They announced today that a Congressman is trying to add a rider to new Welfare reform that would require applicants and existing recipients to pass drug testing to receive benefits.
My first reaction was “oh the ACLU is going to have a FEILD DAY with this gem”.
My second reaction was “why not?”.
Almost everyone I know, from high-level financiers to HVAC installers, has had to subject themselves to the ignominy of peeing in a cup. It is expected now that in order to get or keep a job, you have to be able to pass a drug screening (which explains the cornucopia of cleansing kits behind the counter a GNC). So why shouldn’t someone who will be receiving help at the hands of those people have to put up with the same?
Many requirements exist already to walk up to the dole line. What’s the big deal?
One of the deals is that it has already been deemed unconstitutional by the Federal District courts. Michigan and others have implemented drug testing already. The courts said, “Um, no. You can’t do that.” So any law requiring the tests would waste resources in legal challenges.
The other problem is cost. Drug testing is not free. The programs will have to run the testing themselves (and we all know how stellar the govt is a providing, well, anything). How many people won’t receive benefits due to a blown test? Seriously. Do you think a hard-core drug addict would be organized enough to apply for Welfare?
And with the additional cost of drug testing, they will have to cut something. I would guess it would be benefits. So now, you are penalizing the people who take the drug tests and pass as well as the addicts.
I have to say, there is some common sense in what the Congressmen are trying to accomplish. No one, not even the most flaming Liberal, would want govt assistance to end up in the hands of the corner dealer.
But this is not the solution.