Last month I got an email that's been widely circulated around the web from a friend that I had to disagree with. In lieu of original thoughts during my current domestic transition I reproduce that email for you here:
Now here's an idea that just seems too simple........And now my response (and no, I didn't simply delete when I disagreed):
THE JOB - URINE TEST
(Whoever wrote this one deserves a HUGE pat on the back!)
Like a lot of folks in this state, I have a job. I work, they pay me...
I pay my taxes and the government distributes my taxes as it sees fit.
In order to get that paycheck, I am required to pass a random urine test
with which I have no problem. What I do have a problem with is the
distribution of my taxes to people who don't have to pass a urine test.
So here is my question. Shouldn't one have to pass a urine test to get a
welfare check because I have to pass one to earn it for them?
Understand, I have no problem with helping people get back on their
feet. I do, on the other hand, have a problem with helping someone
sitting on their rump doing drugs, while I work.Can you imagine how much
money the state would save if people had to pass a urine test to get a
public assistance check?
I guess we could title that program, 'Urine or You're Out'.
Pass this along if you agree or simply delete if you don't. Hope you all
will pass it along, though. Some thing has to change in this country --
I realize that you didn't write this yourself Tami but the reason this seems too simple is because it is. All requiring urine tests for receiving a welfare check would do is punish poor people for personal behavior that shouldn't be any of the government's business in the first place, not to mention punishing any children whose parents didn't pass the tests. Also, the vast majority of welfare recipients must meet certain work requirements in order to be eligible for aid. While the popular perception of the average welfare recipient is that of a terminally lazy drug addict the reality is that most recipients (not including the elderly, children and the handicapped) are employed at least part time and leave the welfare rolls within twelve months of joining. If the use of illegal substances and being gainfully employed were each mutually exclusive situations as this person seems to be saying then over 40% of Americans would now be jobless.Whether you agree or disagree with my take on this, I of course welcome all comments.
Welfare recipients and other poor people are obvious targets when people start talking about social engineering through the distribution of government funds (this post about illegal immigration similarly addresses this type of populist demonology) but the truth is that most middle and upper-class Americans also receive "welfare" in the form of tax deductions for home mortgages, corporate and farm subsidies, capital gains tax limits, Social Security, Medicare, and a multitude of other tax benefits. Should we require everyone who receives any of these government benefits to be similarly tested as well? We're trying to save money by denying it to those who use illegal drugs and those tax dollars are worth the same no matter who receives them. And do we really want to give the government that kind of power over our bodies and personal/private recreations?
If this person really wanted to save tax dollars we should have urine tested the CEOs and boards of directors of every investment company and automobile manufacturer that has received any amount of bailout funding and subsequently withheld said funding from any company that didn't pass (do you doubt that these millionaires might have a few illicit substances in their own systems?). While we were at it we could have done the same for every private contractor doing business in Iraq. The government spends $324 billion a year on all welfare and unemployment. The banking industry alone received over twice that much in bailout money while the total cost of the Iraq war is estimated to be seven times that.
I suspect that the person who wrote this is not so much concerned with saving the government money as they are with trying to control the behaviors of others that they disagree with by picking on a group of people who are easy targets and can not easily defend themselves. And incidentally, this person doesn't have to pass a urine test in order to earn a paycheck that will be taxed by the same government that distributes welfare benefits. They've chosen to work for a private company that has this policy, which of course is that company's right. But as I said, giving that power to a government that is the only source of welfare (at whatever level it's being distributed) would be oppressive and dangerous as to our individual liberties and privacy rights. This person may not have any qualms about government intrusion into their own life but I for one do not want to have to piss in a cup to receive my tax return or get a student loan, which is the path down which this course of logic would invariably lead.