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GOP Changes to Welfare

October 01, 1995

* The GOP's war on America's poor scored a major hit with the passage of a dubious welfare reform bill (Sept. 20) but the self-shoulder patting and celebration among Republicans may be a bit disingenuous and premature. New York Sen. Daniel P. Moynihan, an authority on Social Security and welfare, foresaw it as the beginning of the end of Social Security. His words may well come back to haunt us all, especially the GOP. It is also not cause for celebration when the poor again lose ground due to lack of clout, influence and, of course, money to exert pressure and protect their interests on Capitol Hill, unlike big-money lobbyists and vested interest groups.

There's no doubting now that there's no love lost between the GOP and the poor, and the GOP is using almost everything in the legislative book, short of legislating the poor out of existence, to make life harsher for them. If the savings from cutting welfare end up as tax cuts for those who don't need them, that would be a hideous and morally indefensible action.

Where will the poor go from here? First, they will need some time to find out how they stand up or fall down even further with the impact of this new blow against them. It would be a good idea for them to organize now a state-to-state welfare watch as they prepare for the worst. If this GOP welfare reform program proves to further exacerbate the real problem of poverty in this nation in the near future, it would surely be a national tragedy and shame.

GIL TALAVERA

Chino Hills

* What is the meaning of the following facts?

* We are not at war.

* The alleged threat of the Soviet Union has ceased to exist.

* It is said that we are spending too much on welfare.

* The cost of the proposed military budget--fiscal year 1996, $258 billion--would pay for 16 years of Aid to Families With Dependent Children at current levels.

EUGENE KUSMIAK

Fallbrook

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