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Why drug testing of welfare recipients is a bad idea

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posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 03:59 PM
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I know that there is a thread or two about the news of the bill itself being passed, but this op-ed piece goes more in depth than most news articles on the subject. It's generating some buzz on a few other forums I visit, and though maybe readers here might like to discuss the finer points of Florida's new law and the facts and opinions presented by this author. Here is the first section of the piece...


Cost effectiveness It's not. Plain and simple. The biggest reason that people are supporting this new law is that they believe there will be a major savings to the taxpayer by kicking a bunch of people off of welfare. Even if there were a savings, the voter must make an erroneous assumption that any such savings would grant them any tax relief in the first place or that the money would then be spent on “people who really need it.” But more to the point, this program will be enormously expensive and yet another huge burden on the taxpayers. A Congressional committee found that drug-testing government employees, would cost $77,000 for each positive drug test in 1992 dollars. Is it really worth spending somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred-grand, just to catch one drug user who may be getting twelve-grand a year in benefits?

According to some sources, drug tests may run as high as $75 per test. The average is expected to land around $42 per test. With 100,000 people on the welfare rolls in Florida, you are looking at a cost of $4.2 million to test everyone once a year for the 420. An expense that the very poorest people of the state will be expected to pay up-front, and then be reimbursed later if they pass the drug test. Of course, the cost of the tests are only the tip of the iceberg too, as all of this information will now have to be digested by the welfare bureaucracy. It would probably be conservative to estimate that the true cost might be three times the cost of the actual test itself, when you consider all the different social workers who will have to check and double check the paperwork, meet with recipients, speak with clinics, etcetera. A red-tape nightmare with a very hefty price tag. And for what? Arizona has also considered such a law. They projected they would save a measly $1.7 million by kicking people off of welfare. That is a net loss of $2.5 million to the taxpayer by comparison. And that is of course, if each person were only tested once per year.

Cronyism, Politics for Profit That net loss by the taxpayer is a gross gain for the drug testing companies. As it turns out, Florida's governor Rick Scott co-founded and owns 70% of Solantic, the company that will be doing the drug-testing on welfare recipients.

Conitnued


Is there anything in that article which is logically flawed? Is there anything that the author left out?

And of course, why do you agree or disagree, in theory or in practice, with drug-testing welfare recipients.
edit on 7-6-2011 by CobraCommander because: (no reason given)




posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 04:06 PM
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I may not agree with who is testing them, it is very shady but I agree 100% with testing them.

Sorry I live in Florida and Im tired of seeing people on welfare with drug habits. If you can buy drugs you DONT need assistance from the govt.

Why should tax payers pay your food bill, light bill, housing and so on while you spend your money on drugs? It's not fair. I have to take a drug test for a job I will work for to earn my money, it's not given to me so why should those getting free assistance on my dime not be tested?

If you want the assistance dont do drugs period! The ones who suffer in the end are the kids of these recipients. I have seen many people abuse the EBT food stamp card. They sell it for cash and then they complain when they have no money to feed their kids but they got their bag of weed or their bottle of roxies. Enough is enough. Many people who really need this assistance are getting denied cause you have serial welfare recipients living off the system...I am also for there being a limit as to how long you can be on it and they should have programs to help people better their lives so they can get off assistance.



posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 04:09 PM
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Personally I think they are doing this as a play on words. Are we lumping all people in here that receive food stamps and calling it welfare, or are we just using actual welfare, meaning people who not only receive food stamps but state aid as well? If we are calling all food stamp recipients welfare receivers then their logic and numbers are both seriously flawed. Florida for example in 2008 had 87,632 receiving welfare and 1,694,649 receiving food stamps.

ETA: Yes, either way regardless of how they are actually doing this they should proceed with the drug testing. If they are counting food stamp recipients as welfare then the numbers are seriously skewed according to this article. Besides if your clean what have you got to lose?
edit on 6/7/2011 by SpaDe_ because: additional comments



posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 04:12 PM
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reply to post by CobraCommander
 

Drug testing anyone is a bad idea and invasion of privacy. Drug tests should ONLY be done imo if someone is suspected of being intoxicated at job or similar. It should be no ones business what i do to my own body during free time.

And kicking people off welfare what good would that do?? Make them starve to death as well as being drug addicts instead of actually helping these people.
Again this shows the true nature of USA...
edit on 7-6-2011 by juleol because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 04:15 PM
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reply to post by mblahnikluver
 


No one is getting denied assistance because drug-addicts are getting assistance.

Addiction is a very serious disease and should be treated as such. Should someone with AIDS be denied welfare because they made a poor life-choice in not having protected sex?

It is also not necessarily true that someone on welfare "has money to spend on drugs." Most often, drug use is cyclic and the revenue is generated by also selling drugs, to the 70% of drug-users in American who are employed full time, whereas only about 3% of people on welfare are drug users. And hypothetically, what about someone who was growing their own plant.

To take it a step further, would you deny a homeless veteran the right to eat for the next year, simply because he smoked a joint? The fact is that these drug tests don't have much chance of finding any drugs except for marijuana.

Why should there be a limit to welfare if there is no limit to the corruption and poor economic policy which has created poverty and a welfare state to begin with. This may come as a surprise to some people, but MOST people on welfare would much rather be gainfully employed and earning a living. And in fact, many people on welfare ARE employed.



posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 04:15 PM
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Originally posted by juleol
reply to post by CobraCommander
 

Drug testing anyone is a bad idea and invasion of privacy. Drug tests should ONLY be done imo if someone is suspected of being intoxicated at job or similar. It should be no ones business what i do to my own body during free time.

And kicking people off welfare what good would that do?? Make them starve to death as well as being drug addicts instead of actually helping these people.
Again this shows the true nature of USA...
edit on 7-6-2011 by juleol because: (no reason given)


I totally agree with you on this. You can do whatever you want on your own time, just do it with your own money as well. If you have money for smack, then you have money for food.

edit on 6/7/2011 by SpaDe_ because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 04:15 PM
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I don't know about drug testing everyone. Maybe the ones that are long time users that have no medical issues. There has got to be a way to filter the abusers of the system. Drug testing only those that have no medical issues or have generations of there family members living off of it?


I would assume that people who are medically unable to work have proof of such a condition?



posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 04:18 PM
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Originally posted by SpaDe_
Personally I think they are doing this as a play on words. Are we lumping all people in here that receive food stamps and calling it welfare, or are we just using actual welfare, meaning people who not only receive food stamps but state aid as well? If we are calling all food stamp recipients welfare receivers then their logic and numbers are both seriously flawed. Florida for example in 2008 had 87,632 receiving welfare and 1,694,649 receiving food stamps.

ETA: Yes, either way regardless of how they are actually doing this they should proceed with the drug testing. If they are counting food stamp recipients as welfare then the numbers are seriously skewed according to this article. Besides if your clean what have you got to lose?
edit on 6/7/2011 by SpaDe_ because: additional comments


Oh, the old, if you have nothing to hide logic eh?

The 100,000 number in the article is a round estimate. For now, they are only testing people who get welfare, not just food stamps alone. But of course, the same people who think it's a good idea for welfare will think it's a good idea for food stamps, and where does that end? Drug tests to process your form at the DMV?



posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 04:20 PM
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reply to post by juleol
 


I agree. And I also agree that even drug testing of employees should be outlawed, unless the job is one of high danger or responsibility perhaps. Explosives technician, police officer, things like that maybe.



posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 04:21 PM
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What a really bad idea for so many reasons, cost the for drug testing and baby sitting alone would make the whole thing useless. What is going to happen to all the people who are kicked off welfare, put them in a FEMA camp? What about the kids, what will happen to them? Most people on welfare can not and will not get jobs or get off drugs. The prison system is already over crowded to the extent that very bad people are released in droves to very poor supervision and with out welfare what will they do? Very, very bad idea.



posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 04:23 PM
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Not only do I think they should be drug tested, but their financial spending should be weekly monitored too along with being forced to attend a financial class along side any employment classes....

I have seen more than enough "welfare" recipients wearing designer clothes, shoes, handbags and driving high end cars....and spending their money on drugs.

Want a hand out at tax payer expense? Then you must abide by (insert rules here)....

To those that say "invasion of privacy". Um, it is tax payers supporting them. It is OUR money! I believe tax payers should know who they are supporting.

IMO of course...
edit on June 7th 2011 by greeneyedleo because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 04:23 PM
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Originally posted by CobraCommander

Originally posted by SpaDe_
Personally I think they are doing this as a play on words. Are we lumping all people in here that receive food stamps and calling it welfare, or are we just using actual welfare, meaning people who not only receive food stamps but state aid as well? If we are calling all food stamp recipients welfare receivers then their logic and numbers are both seriously flawed. Florida for example in 2008 had 87,632 receiving welfare and 1,694,649 receiving food stamps.

ETA: Yes, either way regardless of how they are actually doing this they should proceed with the drug testing. If they are counting food stamp recipients as welfare then the numbers are seriously skewed according to this article. Besides if your clean what have you got to lose?
edit on 6/7/2011 by SpaDe_ because: additional comments


Oh, the old, if you have nothing to hide logic eh?

The 100,000 number in the article is a round estimate. For now, they are only testing people who get welfare, not just food stamps alone. But of course, the same people who think it's a good idea for welfare will think it's a good idea for food stamps, and where does that end? Drug tests to process your form at the DMV?


Well, unfortunately your logic here is seriously flawed. If the DMV starts paying my way then yeah I will submit to a drug test to have free tabs and licenses. The rest of the working class now has to submit to random drug tests, so why should welfare recipients be exempt from the same process that the people who pay the taxes that keep their welfare checks coming in submit to?



posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 04:27 PM
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Originally posted by greeneyedleo
Not only do I think they should be drug tested, but their financial spending should be weekly monitored too along with being forced to attend a financial class along side any employment classes....

I have see more than enough "welfare" recipients wearing designer clothes, shoes, handbags and driving high end cars....and spending their money on drugs.

Want a hand out? Then you must abide by (insert rules here)....


Financial class? So you are going to spend more money on cab fare for these people to attend a financial class that tells them how to budget the money they don't have?

A few years ago I had to bankrupt, and under the new mandate, I was also required to take a financial class. Even the class counselor was at an utter loss to explain how I could have avoided bankruptcy. Maybe not spending the hundred dollars I didn't have to take that class would have helped.

The designer clothes are knock-offs. The high end cars are not theirs. If they had a car in their name worth more than $2500, they would be disqualified.



posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 04:29 PM
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Originally posted by SpaDe_


Well, unfortunately your logic here is seriously flawed. If the DMV starts paying my way then yeah I will submit to a drug test to have free tabs and licenses. The rest of the working class now has to submit to random drug tests, so why should welfare recipients be exempt from the same process that the people who pay the taxes that keep their welfare checks coming in submit to?


Driving is a privilege, not a right, as so many folks like to point out.

But what about getting your tax return back? Don't want to take a drug test, change your W2 so that you owe at the end of the year rather than getting a return.

Or what about student financial aid, or Federal business loans?



posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 04:31 PM
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I believe as long as employers have the right to drug test, then those collecting state aid should have to submit to the same testing. For instance unemployment; you are suppose to be physically able and seeking work to receive benefits. If you can't pass a drug test, how are you physically able to work? The second point, has welfare really helped anyone? Those collecting welfare are on the rise. The government doesn't have steps in place to get people from collecting to finding a job. The government relies on only the fact people should be trying to better themselves. Its just an endless cycle.



posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 04:33 PM
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Looking forward to more discussion on this topic myself, but I have to head out for now and mow a few lawns before dark because welfare don't pay my booze bill.
Cheers.



posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 04:33 PM
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Originally posted by CobraCommander

Originally posted by SpaDe_


Well, unfortunately your logic here is seriously flawed. If the DMV starts paying my way then yeah I will submit to a drug test to have free tabs and licenses. The rest of the working class now has to submit to random drug tests, so why should welfare recipients be exempt from the same process that the people who pay the taxes that keep their welfare checks coming in submit to?


Driving is a privilege, not a right, as so many folks like to point out.

But what about getting your tax return back? Don't want to take a drug test, change your W2 so that you owe at the end of the year rather than getting a return.

Or what about student financial aid, or Federal business loans?


Again flawed logic. Submitting to a drug test to get back the money that is owed to you? Submitting to a drug test to get a loan that you will have to pay back? These people receiving welfare do not have to pay it back! It is assistance that we the tax payers GIVE them.



posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 04:35 PM
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reply to post by greeneyedleo
 


Sorry greeneyedleo the cost for supervision alone would make the attempt useless. In my neighborhood the welfare recipients drive Hummers and Cadillacs and consume many drugs, not all but many.



posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 04:37 PM
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Originally posted by CobraCommander
reply to post by mblahnikluver
 


No one is getting denied assistance because drug-addicts are getting assistance.

Yes they are! People are not getting assistance because people who shouldn't be on it are IE drug addicts and dealers. I LIVE in Florida and this is a problem here a huge one and I will defend this bill til the end because it affects me and people around me.

You have Joe Blow in one corner who works a regular job has a family but needs assistance. He goes and applies and gets denied, then you have Jack Blow in the other corner who doesnt work, but works the streets making hundreds of dollars a day yet he milks the system for welfare, food stamps,housing and so on. Now who should be on it??

I see this happen here a lot. I work in a bar and I see first hand the amount of abuse that goes on and they are all proud of it. They just think oh "I get free cheese," meanwhile you have people who really need that help starving or living on the street.




Addiction is a very serious disease and should be treated as such. Should someone with AIDS be denied welfare because they made a poor life-choice in not having protected sex?

You can't compare having a disease to being a drug addict give me a break. It's not the same and you know it. A drug addict if they can buy drugs they dont need assistance, they need help to fix their life so they can make it on their own. I know all about addiction and have helped many people recover and addiction is not the same as having an STD...They are two totally different things.




It is also not necessarily true that someone on welfare "has money to spend on drugs." Most often, drug use is cyclic and the revenue is generated by also selling drugs, to the 70% of drug-users in American who are employed full time, whereas only about 3% of people on welfare are drug users. And hypothetically, what about someone who was growing their own plant.


Care to prove this with some sources? Every single person I know on welfare right now should NOT be on it. They abuse it and yes they are pill heads or pot heads. Again if you have money to buy weed, coke or pills you dont need govt assistance you need to reassess your priorities. You know how many times I get asked if I want to buy someones EBT card for cash so they can go buy everything else but what that card is intended for? I get asked alot and it makes me sick because those same people are complaining a week later they have no food to feed their kids or they can't pay this bill. Get them help, don't feed their addiction.

I am not against marijuana, personally I believe it should be legal but the fact of the matter is it isn't and if you want the govt and tax payers to pay your bills and feed you then you need to lay off all drugs even MJ. Growing it is illegal and again my statement stands on welfare recipients when it comes to getting assistance and being on any kind of drug no matter my stand on said drug.


To take it a step further, would you deny a homeless veteran the right to eat for the next year, simply because he smoked a joint? The fact is that these drug tests don't have much chance of finding any drugs except for marijuana.

It's illegal, I dont care who you are. If you want the help you can stop smoking...period. Do you want to eat or do you want to get high? Which is more important?



Why should there be a limit to welfare if there is no limit to the corruption and poor economic policy which has created poverty and a welfare state to begin with. This may come as a surprise to some people, but MOST people on welfare would much rather be gainfully employed and earning a living. And in fact, many people on welfare ARE employed.

This isn't a surprise. My mom was on welfare while I was growing up. She was a single parent who put herself through school with three kids and worked two jobs. People today want everything handed to them and they dont want to work for it. My mom busted her ass to raise us and we never lacked for anything, she did. When she didnt need assistance anymore she went down to the office and told them to take her off and give someone else the chance she was given. Too bad people dont seem to think this way anymore, at least not anyone I have ever known to be on it. They see it as free money they will always get and it shouldnt be that way. People need to adjust their priorities but they dont.

As for the corruption, a lot of the people stamping those welfare packets approved or not approved are corrupt as well..that is another issue here all together. I know the welfare system in Florida and I have seen how it works..It doesnt work that well and well if this helps in any way get those the help they need then fine and get rid of those who don't deserve it then fine.

I would much rather money go to programs to help people educate themselves or rehabilitate themselves so they dont have to be on welfare their entire lives. The ones that abuse it ruin it for those who don't.



posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 04:39 PM
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It's discrimination. I mean how does social welfare and corporate welfare differ. Billions of tax payers money is also used to pay for failing private institutions like banks. Now we would never dream of testing bankers who brought the economy to its knees for drugs. Yet we cant wait to seem to test those who are claiming social welfare. It's about perceptions of who we think welfare recepients are.



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