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Welfare Agencies Work Feverishly to Protect the Jobs of Bureaucrats

August 07, 1994

* Thanks for reporting on yet another hustle by the "welfarecrats," the WIC program, one of Hillary's favorites ("A Boost to Babies," July 30).

Vouchers worth "an average of $30/month" are being distributed as fast as they can find recipients. But the "spendocrats" aren't stopping there. They are out beating the bushes for even more "takers." They just can't spend our money fast enough.

Thirty dollars a month to 45,500 recipients adds up to $16.3 million a year. Add the $4.3 million "operating budget," and include the additional hidden salaries and expenses, and we're looking at a possible $50-million program just for Orange County alone! (Welfare expenditures typically run 70% for the bureaucracies, 30% for the recipients.)

If these young mothers only need $30 a month to separate themselves from disaster, why aren't they being inspired to earn it themselves ? A few hours of baby-sitting here and a few hours of housecleaning there, wouldn't take long to earn $30.

What we've got here is another chapter of the Nanny State working feverishly to "hook" new "addicts" on handouts and create more dependents in order to justify their own jobs.

The welfare state is bankrupt financially and ideologically. Those of us who are robbed to fund it demand its abolishment. NOW!

DON HULL

Costa Mesa

* There are two sides to every story, even when it comes to helping little babies. In regards to the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) supplemental food program, I would like to let your readers know some facts that weren't mentioned.

* Participants do not have to be citizens, In fact, Immigration Service cannot wait outside WIC premises to pick up illegals.

* The review by the U.S. General Accounting Office that "every dollar spent on WIC Services saves the taxpayers $3 on medical care in the infant's first year of life," is based on an old report from the 1970s. It also pertains only to the benefits from supplementing the mother's diet. It does not say anything about providing formula to the newborns or toddlers.

* Pediatricians and dietitians agree that breast milk is best. It is an untapped resource in our society. Breast-fed infants are healthier. This is what will save the taxpayers dollars, not providing expensive formula to the poor.

* Nutritionists are afraid that if formula is not provided, the mothers will give their babies cow milk, resulting in illness. I do not believe that the majority of mothers, poor or not, will do something to harm their babies. And if they do, it is not the taxpayers' problem. We need to teach responsibility, not dependency.

* In fact, despite contrary belief, formula-fed babies are sicker more often than babies fed milk due to improper dilutions.

* Many first generation immigrants who are WIC clients have breast fed in their native country but switch to formula in the U.S. Could it be because it is free to them?

* WIC contractors can be run through local government or private management companies. It is my experience, since I have worked at both, that the clinics run by the private sector are more efficient and less wasteful.

I worked for WIC as a consultant and an intern. I believe in the educational component of the program as well as providing food for pregnant and lactating women. But I do not believe in a government program that finds it necessary to expand and grow. Putting up flyers in coin-operated laundries is an insult to taxpayers. Is it really an attempt to help the "needy" or an effort to secure jobs and big government?

ANNA M. APOIAN

Corona

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