Economist at Fayetteville, Arkansas
It was a foggy afternoon
At story-telling time.
Old Kaspar puffed his last cigar
and wished for rum-and-lime,
While Peterkin and Wilhelmine
Looked at the television screen.
They saw a crowded city street,
Where men with clubs and sacks
Were rounding up the passers-by
And sorting them in packs;
While others sprang like beasts of prey
On folks who tried to run away.
"Now tell us what it’s all about!"
The little children cried.
"It is the Federal Housing Plan,"
Old Kaspar soon replied.
"It helps to pay the soaring rent,
And keeps the building trades content."
"The cost of housing," Kaspar said,
"Has risen far too high
For middle-income folks to pay,
No matter how they try.
So now we give them Federal Aid
To cover rents they haven’t paid."
"When tax collectors find a bunch
Of middle-income folks
They search them all for hidden cash
And empty all their pokes.
That’s how we get the cash, you see,
To pay the Housing Subsidy."
"But what’s the use of getting Aid
And paying for it, too?"
"There are some answers," Kaspar sighed,
"I never really knew.
But Planners set the greatest store
By schemes that make the taxes soar."