Well, Gov. Deal has signed the law requiring it. We'll see if it stands. Thoughts?
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has signed legislation that would require welfare applicants to pass a drug test before receiving benefits. The Republican-controlled Legislature passed the law over the opposing Democrats. Proponents say the legislation is to ensure that benefits received through welfare programs are used for things like housing, clothing, and food instead of subsidizing drug use and criminal activity.
Gerry Weber of the Southern Center for Human Rights, based out of Atlanta, said the organization is preparing to file a lawsuit if and when the issue at hand is put into practice. It is planned to begin on July 1. Florida implemented a similar law but was eventually blocked by a federal judge citing constitutional concerns. The American Civil Liberties Union also had several issues with the bill.
More than two-dozen states have at least proposed measures this year that would require drug testing.
Opponents argue that testing welfare recipients violates the 4th Amendments protection against unreasonable searches, although supporters say it will save the state money, but more importantly promote personal responsibility.
Governor Deal said, “This program is intended as a safety net, and this requirement guarantees that the benefits are used for their intended purposes…to care for children and assist with job preparation.”
Deal said in a release that (before the program was blocked) that Florida saved over $1.8 million simply by reducing the number of applicants.
The destitute have their dignity degraded every day by the system, having the government regularly visit them (without evidence of harm) to decide whether to take their children away, being dependent on forms and faceless bureaucrats rather than having power over their lives. Another insult is gratuitous.
And it won't stop there. There's no reason they won't start random drug testing on everyone who receives a government benefit. Such as a passport. A driver's license. That is, it won't just be welfare recipients who are treated as drug suspects, or prospective adoptive parents who have to scrapbook and then send the scrapbook for government inspection, or people getting on planes who have their genitalia fondled by strangers. It'll be you.
If it got people off welfare, that would be a worthy result nonetheless. Maybe we could have a program for training and getting people independent, like the one Obama shut down.
I don't have a problem with it as long as the drug test is part of the application process, and not an ongoing, random activity.
I don't have a problem with drug testing for benefits to which you're not entitled -- like welfare. If you're asking the taxpayers for a favor, the taxpayers have a vested interest in trying to ensure the benefits are properly used. Also, making the process burdensome is helpful in encouraging people to get back on their feet.
I would have a problem with drug testing for stuff you're entitled to by virtue of citizenship (or at least entitled to until proven otherwise by due process) -- like travel rights, passports, weapons purchases, voting, driver's licenses, etc. The government doesn't grant these rights, they simply administer them. The government grants welfare, so that's a different animal.
I don't have a problem with drug testing for benefits to which you're not entitled -- like welfare.
I don't know what you mean by "not entitled" - if they weren't entitled to the benefits, they wouldn't be getting them.
Would you be okay with making people applying for state business grants take drug tests? What about students attending public universities, since the difference between their discount tuition and the actual per-student cost of their education is essentially an in-kind benefit?
I don't know what the process is in Georgia, but I'm pretty sure you can't buy cocaine or marijuana with a Lone Star Card in Texas.
There is a difference between being entitled, and being qualified. You are owed that to which you are entitled; you may be granted that for which you qualify. They're not entitled to welfare ... they qualify for it. I'm fine with a clean drug test being one of the requirements to qualify.
The process isn't relevant. If they're spending their money on drugs, and our money on food ... I'm fine with cutting them off.
As for education money ... eh. I guess you could make a clean drug test a qualification for a government grant or something. I wouldn't find that objectionable, I guess, though I'm not sure what problem it solves.
Scholarships are earned. Loans are repaid. Tuition is what it is. If you're paying for yourself with an earned scholarship, loaned money, or just paying your tuition out-of-pocket, I don't see why your drug history is anyone's problem but your own (and the cops if you get caught).
I guess you could make a clean drug test a qualification for a government grant or something. I wouldn't find that objectionable, I guess, though I'm not sure what problem it solves.
Why, the problem that the money they're saving with the grant can be used to buy drugs, of course. That's basically your argument in favor of drug tests for TANF. Because apparently a college student or a government contractor doing drugs in their free time is less offensive to you than a poor person doing so.
Like I said, I wouldn't necessarily find drug testing in qualifying for grants philosophically objectionable. I don't regard taking college grants for the opportunity to work your ass off in school as analogous to taking welfare for the opportunity to sit on your ass all day. One is certainly more respectable than the other.
A government contractor is being paid for labor. I don't care how he spends his money (with notable security exceptions). He earned it. Burn it. Gamble it. Spend it on hookers in Columbia.
Welfare recipients didn't earn. They begged. When you're begging for money, don't complain about the strings. Don't like them, pay your own way like everyone else.
Poor people can do what they want in their free time. Dependent people can't.
Couldn't have said it better myself.
I really hope at some point in your life you experience a situation where you are forced to depend on others for assistance. It's a very humbling experience and it isn't a pleasant one.
The social safety net exists for the benefit of everyone. It's like having a fire extinguisher in one of those "Break glass in case of emergency" boxes. If you have to use it at some point, you're glad it was there. If you never use it, you're glad you never had to.
Your "hope" for my suffering is as gracious and inspiring as I would expect from you. The company I work for is in the process of going out-of-business ... so I'll be humbled again in the next month or so. Your wish is granted.
Rest assured, I've have endured humbling experiences in my life. Repeatedly. I've been dependent -- though never on the State -- and I've suffered the loss of freedom that dependence entails. I've been dependent on the generosity of family -- with a wife and kid in tow. Next month, I'll be unemployed with a wife and three kids. We'll make it work.
If I ever needed to beg the taxpayers for money, I'd gladly take the drug test.
So because you don't understand the difference between entitled and qualified, Jack should suffer for it until he no longer understands the difference, either?
Heh. Liberalism at it core -- "equality of misery".