This is in response to the Joel Packer guest column about Maine's welfare system (Nov. 7).
Packer states that Maine's documented rate of welfare fraud is two-tenths of 1 percent (the national rate is 4 percent). That is hardly an abundance of fraud. Now, if only we could add the undocumented fraud, I think people would be appalled.
Another paragraph states that most people do not understand what welfare is. They lump many programs under that category. Webster's dictionary defines welfare as the organized efforts of government agencies that grant aid to the poor, the unemployed, etc. It is apparent that people do understand that welfare comes in many forms.
Packer says the millions and millions of federal and state dollars go into the state's economic system to pay expenses that help the Maine economy prosper. I did not know the state's economy was prospering, especially from welfare. Welfare does not generate federal or state income taxes that pay for itself.
Yes, the Maine welfare system is too generous and the laws are too lenient. I worked for the state, auditing General Assistance, and I have seen the system abused on a daily basis.
Richard Smith, Lewiston