Forget welfare, let's end povertyThe National Governors...


March 12, 1996

Forget welfare, let's end poverty

The National Governors' Association has proposed a welfare reform plan with wide bipartisan support that would provide money for child care, give states more freedom and ''end welfare as we know it.''

This plan does not sound altogether different from other welfare reform discussions we have been hearing since 1992. It seems the only component of welfare reform that has not been mentioned is working to end poverty as we know it.

In Maryland, a family of three (one adult with two minor children) has an annual income of $8,196 if they rely on Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and food stamps combined. If the parent works a full-time, year-round minimum wage job, the family earns $9,948. In either case, that family falls below the national poverty line of $13,320. How will child care, work requirements and more freedom for states help to change the living standard for this family?

Can we trust Maryland's governor to help this family and end welfare as we know it while protecting the future of Maryland's children? He has dismantled and inadequately reassembled assistance for the disabled and is considering abolishing public assistance for pregnant women, supplying them with a one-time $100 grant instead of a monthly support. Is this true reform or an attack on Maryland's disenfranchised citizens?

Where is the real reform proposal that will invest in people? Scrap the cash assistance reductions and work ethic rhetoric. State and federal leaders should be striving to gain bipartisan support for a family-sustaining wage and end poverty as we know it not welfare.

Sharon Holloway


Colin Powell draft urged

None among the current crop of Republicans hoping to win the party's nomination can defeat Bill Clinton.

It is time for retired Gen. Colin Powell to again serve his country. I say it's time to draft him.

Bill Herzog


Legislators confused about feeding trough

In a Valentine's Day article in The Sun, ''Dilution of law on ethics proposed," Maryland voters were offered a special, but not surprising, gift of information.

It seems that in less than a year the ethics law passed during the last year's General Assembly is proving troublesome to our legislators. Sen. Michael Collins is quoted, ''We are trying to clear up confusion. . ." One of my delegates, Gerald Curran, said: ''This whole thing is confusing."

I am shocked that our representatives would pass a law that they didn't understand. I am also shocked that once it did pass they didn't take the necessary time to learn how to comply with the restrictions they put on themselves. Any citizen can tell you that ignorance of the law is no excuse.

Unfortunately, what is not shocking to me is that politicians are moving so soon to ease a law that restricts their access to free meals, drinks and gifts. Where is it stated in their job description that they have to conduct business over a restaurant table?

Richard P. Doran


Pub Date: 3/12/96

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