Geraldine Aronin, author of a letter to the editor published yesterday, was incorrectly identified. She is legislative affairs officer of the Maryland Chapter, National Association of Social Workers, and a former deputy secretary of the state Department of Human Resources.
The Sun regrets the error.
Problems of Family Cap Proposal
I am writing in response to the Feb. 20 article, "A case for the family cap," by Carolyn Colvin, Maryland secretary of human resources.
FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION
The Maryland Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, representing over 3,600 social workers statewide, strongly opposes the family cap, which will deny public assistance for any child born 10 months after the parent receives assistance.
Contrary to the position advanced by the secretary, it is our belief that this component of the reform initiative will punish the parent without regard to the effect upon the child.
Secretary Colvin protests that "it's not fair for a mother on welfare to receive additional benefits if she has another baby when her working counterpart does not."
In fact, those families which earn enough to pay income tax receive federal and state deductions for each dependent child. That is fair.
Conversely, under the family cap, the welfare family of three, with a monthly income of $366, would be denied any money to feed and clothe an additional child. That is punishment. Fairness becomes a moot point.
The article refers to the Governor's Commission on Welfare Policy, which found that "people made the decision to seek work or apply for welfare on economically rational grounds."
The secretary further states that "getting people off welfare requires a combination of incentives and support services . . ."
We wholeheartedly agree with both premises. Unfortunately, the proposal under discussion lacks any economic incentives except for the currently available federal earned income tax credit.
Earnings from income will continue to be deducted from the welfare grant as is currently done. There will be no supplementation of earned income beyond the grant level, even though the grant level is 72 percent below Maryland's standard of need. The state has, and will continue, to deny "economically rational grounds" for making the decision to work.
We believe that the primary tool for a better life is a job -- one that will lead to economic independence. Regrettably, there is no provision for job creation in this welfare reform initiative, despite the fact that Maryland's job market is depressed and has not recovered from the recession.
N The writer is executive director of NASW, Maryland Chapter.
Could you please answer these questions:
Does every German need to apologize for Hitler?
Does every Italian need to apologize for Mussolini?
Does every white American need to apologize for the near-genocide of the Native American?
Does every Southerner need to apologize for slavery?
Since the answer is "no" to all of the above, then answer this question:
Why does every black person and politician need to apologize for racist comments of another man?
If we cannot hold another race responsible for the actions of an individual, how can you hold a race responsible for the opinion, not action, of an individual?
In racism, you subscribe to the fact that there is no individualism in a race. Therefore each concept is the rule, and no member of the race is capable of independent thought, opinions or attitudes.
Prejudice breeds when people begin to use one person as the rule, the standard for an entire race based on a negativism.
So whatever another black person's opinion happens to be, you cannot judge me based on his ideas or ideals. We all have the same freedom of thought and speech, and we all have the right to express ourselves.
Although I feel an empathy for the racial, ethnic or religioudiscrimination, I do not feel that I should apologize for Muhammad or Farrakhan because I do not subscribe to racism.
I can say that I am sorry for your hurt or discomfort. I can say that I do not share their feelings and that they are the exception and not the rule.
I can ask that you judge me based on the person that I am and not by a racial yardstick.
We, the People
Your Feb. 19 editorial on the Bill of Rights was surprisingly insubstantial.
The supposedly all-inclusive list of possible interpretations disregarded the obvious.
The Second Amendment calls for a well-regulated militia. Granted this refers to the National Guard, but well-regulated means that this unit will do what it is told whenever and to whomever it is told, including the suppression and subjugation of America.
The next part of the amendment is separated by a comma, indicating that a new element is being called into play.