Friday, February 6, 2009

Welfare Kings

So certain Republican senators are disturbed that President Obama will require any future corporations who receive government bail out money to limit the pay of their top 5 executives to $500,000 a year. Oh, no! cry the conservatives. That’s government telling business what to do! All of the talented executives will leave American business! Government has no business dictating salaries to the private sector!

Really? It’s funny, but conservatives often have no problem tying strings to government assistance for those who have never seen a corporate boardroom. The poor, it seems, are not entitled to make their own choices. Rudy Giuliani, America’s mayor, advocated drug testing welfare recipients. No conservative concern for government interference there. I wonder what we would discover if we started drug testing the movers and shakers on Wall Street?

It is women who are always, in good times and in bad, among the most economically vulnerable. But conservative talking heads have referred to them as “welfare brood mares” (Glenn Beck) or proclaimed that welfare recipients should not have the right to vote (Michael Savage). Apparently, if you are a single mom on welfare, then the government has every right to dictate your sexual mores and revoke your voting rights.

I say that corporate welfare kings deserve no more respect than the conservative talking heads have shown single moms. Let’s cap their salaries, test their urine, and limit their reproductive capacity! Then maybe, just maybe, we could take a look at the working poor in America, like my student who goes to school full time to make a better life for her two preschool-aged daughters. Her husband works nights at Walmart and takes care of the kids during the day so she can go to school. Because the government doesn't consider full time motherhood and studenthood work, her family is ineligible to receive childcare subsidies and other benefits that would help them achieve their American dream. Such shortsightedness! I hope this new administration starts making things more possible for families like hers, and less comfortable for corporate executives who expect big bonuses for leading failed companies to the public assistance lines.

Let Republicans champion the spoiled and the obscenely compensated! In the end, we are all known for the company we keep. And the asses we kiss.

Sorry, I just couldn’t fit all of this into a Haiku.


  1. These are the exact kind of thoughts that run through my head all the time, and I've often thought about putting them into writing like this. For one reason or another, I always seem to find an excuse not to. Reading this kinda motivates me to do so.

  2. I think you are being too kind. if the "talent" who put the companies in the position where they need a bailout leave how is that a problem?