goal is free lunches for everybody, including summer programs, and he just found a way to do it for all the big cities.

Rich suburbs and parochial schools may be on the outside, but that’s about it.

The cost of this boondoggle is not yet known, but it will cost something, at least tens of billions of dollars. And with that, Biden just usurped power that belongs to Congress.

These executive orders and administrative rulings by decree have been very difficult to challenge because of standing.

A Question of Standing

Before the Supreme Court will hear a case, it must find that the parties have a tangible interest at stake in the matter, the issue presented must be “mature for judicial resolution” or ripe, and a justiciable issue must remain before the court throughout the course of the lawsuit. The final point means there must be a clear, easy remedy.

The Court has ruled that taxpayers do not have standing, nor do third parties not directly involved. It is on this point many lawsuits fail.

Who Has Standing Here?

Conventional wisdom suggests no one has standing in these maddening decrees.

I am not a constitutional lawyer (nor lawyer of any kind), but logic says this is an easy case to pursue, and with this set of Supreme Court justices, arguably winnable.

Q: So, who has standing by my reasoning?
A: Anyone in Congress.

Congress has a “tangible interest at stake in the matter” because Biden repeatedly and flagrantly usurps budget powers that the Constitution says reside with Congress, not the executive branch.

I await the day a Senator or House member files suit in a friendly district and wins. The ruling will be challenged in an unfriendly appeals court and the Supreme Court will have to take the case.

Perhaps this is not the ideal case for reasons I do not understand. But I am positive Biden has provided ample cases. Someone in Congress needs to pick the correct case to fight.

Politically Speaking

Politically speaking, the timing may not be correct.

People like perceived free lunches even though someone always has to pay for them.

The Left Is Suddenly Going to Like a Supreme Court Abortion Ruling

The question of standing also came up yesterday.

For discussion, please see The Left Is Suddenly Going to Like a Supreme Court Abortion Ruling

Standing is a copout though. I expect a wider ruling.

This will benefit Trump by taking some of the steam over the Dodd decision if he either stays out of it or better yet says the matter is up to the courts.