Perhaps the Senate welfare reform bill will supply a "ray of hope," as the editorial ("Out of the Welfare Swamp," Sept. 23) suggests--but a ray of hope is all it will be. Again, true welfare reform is being bypassed for Band-Aid solutions.
The taxpayers and the lawmakers must realize that there are no short-term solutions to the welfare problem. What is needed is a long-term outlook that stresses, rather than penalizes, education. It is nearly impossible to support a single-parent family without a college degree.
The emphasis would be in the right place with a reform program that would make schooling a top priority, supplemented by vocational training for those single parents who would be satisfied with the near-poverty wages these job programs supply. Training people to earn good salaries through education is a long-term investment that, through higher tax bases, will pay the government back with interest for its "hand up."
It is long past time that our lawmakers dispensed with their shortsightedness in favor of policies which will benefit the whole population in the long run. Replacing welfare recipients with a burgeoning class of poverty-wage families is not the answer.
P.S. In case anyone is wondering--I am not a bleeding heart liberal. I'm a welfare mother due to graduate in June (probably with honors) with a certificate in public accounting.
I've had to skirt the system's policy of "if you can attend school full-time, you can work full-time" throughout my education. But it will beat working on assembly line!
LAURA LEE KOLLITZ