A middle road for welfare's least reformed? Your article "Now, the hard part of welfare reform" (April 6) raises an important question: Is cutting welfare rolls the way to help those individuals who make up the tough cases in the system?
By most standards, welfare reform is a success. However, the ultimate success of welfare reform will depend on its consequences for the chronically dependent.
Both conservatives and liberals tend to oversimplify the problem. Applauding workfare, conservatives advocate shuttling off untrained or uneducated workers into the work force regardless of their employability. Liberals emphasize income support and services including "job training" -mere fig leaves covering the failed 30-year war on poverty.
We suggest helping the chronically dependent by tapping into the large reservoir of nonprofit organizations, churches, and civic organizations in local communities that stand ready to help society's hardest cases.
These organizations could provide welfare recipients with the kind of training and discipline they need to enter the modern work force.
A little-noticed provision in the 1996 federal welfare-reform law, called charitable choice, has enabled faith-based organizations to deliver innovative services on a contract basis.
But it's only a first step. Expanding the role of local charities and nonprofits usually means expanding their sources of revenue, which are primarily private. The easiest way to increase contributions is through a tax credit.
Funded by new giving, nonprofit organizations could establish programs that mentor, monitor, guide, encourage, advise, and help welfare recipients obtain the services that lead to self-sufficiency. Taxpayers could choose to support the nonprofits that reflect their own standards and preferences.
David G. Tuerck, Boston Executive director The Beacon Hill Institute
Salt Lake mayor on Olympics scandal Your April 26 story "Utah begins calculating political cost of scandal" provided an incomplete portrayal of the issues facing my state in the wake of the Olympic scandal.
Indeed, this has been an embarrassing episode for all of us in Utah, but it is one from which we will recover. This setback has left us better and stronger, and hopefully will lead to the cleansing of the entire Olympic movement.
By implying that these events led me to give up my "dream of serving during the Olympics," the story perpetuated an untruth related to my own decision not to seek a third term. My decision was a personal one that had absolutely nothing to do with the Olympic revelations. In fact, it was a decision I had made and shared privately with my family well before the earliest scandal revelations were even made.
Deedee Corradini, Salt Lake City Mayor
Elizabeth Dole and the press The editorial "Elizabeth Dole's Moment" (April 19) correctly concludes that Mrs. Dole can handle the job of president of the United States very well. However, on the way to your conclusion you complain that she hasn't spent enough time talking to the press. Such remarks sound like petulant pouting, which is uncharacteristic of the Monitor. The primary obligation of any credible political candidate should be to serve the needs of the people, not the needs of the Fourth Estate. Mrs. Dole's service to the American Red Cross shows she cares about people first. How refreshing!
Eleanor Williams Princeton, N.J.
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