Thank you for your timely series on poverty in America and your subsequent editorial (Aug. 8), “Exploding Myths.” It’s time we smashed the stereotype of a welfare system fraught with abuse and welfare recipients who are lazy or unwilling to work. We have perpetuated those myths to justify having allowed, and even promoted, the deep cuts in programs that were benefiting the poor. The plight of this nation’s needy is a disgrace.
Even now, Congress is scrutinizing the food stamp bill for potentially damaging cuts in funding, as it awaits final mark-up in the Senate Agriculture Committee. Though approving a budget resolution that calls for no cuts to this program, the committee now finds itself under heavy Administration pressure to do just that. California Sen. Pete Wilson, a member o the Agriculture Committee, could be a key player in the fight to keep funding at or near its present levels. Senator, it’s your move.