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Cuts Called the Unkindest

March 22, 1992

Robin Abcarian's March 10 column "Teen Moms Get Their Say--The Hard Way" captures poignantly the Pete Wilson Administration's callous attitude toward poor people. It is further evidence that Wilson champions the Reagan-Bush strategy of fighting the poor, not poverty.

The governor seems to believe that cutting the benefits of teen mothers (who represent only a small portion of California's welfare caseload) and those of other poor families will motivate them to work harder--but at what jobs? If well-educated, skilled professionals are unemployed and can't find work, how will poor families?

The cuts the Wilson Administration proposes in the Aid to Families With Dependent Children program will do nothing to ease poverty and long-term welfare dependency. Quite the reverse is likely to happen. Without help, poor people will become poorer and a greater burden to society. Unless these young mothers are supported until they are able to get off welfare--and more than half of families entering AFDC do leave the program within two years--their children face a bleak start in life.

SUSAN CRAMER

Los Angeles

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