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The Department of Free

The Department of Free

Years ago, a wiser man

than you or I devised a plan

to dole out goods at zero cost

to those of us whose jobs were lost.

It seemed benign, so nice and kind

the plan grew to include the blind,

the old the lame then you and me,

and they called this plan

The Department of Free.

It started as a helping hand

to needy folks across the land,

so those who could not make ends meet

would not be forced out on the street.

Unemployment benefits

were just a start, because now it's

free food, free homes, free surgery,

rebates, bailouts, loans -- all free.

Now half of us just stand in line

all day long and gripe and whine

about the stuff we feel we're owed

the list of which has growed and growed.

The line wends hither, the line wends yon,

and by and by it comes upon

a door above which we can see

those magic words:

Department of Free.

Once inside: a shopping spree

of endless handouts: it's all free!

Drunken on entitlement

we grab a meal, a house, a stent.

The other half? We're all employed!

Hearing this, you're overjoyed

to know that at least some of us

have jobs and never cause a fuss.

But one last thing you ought to know,

our economic Alamo:

The place where we all work, you see,

is in the accursed Department of Free!

I push papers,

while he counts beans.

She helps seniors

and they help teens.

It takes a village to raise a child;

it takes a nation to run hog-wild.

Paul pays Peter, and Peter pays Paul,

yet neither makes anything at all.

Round and round the money goes

but where it comes from no one knows.

It all runs out eventually,

can't simulate prosperity.

The shopping spree was just a dream,

a baseless potlatch Ponzi scheme.

With nothing left to give away,

The Department of Free itself must say,

"We're all laid off, the end is near.

There's no point working, even here."

The last employed man not offshore

has just one more remaining chore:

Switch off the lights

and turn the key

in the broke

Department of Free.

From Medicare and Medicaid

came Medicould and Medishould

now Medimust and we've gone bust

we're trust-fund kids without a trust.





Now immortalized as a dramatic reading: