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Old 01-25-2013, 03:24 PM   #1
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Drug Testing Welfare Recipients

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Lawmakers seeking to abolish income taxes and stymie unions in Kansas think it might also be worthwhile to make the poor and unemployed pee in cups to prove they're not wasting taxpayer money on drugs.
A favorite policy of Republican legislators across the country, the latest drug-testing proposal has gathered support from leaders of Kansas's conservative-dominated statehouse. Kansas lawmakers say people who want unemployment insurance or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits would have to undergo the testing, and if they are found to have drugs in their system would be required to receive treatment or have their benefits suspended.
"It adds credibility to the system," state Rep. J.R. Claeys (R-Salina) told The Huffington Post. "People are putting their hard-earned tax dollars into the program to help folks and lift them out of poverty. It makes sense that they are drug-free or are going to rehab to become drug-free."
Kansas Drug Testing Next On The Docket Of 'Ultraconservative' Bills

I'm not so sure about this. On one hand, I agree that there needs to be a way to make sure welfare recipients aren't wasting taxpayers' money. How often do we hear about people claiming to be poor and unable to afford certain things, yet they have cell phones, cable and tattoos? Of course, using the welfare benefits for drugs doesn't make everyone else receiving the benefits look good.

But I don't know if requiring drug testing is the answer. I do think there needs to be a way to make sure recipients are not being irresponsible with the money, because it makes better-off Americans upset, and rightfully so. But I'm honestly not sure what the answer is.

Thoughts?
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:27 PM   #2
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Many businesses require drug testing. All school and professional sports do (and not just testing for performance enhancing drugs). Why not governmental assistance?
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:35 PM   #3
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because it's been tested and proven in other states to be nothing but a waste of taxpayers' money. it costs more to test than any state saves by cutting drug users off. it's also incredibly ridiculous to put stupid stipulations (that don't work as any means to dissuade people from not taking drugs) on receiving welfare. not to mention, welfare isn't a job. it's a right those who fall below a certain income bracket are entitled to receiving.
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:44 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by KhanadaRhodes View Post
it's a right those who fall below a certain income bracket are entitled to receiving.
A social program is not a right.
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:52 PM   #5
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^Exactly(khan's post), it's been proven to cost more money than it saves. All this is is a perpetuation of a stereotype; all welfare recipients are lazy irresponsible animals that just sit around all day get high and reproduce.
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:56 PM   #6
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because it's been tested and proven in other states to be nothing but a waste of taxpayers' money. it costs more to test than any state saves by cutting drug users off. it's also incredibly ridiculous to put stupid stipulations (that don't work as any means to dissuade people from not taking drugs) on receiving welfare. not to mention, welfare isn't a job. it's a right those who fall below a certain income bracket are entitled to receiving.
Pretty much!
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:32 PM   #7
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^Exactly(khan's post), it's been proven to cost more money than it saves. All this is is a perpetuation of a stereotype; all welfare recipients are lazy irresponsible animals that just sit around all day get high and reproduce.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/18/us...ests.html?_r=0

BTW, I believe I saw some video back then of a reporter asking the governor (who's also payed from taxpayer money) to submit himself to testing for drugs. The governor refused.
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:41 PM   #8
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BTW, I believe I saw some video back then of a reporter asking the governor (who's also payed from taxpayer money) to submit himself to testing for drugs. The governor refused.
Brilliant
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:33 PM   #9
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Reading this thread, as so many others, I get the worrying takeaway that the main problem is the costs outweigh the potential gains. And that if they didn't, well that would be alright then.

How about: it's completely illiberal and intrusive. I presume only nice employed people are allowed to have drugs.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:44 PM   #10
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Reading this thread, as so many others, I get the worrying takeaway that the main problem is the costs outweigh the potential gains. And that if they didn't, well that would be alright then.

How about: it's completely illiberal and intrusive. I presume only nice employed people are allowed to have drugs.
I can't speak for others but that's not my stance, I'm just trying to relate to those that support it and the supposed reasons that they support it.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:50 PM   #11
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That's fair enough, but perhaps the time for reaching across the aisle is over.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:34 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Caleb8844 View Post
Many businesses require drug testing. All school and professional sports do (and not just testing for performance enhancing drugs). Why not governmental assistance?
Because it's insulting and makes presumptions about people who are poor and struggling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Popmartijn View Post
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/18/us...ests.html?_r=0

BTW, I believe I saw some video back then of a reporter asking the governor (who's also payed from taxpayer money) to submit himself to testing for drugs. The governor refused.
"The Daily Show" had a bit once where one of the correspondents did that in Florida. Yeah. If people who are struggling have to prove they're not abusing taxpayer money, then the government officials passing these laws have to do the same thing. 'Cause lord knows they never waste or abuse taxpayer dollars!

Also, to the note of how some people are getting assistance yet still have things like cell phones and TV and that-first off, some of that stuff they may have had prior to their financial struggles. Second, sometimes some of that stuff is gifts from family and friends.

And third, sometimes you just want that one thing that makes you feel like you've got some sense of normalcy. If you're sitting there with a sick parent or trying to keep a roof over your head or whatever, sometimes you want something to take you away from that shit for a while.

If someone is receiving assistance and they are shown to be abusing it with drugs or whatever, then yes, deal with them as needed from there. But it's offensive to assume that anytime someone goes to get government aid, they're going to abuse it or scam people with it. Innocent until proven guilty, and all that.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:58 PM   #13
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Also, to the note of how some people are getting assistance yet still have things like cell phones and TV and that-first off, some of that stuff they may have had prior to their financial struggles. Second, sometimes some of that stuff is gifts from family and friends.
That makes a lot of sense. I feel foolish for not seeing it that way.

File what I said under "duh".
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:21 PM   #14
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No, hey, that's okay . A lot of people don't automatically go to that conclusion, and I do get how it can come off confusing or weird for people when they see someone with something that it doesn't look like they could afford.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:26 PM   #15
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I don't want them spending tax dollars on marijuana. Or booze, even thought there isn't a test for that. Gum is fairly useless too, so no gum. And no tabloids or trashy magazines; they don't need that. No movies unless they're free ones in the park. Oh, no cigarettes, obvs. No chips.
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:02 PM   #16
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Receipts for everything. Then lets set up a committee to review all the receipts. And then bill te recipients for "lazy" purchases using MY money. We should have a panel of experts who decided which commodity is and isn't "lazy."

My intention, of course, is merely to help poor people, not make myself feel better about the failures of civil society by setting up a program that does little more than make me feel like people are poor because they are lazy.
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:28 PM   #17
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Receipts for everything. Then lets set up a committee to review all the receipts. And then bill te recipients for "lazy" purchases using MY money. We should have a panel of experts who decided which commodity is and isn't "lazy."

My intention, of course, is merely to help poor people, not make myself feel better about the failures of civil society by setting up a program that does little more than make me feel like people are poor because they are lazy.
Ta-da. Bingo.

Yeah, I love how poor people are the ones getting all the blame from politicians for the situations they're in. Lord knows there couldn't possibly be any other factors out there contributing to the problem-bad business models, heads of companies getting millions in bonuses instead of letting that money actually "trickle down" to the company and the rest of the employees the way it should, sudden health problems driving people who can't afford the medical bills into debt, etc.

Nah. We're just not working hard enough. That's the problem.
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:08 AM   #18
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Quite apart from everything else, and even looking in as an outsider on US politics, and setting aside the dreaded "welfare queens", surely a proportion of people on welfare are indeed temporarily down on their luck and by definition (very recent) taxpayers. It's their money too. Right?

And even the lowliest of welfare queens presumably pays some form of sales tax in the course of their rakish progress.
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:33 AM   #19
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It's hard for me to be so bitingly sarcastic as you all are and laugh at how ludicrous an idea this is when almost every person I know on welfare (they're almost all family members) abuse the system to a horrible degree. It has left an incredibly bad taste in my mouth.

I've seen the good side on occasion, a very close person to me had temporary struggles and used the system the way it was intended, for temporary support, and once they were back on their feet no longer used it, but...it hasn't been the norm of my experience.
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:44 AM   #20
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I think welfare is abused all the time.

But for one political party to blow what is tenths of pennies wasted on the dollar into some sort of national crisis, while allowing defense spending and oil subsidies to continue unchecked, absolutely deserves ridicule. And we won't even get into the race baiting of the "welfare queen."
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