Friday, April 1, 2011

Caveat Lectores on Drug Testing Welfare Recipients

4-1-11

“On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee on a 13-5 vote approved a measure (HB 353) that would deny benefits to recipients of temporary financial assistance for at least one year if they fail a drug test. A second failed test would kick them off the assistance rolls for three years. Food stamp eligibility would not be affected. A Senate bill (SB 556) is awaiting action in that chamber’s budget committee.”

Welfare recipients and drug users do not have a very effective lobby in Tallahassee, but some reason needs to apply here…even to those who may not seem worthy.

I thought the rightwing nutjobs wanted less government intervention…not more. Oh, that’s right; they want government out of the business of regulating business but into the business of regulating personal lives. How silly of me.

I do not hang out regularly with poor people, but there is no reason to think they have fewer problems with alcohol and drugs than many others. Singling them out for denial of basic needs if they have a drug problem does not seem like a good way to get them back on their feet.

I remember a time about 20 years ago when I was in a contract negotiating session when the employer representative decided to throw drug testing on the table to intimidate us. I stood up and railed of course but also challenged everyone at the table to “pee in a cup right now to show our good will.” Strangely, nobody took me up on my challenge. Years later, we both had a good laugh at my antics and agreed I may have been the only person at the table who would have passed the drug test.

Why not stop punishing poor people and do what it takes to help them.

If all the wealth right wing nutjobs are willing to take random drug tests with a forfeit of their wealth as a penalty if they fail, I will do the same.

There must be a god in heaven somewhere who keeps me from being a right wing nutjob.

And oh yes, have a nice Day?
wjc
Caveat Lectores by Jeff Carnes
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