Thursday, July 24, 2014

Safety Net Worth

Paul Ryan on Wednesday
presented a plan
for ameliorating poverty

at the American Enterprise Institute

that despite repudiating
the modern "welfare state"
on the whole

actually shows
he is approaching the subject

from a slightly altered angle
than times he has brought up
the subject before.

He proposes expanding
the Earned Income Tax Credit

for low-income and childless workers
from $503
to $1,005.

Don't get him wrong

Gerald Ford created the EITC
and Reagan and Bush
and Bush Junior expanded it

so of course Republicans
in Congress today
are against it

because they have moved
even further to the right

and a helpful first step
might be to raise
our country's minimum wage

for the first time
in five years
from $7.25

to something that would help
taxpayers keep pace
with inflation

(which the progressive think tank
Center for Economic
and Policy Research

estimates to be about
six billion dollars)

and maybe such an increase
would increase feelings of morale
and decrease feelings of desperation

amongst the working poor

and they could help the economy
and their families
and their local communities
(all pillars of conservative rhetoric
of the past)

and "making ends meet"
by strangling oneself
just a little bit
and a little bit more

would become a relic
of a world less civilized
and more lopsided

than present.

but hey
it's a start.

This poem © 2014 Emily Cooper.