Punishing the Poor for Political Gain . . . Again!

In state legislatures across the country some legislators have demanded mandatory drug testing of applicants and recipients of welfare checks. Proponents of these bills claim they will save public funds by getting mooching drug users off the dole, thereby saving taxpayers big money by reducing or eliminating benefits to these “unworthy people”.

An article published today by ThinkProgress.org , “States Spend More Than $1 Million On Welfare Drug Testing, Turn Up Barely Anything”    shows that money spent chasing “drugged up welfare cheats” is not producing the results predicted by those who pushed for those laws.

urine blood and moneyAccording to the National Institute on Drug Abuse the national drug use rate is 9.4percent. The illegal drug use rate in all except one of the states now testing welfare recipients is below 1 percent. Meanwhile, those states have already spent nearly $1 million on the effort, and millions more may have to be spent in coming years.

I want to know if those states requiring testing of welfare recipients factored in the indirect costs of testing such as:

  1. The cost of State Employee time to administer testing these programs, including the reviewing of results and contacting of clients.
  2. The cost to clients for transportation to and from testing.
  3. The expenses charged by Legislators and their staffs while instituting and following up on these programs.

Legislators and their staffs also receive public funds. Have they led by example and been tested as well? With their higher incomes they could buy even more drugs than the poor people they want to disqualify for public funds.

Think of the millions of taxpayer dollars that could be saved by dumping these drug-addled state employees from the public dole. What kind of drug-induced defective work is being done by the so-called leaders who demand the blood and urine of poor people for testing while exempting themselves?

At a hearing this week an anti-abortion Idaho law-maker , Republican state Rep. Vito Barbieri, received a brief lesson on female anatomy after asking a Doctor testifying if a woman can swallow a small camera for doctors to conduct a remote gynecological exam.

WHAT! Was he on drugs?

Dr. Julie Madsen was testifying in opposition to the bill when Barbieri asked the question. Dr. Madsen replied that would be impossible because swallowed pills do not end up in the vagina.

“Fascinating. That makes sense,” Barbieri said, amid the crowd’s laughter.

I do not think that the voters in his district would believe that this lawyer, husband, and father of three children thinks there is a path from the mouth to a woman’s vagina!

Numerous outrageous words have spewed from the mouths of public officials across the nation for years. What causes this? It might be illegal drugs.

The legislators and all other elected officials should lead the way. Everyone in charge, starting with the Governor and all State elected officials, should be at the head of the blood and urine testing line, and the test results should be made public on the state’s website.

Dear Self-Impressed People-In-Charge:  Lead by example. Stop using the poor and weak to make a name for yourselves as Taxpayer Heroes.

If intrusive examination is needed for welfare recipients it is needed even more for state leaders. Who is in a better position to waste (and steal) money than the people in charge?

People in positions of trust and power can waste more money and do more harm to the people of their state than any poor person. And sometimes they do!

Article by Stephen Maddox Sr.

I am a former teacher, marketing representative, labor negotiator and small business owner. As a black man born and raised in New York City I learned how to survive in the "neighborhood" and in business. Hearing about and witnessing the trials, tribulations, hopes and fears of my extended family and the people in their lives helped mold my life. Helping others with their own life journeys is my goal.

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