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Sep 06 2011

2% of Welfare Recipients Fail Drug Tests in Florida

You may remember that Gov. Rick Scott of Florida instituted drug testing for all welfare recipients in that state on the premise that it would save the state money by not having to pay benefits to those who were on drugs. And guess what they found out? Welfare recipients use drugs at a lower rate than the rest of the population — and by a pretty significant margin.

Since the state began testing welfare applicants for drugs in July, about 2 percent have tested positive, preliminary data shows.

Ninety-six percent proved to be drug free — leaving the state on the hook to reimburse the cost of their tests.


About 2% fail and another 2% have refused to take the tests. Even if you assume that all who refuse it would test positive, that’s far below the overall rate of use both nationally and in the state of Florida. According to federal data, 7-7.7% of Florida residents use illicit drugs, meaning the rate of welfare recipients is about half that of the general population of the state. And remember, Scott sold this idea on the grounds that welfare recipients used drugs at a higher rate than others.

And by the way, this is going to cost a fortune:

Cost of the tests averages about $30. Assuming that 1,000 to 1,500 applicants take the test every month, the state will owe about $28,800-$43,200 monthly in reimbursements to those who test drug-free.

That compares with roughly $32,200-$48,200 the state may save on one month’s worth of rejected applicants.

The savings assume that 20 to 30 people — 2 percent of 1,000 to 1,500 tested — fail the drug test every month. On average, a welfare recipient costs the state $134 in monthly benefits, which the rejected applicants won’t get, saving the state $2,680-$3,350 per month.

But since one failed test disqualifies an applicant for a full year’s worth of benefits, the state could save $32,200-$48,200 annually on the applicants rejected in a single month.

Net savings to the state — $3,400 to $8,200 annually on one month’s worth of rejected applicants. Over 12 months, the money saved on all rejected applicants would add up to $40,800-$98,400 for the cash assistance program that state analysts have predicted will cost $178 million this fiscal year.

Actual savings will vary, however, since not all of the applicants denied benefits might have actually collected them for the full year. Under certain circumstances, applicants who failed their drug test can reapply for benefits after six months.

The as-yet uncalculated cost of staff hours and other resources that DCF has had to spend on implementing the program may wipe out most or all of the apparent savings, said Derek Newton, spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida. The program will grow costlier yet, he said, if it draws a legal challenge.

So what’s really going on here? Well it turns out that Rick Scott just happens to own a chain of health care clinics that get much of their revenue from drug testing. What a shock.

40 comments

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  1. 1
    unbound

    Well, most of them probably can’t afford any recreational drugs.

    Sorry, the whole Rick Scott owning the testing process doesn’t really surprise.

  2. 2
    Brett McCoy

    Amazing he was able to put this in place without any real data to back up his claim that welfare recipients use drugs more.

  3. 3
    dochopper

    @ Brett McCoy
    Totally agree.
    Lots of this going on in the business world today as well.

    Putting Plans in place with no Real Data I mean.

  4. 4
    naturalcynic

    Amazing he was able to put this in place without any real data to back up his claim that welfare recipients use drugs more.

    Too naive for words. Since when have Republicans used any data other than their the knotted feelings that they get when someone poor might be getting something.
    Drugs Are Really Expensive

  5. 5
    anandine

    Brett McCoy wrote: Amazing he was able to put this in place without any real data to back up his claim that welfare recipients use drugs more.

    I don’t know how amazing that is. We invaded Iraq without any real data to back up the claim that Iraq was a threat to the US.

  6. 6
    Brett McCoy

    Aye… I made the statement out of sarcasm, not naivety

  7. 7
    pinkboi

    If you want to save money on welfare, it’s better to make it more streamlined, more easy (maybe even automatic). Some people using the money unwisely is just something we have to live with and I never thought it was worth going out of our way to stamp it out.

  8. 8
    holytape

    So what about the 2% that now don’t get any benefits? So we now have an every growing drug addicted population with absolutely no means of income. That’s not going to cost society as a whole anything right?

  9. 9
    jamessweet

    It’s a nitpick, but I don’t think this necessarily implies that welfare recipients use drugs at a lower rate than the general population. It’s not difficult to pass a drug test, either by quitting for a period of time before the test, and/or by the use of a number of various products. I absolutely guarantee you that a non-trivial portion of those who passed went out and smoked a blunt the day their results came back.

    These numbers would be consistent with the hypothesis that welfare recipients use drugs at about the same rate as the general population, which would be the result I would have anticipated anyway.

    Not that this is at all relevant to how wasteful and stupid and prejudicial this policy is. It’s clearly totally ineffectual, it propagates negative stereotypes about the poor, and as holytape points out, even if it did work the way it was supposed to, it would still be a bad idea.

  10. 10
    eleusis

    You can’t really draw a conclusion from this, since the drug testing policy was widely publicized before it was implemented. You compared the percentage who fail drug tests to the estimated total percentage who use drugs. That’s an unfair comparison. I mean, you don’t think everyone who uses gets caught, right? I bet people get pretty good at finding ways around the tests, using various “cleaners”, timing their drug use, etc. You should compare the Florida numbers to the failure rates in other drug testing programs, such as among probationers.

  11. 11
    MikeMa

    Solantic, Scott’s walk-in urgent care group which stood to gain from Florida’s unfair, and now it looks like unprofitable, welfare drug testing, was sold to a NY investment firm. Maybe the deal was contingent on the law being passed? Maybe the price of the sale was enhanced by the law? Inquiring minds want to know.

    Smaller government? No
    Direct funnel of cash from state coffers to private owners & investors? Maybe.

  12. 12
    Chiroptera

    Hahahahahahaha!

    So a scheme to hurt poor people for the sheer sadistic pleasure of hurting poor people backfired?

    Hahahahahaha!

    Serves Flordida right.

    Yeah, I know that there are probably some decent people in Florida who will be hurt by seeing their tax dollars wasted on this. But maybe they can use this to build up the rage of the idiot voters against Scott and his ilk.

  13. 13
    richardelguru

    “it propagates negative stereotypes about the poor” Well I for one think less of them when it’s suggested that they use drugs less than the average.
     
    :-)

  14. 14
    bananacat

    The whole premise doesn’t even make sense. “Let’s a waste a ton of money on mandatory testing, and then if we do find someone who is using drugs, the best thing to do is let them become homeless and starve.”

    It’s really just one more layer of poor-shaming. We can’t have poor people thinking they’re actual human beings.

  15. 15
    Aquaria

    It’s not difficult to pass a drug test, either by quitting for a period of time before the test

    The vast majority of people applying for welfare are often the people who lose their jobs one day and have to apply for welfare the next–because they’re that desperate. For $134/month.

    and/or by the use of a number of various products.

    Because people who are desperate enough to apply for welfare have sooo much money lying around for the products that will get you clear of a drug test.

    I absolutely guarantee you that a non-trivial portion of those who passed went out and smoked a blunt the day their results came back.

    Citation or STFU.

    I dunno, maybe it’s because I’ve lived in places like East Texas and Mississippi, where we have some genuine poor people, that I know better than to let my fat-ass privilege assume all poor people are junkies and thieves.

  16. 16
    EricJohansson

    Weird. I just posted a story on this same subject on my blog this morning around the same time. I had a source from Solantic claiming they don’t test welfare recipients to avoid an apparent conflict of interest, but the Palm Beach Post story linked here says otherwise. I will have to do an update.

    Anyway on a related issue here, as I posted, is an article in TIME magazine published a few weeks ago from a lawyer on the legalities of the testing scheme. According to him the SCOTUS has already ruled on the constitutionality of forcing political candidates for state office to take a drug test, in Chandler v. Miller (1997), striking down just such a Georgia law.

    If the ACLU challenges this law as it is considering, there would be precedence established to allow a court to invalidate this law following similar grounds.

  17. 17
    Bronze Dog

    I will grant that there probably would be a gap between the number of failed tests and the results other methods of determining use, but the whole affair is still stupid and dishonest.

    If I were hiring for a company, I’d be more concerned about whether the person can work. If they get a little high during the weekend and still work quality hours on the company’s clock, it doesn’t bother me.

    I wouldn’t want to lose a worker because the bloated war on drugs mandated that all users must be treated as pariahs. I don’t think the state should be legislating morality and throwing someone in jail just so some politicians can pat themselves on the back.

    I really don’t see anything to be gained by drug tests. It’s just another costly bureaucratic barrier that prevents people from getting back on their feet.

    On second thought, I could see a point if the tests would help lead addicts to cleaning up, but you know politicians prefer to overcrowd prisons over helping people.

  18. 18
    MikeMa

    If Solantic doesn’t do the drug testing, then why is this statement necessary?

    —–
    Scott maintains that he has no involvement in the company, but he does have $62 million worth of the company’s shares contained in a blind trust under his wife’s name. Though there is no conflict under Florida law unless the company deals with the governor’s office directly, the company, and thus Scott’s investment, could benefit from the increased traffic from drug tests.
    —–

    Does Solantic provide welfare drug testing? Did the law’s passage boost the sale price of Solantic?

  19. 19
    eleusis

    Bronze Dog, I agree with you, and I bet a large percentage (if not most) employers do, too. Work place drug testing, particularly of the pre-employment kind, is mostly an insurance thing. You get lower rates if you do it, because somewhere the social statistics tables show that this reduces on-site accidents by some tiny margin, etc. The increase in productivity is probably less than the cost of the test, but when you factor in insurance premium reductions, you save more money by making people take the tests.

    I noted earlier that the drug test failure rate is not in indication of the overall drug use rate. After all, 20% of Florida welfare recipients could be using drugs, but only 2% get caught. However, that’s still an important fact. Depending on the cost of the test, the state should probably re-evaluate whether these tests are worthwhile.

  20. 20
    Rob Monkey

    I understand you’re hungry Little Johnny, but your mommy took some medicine she wasn’t supposed to, so we had to take away the welfare. I know, I know, you didn’t do anything wrong, and I know your family needed that money to eat, but how else will we teach your mom not to take that medicine if she doesn’t see the consequences in her starving children?

    It’s like the Republican party hasn’t been able to see past the end of their nose for decades. Yeah, let’s not help break the cycle of poverty by letting poor children eat, that’ll take away their motivation! It’s not like being hungry all the time should affect their school performance or anything. Calling Rick Scott a worthless piece of shit is an insult to pieces of shit everywhere.

  21. 21
    preston

    A war story:

    Back in 2004 I was applying to police departments here in Wyo. Dumb idea on my part that didn’t work out. Anyhow, one of the department recruiters said “Well all the departments are looking for former military… you guys pass the drug test.” I asked the natural follow-up question and was told of a department that had 8 open positions and 10 out of 14 candidates failed the pre-employment urine analysis.

  22. 22
    Dennis N

    jamessweet:

    it propagates negative stereotypes about the poor

    I’m guessing that was the goal of the whole program.

  23. 23
    ahcuah

    I wonder how many of that 2% are false positives?

  24. 24
    abb3w

    I think the calculations are assuming that drug use is random over time, rather than certain people habitually using drugs. In effect, the math they use involves double counting.

    Test administration cost: $30/(person*month)
    Average welfare cost: $134/(person*month)

    If the fraction of the population using drugs is less than 30/134 (≈22%), the program wastes money… even neglecting the social costs (EG: higher crime rates) of more addicts with no lawful source of income that holytape alluded to. Also, this threshold percentage is slightly probably low, as it only counts the cost of the test to obtain the information, and not the administrative costs of making use of the information.

    Oh, and it also neglects the social costs of false-positive results on the drug tests.

  25. 25
    preston

    I wonder how many of that 2% are false positives?

    The DoD program injects quality control samples into the samples sent for analysis.

    See if you can tell from what follows that the last time I took statistics was a long time ago.

    The fewer true positives you have in your sample set the more probable it is that any given positive result is false. So adding known positives and known negatives to the sample is a good thing for a few reasons. You can know that true positives are being detected, you can know that true negatives are not returning a false positive result and you can reduce the probability of any given positive result being a false positive.

    The DoD program actually tests twice. There’s a lowest-bidder dipstick test and then “hot” samples are sent out for a gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer test. If you’re hot for both, they throw you out.

  26. 26
    eleusis

    From the urine tests that I’ve seen, *every* test has a positive control. If you get one dark line (for the control), you test negative, and two lines means you’re positive. If the control line doesn’t appear, the test is discarded, regardless of whether your line appears. They are much more concerned about false positives than false negatives. For a lot of people, a positive means jail time, fines, etc., so these tests have been heavily vetted by chemists and lawyers.

  27. 27
    leftwingfox

    When you mean “False positives” are you talking about flaws in the testing process, or tests picking up bio-identical metabolites? (i.e. eat a poppy-seed bagel, test positive for heroin)

  28. 28
    harold

    @James Sweet –

    I don’t agree with your logic.

    These numbers would be consistent with the hypothesis that welfare recipients use drugs at about the same rate as the general population, which would be the result I would have anticipated anyway.

    Actually, we cannot draw that conclusion.

    We have the data point from the federal government that 7.7% of the population of Florida over 12 have used “illicit” drugs in the past month. That’s self-reported data based on surveys. Let’s assume honesty. (A cursory glance at the maps at Ed’s link makes me think that marijuana users are answering honestly and others are lying – for example, low crime Vermont shows a “high rate of illicit drug use” while states that have well known and often visible methamphetamine using populations have mysteriously low reported rates.)

    Then we have unequivocal hard data from drug testing – 2% failed (actually, here we make another assumption – low rate of false positives) – and 2% refused. Ed makes the conservative assumption that those who refused would have failed.

    You make a further assumption that, in essence, another 3.7% or so of welfare recipients use illicit drugs but presented clean urine.

    We can only guess, but here are my guesses –

    1) Welfare recipients DO use illicit drugs at a lower rate than the general population; a large number of welfare recipients are single mothers of young children – a very low crime demographic. Another good percentage are medicated mental patients or people with physical ailments who don’t qualify for SS disability, or who do, but who get so little from SS that they qualify for welfare supplementation.

    2) Many of the 2% who refused do not use drugs, but were suspicious that they would be falsely accused of doing so. Unfortunately, this type of extreme distrust is common in very poor communities.

    3) Even though FL does have a high number of very elderly people, I strongly suspect that the survey data underestimates illicit drug use in FL.

  29. 29
    frankb

    This is another example of how following the money yields very interesting information.

  30. 30
    preston

    This strikes me as Abstinence Only Sex Ed Part Deux.

    Just like abstinence sex ed, the policies and laws being written around drug testing of welfare recipients are based on factoids. Once again, it’s a matter of “everybody knows” instead of “research suggests.” And once again money will be wasted and lives will be needlessly wrecked because of “ready, fire, aim” legislatures.

  31. 31
    Pinky

    A governor spends a whole lot of money to violate the rights of downtrodden people for the short sighted, bigoted “feeling” that all people unfortunate enough to be on welfare are drug abusers. Hows that smaller government working?

    Eleusis you are mistaken that there are substances that flush or clean a person’s system of drug residue. Its the stuff of urban legends.

  32. 32
    Modusoperandi

    Pah! The point isn’t to save money, it’s to ensure that the “wrong” people don’t get any. Now, if the GOP can figure out how to kick the other 90+% off…

    Pinky “A governor spends a whole lot of money to violate the rights of downtrodden people for the short sighted, bigoted “feeling” that all people unfortunate enough to be on welfare are drug abusers. Hows that smaller government working?”
    Only the “right” people deserve small government. The “wrong” people deserve the full weight of a strong, blind and unforgiving State.

  33. 33
    democommie

    It’s been about 13 years since I last got stoned. Back then, an ounce of decent weed cost about what a kilo did when I started smoking it.

    I’m guessing that most of the people who don’t got no moneez are not using awesome bud and powder coke. They are using skunkweed with some kinda chemical enhancement, formaldehyde dipped cigarettes or various forms of meth. Controlling oneself and layin’ offa the pipe in anticipation of testing is not really the sort of behavior I would expect from such people.

    Scott’s a piece of shit.

  34. 34
    jamessweet

    @aquaria:

    I am absolutely baffled by your response to my comment. You seem to have mistakenly thought I was implying that anybody who failed was a fuckup or something. Which is frankly bizarre in light of the last paragraph of my comment:

    Not that this is at all relevant to how wasteful and stupid and prejudicial this policy is. It’s clearly totally ineffectual, it propagates negative stereotypes about the poor, and as holytape points out, even if it did work the way it was supposed to, it would still be a bad idea.

    My point is simply that “failure rate on a drug test” is a completely different metric from “percent of population who admitted to using drugs on a survey”, and that the former is going to typically be lower than the latter. I admitted up front it’s a nitpick — I just don’t think that Ed’s conclusion here that fewer welfare recipients use drugs than the general population is supported by this data. It’s still conceivable that is the case, but this data doesn’t really have much to say about that.

    Which brings us to harold:

    @James Sweet –

    I don’t agree with your logic.

    These numbers would be consistent with the hypothesis that welfare recipients use drugs at about the same rate as the general population, which would be the result I would have anticipated anyway.

    Actually, we cannot draw that conclusion.

    Perhaps it’s just because I am an engineer and certain phrases carry a meaning for me that is not necessarily clearly implied in the words themselves. I was very deliberate with the use of the phrase “would be consistent with the hypothesis.” I am not at all saying that these numbers are evidence of that hypothesis. Rather, I am saying that these numbers are not evidence against the hypothesis that there is no meaningful statistical difference in drug use between welfare recipients and non-welfare recipients. (Which would be the null hypothesis, BTW, so it is the one I tentatively adopt in the absence of any evidence to the contrary)

    I was not making the assumption that a further 3-4% used drugs but presented clean urine, I was simply saying that I did not think that possibility was at all unreasonable. Hell, maybe 10+% used drugs and presented clean urine, for all we know; the data is not available.

    Frankly one of the reasons I found aquaria’s reaction to my comment so baffling is that part of what motivated me to say something is that I think it would be a somewhat surprising result if welfare recipients had a significantly different rate of drug use than non-welfare recipients. Everybody — rich or poor, black or white, employed or unemployed — likes to get fucked up, am I right? I suppose the unemployed might have a little more time to for it, but as others pointed out, the employed have more money for it. And in any case, these are the kinds of things that people make time and money for.

    So in the absence of strong evidence to the contrary, I’m likely to assume that welfare recipients are just like everybody else. And this is not strong evidence. It would be consistent with the null hypothesis — though obviously we don’t really have the right data here at all.

  35. 35
    Area Man

    “So what’s really going on here? Well it turns out that Rick Scott just happens to own a chain of health care clinics that get much of their revenue from drug testing.”

    Huh, and here I was willing to chalk it up to yet another attempt to humiliate the poor. I guess it’s a two-fer.

  36. 36
    llewelly

    jamessweet | September 7, 2011 at 10:24 am :
    Everybody — rich or poor, black or white, employed or unemployed — likes to get fucked up, am I right?
    The poor are less able to afford it.

    Perhaps the difference between the survey data and the testing of welfare applicants may be due to false negatives. (But drug testing can also have false positives.) Perhaps those who refused testing are users. (But some people also refuse out of suspicion, and some people also refuse because they disagree with the principle. ) Note survey data is also subject to both false positives and false negatives. Perhaps the data are different merely due to differences in the collection methods. In an effort to explain the difference, one could imagine lots of reasons the data might be consistent with any number of hypothesis.

    But the simplest explanation is that the poor are less likely to get fucked up because they cannot afford it.

  37. 37
    pokerface

    I’m sure there are Welfare recipients who don’t use drugs and use welfare for the right reasons. BUT I’m also sure, from first-hand knowledge that there are a lOT of people who totally ABUSE the system and do find ways around the drug-testing. If people applying for a job need to take a drug-test, then why shouldn’t people applying for welfare take a drug test??? How does it infringe on the Civil Rights of some and not others?? Taking drugs is illegal- and personally I don’t think our Rights under the Constitution allow us to find ways to commit crimes then cry ‘you’ve trampled my Rights’ to get out of the punishment. Furthermore, how does it always come back to discrimination?? Discrimination against who?? Against people on welfare?? Then why isn’t it discrimination against people who are applying for jobs?? Our country is drowning in debt because people have lost common sense, think it’s ok to allow people to have multiple children and live off of welfare and use discrimination as an excuse for everything!!! We’re creating a society of lazy people who want hand-outs and believe they are ‘owed’ everything! We should be fighting to bring jobs BACK to this country and to find ways to put people back to work and encourage/enable them to get off welfare.

  38. 38
    dingojack

    pokerface – Firstly, you may have had to take a drug test to get a job, I haven’t. Ever. What drugs I take is none of anyone else’s business, unless it’s demonstratively getting in the way of doing my job. (In fact one jobs I worked in the number of employees who went out ‘sick’ on the afternoon of payday was quite alarming. Especially after visiting one of the nearby pubs). Employers are not law enforcement agents, nor are they obliged to report to law enforcement agents.
    Secondly drugs (and drug taking) aren’t illegal per se. Taking illegal drugs is illegal, hardly an earth-shattering statement. Would you approve an employee being refused a job due to a citation for jaywalking (it is illegal don’t ya know)?
    Thirdly, how do you determine what the results mean? If someone have the breakdown products of speed in their system, could this be due to taking illegal drugs – or legal ones (such as Ritalin)?
    Fourthly, how dangerous are various drugs? If an office worker had a lot of the breakdown products of caffeine in their system is this illegal? What about a truck-driver? Who determines this? The employer? A government agency? Who?
    Fifthly, if testing welfare recipients why not everyone who receives money from the government. All government employees and departments (including the military), all politicians at all levels, anyone getting emergency relief, anyone applying for a government grant, anyone getting a tax rebate, all citizens of countries receiving aid (whether regularly or emergency) and so on.
    I’m sure that would work.
    You know why this kind of thing doesn’t happen? It’s called the Fourth Amendment. The government would have to show just cause to infringe on the rights of it’s citizens (yep, these rights exist by virtue of being human, governments don’t grant them and have to show why they can infringe them). Can the government show why drug testing one group of public money recipients is reasonable (and others not)?
    I’d suggest going away and having a bit of think about it.
    Dingo
    —–
    Sorry ’bout the TL;DR people

  39. 39
    Michael Heath

    pokerface writes:

    I’m sure there are Welfare recipients who don’t use drugs and use welfare for the right reasons.

    Is this your attempt to sound reasonable to get people to buy your argument whilst ignoring the primary premise of this blog post? Reading comprehension failures and avoidance of core premises will not serve you well here. Ed’s blog post above:

    . . . Welfare recipients use drugs at a lower rate than the rest of the population — and by a pretty significant margin. [...]About 2% [welfare applicants] fail and another 2% have refused to take the tests. Even if you assume that all who refuse it would test positive, that’s far below the overall rate of use both nationally and in the state of Florida. According to federal data, 7-7.7% of Florida residents use illicit drugs, meaning the rate of welfare recipients is about half that of the general population of the state.

    pokerface writes:

    If people applying for a job need to take a drug-test, then why shouldn’t people applying for welfare take a drug test???

    Actually the deal-killer’s been the Republicans’ systemically fierce opposition to the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause, on all matters where this issue is merely one. That if they want welfare recipients to be drug-tested prior to receiving funds, than they need to do the same for all state employees, including the legislators, and all those business and charity owners and their employees who receive state benefits – such as the sugar industry.

    pokerface

    Furthermore, how does it always come back to discrimination?? Discrimination against who??

    They want to discriminate against welfare recipients by infringing on their rights while not infringing on the rights of all others sucking off the government teat.

    pokerface writes:

    Our country is drowning in debt because people have lost common sense

    Exactly which people have “lost common sense” that’s caused you heartburn on this subject? Usually when we see “common sense” it comes from such illustrious economic illiterates as Sarah Palin. Whose policies would result in economic contraction, leaving us with fewer jobs, more welfare recipients, and a smaller government to carry the debt load, less taxpayers, and more welfare recipients. Perhaps you aren’t in this class, if not, than please prove it cause right now you appear to be one of those who yap when the dog whistle sounds to get you to yap.

    pokerface

    We’re creating a society of lazy people who want hand-outs and believe they are ‘owed’ everything!

    So when the unemployment rate was down to its natural rate in the 1990s, where were all these lazy people? Did they magically disappear? And if this is a recent phenomena, should we blame all the people that lost jobs, because those losses predominately happened prior to the black guy get elected? Or the leader when all those jobs were being lost, which would be President George W. Bush (Obama took office around mo. 21)? Or perhaps we not use what Ms. Palin misrepresents as ‘common sense’ and instead learn some economics and understand the root causes which drive unemployment and best recessionary economics practices that get the business cycle moving back upwards again in a way that promotes job growth.

    We’re creating a society of lazy people who want hand-outs and believe they are ‘owed’ everything! We should be fighting to bring jobs BACK to this country and to find ways to put people back to work and encourage/enable them to get off welfare.

    You’re contradicting yourself on the root cause of unemployment. Here you ask readers to infer we lack policies to defend our labor market here, while simultaneously claiming people are lazy which is why they don’t work. Which is it? A lack of labor supply because of poor policies or lack of job demand in anticipation of the ‘food stamp president’ getting elected where people stopped working to enjoy welfare? Do you realize how incoherent your entire screed sounds if you think through this logically rather than relying on talking points which have never held up to reasonable scrutiny and evidence?

  40. 40
    nickywood

    I know I’m late on this topic but I really don’t care about the 2% supposedly on drugs. The welfare system is broke. I’m writing because I am tired of seeing people at the store with two carts full of junk food and steaks paying with their EBT card. We working Americans are taking care of these people and they are eating better than us. There are a lot of people that really do need help but it’s not just those who don’t have jobs. If the welfare system was setup to help Americans then why is it that only a unfortunate few get to use it? If you are doing everything you can to be a productive contributing member of society just trying to take care of your family by working, then why should you be punished for not making enough? About five years ago my wife and I lost our jobs within a month of each other. We were fortunate enough to find part time jobs at the time, but that wasn’t enough. We swallowed our proud and went down to apply for assistants and was able to qualify for $190 a month for food stamps. Our caseworker actually told us if we needed more help the best thing we could do was quit our jobs. Really?! I think the government is why generation after generation our citizens are getting lazier. Really though, the next time your in the grocery store and you see someone with a cart full of junk you can almost be certain you as a taxpayer is buying their junk food. Drugs maybe expensive but so are a few boxes of Krispy Kremes.

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    News, Drug Tests for Welfare Gain Momentum. - Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Conservatives, Liberals, Third Parties, Left-Wing, Right-Wing, Congress, President - Page 5 - City-Data Forum

    [...] taking, but it is just singling out the poor again. Also, check this out from the sunshine state: 2% of Welfare Recipients Fail Drug Tests in Florida | Dispatches from the Culture Wars Only 2% of welfare recipients in Florida failed drug tests. Therefore, I ask, is it really worth [...]

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    This is why he is President. - Page 4 - HCS Snowmobile Forums

    [...] off because most states are requiring drug testing to get any sort of financial Aid. Not really: 2% of Welfare Recipients Fail Drug Tests in Florida | Dispatches from the Culture Wars 96% are drug free. __________________ "That which can be asserted without evidence, can be [...]

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