I found the column "Welfare Reform Bills Coming Right and Left" by Charles Morris (Opinion, Jan. 3) to be a very good description of the current situation; however, his prescription of Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan's (D-N.Y.) bill could lead to great disaster. I am sure that the intent of both Morris and Moynihan is very honorable; however, the Moynihan bill would undercut an entitlement to poor children which has been built up and affirmed over 40 years.
The premise of that entitlement is that poor children deserve minimum levels of support when their parents are having difficulties in supporting them. There is a lot of difference between reform programs which offer adequate ladders out of poverty with protection of individual rights, and poorly funded coercive programs.
There are some major differences between a good reform bill such as HR 1720 that has passed the House and Moynihan's bill.
The House bill is built around welfare-to-employment programs and contains modest improvements in such programs, support services and benefits. The Job Opportunities and Basic Skills portion of the Senate bill requires all states to set up a program forcing all nonexempt recipients to participate in a job-training program or to find work. In contrast to the House bill, there is no requirement that states provide education and training.