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Letter to the editor
Social programs not helping the poor
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Forsyth County News
Our social programs have failed and it is time to rethink how we treat the poor. 

Back in the ’60s, Lyndon Johnson put into play many of the welfare and social assistance programs we still have today. Initially, these programs were to help people pull themselves up out of poverty. 

Poor, unwed mothers were given assistance for the children they birthed, to assure that the child would get the proper food and nutrition. This program backfired by raising the unwed mother birth rate among the poor  over 50 percent within the next 20 years. The rate remains higher today than it was in the early ’60s. 

Programs that we see advertised on TV to “help the children” have been around for many, many years, which proves that the actions they are taking for the children is treating the symptom and not the cause. They may be feeding the children the very bare essentials, but the programs are not preventing these children who don’t have enough food for themselves from having children of their own, who they cannot feed.   None of the social programs designed to help children and elevate the poor out of poverty are curing the problem. These programs seem to be nurturing the problem and the number of people needing government assistance is increasing, not decreasing.

The whole social and welfare program needs to be redesigned to put itself out of business in the next five years, rather than to grow and perpetuate itself. Congress needs to do a major overhaul designed to cure the problem and reduce the cost of welfare paid by the working American taxpayer.

Pam Wood