Gauging welfare reform's success

Regarding your Aug. 22 article "Welfare reform, in times of both boom and bust": It is penny-wise and pound-foolish to reduce funds for child care, training, and job- placement assistance. Regardless of whatever else needs to be trimmed, these mothers and fathers need all the assistance they can get. The damage done to children who are not properly cared for while their parents work is ineradicable.

Our society owes to itself and to these families the aid they need.
Patricia R King
Tennyson, Ind.

Your generally balanced and informative piece on welfare reform in good and bad times contained some assumptions that are not borne out by the facts.

First, it is not much more difficult to place people in a down economy than in a boom one. The truth is, the numbers of welfare recipients to be placed in jobs is small compared with the possible job openings. This is why the number of cases has not dramatically increased in states during the past three years in a weak job market - despite predictions by liberal critics to the contrary.

Second, the fact that many have gone to work does not necessarily mean that we are now dealing with the bottom of the barrel. The welfare recipients our staff see today are similar to those of five years ago. The reason is that the welfare rolls churn - some leave and some come on. This means that the general profile is little different. Sadly, the naysayers on the left would have us believe that only the ablest and most qualified got jobs, while the remaining rabble need huge increases in government spending to be rehabilitated and placed in jobs. This just is not so.

Isn't it ironic that the Chicken Littles who predicted doom and gloom in welfare reform, when faced with success, now want more of it? Welfare reform succeeded because government policy allowed people to climb out of dependence. More of that is what's needed.
Peter Cove
New York
Founder, America Works

Ten Commandments and the law

In response to your article, "How judge's stand resonates in Bible Belt," I am a little disturbed by pastor Gregory Jones's comment, "The Ten Commandments are the basis of our good judgment and belong in the courts."

Do we not live in a nation of diversity? Why should the Ten Commandments be prevalent in our courts when no other religious laws are posted on a monument in our courts? This sounds like bigotry to me. Our government is set up in a way to separate church and state.

The issue here is the forcing of one group's ideals and principles on another. This act has caused many wars in the world. I ask that people of faith believe in their God and bible, but don't force others to accept their rules. They may have other rules to live by.
Brian K. Thacker
Raleigh, N.C.

With regard to those who oppose the Ten Commandments monument on grounds of separation of church and state, I think many have lost sight of the fact that this law was set in place to protect religion from the state, not the other way around. Unfortunately, the law is being used for the very purpose it was established to protect us from in this wonderful land of the free.

I don't think we can afford to be the "silent majority" any longer on this type of issue. Way to go, Judge Roy Moore! Thank you for having the fortitude to stand up for the basic principles on which this great land was predicated. May God bless you in your endeavors.
Irene Gardner
Ogden, Utah

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