There are those that believe that in order to receive welfare payments, you have to pass a drug test. There are those that believe this should apply to food stamps and other government entitlements as well. What do you think of this concept?
States like Maine, Michigan, and Missouri have pushed hard for drug testing people in order to receive welfare, food stamps, or even unemployment. Other states like Kentucky, Montana and Texas have tried to push forward testing as well.
These testing programs have actually been done. It has been stated that the number of people who have been found to fail drug testing related to these entitlement programs is minimal. In fact, they state that the cost and burden to do this testing exceed the results. Regardless of the failure of testing to justify their cost to implement, people continue to push for these testing programs.
My initial inclination was that testing for these government entitlement programs was not justified based on their costs and on the prejudicial statement the make toward those in need of government services. The issue of testing gets even more complicated as some states begin to legalize the use of drugs like marijuana.
Regardless, the idea of testing still remains a discussion point. The biggest argument seen for testing is that if a person has money to buy drugs, then they have enough to buy food or cover living expenses. Of course, a thrifty person could grow their own marijuana at no cost.
Recently, I’ve changed my stance on drug testing.
Originally, I considered the testing a waste of tax payer money based on the number of people found. Now I’ve decided that the idea of testing people in order to receive government subsidies is something we should consider and talk about a lot more. If we are going to do this, however, then let’s go all-in. Let’s make sure we test everyone getting a handout from the government. Rather than start with the people getting small amounts from the government (such as those getting welfare and food stamps), let start with those getting the big handouts.
Let’s start by going back and testing all of the CEOs and corporate officers that received bailout money. Let’s make sure they get tested, and let’s make sure everyone knows they are being tested. Let’s treat them the same as the person getting food stamps. Consider the auto bail outs and the more recent bank bail outs. Let’s start with the CEOs and CFOs of those companies. If they fail, then they need to give back the billions. After that, let’s look at all the businesses getting tax breaks or tax kick-backs for locating in specific towns. This includes big box stores, restaurant chains, and businesses of all sorts. In exchange for those tax breaks (which is effectively getting to keep money that should be going to the government), let’s again test all the owners of those companies.
The question comes down to, why only target welfare and food stamp recipients? If we are going to do this, then let’s be fair and apply the testing to the people getting the big dollars from the government. Let’s not stop there. Congress, the President, and all the other politicians are receiving money from the government. Let’s put them at the front of the line. Based on what a lot of these folks are doing, they must be on drugs. Let’s get them to the front of the line just ahead of the bankers.
It makes you wonder, which group will have more people fail the tests. Those getting food stamps so they can eat or those in politics and running big businesses that tend to not worry about their next meal. I bet the results might surprise us.