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Ky. Bill will force Drug testing on welfare recipients


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#21 ethnobotanist420

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 11:20 PM

:eusa_doh:this is a difficult one.
I can see merit in everyone's posts so far but I just can't help but feel that It's an intrusion of privacy.

@betweenspace

I share the idea Hippie had, where are we going to draw the line? When are we as humans going to realize we don't have any justification ruling another's body?


I live in canada... What If they wanted you to take drug tests so you can receive free hospital/ doctor visits... It is not the same thing but I mean how many people waste doctors Time trying to cop prescription pills or ER visits for drug related health issues...
Should you have to pay a fee or something because you use drugs?

Sorry that may be way off topic but I see some similarity between what I said and with this issue...

@Imsodangraw

Yeah I hate to say anything about unemployment here because I've heard so many Topiates talk about signing up for it. And I've seen many accounts of once signing up, they just ride the wave and don't even search for a job when they are fit to. I don't mean to step on toes, but that's :bs:


But there are people who want to work, try to work and can't find work that use drugs.
These are good people, they are just having hard times... this bill would completely screw those people over....
Maybe the ratio of people having hard times and using drugs while on welfare VS people who are lazy, use drugs, and are on welfare is like 1 out of 10 But it still seems wrong to screw over that one person.
Everyone should be entitled to a helping hand when they are down and I don't think drug use is going to correctly separate the lazy system abusers from the people down on their luck...

I agree that maybe the money should go straight to a store of some kind set up specifically for these circumstances to avoid abuse of the money as stated by Imsodangraw and others...

Just my 2 cents.
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#22 Sidestreet

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 05:59 AM

As for food stamps, in my state food assistance is given through a debit card, therefore can not be traded for anything else.

I know there is cash assistance out there and I know that it is sometimes abused. Maybe often. Because of the nature of this problem there is not a good way to scientifically determine what proportion of people use this cash inappropriately. i.e. What, are you going to give out a survey that asks if you spend welfare on designer clothes? This is oversimplification but you get what I mean...

People abuse it because they're given the incentive. Hard working people talk about "get a job" and there are lots of jobs out there, but how many pay a living wage? Not many or none, for someone with no skills who lives in a poor area. A handjob's a job. But I don't want to do it if it's easier to get welfare.

I don't condone it. But this law is not the answer.

I feel this law constitutes another invasion of privacy (welfare recipients should have the right to dignity, too), I smell kick-backs, and no, we don't need more drug tests in this world. :horse:

#23 curandZero

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 07:04 AM

There's a bunch of issues going on here. On the "positive" side, the state has a legitimate interest in preventing public funds from fueling criminal activity. There's also a reasonable fear that drug users may be causing themselves physical harm, especially meth, crack, and opiate abusers. And there's the fact that recipients have signed up for a service and must agree to abide by the rules.

But at the same time it sort of sucks. You know that there will be many, many people who truly can't find work and are living at a near poverty level. To penalize some poor bastard because someone shared a joint with him on Saturday night and he got to enjoy himself for a little while seems unnecessarily harsh. Then there's the whole, "Look what we're doing to prevent drug abuse" mentality — picking on the most vulnerable segment of society and using these poor people as an example while big pharma poisons millions of schoolchildren and food corporations provide us with fatty, salty, sugary crap filled with artificial ingredients. Besides, there's the insidious effect where people are trained to expect intrusive violations of privacy all in the name of "protecting society". Next thing you know, they'll be drug-testing you when you go to renew your driver's license.

#24 StheNC

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 12:46 AM

Yeah I hate to say anything about unemployment here because I've heard so many Topiates talk about signing up for it. And I've seen many accounts of once signing up, they just ride the wave and don't even search for a job when they are fit to. I don't mean to step on toes, but that's :bs:

Unemployment isn't welfare, it's insurance. It is paid into by employers and employees. You have to have a certain level of earning in a given time frame to qualify for unemployment. (Above a certain amount, not below a certain amount.) I spend anywhere from one to four months laid off every year due to the ebb and flow of industrial construction. I collect unemployment when I'm not working and I'm doing nothing more than submitting a claim to an insurance policy that was set up to protect me in just such a situation. There is a big difference between unemployment and welfare.

#25 pizark2

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 03:21 AM

If this is passed,then elected officials should be tested too,it's all taxpayer money,right?!
bet it wont get passed if you add that!!(cops and firefighters too)
I've known damn good people on stamps,and known elected officials doing nothing but getting high making big bucks.

can you imagine the cost of testing every FS recipient and still paying for the children and elderly? cost/benefit analysis = fail
but "lets lose money" seems ok these days

Edited by pizark2, 23 January 2011 - 03:29 AM.


#26 -=Zeus=-

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 05:38 AM

After reading the first couple of posts in this thread, I was so pissed off I basically skimmed through the rest of them. Apparently, I grew up in the same city as the original poster, and now live south of the river.

I read the article about this bill a few days ago. At the time, the bill itself had me a bit unnerved, but some of the responses here are shocking to me, to say the least. I had thought that we were a big loving family here. Let me explain.

This bill will affect my household if passed. My wife is mentally disabled, and believe me, it's not for the check. She is OCD, Bi-polar, ADHD, GAD, and BPD. She'd gladly return any money she's received from being disabled if those problems could be remedied. Any suggestions?

As for me, I worked my ass off for 35 yrs, give or take a year or two, at a regular job paying into the system, as did my employers. I worked a very stressful job as a service technician on many different types of equipment over the years. The last place that I worked was a nightmare. I had a psychotic episode after having a bad accident on the way to work one morning in 2009. I began to have regular panic attacks on the job inside customers' offices. I finally sought medical treatment when the symptoms became unbearable. A family physician, as well as a neurologist, both concurred that I was undiagnosed adult ADHD, and had a panic disorder (which I was already aware of) and was suffering from PTSD as a result of the accident.

I began medication and within 10 days I felt like a new person. I was performing at the best level that I could ever recall mentally. I was on top on things, focused and organized. Then life shit on me.

My boss who had always been jealous of me apparently devised a plan to get rid of me. I had never done anything to this man whatsoever, but for whatever reason he just always had it out for me. Sparing the details, I lost my job mid 2009 without any explanation as to why. I immediately filed for unemployment benefits, since I've paid into the insurance for 35 yrs and never needed it before. The hearing referee sided with me and I was awarded benefits. Great huh? Not so fast...

When I started receiving benefits, I knew they were not going to last forever, so I decided to start my own business. I've been a PC enthusiast for 20yrs, and have built and maintained many systems and networks. As I was starting to put that into motion, I received a letter saying I qualified to go back to school, earn a 2 yr degree, and be able to draw my benefits the whole time. So I took up their offer and enrolled in classes. My future was back on track and life looked much brighter again. Not so fast...

Spring of 2010, I started attending a nearby college. On the second week of the semester, I received a letter saying that the UI state commission had overturned the referee's original ruling, and that I owed the state back more than $10,000.00 Ten fucking thousand dollars!! My benefits immediately stopped of course. Meanwhile, I'm enrolled in college on a package that's tied to unemployment! I really didn't know what to do. I finished the spring semester, took a class during intersession, took a class during summer session, then had a 3 day break before fall semester started.

I started the fall semester and all of the anxiety and stress and deadlines became too much for me to handle. I made it to within 6 wks left, and melted down. I suffer from a few mental disabilities as well, and have been battling anxiety and depression on a daily basis, as well as dealing with my wife and her mental disabilities.

Marijuana is the best medication for the conditions I have. Should my assistance be taken away because I smoke marijuana? "If you've got money for drugs, you've got money for food"...does that take into account very expensive prescription drugs that are a requirement for certain conditions? If so, are you naysayers ready to take care of my wife?

We all need to face the reality that the current system in place is an utter failure. Unfortunately, without a choice, I was forced into paying into that system for 35 yrs. If it offers me one nickel back, I'll be the first ol' boy in line to get it!

One more thing and then I'll shut my mouth. I see the generations that came after me having less and less of that built in work ethic that my generation had. Given the choice, I may have taken their path also. Times change, people have to change with them. If this bill or topic doesn't affect you personally, your opinion is null and void as far as I'm concerned. I hope I didn't come off rude, that was not my intention at all. This thread just really struck a nerve with me.


Peace...Z

#27 Jordan86

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 01:03 PM

There should be adjustments made to the welfare system, but sorting out welfare by who pisses dirty is bad way of doing it.

Most people will fail for marijuana. Just because you smoke marijuana doesn't mean necessarily you can work. You could have a bad back for example. Marijuana might make your life easier, so you smoke, but you still might not be able to work.

Also, marijuana is a communal drug, it's something people do with friends. So, you could be disabled, your friend invites you to smoke, you fail your drug test and loose your coverage even though you weren't using tax payer dollars to get your pot.

#28 roc

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 01:45 PM

Drug tests are an invasion of privacy... plain and simple.

The welfare system is broke and needs to be fixed.

Unemployment insurance is just that - Insurance.

Every able bodied person needs to work just like every other able bodied person.

The sick and elderly need to be better taken care of...

Just my 2 cents!

#29 CoyoteMesc

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 02:52 PM

Unemployment isn't welfare, it's insurance.There is a big difference between unemployment and welfare.


Wrong, unemployment is welfare. The states are funded by the government for welfare and out of those funds unemployment is paid.

In 1996, under the Bill Clinton administration, Congress passed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act gave control of the welfare system back to the states. Because welfare is no longer under the control of the federal government, there are basic requirements the states need to meet with regards to welfare services. Still, most states offer basic assistance, such as health care, food stamps, child care assistance, unemployment, cash aid, and housing assistance.



#30 CoyoteMesc

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 04:04 PM

I've been ask to clarify:

The reason it is called insurance is because the employer pays a tax fund for unemployment benefits and that fund is to pay the unemployed base on previous years claims, payroll, employed etc. Its 'pre-paid' through federal and state taxes. So in the long run it is paid by the employer.

My argument is not who, in the end pays the bill. Not if its insurance. My argument is that the benefits are welfare.

#31 TVCasualty

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 05:50 PM

Count me as 100% against this proposal (which won't pass anyway, so it's moot).

Never mind the fact that it violates both the 4th and 5th Amendments and so would be overthrown in a serious Court challenge (that would probably have to go to the Supreme Court, unfortunately), this 'issue' is nothing more than a distraction from the real, substantive economic problems we're facing but it's a compelling one because it evokes such an emotional response.

Still, basing policy on emotional reactions is a great way to bankrupt a country by focusing substantial amounts of energy on 'cracking down' on some relatively insignificant problem (that may not be a problem at all; where are the statistics on drug use by welfare recipients that justify this hysterical response?) while serious issues remain unaddressed.


"It's not a way of life," said Kathryn Edin, a Harvard University poverty expert who lived two years in Camden.

Despite belief to the contrary, welfare is a small payout that's difficult to attain, experts say. "You only get TANF if you're poor, poor, poor," said Linda Blanchette, deputy secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare. "A mother and two kids get around $403 a month. You have to work or be in job training 30 hours a week, and there's a five-year limit. Who wants this?"
...
There is, some say, a deep American anger toward the poor for violating the near-sacred belief that all people can pull themselves up by their bootstraps. It's connected to a notion, rooted in Puritanism, "that the poor must have done something wrong because they weren't blessed by the heavens, as the prosperous are," Blanchette said.
...

Some lawmakers are attempting to codify the anti-poor sentiment. Pennsylvania State Rep. Garth Everett (R., Lycoming) has tried for a year to pass a law that would have TANF recipients drug-tested and fingerprinted, a practice in some states. "People's wallets are tighter these days, and they don't want funds going to folks with drug problems," he said.

Asked to back up his claims, Everett said, "I don't have evidence that people are using it [TANF money] to buy drugs. I do get feedback from a significant part of my constituency that they have the feeling that folks on welfare are using drugs." He added that his proposed bill "is not going anywhere" because Democrats oppose it.

http://articles.phil...ps-middle-class

(emphasis mine)

I wonder how the potential costs of a few addicts and pot smokers compare to the actual costs of some of these other problems that don't get as much coverage in the mainstream press?

Corporate welfare:

Federal subsidies to private businesses cost taxpayers $87 billion per year. That is over 30 percent more than the Cato Institute's 1997 corporate welfare estimate of $65 billion. If corporate welfare were eliminated tomorrow, the federal government could provide taxpayers with an annual tax cut more than twice as large as the tax rebate checks mailed out in 2001. http://www.cato.org/...php?pub_id=1274



Just plain old mismanagement and waste:

Each year, taxpayers lose billions of dollars in wasteful improper payments by the federal government to individuals, organizations, and contractors. "Improper payments" is an umbrella term that covers a number of financial transactions — overpayments to individuals or firms is one example; benefit payments to ineligible program participants is another. In 2008, improper payments totaled $72 billion; in 2009, they totaled $98 billion an increase driven by improved detection and the significant increase in federal outlays associated with the economic downturn. These errors and mistakes are unacceptable. Taxpayers deserve to know that their dollars are being spent wisely and effectively. http://www.whitehous...properPayments/


So waste, mismanagement, and corporate welfare add up to somewhere in the neighborhood of $170 BILLION a year, and that's from using numbers added up after rounding them down to be on the conservative side. Now tell me again why some pot smokers and other drug addicts (not counting alcohol, of course! I didn't see any calls for alcohol testing...) should be subjected to such an indignity as piss testing without any evidence or even suspicion of such? I guess writing a bill with no chance of passing in order to pander to a constituency is a lot easier than actually doing anything...

Also, it's good to keep in mind that payouts to entitlement programs are a lot cheaper than cleaning up after widespread rioting and various other problems spawned by large populations of impoverished people who lack decent food, adequate shelter, or medical care. People with nothing to lose are extremely dangerous in large groups, as history has shown.

edit to add: A new F-22 fighter costs $150 million, and 168 have been built since 2005 (costing $25.2 billion) with another 187 planned ($28 billion) for a total of $53.2 billion, and that's just for a single model of fighter. Whether that's money well spent or not is another discussion, but it does reveal a bit about our national priorities.

Edited by TVCasualty, 23 January 2011 - 06:06 PM.

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#32 prism

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 06:06 PM

Drug tests screw pot smokers badly... They are all Bullshit IMO... Drug testing for state benefits sounds like Nazi Germany to me...

I love it when people compare Unemployment Benefits to Welfare:eusa_snoo

Unemployment is insurance paid by employers... My former employer paid into unemployment for years. Those of us that are unemployed right now know whats happening in the job market. We are not jobless on purpose...

#33 CoyoteMesc

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 06:11 PM

People, if it was just the employers that paid your unemployment Obama wouldn't have a say so when it came to extending the benifits as he just did.

Its welfare. Look it up, do your research.


Types of Welfare Available

The type and amount of aid available to individuals and dependent children varies from state to state. When the Federal Government gave control back to the states there was no longer one source and one set of requirements. Most states offer basic aid such as health care, food stamps, child care assistance, unemployment, cash aid, and housing assistance.



http://www.welfareinfo.org/

#34 StheNC

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 06:14 PM

I've been ask to clarify:

The reason it is called insurance is because the employer pays a tax fund for unemployment benefits and that fund is to pay the unemployed base on previous years claims, payroll, employed etc. Its 'pre-paid' through federal and state taxes. So in the long run it is paid by the employer.

My argument is not who, in the end pays the bill. Not if its insurance. My argument is that the benefits are welfare.

It is completely different than welfare. Completely different criteria, completely different program altogether. Unemployment is not for people that never work. It serves people who work regularly and through no fault of their own suddenly loose that employment. Not if they quit or can't work, or get fired, or would rather just sell drugs and keep their income off the books, or for being lazy or crazy. You can only receive benefits if you are physically able and available for work and if you show that you are actively seeking work or belong to an employment seeking seeking organization like a trade union. It is not a perpetual benefit, it runs year to year. And if you go the whole year without working? you don't get it the next year because you didn't have any income during the base period of the previous year on which to base a claim. Myself and many other hard working traveling construction workers regularly collect benefits during the off seasons. Many of them work six or seven days a week, ten to twelve hours a day while they are working and deserve a little time with their family. It is their tax dollars that fund this system along with funds from their employers and each of them would be offended to hear you suggest that they collect welfare.

#35 CoyoteMesc

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 06:16 PM

:lol:

I guess the US welfare system doesn't know what is or isn't welfare. WOW! Im done here.

#36 ethnobotanist420

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 06:22 PM

I think TVC makes excellent points!
especially in your edit... kinda sick...

Back on topic..
I don't see this passing

#37 prism

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 06:23 PM

The extensions are federally funded aid. The original 26 weeks is insurance...

If you have a job, you are likely to not truely understand the situation right now... If you are unemployed, then you definitely get it...

I get 300 dollars a week from UE. It pays the rent and thats it. If my wife wasnt working we'd be fucked.

The truth is... If you get rid of these benefits you are damning 11% of the population to poverty. People are losing their homes and lives here. We are not lazy, we want to work. I interview all the time. Its hard to get a job in this economy without a degree, so now I am back in school...

The problem is that Companies are "outsourcing" all the jobs to asia.

The Obama comment is irrelevant, any politician knows better than to alienate 10% of the voters. Anyone in his position would have extended the unemployment stimulus in my mind...

#38 CoyoteMesc

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 06:30 PM

I can't do it, ...its just not in me. :lol


It is their tax dollars that fund this system along with funds from their employers and each of them would be offended to hear you suggest that they collect welfare.


Just where to do you think food stamp, section 8, child care assist money is coming from?

I'll tell ya, our taxes.

Just as you and your employer pay into a tax fund to pay unemployment you and I and they and he and she pays into a fund to pay for all the other welfare benefits. The money is not a gift from china. They are all "insurance" they are all "welfare".

#39 CoyoteMesc

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 06:46 PM

The extensions are federally funded aid. The original 26 weeks is insurance...


Money doesn't grow on trees. ;) TAXES

We are paying for those extensions or will be paying for them. It is a form of welfare, just as food stamps.

Taxes are insurance. Unemployment is welfare.

Welfare definition:

Definition of WELFARE



2
a : aid in the form of money or necessities for those in need b : an agency or program through which such aid is distributed

#40 prism

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 06:49 PM

I have to disagree.... Respectfully... :lol:

Welfare is charity... Unemployment is insurance...

If I work for an employer in good standing for 120 days then I am entitled to insurance benefits if I get laid off....

I collect those as I am entitled... I am not accepting society's charity, I am collecting Benefits...

Huge diff IMO...

I think that employed folks need to feel blessed they have a job and stop chastising those of us that got laid off in the worst economy since the Reagan era...

We are no lazier than you and we hate not working...




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