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<Thanks for asking. It is arguable whether this is a legitimate function of government. However, if we are going to have government charity, I think this is the form it should take. If the market says your labor is worth $3/hour, let's chip in and make it $6 or whatever. The subsidies would phase out as your labor becomes more valuable. Note that this program dovetails nicely with a consumption tax.

I have a tendency to be what my critics call "overly idealistic" on the role of goverment. I know everyone groans when I pull out the Constitution when I am trying to understand government's role. However, idealistic as it may seem I have no intention of apologizing for my viewpoint. :o) But I am also pretty practical in some regards and I think: OK, what motivates people to want to move up the socioeconomic ladder? I think that is an extremely personal thing. For some it is status, for some it is new challenges, for some it is comfort, for some it is building a better life for the next generation and so on. What about people that are more than happy to say that 6 bucks/hr is wonderful and as far as they choose to climb? Do we build in "inflation" raises for those people to keep their noses above the povery level so that they US can sit back with a s**t-eating grin on its face and say "we've eliminated" poverty? The welfare state in this country was started with the good intentions (I hope) of giving people that were down on their luck a leg up and has turned into nightmare of an entitlement programs that, IMHO, destroys the dreams of the poor more than it does the rich.

I think that if the goverment would focus on protection of individual and property rights and get out of the way so that the provision of education could be provided by people who want to make money as educators, we would solve this "problem" of the gap between rich and poor more quickly, than we will by taxing the successful (wildly or moderately successful) people of our nation.

<As an aside, I think too many cons stand on principle when we should be modifying lib ideas to make them better.>

I don't consider myself a conservative, being one of those pesky libertarians. I think that both sides have some great ideas and I also can name one stupid conservative idea for every studpid liberal idea that is given. We just have to make sure that in our desire to seek common ground we don't get so busy kissing butt that we forget to get to the root cause of the problems we are trying to solve. Compromising on important issues that will ultimately backfire just so that we can congratulate ourselves on a bi-partisan solution is not a solution in my book.

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