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I have watched with interest the recent debates over governmental reform, especially those having to do with taxes, Social Security and the welfare system. It seems that no matter what the proposal might be, the response from those opposed is couched in terms of the possible impact on the poor. Either it will hurt the poor, or the poor will be deprived, or the poor will be unfairly impacted or the poor could never afford it.

My heart goes out to the poor. To all those poor who have been victimized by a paternalistic system of welfare that deprives people of dignity and ambition and self-respect. To all those whose families have been destroyed or severely damaged by an unfeeling government bureaucracy that views regulations as more important than individuals. To all those who have been frustrated by a system where everyone must be treated just the same, regardless of their differing circumstances.I also sympathize with all of those who work in the welfare system. All of those well-meaning, caring human beings who have been turned into unfeeling robots by a bureaucracy that has become less and less flexible as time has passed, and a bureaucratic institution that becomes more interested in self-perpetuation than in serving the client or giving honest service to the taxpayer.

But I do have some very serious questions. If we don't reform the system, if we don't make the necessary changes, what then will become of the poor? What will the poor do when the government is bankrupted by the very systems upon which they are so totally dependent? What will the government do when the majority of children are being born to unwed mothers dependent on the government dole? What will the government and the people do when the entire government income is devoured by entitlement programs and interest on the national debt?

We must make the necessary reforms in our government if we are to save this nation from civil strife and degeneration. Time is running out much faster than we care to admit. When it happens, we will all be poor and there will be no government help for anyone.

Thomas W. Brown

Salt Lake City