Texas Conservative Lobbyist News: Should those Receiving Welfare be tested for Drug Abuse?
The following is a digest of an article originally published at The Examiner. The Texas Lobby Group is posting this summary as a public service to encourage discourse by our fellow Texas lobbyists, government officials, politicians, and consultants, Texas conservatives, and other interested parties.
All over America, citizens and their representatives are fighting over whether or not drug testing on welfare recipients should be allowed. There are presently over 100 million people on government assisted programs. This includes food stamps, WIC, disability and unemployment. There is a great deal of speculation on whether or not these programs, (in their present state), help or hurt the people receiving them. There is concern that it is breeding dependence on government assistance. Drug addictions control millions of American’s lives. Many of these addictions are bred out of extreme poverty. Would drug testing on possible welfare recipients help break patterns of habitual drug use, unemployment, and assistance dependency?
“Arizona started a program in 2010 that required people suspected of being on drugs and receiving welfare to be drug tested. The recent budget approval has this program continuing despite the expensive costs associated with drug testing (averages roughly $42/person). Most would agree the welfare system is a necessary program, it aids people who truly need the help. There are always going to be people who will take advantage of the system… this is one way to help alleviate that burden. But drug abuse is not the only addiction that people can use welfare money to help pay for. Where do you draw the line? Should people not be allowed to buy cigarettes or alcohol if they are welfare recipients? What about those that spend the money on things like pornography or prostitutes? How about those that use the money to buy new clothes or shoes?”
How can we best help more Americans to become happy, functioning, and self sufficient? The point is made that the children and family of those who may not be able to pass a drug test should not be made to suffer their parent’s/family member’s mistakes. At the same time, drug testing may be a helpful motivator to persuade people to get clean in order to receive aid. It would be great if the government could afford assistance to help get people clean, but the funds are going to be hard to come up with. SAMMinistries in Central Texas is a model example of you how to effectively provide assistance to those in need. SAMM shelters provide housing for people who are willing to work on their situations. This may include going to school, learning a trade, or taking parenting classes. There is a middle ground out there.
Read the original article here.