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SENTRY JOURNAL » Uncategorized » Standing on Principle – Drug Testing Welfare Recipients

Standing on Principle – Drug Testing Welfare Recipients

There are few things that should irk Americans more than seeing their cash taken from them in order to fund something immoral or reprehensible.  That is why I find it amazing that so many are angry about there being no drug test for welfare recipients when so few seem to care about all of the other places their tax money goes.  Still, I understand the sentiment.  “Cash for Crack” might be a good slogan for some areas when it comes to welfare use – and that makes me angry as much as it does the next guy.

Still, welfare programs don’t have to buy drugs necessarily in order to make the purchases unpalatable.  A friend of mine worked in retail and used to get angry when someone came through buying food with their EBT and then threw down $400 on beer.  He never received a government check and yet rarely justified spending $8 on a 6-pack.  It’s likely many of us have hears other horror stories about purchasable materials with that fashionable EBT card.  I’ve heard of weaves, press-on nails, and fresh flowers – staples Americans can’t survive without.

Here’s what concerns me – the call for drug testing welfare recipients is coming from conservatives almost exclusively.  Some of my liberal friends find themselves on the fence, only finding a discrimination defense against welfare recipients.  Of course, their reaction is that if welfare recipients are going to get drug tested, then in order to keep from discriminating, everyone should have to be drug tested!  Horray!

If you took delight in not being as dense as that big government individual, think again… you may be in uniform company.  Allow me to reframe the explanation of what conservatives across the nation are calling for in order to provide perspective.

We conservatives want the following:

1. A massive federal entity created that is capable of handing out drug tests to millions of American citizens.

2. This federal entity must be able to keep records on individuals in order to track their previous drug uses – a federal database.

3. This entity must have the power to strip individuals of their privacy in order to obtain blood or urine at random times.

Now, I know that most of us despise national welfare and have many problems with its current form.  Still, it is the law of the land.  Just because we have one legislative blemish doesn’t mean that we should correct it by creating another.  Right now I hear conservatives sounding like liberals.  We are calling for the federal government to expand its powers and in turn limit individual rights in an attempt to rectify a current problem.  Do we not see the problem with this?

This completely lacks principle and is simply reactionary.  Our principles of limited government are completely thrown out the window in the hopes that a federal government can come in and save us from fraud, waste, and abuse.  Let us further consider the notion that if we were to grant these expanded powers that the fed would actually stop the problem at hand.  Does anyone here think that if a private doping agency with outstanding expansive powers can’t figure out that almost all of its athletes were doping in cycling that the federal government will be better?

This is the classic example of cutting our head off and standing on it to get a better view.  Such careless clamoring is crippling the conservative creed.  If you want a discussion of just ditching national welfare – then I’m on board.


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  • Steve Dennis January 31, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    I understand what you are saying here but I also believe that if a person is going to accept “free money” from the government then it should come with strings attached. You simply cannot have a free ride and we need to make sure people are using this money for its intended purpose.
    Steve Dennis recently posted..Homeland Security: Defend yourself against a shooter with scissorsMy Profile

  • RightHandMan
    RightHandMan January 31, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    Which is why I said I’m all for talking about the “free money” mechanism. Still, as I argued, these “strings” that you are referring to are a stripping of individual liberty. The vast majority of individuals who accept welfare (who are still individuals under every single sense of the word) have committed and shouldn’t be required to suspend their God given rights to a government. The vast majority of the individuals who we would be testing on some kind of continuous basis aren’t drug users. Of those who do abuse the drugs, they will likely find a way around the testing which gets us into an area we are very familiar with in this gun debate season – punishing law abiding citizens.

    Further, those “strings attached”; what are they attached to? Obviously the individuals who have to go get tested, but the other end of that string is attached to a federal government which conservatives, in droves, are calling for an expansion of. That’s not conservative Steve. We must be able to discern between disdain for recipients of something we deem unfair and our core individual freedom principles and then determine which is more important. For me, that call is clear; as John says at the end of each post “Liberty forever, freedom for all” (emphasis on “all”). We cannot rob these people of their freedoms just because they take part in a program that we don’t accept.

    As for making sure people use the money for its intended purpose – that’s a misnomer. You will never be able to adequately do this on any level. You could argue for built in principle in the writ, but that means very little to me in this argument as government isn’t exactly a beacon of morality.

    Lastly, we all benefit from “free things” from the government to some extent. Though we pay taxes, most don’t pay into the system as much as they get out of it. Welfare recipients pay in an initial tax rate as well and have the right to the same resources as you and I with the addition of welfare. So the question becomes, do you really want to go down the path where the fed starts invading your privacy in the form of drug tests in order to obtain their services? Alcohol kills more than drugs; should we have an alcohol test on everyone who drives on public roads?

    One of the things that John and I have attempted to do here at the Sentry Journal (though I have been of little help as of late due to my schooling) is enter each political argument from the perspective of individual liberty. That is a bottom up approach to how the federal, state, or local governments should be run. This reaction is a top down approach. It sees a problem and immediately determines that the fed needs to solve it (though we could argue that the fed created it), and further, the solution comes at the cost of individual liberty. I cannot condone, no matter how tempting the lure.

    Thanks for the comment Steve.

  • theCL February 1, 2013 at 9:24 AM

    You’re absolutely correct! Welfare is an issue of liberty, as in the absence thereof. It is quite literally the theft of one person’s property for the benefit of another. Right there, that’s the problem. Theft. I even double-checked the 10 Commandments to make sure. 😯

    Giving the state even more power, hence surrendering even more liberty, will not/cannot improve life for anyone (well, except for the bureaucrats and thugs who work for the new bureaucracy).

    Think of the DHS … it spies on you, molests you, looks at you as a terrorist first (burden of innocence solely on you, even though you’ve never harmed a fly). Why would anyone believe a drug testing agency would be any different?

    The left turned to government a long time ago to solve society’s problems (both real and imagined). The gravest mistake the right made was to follow in their footsteps. We gave up on our “little platoons,” and turned to the Almighty Leviathan instead.

    One last thing … have we forgotten that most problems (like drug abuse) are called “life.” In other words, many problems are simply unsolvable. Man is an imperfect being at best. Let’s check ourselves when we think the mechanisms of government (violence and theft) can be used to improve man/society … conservatives aren’t utopians, right?
    theCL recently posted..theCL Report: Official LiesMy Profile

  • Jim at Asylum Watch February 1, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    Involuntary charity enforced with a badge and a gun is where we went wrong. Now, we pay for the the unitended consequences of the nanny state American voters said they wanted.
    Jim at Asylum Watch recently posted..Some Humor In Our Battle To Defend Our Right To Bear ArmsMy Profile

  • […] Standing on Principle – Drug Testing Welfare Recipients […]

  • Teresa Rice February 1, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    I understand where your coming from but I agree with what Steve Dennis said above. Plus, shouldn’t a little liberty be sacrificed so that these people are able to receive money from other taxpayers? With anything there can be stipulations and that’s all that I see this as, another requirement if one wants to receive welfare. Isn’t welfare a state program? If not, it should be given back to the states and then they can decide whether to make drug testing a requirement or not.
    Teresa Rice recently posted..Sen. Ted Cruz Schools Congress on Gun Control FactsMy Profile

    • RightHandMan
      RightHandMan February 2, 2013 at 8:49 AM

      It’s state run, federally mandated and funded from both.

      Teresa, as much as love you, I must underscore something that you said for a bit of reflection. “shouldn’t a little liberty be sacrificed so that these people are able to receive money from other taxpayers?”

      This seems to fly in the face of founding principles. When Franklin said, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety” he was speaking of the general welfare of the nation and here we are as conservatives calling for just this notion.

      You call this “just another requirement” for those who want to receive welfare, but it doesn’t matter if you call it or how you justify it, it is a stripping of the basic human rights of these human beings. It is an illegal search and seizure that is being called for by the masses who are disgruntled with those who take advantage of the system.

      Again, we all take advantage of government. One person mentioned driving on roads. Should there be special requirements to use these roads?

      I think we shouldn’t forsake liberty for specific problem solving.

      Thanks for your comment.

      • Teresa Rice February 9, 2013 at 9:10 AM

        RightHandMan, you are awesome and love you too. I meant to respond much earlier than now but I had a rough week. But after thinking things through, maybe you are right about this issue. Instead of having drug testing for welfare recipients it could be that we need better trained policeman and more policeman to go after the criminals. In addition I think we need better trained parole and probation officers. If the criminals are caught using drugs while on welfare then the benefits can be taken away and closely monitored after their release from jail/prison.

        But I will say that I think there is a big difference between the use of roads and people being on welfare. Every citizen uses roads whether you drive on them, ride a bus, or walk on the sidewalk by the road. Plus, we contribute monies to roads whereas people are asking for money to help them which isn’t obligatory in nature. Do people really have the right to refuse to submit to a drug test if they want to receive money from the government, other taxpayers? Or would it be considered more of a requirement like you have to follow to keep your employment?

        God Bless.
        Teresa Rice recently posted..Dr. Ben Carson: Fantastic Motivational, Inspirational Speech at National Prayer BreakfastMy Profile

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  • Patriot1 February 9, 2013 at 12:57 AM

    The question I have is, who owns the drug testing labs? Who profits off it? It seems to me that Big Business is just as much a threat to our liberties as Big Government. Do people get rich off this? Is there a connection between the corporate world and the government? Are any of the politicians connected to the drug testing industry in any way? Is this whole thing just a big scam? Is it connected in any way to the New World Order? Is it another part of the conspiracy to create a globalist police state, along with the TSA, the FDA, the DHS, biometric ID’s, surveillance cameras, and gun grabs? I wish somebody would investigate this angle thoroughly.