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Work Requirements for Mothers on Welfare

June 13, 2002

Re "Even Tougher Love for Welfare Moms," Commentary, June 11: Because welfare mothers have made chronically poor decisions in their lives (children out of wedlock, multiple children, teenagers having children, lack of education, drug usage), American taxpayers--who are already taxed to the hilt--will be expected to continually reward these poor decisions. UC Berkeley professor Bruce Fuller calls the Bush welfare initiative "radical" and states, "the president's plan would alter childhood as we know it."

Professor, would it be the president's plan or the mother's lack of planning that would alter childhood? It's also curious how the left continually champions the push for more child care and the merits of it, yet the professor calls 40 hours of child care "grueling." Which is it? How does the professor balance "advancing women's work opportunities while strengthening their parenting role"? In real life, you can't have both, one will always be shortchanged

Greg Belluomini



Thank you, Dennis Clausen, for your courage in setting aside the humiliation and loss of pride that you felt and sharing the story of your family's dependence on welfare ("The Kindness of Strangers," Commentary, June 9). There are millions of "Clausen children" in this country who accepted the public's assistance in times of financial need and who have more than repaid that support through subsequent contributions to the nation's economy as workers and taxpayers.

We have heard too much about the failures of our broken welfare system and not enough from adults who owe their current well-being to the welfare assistance they received as children. Intimidated by the stigma of welfare dependency, they have left the field to criticism by the least-informed and most mean-spirited among us. I hope that Clausen's example will offer courage to others to come forward and tell their stories.

Leonard Schneiderman

Dean Emeritus, UCLA

School of Social Welfare

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