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Scrooge

November 15, 1987

The Times is to be commended for the editorial "An Embarrassment to Scrooge" (Oct. 27). When good news concerning social and domestic needs comes out of Washington, it's something to celebrate. Quick action by the legislature is correcting what Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York chooses to call the latest "terminal sleaze" out of the White House. Members of Congress have rescinded an Administration directive which reduces welfare benefits for the elderly, blind and disabled people who receive hot meals, blankets, shelter and other free aid from charitable groups.

The market value of each item would be deducted from welfare and SSI checks each month. Sharon Daly of the U.S. Catholic Conference summed it up: "The more we help these people, the poorer they get!"

This coup de grace very quietly became effective Oct. 1, when a standing policy protecting charitable assistance from being counted as income expired. It was put over minus fanfare on an unsuspecting public. It was up to our President to authorize the continuation of this policy when it expired. He did nothing. When Reagan does nothing it's not news. When this non-news item finally saw the light of day, Congress, responding to widespread sentiments of outrage, was quick to rectify this misguided bit of skulduggery and is expected to approve long-term legislation banning cuts in welfare benefits.

ROSALIND KRANEN

Torrance

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