Welfare cuts will cost more in the long runSecretary of...

the Forum

December 06, 1991

Welfare cuts will cost more in the long run

Secretary of Human Resources Carolyn Colvin claims that her plan to cut welfare grants to families with children is meant to improve "client responsibility" - that is, get parents to do a better job of getting their kids to school and to the doctor.

But The Evening Sun is closer to the truth when it states that the plan is "primarily budget driven" (editorial, Nov. 29) and based on the state's dwindling revenues.

Yet even if we agree that saving tax dollars is the real reason behind the cuts, the plan will fail to realize its goal. Consider, for example, that when children are removed from home because of parental neglect, the cost of their care in a foster or group home escalates dramatically. And since financial problems are among the chief reasons for parental neglect, cuts in already inadequate grants will likely produce the very neglect they are intended to prevent, thus increasing the cost of caring for these children.

In short, these proposed cuts are the kind of medicine that makes the patient sicker, and they will end up costing the taxpayer far more in the long run.

Howard Bluth


Housing the elderly

Your excellent editorial, "Room with a view" (Nov. 22), highlighted the need for affordable housing for seniors. As the number of people over age 70 continues to increase, the Senior Assisted Housing program offers a reasonably priced, service intensive, community-based alternative to nursing homes for those no longer able to live at home independently.

In 1976, the Maryland Office on Aging created the Senior Assisted Housing program to provide supervision and support services to frail elderly who cannot live safely alone but who are not in need of the medical care a nursing home provides. The popularity of group homes for the frail elderly as an affordable BTC living arrangement is reflected in the rapid growth of the program across the state and in our success stories which have interested planners in other states.

As Maryland attempts to deal with the coming "age-quake" in the year 2000, when the population of seniors over the age of 70 reaches 450,000, Baltimore County will be better equipped to deal with the problems of an aging society.

Rosalie S. Abrams


The writer is director of the Maryland Office on Aging.

The general welfare

How ironic! The same citizens courted so ardently by the politicians when they were taxpayers are jilted when they join the ranks of the needy. Are these former productive members of our society disenfranchised as U.S. citizens when jobs are lost and financial resources depleted through no fault of their own?

A political leadership that boasts so frequently of adhering to the Constitution seems ready to ignore its preamble. This brief paragraph stipulates that the Constitution is "ordained and established" to, among other things, "insure domestic tranquillity promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity."

Where is it written that "general welfare" excludes the homeless, the hungry, the indigent ill?

Myron Subotnik


Sununu's spending

How interesting that John Sununu would be asked to leave his post as White House chief of staff - and then actually resign. Let's face it, the man didn't do anything well except spend money. President Bush should have asked Sununu to leave months ago. Perhaps Sununu ought to repay the money spent on his own private affairs.

Justin M. Mascari


Lost security

I grew up with WCAO in the '50s and '60s. There was no musical generation gap then. My parents and grandparents actually listened to the same music I did. All of the classic rock that we remember today was once introduced on WCAO.

With the '70s came FM rock, but Johnny Dark and his fellow DJs kept spinning the hits.

When WCAO went country in 1982, my radio personalities were still there. There was still a sense of security.

With WCAO changing to a gospel format, a chunk of my childhood is gone forever. Thanks for the memories.

David M. Madow

Owings Mills

Service for free

What a bargain! Grace Froelich provides the house. Volunteers staff it. Donations pay expenses. How can the Baltimore County Council possibly furnish anything better or anything that costs the taxpayers less? How about a resolution for a vote of thanks to the caring people who make Animal Rescue Inc. work?

In case council members are not aware of the need for this service, let me describe what I have learned. A relative, now an Alzheimer's victim, had to move out of her home which she had shared with her four companion cats. Knowing of the love and care she had given her animals, I began trying to find adopted homes for the four. Animal Rescue Inc. is the only organization in the Baltimore area that can be trusted to offer care instead of death.

The group breaks no laws, causes no nuisance in the neighborhood and helps families as well as the trusting animals. And it costs the county nothing.

Rena C. Kelly


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