Someone put out a Facebook message that thanked Missouri, Kentucky, and Florida for passing laws requiring a person to pass a drug test before being put on welfare. He made the point that, though some people are complaining this is unconstitutional — maybe illegal search and seizure? right to privacy? — those of us who work for a living are often subject to drug tests. You don’t pass the test, you don’t get the job. You don’t continue to pass the test, you don’t keep the job. So why is it fair for workers to be tested but not nonworkers?
Especially since some people seem to consider living off welfare and food stamps and aid to dependent children their job.
Now, I support social assistance programs. I can give up a latte or two to make sure a kid has breakfast. I can forgo buying yet another pair of shoes so a single mom can buy her kid a pair. I’d love to see more flexibility in our support system. I hate to hear that a single mom can’t take a job because it pays less than what the support pays. Require that she take the job, give her the difference, and if she works hard, maybe she’ll get promoted and make more than the support would be.
But do I want to support someone who can’t work because he does drugs? Can he really not work, or does he choose not to work by doing drugs? And what about the drug addict who “can’t” work and his kids suffer? Can we withhold support for the drug addict and still support the kids?
Probably not. People sell food stamps for cash and then go buy drugs. So giving a parent food stamps won’t necessary put food in a kid’s stomach.
And should kids stay with drug-addicted parents? Or is that better than foster care?
Lots of questions. But at some point, we have to stop paying for other people’s bad choices. Or they will never stop making them.