Albion Monitor /News

Nader blasts Clinton on Welfare "Reform"

Sacrificing the fate of poor children and adults to election year posturing

Calling the welfare reform legislation now being finalized in Congress "scandalous," Ralph Nader wrote a letter to President Clinton on July 31, urging him not to sign the bill and "sacrifice the fate of poor children and adults to election year posturing."

"During your administration, " Nader wrote, " welfare for corporate interests has continued to grow, while both major parties posture over how best to take food out of the mouths of poor children....We need legislation to create decent paying jobs for all those able to work. We need to 'Make Work Pay' by raising the minimum wage at least a $1 an hour above what congress is presently considering... and providing universal access to health and child care."

"The most anti-children piece of legislation in American history"

Reminding President Clinton that he had promised to be an advocate for children, Nader called the pending bill "the most anti-children piece of legislation in American history, condemning more than a million children to a life of poverty."

Nader's letter details the devastating effects of the bill, including "scandalous" proposed cuts in food stamps. The cuts will reduce funding "from an already inadequate 80 cents per person per meal to 66 cents" after adjusting for inflation, Nader wrote.

The letter concludes, "Do not destroy this country's safety net that was forged from the pain and despair of the Great Depression. The welfare legislation presently being considered in Congress will not move more poor people into jobs, it will only drive them deeper into poverty. It is one thing to require individuals to accept personal responsibility to do what they can to make a better life for themselves and their families. It is another thing to punish poor people for the mistakes of political and economic leaders who are more concerned with the maximization of profits for a few wealthy individuals than they are with providing adequate employment opportunities and a decent standard of living for all Americans."

Nader's campaign for President issued a press release that they will place this alternative approach before the voters in California and other states this November.

An editorial on the impact of these welfare changes can be found elsewhere in this issue of the Albion Monitor.

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Albion Monitor August 6, 1996 (

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