Should drug testing be mandatory for welfare recipients?

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No, because it becomes a government-forced search of a person who has given no reason for suspicion. There are already so many violations of our rights thanks to things like the Patriot Act, that it is yet further erosion of rights.

An employer wishing to drug test (including government jobs) is different to me than this.


That said, I still feel strongly that if someone needs assistance because they are on non-necessary drugs they should be SOL, but I don't know how to resolve those two issues.
Originally Posted by NetG
It wouldn't be forced. The person being tested would voluntarily give permission in exchange for receiving the benefits and only for as long as he/she was receiving the benefits. The same as with a job.
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG


I don't think it was directed at you, I think the "point" was that many people often think of government assistance as limited to TANF/EBT/WIC/Section 8, and don't realize that so many other people (maybe even them!) are also considered to be a recipient of government assistance.
Originally Posted by Munchy
Well, I definitely do distniguish btwn TANF etc and the retirement benefits earned during the course of someone's miltary service or public school teaching career, etc.

But yes, soldiers and teachers and many gov't employees have to submit to drug tests, so it's not like anyone is asking a TANF recipient to do something totally unreasonable.
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
Yea well I didn't realize discharged vets have to undergo drug testing for the length of their lifetime benefits. That's news to me, but then I'm not a vet.

And since you didn't state in your OP an argument pro or con absolutely noone could have made an argument for or against what you believe.

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Originally Posted by Kilajo
An argument for or against what I believe?
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG

Interesting.

FOR drug testing:
  • People who could otherwise work but are just blowing their money on drugs shouldn't get money from the government
  • Most people get their money from jobs, and jobs often require drug-testing, so the people who can't get jobs should also be required to get drug-testing in order to get money
AGAINST drug testing:
  • Who cares about the validity of the reasons, it costs too much money to drug test welfare recipients
  • People get government aid from all kinds of programs for all kinds of reasons, so why should welfare require drug testing, and not any of those other programs.
  • Testing people and withholding welfare money if they're on drugs, without offering assistance to get off drugs, will just create a major problem with homelessness, etc., that will hurt society.



Personally, I completely understand the "I work for my money and pay taxes, I don't want those taxes to go to drug addicts who could be working instead" feeling, but in practice it's just not that simple. I think it's just one more area where the "obvious" answer isn't practical or really that obvious at all once you have all the facts. Other examples along the same lines: "You don't want kids to get pregnant, just tell them not to have sex and withhold all access to birth control", and "Let's outlaw abortion, just give the baby up for adoption, there are plenty of people out their who will want it!". Totally not as simple as it seems, and doesn't work, either.
Originally Posted by Who Me?
Medicaid pays for substance abuse treatment and related expenses. So the idea that there is no means of treatment is just wrong.
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
If you can't get medicaid because you're on drugs which is the premise of this ridiculous proposal, then you wouldn't get medicaid to assist you in treatment.

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Springcurl, scrills and thelio like this.
Sure, let's do it for everyone receiving government assistance. So, that includes those getting:

Medicaid
Medicare
CHIP
Social Security
Federal Financial Aid
Any kind of federal grant (including grants for small business)
US Politicians (if they aren't already tested)
Those receiving earned income tax credits
Supplemental security income for the elderly and poor
Those receiving child care, energy and other assistance
Drug test all vets for as long as they receive federal assistance (life?)
Public school children, teachers and administrators
Etc.

Get my point? This is dumb.





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Originally Posted by Kilajo
I don't really get the "point" bc almost everyone in the groups above are either who I am referring to in my question or were already required to get drug tests while they were earning their benefits.

You're not really making a point w/ regard to my question...just fleshing out some groups to possibly be included or that had been incuded.
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
Do these groups all really have mandatory drug testing? I didn't when I was a public school teacher, nor did I when I received federal student loans. My dad does not to draw his Social Security retirement benefits, and my colleagues whose salaries are funded by federal grants do not.
Interesting.

FOR drug testing:
  • People who could otherwise work but are just blowing their money on drugs shouldn't get money from the government
  • Most people get their money from jobs, and jobs often require drug-testing, so the people who can't get jobs should also be required to get drug-testing in order to get money
AGAINST drug testing:
  • Who cares about the validity of the reasons, it costs too much money to drug test welfare recipients
  • People get government aid from all kinds of programs for all kinds of reasons, so why should welfare require drug testing, and not any of those other programs.
  • Testing people and withholding welfare money if they're on drugs, without offering assistance to get off drugs, will just create a major problem with homelessness, etc., that will hurt society.


Personally, I completely understand the "I work for my money and pay taxes, I don't want those taxes to go to drug addicts who could be working instead" feeling, but in practice it's just not that simple. I think it's just one more area where the "obvious" answer isn't practical or really that obvious at all once you have all the facts. Other examples along the same lines: "You don't want kids to get pregnant, just tell them not to have sex and withhold all access to birth control", and "Let's outlaw abortion, just give the baby up for adoption, there are plenty of people out their who will want it!". Totally not as simple as it seems, and doesn't work, either.
Originally Posted by Who Me?
Medicaid pays for substance abuse treatment and related expenses. So the idea that there is no means of treatment is just wrong.
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
If you can't get medicaid because you're on drugs which is the premise of this ridiculous proposal, then you wouldn't get medicaid to assist you in treatment.

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Originally Posted by Kilajo
Ppl on "welfare" generally have medicaid cards or can opt into the health programs like CareSource, etc.

I guess the idea is that if it is discovered a person receiving these benefits is abusing drugs and cannot stop on their own, they can get treatment. For free. Thru Medicaid.
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG


Well, I definitely do distniguish btwn TANF etc and the retirement benefits earned during the course of someone's miltary service or public school teaching career, etc.

But yes, soldiers and teachers and many gov't employees have to submit to drug tests, so it's not like anyone is asking a TANF recipient to do something totally unreasonable.
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
Yea well I didn't realize discharged vets have to undergo drug testing for the length of their lifetime benefits. That's news to me, but then I'm not a vet.

And since you didn't state in your OP an argument pro or con absolutely noone could have made an argument for or against what you believe.

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Originally Posted by Kilajo
An argument for or against what I believe?
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
Yes. You evidently were sensitive to my first post AS IF it was an argument with you or what you believe. Since it was impossible for anyone to discern which way you leaned on this issue from your OP it was pretty unreasonable for you to think my comment was directed at you.

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Alcohol and tobacco aren't food so of course you can't use food stamps or WIC vouchers to pay for them. You can use cash assistance to pay for those though.

Most of the really strung out addicts I know don't even receive cash assistance any more because 1) they lost custody of their children a long time ago and/or 2) they never re-certify for their benefits because they are strung out on drugs.

I know drug addicts who sell their food stamps. But I also know a lot of typically law abiding citizens who sell their food stamps because their cash assistance is too low. I know people who get $700/mo worth of food stamps, but only $142/mo in cash assistance.
3c/4a
Sure, let's do it for everyone receiving government assistance. So, that includes those getting:

Medicaid
Medicare
CHIP
Social Security
Federal Financial Aid
Any kind of federal grant (including grants for small business)
US Politicians (if they aren't already tested)
Those receiving earned income tax credits
Supplemental security income for the elderly and poor
Those receiving child care, energy and other assistance
Drug test all vets for as long as they receive federal assistance (life?)
Public school children, teachers and administrators
Etc.

Get my point? This is dumb.





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Originally Posted by Kilajo
I don't really get the "point" bc almost everyone in the groups above are either who I am referring to in my question or were already required to get drug tests while they were earning their benefits.

You're not really making a point w/ regard to my question...just fleshing out some groups to possibly be included or that had been incuded.
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
Do these groups all really have mandatory drug testing? I didn't when I was a public school teacher, nor did I when I received federal student loans. My dad does not to draw his Social Security retirement benefits, and my colleagues whose salaries are funded by federal grants do not.
Originally Posted by sarah42
Everyone in the teachers union here has to pass a drug test to be hired. As do all gov't employees who are in unions.

But again, I said NEED-BASED PUBLIC ASSISTANCE. I wasn'[t specifically talking about teachers and ppl drawing SS. Looking thru that list, yes, most could be included as belonging to groups who also had to be tested. But that was not my question.

I don't consider loans in this category at all. I personally have no problem w/ college student at state-supported schools having to take drug tests. But again, that was not my question.
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG

Side note: I'm a typical law abiding citizen who would be happy to buy food stamps from someone if it meant a deal for me. $200 worth of food for $50? Yes, please.
Josephine likes this.

Also, what kind of drug testing would be most cost effective? I'm thinking urine analysis.

You can smoke crack on Monday and drop clean the following week. Or you could have smoked weed 3 mos ago and still drop dirty today. UAs are not as reliable as people think.
3c/4a
Side note: I'm a typical law abiding citizen who would be happy to buy food stamps from someone if it meant a deal for me. $200 worth of food for $50? Yes, please.
Originally Posted by Munchy
I've never purchased food stamps from a stranger because they really could be on drugs with hungry babies at home for all I know, but I have a cousin who gets like $1300/mo in food stamps. She's paid me for babysitting or other services in groceries.
spiderlashes5000 likes this.
3c/4a
Side note: I'm a typical law abiding citizen who would be happy to buy food stamps from someone if it meant a deal for me. $200 worth of food for $50? Yes, please.
Originally Posted by Munchy
Why not let that person and his/her family eat the food they say they need?

That seems totally unethical (on both your parts). I am surprised at you, Munchy!!!
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG

Also, what kind of drug testing would be most cost effective? I'm thinking urine analysis.

You can smoke crack on Monday and drop clean the following week. Or you could have smoked weed 3 mos ago and still drop dirty today. UAs are not as reliable as people think.
Originally Posted by Po
Let's do urine, hair, skin, stool, blood, internal organs, cavity search, anywhere else we might be able to catch the pot smoking, crack smoking, heroine shooting poor people on welfare. They all use you know.

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Side note: I'm a typical law abiding citizen who would be happy to buy food stamps from someone if it meant a deal for me. $200 worth of food for $50? Yes, please.
Originally Posted by Munchy
Why not let that person and his/her family eat the food they say they need?

That seems totally unethical (on both your parts). I am surprised at you, Munchy!!!
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
I'm not justifying buy food stamps! BUT it's not like you can say, "only give me $150 worth of food stamps." You either qualify or you don't and you get a set amount.

Back in the day, you had to purchase your food stamps. It was like 50 cents on the dollar. So you would pay the gov't $250 and get $500 in food stamps. I wish they would bring that back for regular working folk.
3c/4a

Yea well I didn't realize discharged vets have to undergo drug testing for the length of their lifetime benefits. That's news to me, but then I'm not a vet.

And since you didn't state in your OP an argument pro or con absolutely noone could have made an argument for or against what you believe.

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Originally Posted by Kilajo
An argument for or against what I believe?
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
Yes. You evidently were sensitive to my first post AS IF it was an argument with you or what you believe. Since it was impossible for anyone to discern which way you leaned on this issue from your OP it was pretty unreasonable for you to think my comment was directed at you.

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Originally Posted by Kilajo
I didn't feel your comment was directed at me. Just that the "point' was not responsive to my question.

I wasn't asking if you think soldiers and teachers should be drug tested. I was asking about ppl on welfare.

IMO, it's not a valid response to say "no you can't do that to ppl on welfare bc you don't do it to soldiers and teachers."

I just wanted to discuss the issue on its own merits.

I understand the concept of something being discriminatory bc it's not applied evenly to all parties. But temporary financial assistance is not a paycheck and eligibility to receive it comes with certain conditions the recipient must agree to.

I have no personal stake in this either way. I'm not sensitive about any of it.

I'm just reposting what a FB friend asked bc it's an interesting topic.
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG

Alcohol and tobacco aren't food so of course you can't use food stamps or WIC vouchers to pay for them. You can use cash assistance to pay for those though.
Originally Posted by Po
I just said that bc the idea of public assistance being "moralized" was mentioned. And yes, of course, it is.
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG

Also, what kind of drug testing would be most cost effective? I'm thinking urine analysis.

You can smoke crack on Monday and drop clean the following week. Or you could have smoked weed 3 mos ago and still drop dirty today. UAs are not as reliable as people think.
Originally Posted by Po
It woudn't be feasible to do them very often or realistic to expect really high outcomes.

But maybe if you can identify and treat 1% or 2%, it's still a success?
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG

Side note: I'm a typical law abiding citizen who would be happy to buy food stamps from someone if it meant a deal for me. $200 worth of food for $50? Yes, please.
Originally Posted by Munchy
Why not let that person and his/her family eat the food they say they need?

That seems totally unethical (on both your parts). I am surprised at you, Munchy!!!
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
I'm not justifying buy food stamps! BUT it's not like you can say, "only give me $150 worth of food stamps." You either qualify or you don't and you get a set amount.
Originally Posted by Po
Spider, this is what I mean. People sometimes have more money than they can eat. My ex father in law used to get more than double the amount that he could use each month, so he would be a sweetheart and try to buy our groceries for us. That often meant we had a lot of pork sausage, neck bones, liver, and many other meats that I just don't cook or care to eat


An argument for or against what I believe?
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
Yes. You evidently were sensitive to my first post AS IF it was an argument with you or what you believe. Since it was impossible for anyone to discern which way you leaned on this issue from your OP it was pretty unreasonable for you to think my comment was directed at you.

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Originally Posted by Kilajo
I didn't feel your comment was directed at me. Just that the "point' was not responsive to my question.

I wasn't asking if you think soldiers and teachers should be drug tested. I was asking about ppl on welfare.

IMO, it's not a valid response to say "no you can't do that to ppl on welfare bc you don't do it to soldiers and teachers."

I just wanted to discuss the issue on its own merits.

I understand the concept of something being discriminatory bc it's not applied evenly to all parties. But temporary financial assistance is not a paycheck and eligibility to receive it comes with certain conditions the recipient must agree to.

I have no personal stake in this either way. I'm not sensitive about any of it.

I'm just reposting what a FB friend asked bc it's an interesting topic.
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
Fair enough.

But I disagree that it's not valid to bring in other groups when discussing this issue. Medicare recipients should definitely be included if they were to do this. There are a lot of people that don't understand that that is public assistance. I have a real issue with what looks like an agenda against the poor and minorities. But the ironic thing is there are more white people on welfare, but you wouldn't know that based on public opinion. I just don't feel comfortable with what seems like an agenda against our lower income citizens.
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Springcurl, NetG, scrills and 1 others like this.
SL5000, I get what you're saying now about employment vs. social safety net programs.

But even amongst poverty reduction programs, it seems like this is singling out welfare recipients because they're seen as lazy and good-for-nothing. Why aren't people proposing drug testing to receive the Earned Income Tax Credit, where (I believe) more money is paid out than for welfare benefits?

But this is really my reason for answering "no":
WELFARE DRUG TEST COSTS MORE MONEY THAN IT SAVES
ETA: the link didn't post, but I was trying to quote Springcurl above.
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