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May 26, 1996|CHARLES SOLOMON

THE WAR ON THE POOR: A Defense Manual by Randy Albelda, Nancy Folbre & the Center for Popular Economics (The New Press: $11.95; 142 pp., paperback original). This outspoken study examines both the federal programs designed to aid the poor and the current legislative assault on those programs. The authors agree that many of the programs need restructuring but assert, "As the congressional legislative agenda has unfolded, it has become increasingly clear that the so-called reforms for the poor entail cutting costs for the rich." Quotes from Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, Ariana Huffington and the Heritage Foundation are juxtaposed with statistics that challenge conservative contentions. It's unlikely that "The War on the Poor" will win over congressional Republicans, but it offers useful information to citizens interested in the ongoing debate.

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