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Welfare queen?

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If ever there was an article designed to make the average, hard-working, tax-paying citizen's blood boil, "Hustling for the Good Life" [May 17] was it.

While we are busting our butts to earn enough to feed our families and pay our taxes, this deadbeat mom simply has a couple of kids, moves into a tax-supported housing development and refuses even to consider holding a full-time job. She admits to dealing in food-stamp fraud and receiving stolen goods, collects all sorts of government bounty and then has the arrogance to sip champagne from flutes at her "formal dining table." She fills her house with expensive electronic gadgetry, purchases only the most expensive clothing and makes trips to Atlanta, Disney World and the beach. She brags, "Mind you, I'm not eating Food Lion products. I'm eating lamp chops and ribeyes. I drink Ocean Spray" and imported Heineken beer.

I only hope the publicity you gave this woman will bring the authorities down on her and disconnect her from the public teat. I cannot think of a more perfect example of what our "Great Society" Democratic Party programs have led to.

Editor's note: As noted in "Hustling for the Good Life," the pseudonymous subject of the story, "Janet," has worked full-time in the past.

Although "Hustling for the Good Life" was well-written, I am bothered about the impression it may leave about African Americans or about public-housing residents in general. I am hoping that you will soon feature a white single mom who is also working the system.

It's too easy for readers to think of "Janet" as typical of a welfare recipient. Your paper generally tries to present a balanced and informed approach on social issues, but features such as this one, which is like writing about a "welfare queen," may do more harm than good.

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