For starters, let’s get it clear – I’m not a Republican. Shit, I’m not even a Democrat…I’m actually
indecisive a registered Independent. There are certain stances that I like and dislike in both parties so instead of choosing a side, I stand firmly in the middle. That said, I do have a tendency to hang more to the left than the right (Wait, that sounded kinda like I was talking about my mini me, huh? Oops? LOL).
Regarding s. 414.0652, F.S. though, I’m standing firmly on the right! “S. 414.0652, F.S.” is a bill that Florida’s Republicans pushed to take effect on July 1, 2011. A brief synopsis of this five page bill is that it mandates eligible applicants for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) to consent to drug screening. If an applicant passes the drug test, they get their government assistance. If they don’t, they are shit outta luck won’t be eligible to receive benefits for one year or until they successfully complete a substance-abuse treatment program!
Lemme just say that I know this is a lil over a month late, but guess who doesn’t give a fcuk? This guy! *Pointing thumbs at self* Why? Because (1) the obvious – it’s my blog, (2) I’m sure there are people who are unaware of it, and (3) I’d really like to hear people’s opinion on this extremely confrontational bill.
Like I said two paragraphs ago, I’m on the right with this one…even after an hour-long debate with one of my homegirls, who brought stats opinions to the table that made this bill look like a giant waste of money. I’ll be honest, at the time, I just took her word for it because I wasn’t about to research all the shit she brought up. Lazy right? Not really! I just don’t live in Florida, so this doesn’t affect me or my tax dollars at all. Don’t judge me though…lol!
If I remember correctly, her argument was broken into four points:
- Drug screening would be an invasion of privacy/civil rights
- Drug screening adds more to the stigma already attached to people on welfare
- There aren’t that many people trying to scam the system because the majority of people on welfare don’t want to be on it.
- The amount of money it will cost to fund drug screening will cost more than the amount saved from those who didn’t pass.
Note: I have to stress that the following is solely my opinion. It’s based on how I feel about the subject matter I read. I’m not a politician nor do I work in any social service organizations, so take my views as my thoughts in my warped reality!
So let’s combine and address her first two points: Drug screening would be an invasion of privacy/civil rights and adds more to the stigma attached to those on welfare
My initial counter argument in the simplest form was that anyone getting FREE government assistance aka tax dollars is at the mercy of the entity giving it to them. They say jump, you say “ribbit.” Obviously, nothing illegal or degrading should be a prerequisite to receiving the assistance. And a drug test isn’t either, in my opinion: first off, it’s technically an incentive to not do drugs…and get food in return! And let’s be real, it’s only degrading if you’re actually on drugs and it comes up on a test. Nobody complains about professional athletes being tested…except the ones who’re doping of course! The point I’m trying to make is that if you want something from someone, you’d better be willing to do whatever they deem necessary for you to receive it.
Having since done my homework on the topic, I can now say that the government of Florida actually knows what they’re about…(my homegirl, not so much, lol) since only individuals who have been convicted of drug felonies within the three years prior to their application will be screened.
I don’t know the percentage of people on welfare who are using or not using drugs, nor am I truly interested. All I know is that there are people out there content with having someone’s hard-earned tax dollars feed them while they remain more concerned with funding their drug habit. I don’t care if one out of every 100 people on welfare have that mindset. That’s one too many. It’s just totally unacceptable in my opinion – you either need assistance or you don’t! If you can find a way to finance a drug addiction, you can find a way to fund your fcuk’n hunger! Just saying, lol! I personally look at the taxes that come out of my pay check, and though I know all of it doesn’t fund welfare, I sure as hell want every penny coming out to go to good use. Like repairing the potholes that require me to take money from my pay check for a new rim and/or tire when I drive into one.
What about her conviction that: There aren’t that many people trying to scam the system because the majority of people on welfare don’t want to be on it
No argument needed for this with clips like this one floating around
As for her final statement that: The amount of money it will cost to fund drug screening will cost more than the amount saved from those who didn’t pass
I had no counter argument for the cost associated with this bill, but it turns out that I didn’t need one! My “fellow” Republicans already factored in the costs associated with this testing when they wrote the shit. Apparently “the cost of screening and confirmatory testing shall be paid by the individual being screened and tested” and the government will “solicit competitive bids for the testing services to ensure the lowest possible cost”. If an applicant passes the screening, then their TANF benefit would be increased by the amount that they spent on testing.
Granted, my homegirl has a point in that if some folks have cleaned up their act in the past three years, then the Florida government will be reimbursing them their testing fees. BUT! I’m willing to put my someone else’s head on a block that the amount that will be spent on testing will be completely absorbed by the amount saved in not providing funding to crackheads drug users.
And don’t worry about the babies who have crack heads for parents! Provisions have been made for another individual to be designated to receive benefits on behalf of a minor child in the event that their parent is deemed ineligible. So just because mommy and/or daddy can’t get their shit together doesn’t mean that baby
Shaniqua Cheryl will go hungry.
That said, I will be the first to say that there are some more important and pressing social issues that need to be taken care of. I guess when our Prezzo, Mr. Obama said that we needed to find ways to make budget cuts, some “brilliant” dumbass found the time to come up with this bill. Like there’s not a “war on terrorism” aka our defense spending that’s crippling the nation’s economy. Anyway, that’s a discussion for another day…lol!
So the real question is, if that bill came to your state, would you be for or against it? I’m really curious about how people side on this one, so feel free to share your opinion.