Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Drug Tests For Those Who Need Temporary Assistance From the States.

"Florida is the first state that will require drug testing when applying for welfare (effective July 1st)! Some people are crying this is unconstitutional. How is this unconstitutional yet it's okay that every working person had to pass a drug test in order to support those on welfare? Re-post if you agree!! Let's get Welfare back to the one's who NEED it, not those that just WANT it!"

I copied and pasted this from someone's Facebook status, NOT BECAUSE I AGREE WITH IT, but because I can't keep typing the same thing over and over and over on the status of others. You can disagree with my thoughts on this, feel free to comment and tell me why I am wrong, and I will return the favor.

First, let's look at the original post. "Some people are crying this is unconstitutional" Well, not just SOME people, actually, but those in the long black robes. You've heard of them. SCOTUS. Yes, the Supreme Court of the United States, those 9 people created by that Constitution whose soul job it so interpret that Constitution. And they have stated that blanket drug testing is not acceptable unless there is a basis for it. A basis such as the appearance that a person is using drugs, drug paraphernalia, etc, in lawyer speak that's called "probable cause," and it can't be based on a person's race, sex, sexual orientation, or religion. According to the SCOTUS blanket drug testing is a violation of a person's right to privacy and their protection against unreasonable search and seizure (pesky ol' Constitution!!!!).  The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed blanket suspicion-less drug testing only if "the risk to public safety is substantial and real." Walker vs Georgia (I think).  I am guessing that maybe this is the reason that the military must be able to pass random drug tests, but it is possible that no one has thought to challenge that yet.

"How is this unconstitutional yet it's okay that every working person had to pass a drug test in order to support those on welfare?"  This is false because
A) I didn't have to pass a drug test to get or keep my job. I am guessing that if I fell down the stairs and needed to go to the hospital that I would be tested there to receive worker's compensation, but I don't know that. The only drug tests I have ever had to take were when I was active duty and I wasn't bright enough to tell them NO!
B) I didn't take my job nor do I keep it to support people on welfare. I took and keep it to support myself and my family and I pay my taxes so that the government can give a helping hand to those less fortunate than I.
C) Why would those on drugs not NEED welfare? All of their money is going to buy drugs. (That was supposed to be funny)

My thoughts and feelings on the subject:
A person who has spent his or her life being a contributing member of society and now is so far down on his or her luck that they need public assistance should not be kicked for being down. And why would we as a society do that to them? This law (as far as I can ascertain) is ONLY for those who need TEMPORARY assistance. TANF = Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. So a single person does not qualify for this. Only a family. With children. So those parents are now required to pay for drug testing instead of buying diapers or wipes or food. Sure if they pass the drug test they get that money back, but how long will that take? This is supposed to be for the children. And forcing their parents to drug test is not in their best interest. IF the parents ARE on drugs, what? No food for the kids? Or are we then going to remove the children from the household and put them into an already overburded foster care system that has just been sliced to the bone? That's going to save the state money, isn't it?

Random drug testing doesn't work. Ok, it does catch the occasional pot smoker, but how long can a person be tested for THC after they have smoked? I think for a full time smoker it's 30 days. So on day 29, this person who has cleaned up their act still can't have help? What if I snort cocaine? If I snort RIGHT NOW, I can pass a drug test before next week. And what if I abuse prescription pain pills? Elvis Presley would have only failed a drug test once or twice in his life (Priscilla admits in her book "Elvis and Me" that they tried LSD at least once in the 60s), but how many drugs were in his system on that fateful day in 1977? And testing for everything in the world is almost impossible and EXPENSIVE. Are they going to test me to if I huff paint? Where will it stop? I accidentally took my son's muscle relaxer thinking it was my Midol and you are going to penalize me for that?

What happens to the false positives? I was told when I was active duty to not eat poppy seeds, because they can cause a false positive in a drug test. I don't know for how long. Is it another 30 day thing? Now people who do not take drugs have to PROVE THEIR INNOCENCE. Is that another constitutional thing?
I find it completely amazing that the "party of small government and fiscal conservatism" only wants small government when it comes to them and their families. Or other people of means. But they want to blame this entire recession and economic crisis on POOR PEOPLE and the ELDERLY and punish them by taking away the very benefits that keep them alive, food and health care. (Not going to start on how much the Republicans hate women, that is an entirely new note).  This is government expansion on the most basic level (people's right to EAT) and yet the internet is celebrating like we've discovered a cure for cancer.
Originally this law proposed only allowing those who were to be tested to have it done at a specific clinic if within a certain distance. And if that clinic happens to be in the name of Mrs. Rick Scott (no idea what her first name is, don't care enough to look it up) and it was formerly in the name of Mr. Rick Scott... what difference does it make, right?

Here's a thought! Why don't we start new poorhouses and shove these poor people in them? They DON'T WANT TO WORK, they just want to sit on their butts and keep popping out babies, right? We can put their children in orphanages run by the state, because.. you know.. that's healthy.
Or an ever better thought "Welfare Reality" Those who think they have the right to eat on money provided by Hard Working Americans can BEG for it on national TV. We can vote. "Decide to eats this week and who goes home hungry!"

Look, I hate welfare. But more than I hate it, I hate the NEED for it. I hate the fact that we, as a society, are failing to provide jobs for each and every person who wants one, or needs one (because I don't WANT to work!) at a rate of pay that allows them the basic necessities of life - a roof, food, clothes, transportation, health insurance, a little pocket change, and an emergency savings.

You can call me names. Liberal. Democrat. Tree Hugger. Socialist. I am all of those things and none of them. But you can't say that I am a person who has any interest in stepping on people who are already down or who has a problem lending a helping hand.

I posted this in a note on Facebook because I was tired of typing the same things over and over and over. But I hadn't taken time to do any blog posts lately, so I thought I would share it with you too!


Steven said...

Great! But I do have to disagree a little bit. I don't hate welfare at all. What I do hate are the motives of those who want it to disappear...and the people who need it.
We should be proud, as a nation, that we give a portion of our wealth to help those who have nothing. Can anyone tell me what's wrong with that? Of course not.
Why do we have to keep on having this same conversation with the cruel and the greedy? It never seems to end.

fallenmonk said...

All that being said and I agree but the real core truth is that the rich and powerful love to kick people when they are down. It makes them feel special and more powerful. This is just another example.

jadedj said...

This is about abject callousness. Pure and simple.

My wife and I have two children, we are not on welfare. We make something in the neighborhood of $45 to $50 thousand per year, us. I can tell you, it is tough. Tough because gas, food, utilities go up, but our income remains level. What raises that do come about, are miniscule. But somehow we survive. I cannot imagine trying to keep things together as a family on welfare income. That scares the shit out of me.

And these callous assholes want to take that away, or make it so damned difficult that one can't get on welfare...wellfare that really isn't adequate already. Disgraceful!

A nation can be judged by how it treats it's old, it's young, and it's poor.

America ain't doing so good on those points.

Goddamn this pisses me off, and I am sick of hearing the right-wing pissing and moaning, while kissing corporate and billionaire ass.

Good post.

LeftLeaningLady said...

Steven, very true, we should be proud that we can help those less fortunate.. and the way the world works there will always be those less fortunate. But I do hate the system that keeps people down, the lack of educational funding, the subsidized housing in unsafe neighborhoods, the fact that some people just have no idea where to turn.

FM, I guess that is why I am a peon, because I would never/could never do that. I'm ok with not kicking people when they are down!

jadej, wow, I did not mean to strike a nerve, but thank you for your comment. You are correct in everything you said. America isn't doing well, and Florida seems to be leading the charge of less.. less for the children (oh, especially the disabled who don't vote ever), women, (DON'T SAY UTERUS!) and who are the primarily poor? Single mothers. And we are doing everything possible to kill off the elderly by taking their medicare. (Now it's REALLY personal, because both of my parents are on medicare!!!)

I appreciate you all. I will do my best to follow this up with some of the comments I received on my FB. Some very positive, some not so much, but everyone was very articulate and polite.

Ahab said...

It sounds like the author of that Facebook quote is resentful that s/he has to share resources with others. What do they have against welfare? And who are they to decide who needs welfare versus who wants it?

LeftLeaningLady said...

Exactly. If I give with an open, loving heart then if that person is a "Welfare Queen" (thanks to Reagan for that little misnomer) that is their issue. Most people do NOT want to be on welfare, but they have no options or they don't see their options.

This is so sad!

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