An Ol' Broad's Ramblings
I think this is a very good idea, and one that should have been implemented years ago.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Want government assistance? Just say no to drugs.Lawmakers in at least eight states want recipients of food stamps, unemployment benefits or welfare to submit to random drug testing.
The effort comes as more Americans turn to these safety nets to ride out the recession. Poverty and civil liberties advocates fear the strategy could backfire, discouraging some people from seeking financial aid and making already desperate situations worse.
Those in favor of the drug tests say they are motivated out of a concern for their constituents’ health and ability to put themselves on more solid financial footing once the economy rebounds. But proponents concede they also want to send a message: you don’t get something for nothing.
“Nobody’s being forced into these assistance programs,” said Craig Blair, a Republican in the West Viginia Legislature who has created a Web site — notwithmytaxdollars.com — that bears a bobble-headed likeness of himself advocating this position. “If so many jobs require random drug tests these days, why not these benefits?”
I agree. Years ago when I lived in a not so nice area of Chicago, I saw people selling their food stamps, trading them for drugs, you name it. Now I know that there are people, particularly these days, who legitimately need assistance. I don’t have a problem with that. But I don’t think it’s too much to ask that those who are taking taxpayer dollars pass a drug test. I would go one step further and demand proof of citizenship to anyone who is seeking assistance from the US government.