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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Testing One, Two, Three

 I saw another one of those dimbulbed, fact free, prejudice full, Fox “News”/Rush Limbaugh-esque memes on Facebook yesterday. I bet you’ve seen it too. It’s about how those horrible junkie welfare cheats ought to all be drug tested and denied the billions they’re stealing from us taxpayers.

It's right up there with the 1980s bullshit about welfare queens driving caddies and "young bucks" buying t-bones on the government dime.

Ummmm. How’s ‘bout we look at some facts. You know, reality.
The Florida chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union recently showed that drug testing actually cost the state money. The $30 spent per test ended up costing an aggregate of $45,000 more than the state saved in welfare payments.

In Florida, out of 4,086 drugs tests from July through October 2011, 108 welfare recipients tested positive. Florida spent $115,000 on the testing and was forced to reimburse welfare recipients who had lost their benefits $600,000.
Supporters of drug testing insist that the measures are really about changing behaviors. “Benefit payments that have been wasted on drug abusers will be available for the truly needy,” says Oklahoma State Rep. Guy Liebmann, “and addicts will be incentivized to get treatment."
There is so much wrong with that sentence.

The only thing keeping some poor, down on her luck, young mother from getting assistance is that awful, nasty junkie? Really? Is he driving a big, luxury car while eating sirloin?

AND giving support to addicts is a waste? We should just leave them to die — maybe in the streets so captains of industry and other heroes of capitalism can point, mock and feel superior as they roll their sunny-side-of-the-street affluence into corner offices?

How is denying people with drug probs the money they need for groceries and rent gonna help them get off the smack, the meth? Yes, of those few who test positive, some of those welfare buckos are undoubtedly going to drugs but certainly not all of it.

Wouldn’t you, if the goal is to change behaviors, take those who test positive and get them into treatment programs? Maybe provide education assistance so they can get a better paying gig than Walmart greeter or McDonald’s drone?
Substance Abuse Trends among Welfare Recipients
 Harold A. Pollack, Ph.D., University of Michigan
Psychiatric disorders, especially major depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, are more prevalent than illicit drug dependence among welfare recipients. States should screen, assess, and refer to treatment those welfare applicants and recipients who have a broad range of mental health and substance abuse problems that hinder the transition from welfare to work.
Gosh, wouldn’t that be a MUCH better use of taxpayer funds AND actually work towards solving the root prob? Apparently, for today’s shortsighted, microscopically souled, wealth-for-the-wealthy only Republican/Tea party, that's just not a good investment.

From the Washington Post:
House Republicans want drug tests for food-stamp recipients. There’s no good reason for that. 
The drug testing of SNAP recipients is yet another ideological sideshow that disfigures substance-abuse policy. It falsely implies that substance use disorders are a widespread cause of welfare dependence. It also implies, again falsely, that these disorders are highly concentrated among recipients of public aid.
The myth of welfare recipients spending their benefits on drugs is just that—a myth. And indeed, in Utah, only 12 people out of 466—or 2.5 percent—showed evidence of drug use after a mandatory screening. The total cost to the state was $25,000, or far more than the cost of providing benefits to a dozen people. The only thing “gained” from mandatory drug testing is the humiliation of desperate people.
The most colossal failure of this policy was in Arizona, which passed a drug-testing law in 2009. In 2012, an evaluation of the program had startling results: After three years and 87,000 screenings, only one person had failed the drug test, with huge costs for the state, which saved a few hundred dollars by denying benefits, compared to the hundreds of thousands spent to conduct the tests.
 Drug use and addiction isn’t something that happens only to the very poor. No really! Just look at  New York Assemblyman Steve Katz, Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, Arlington Texas Councilan Mel LeBlanc, Mayors Denny Spark and Marion Barry and let's not forget our ex-prez George Bush..

And if you wanna get really real  — let’s look at some of the blindingly wealthy corporations who are sucking long and large on the taxpayers tit. Boeing with $13.18 Billion in tax breaks. Alco with $5.64 Billions worth of subsidies or those poor Koch boys who took an $88 million government handout.

How’s ‘bout, if we’re gonna drug test, we start with these bastids and their pet congress critters.

That Facebook “friend” who showed just how “christian” and truly ignorant she is by posting such a stupid, truth-free meme? Yeah...unfollowed.

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