Only Congress has power to rewrite welfare law

Re: "The truth about welfare reform," Aug. 27

Steve Chapman was right that the Obama administration has "opened the door to changes in welfare reform that could destroy it from within" by undermining work requirements for welfare recipients.

In a July memo, the Obama administration flouted the text, structure and purpose of the 1996 welfare reform law by claiming the authority to waive its work requirements. But those work requirements are the law's linchpin and cannot be waived.

The administration defends waivers as a progressive change that will supposedly help welfare recipients and their career prospects. But that idea clashes with the "work first" philosophy behind welfare reform.

Congress has the power to rewrite laws, not the president and his aides. Moreover, any growth in the number of welfare recipients getting a job might simply be due to more people going on welfare in the first place in response to such waivers.

Hans Bader

Senior attorney,

Competitive Enterprise Institute

McDonnell was adult when he wrote 'college' paper

Re: "Va. GOP hopes focus on social issues helps Romney," Aug. 26

The Examiner dismisses Democratic commercials in 2009 "about a college-era paper [Gov. Bob] McDonnell wrote that criticized working women and gays."

In fact, when McDonnell wrote his 93-page master's thesis titled "The Republican Party's Vision for the Family: The Compelling Issue of the Decade," he was a 34-year-old father of two with an Master of Business Administration, working toward both another master's degree and a law degree at Pat Robertson's Regent University.

In the paper he called working women detrimental to the family, deplored a 1965 Supreme Court decision that legalized the use of contraceptives by married couples and called for government discrimination against gay people. Two years later, as a state legislator, he introduced legislation reflecting 10 of the 15 policy goals that he laid out in his paper.

It's not quite a "college-era paper" when the author is a 34-year-old businessman preparing to run for office.

David Boaz


Astronaut opened up a new world

Re: "Neil Armstrong, 1st man on the moon, dies at 82," Aug. 25

Astronaut Neil Armstrong is dead, and his accomplishment as the first man to walk on the moon now belongs to the ages. The memory of what he did will live forever in the history of America -- and the world.

When people look up at the moon, they can proudly say: "We have been there" -- and they have, since Armstrong represented us all. When he planted the American flag in the Sea of Tranquility, he opened up a new world.

He was a man of courage and great valor, a man with a vision and a dream, a man who gave us the inspiration to go farther in space than man had ever gone before. He opened the door to the heavens above and beyond. But above all, he was a true American hero.

Thank you, Neil Armstrong, and may God bless you forever.

Louis Ginesi Dominguez