President Carter's welfare revision plan, already under attack in Congress, was bitterly denounced yesterday by many of the people if is supposed to help - welfare recipients.
The plan was called "debilitating," a "disgrace and complete failure," and an "outright fraud" by representatives of welfare recipients in the mid-Atlantic states who ended a three-day conference here yesterday.
"What we have now is nothing and what Carter is offering in his plan is worse," Louise Brookings, chairman of the Pennsylvania State Welfare Rights Organization, told an applauding audience.
Carter's plan, unveiled Aug. 6, would do away with the basic elements of the nation's welfare system and replace them with a $30.7 billion program of income supplements, work incentives and public service jobs. The President called his plan the "Program for Better Jobs and Income."
But conference delegates renamed it the "Jobs Income Program" - JIP for short, and a gyp in reality, they contended.
The delegates vowed to work to defeat Carter's proposals in Congress. Specifically, they said they are angered by the family income supplement and work requirement provisions in the plan.
The first would set the basic benefit for a family of four - with no other income - at $4,200 annually. Benefits would be reduced by 50 cents for each dollar the family earned, ending when earned income reached $8,400 a year.
The work benefit portion of the program would require eligible persons to accept full-time or part-time jobs, if available, in order to receive welfare benefits.
The family income supplement provision would leave most AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children) recipients with wll income "more than $1.500 below the official poverty level and well under half of the Labor Department's 'lower budget' for a family of four," said Faith Evans, an official of the United Church of Christ's Commission for Racial Justice., which sponsored the conference.
Evans, in a statement echoed by other conference delegates, said the work requirement provision "would force poor people to work in dehumanizing jobs at slave wages in both the public and private sector."
None of the poor people's representatives, who held a press conference to blast the Carter plan, offered counter-proposals to improve the Welfare System. In fact, several became angry with passed on that point by reporters.
"You keep trying to push us into a position of saying what we're going to do, what we're going to propose, when Carter and all of his experts haven't come up with (an acceptable plan). We are not in that position today," said Edwin Edmons, another United Church of Christ official.
"We are here to criticize the Carter proposals and to tell you why we don't like them," Edmonds said. "The whole thing (Carter plan) is a fraud and a farce . . . Mr. Carter is going back on his promises because it isn't convenient at this time to do what he promised to do for the people who put him into office. That is why we are irate."