23
   

Should you have to take a drug test to get TANF?

 
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jun, 2011 12:20 pm
@boomerang,
Quote:
And I'm sure you won't find a study since nobody has ever required people asking for TANF to take a drug test. 0 Replies [/quote ]

Sorry not true Florida did a test program and even with a low positive test results they still went ahead with this silliness
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  7  
Reply Fri 3 Jun, 2011 12:24 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

Quote:
Poor and in need of state aid does not equal likely drug users or at least no study that I am aware of support such a conclusion.


And I'm sure you won't find a study since nobody has ever required people asking for TANF to take a drug test.


http://www.wctv.tv/home/headlines/122935803.html

Quote:
During debate, opponents pointed to a pilot testing program in Florida that was shut down in 2001 after it showed no significant difference in drug use between welfare recipients and the population at large.

“The wasteful program created by this law subjects Floridians who are impacted by the economic downturn, as well as their families, to a humiliating search of their urine and body fluids without cause or even suspicion of drug abuse,” Howard Simon, executive director of ACLU Florida in a statement Tuesday.

Federal law allows states to screen for drug use under the TANF program, which provides a maximum of $300 a month in cash assistance to needy families. The program, which replaced traditional welfare in the mid 1990s, has a 48-month lifetime cap on benefits.

Other states have studied the issue and decided that testing all recipients was not cost effective, the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Legal and Social Policy wrote in a study released in January.
manored
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jun, 2011 01:50 pm
@aidan,
aidan wrote:

Maybe if people understood that their money that was earmarked to clothe and feed their children would no longer be available if they used drugs, it'd act as a deterrent for them showing up having used drugs to collect their money.
Would this in any way be a bad thing? I don't think so.
Its no progress if they only abstain from drug-use to get their money though. After all, its not a perpetual deterrent like in prisions, but rather ends after the test is over, and then you lose a derrent thats a motivation.

aidan wrote:

I also don't think there's anything selfish or wrong about people not wanting their hard-earned taxes to go toward supporting someone's drug habit- whether that habit entail the ingestion or smoking of nicotine, alcohol, pot, pills, whatever. And I'm not even a republican.
However, prefering that money to go to complete waste... what do you gain if instead of supporting someone's addiction, your money is completly and utterly wasted? I cant think of a reason to prefer that other than hatred for drug-users.
JPB
 
  2  
Reply Fri 3 Jun, 2011 03:20 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

I think it's very interesting that CJane and I seem to feel very similar about this issue.

As far as I know, we're the only two on this thread whose daily life is effected by children whose birth families didn't do a very good job. Both of us had to go through EXTENSIVE evaluation to become parents. Peeing in a cup for the sake of your kid seems like not a big deal at all.

Maybe that's why I just can't be convinced that this is some horrid thing to ask people to do.

I'm still fence sitting but I'm feeling more comfortable with it.


I think there's something to this. When I first read it I was reminded how angry Mr B and I were about a surprise Fingerprint and background check requirement that came out of nowhere for chaperones of school field trips. A couple of the many people I talked to at the time shrugged and said, "I needed a fingerprint and background check for my job. I don't see the problem", whereas to us it was a tremendous invasion of privacy.

I think there is a certain acceptance of things that require folks to go along to get along that, to me, is part of that great slippery slope I try to avoid. I don't want us to assume that everyone applying for financial support is a drug addict and is intending to make the taxpayer support their habit unless they prove otherwise. Not only prove it, but pay for it too - getting reimbursed if they pass the test. Both parents in a two-parent household have to pass drug tests. That's twice the money needed upfront to prove to the taxpayers that you need money to feed your children.

I noticed in the article that ehbeth linked that much is being made of the fact that the applicants have to pay for the test upfront, as if this is somehow going to make it a better deal for the taxpayers -- they'll only have to pay for the tests of those who pass and really do need public support. There's no attempt to say that this is going to reduce the amount of aid given - a surrogate who passes testing will be named in the case of failure. MORE TESTING!!! As I said in my initial response. The only thing I can see happening beyond wasting taxpayer dollars on testing is reducing the number of applicants because they can't come up with the application fee to cover the cost of the drug test.

This whole thing leaves a very sour taste in my mouth.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jun, 2011 03:32 pm
@JPB,
I share your qualms.

Many years ago and far away, I signed a loyalty oath to work at the University of California, and I suppose I still would as my long time jobs there over the years were great ones. But it bothered me, and really bothered some others - much was written about all that.

What I have a vague but pointed memory of was some wording like that I would vow to physically defend the university. Don't quote me as that was forty years ago, but there was something similar. I get that if I worked with national secrets I should be loyal and not sell them to the highest bidder, be that another country's intelligence agency (I figure that was the fear back in '65) or some pharma company in some tacky action - but all in all it was weird, very weird, especially as we had been thru the whole McCarthy stuff not long before.

It's not that I don't care about children's welfare - and I'm getting to feel a bit insulted that those of us who have qualms about this testing get taken as lax re care about children, not to skip that I might not know about meth or the latest black stuff being snuck into england from afghanistan or pakistan - but that I'm getting clearer on my opposition to doing this sans cause per any individual.
boomerang
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 3 Jun, 2011 04:00 pm
@ehBeth,
Quote:
During debate, opponents pointed to a pilot testing program in Florida that was shut down in 2001 after it showed no significant difference in drug use between welfare recipients and the population at large.


That doesn't really tell us anything though, does it? As far as I know the incidence of drug use among 18-32 (going by prime childbearing years) is very high in the general population.

Quote:
Other states have studied the issue and decided that testing all recipients was not cost effective


I don't even want to get into cost effectiveness when it comes to making decisions about how best to benefit kids. If it benefited 5% of them then I would think that was a good use of money -- even if it wasn't "cost effective".

boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jun, 2011 04:03 pm
@ossobuco,
I don't think anyone is suggesting that people who oppose this law don't care about kids.

I've never said that I'm in favor of this law -- only that I don't find the idea without some merit.

I think the difference is that most people see at as penalizing adults while a few of us see that it might have some benefit for kids.
manored
 
  4  
Reply Fri 3 Jun, 2011 04:44 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

I don't even want to get into cost effectiveness when it comes to making decisions about how best to benefit kids. If it benefited 5% of them then I would think that was a good use of money -- even if it wasn't "cost effective".
If it wasnt cost effective, then that means that money could have been used in another way and benefited more kids, or benefited then more. Resources arent infinite, so cost effectiveness always matters.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  5  
Reply Fri 3 Jun, 2011 04:58 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

Quote:
During debate, opponents pointed to a pilot testing program in Florida that was shut down in 2001 after it showed no significant difference in drug use between welfare recipients and the population at large.


That doesn't really tell us anything though, does it?



you said there would be no study indicating this when BillRM and others said that this was the case.

I suspect you hadn't looked into this earlier when BillRM mentioned the results of the pilot testing program earlier in the thread.

One of the things it does tell us is that there is no good reason to target the poor in this regard. Either every parent or potential parent should be tested, or none of them should.

This Florida plan really draws a bead on poor people.

If you are a middle or upper-class drug-using parent in Florida, no one's interested. There's no money to be made off testing you - and no political hay to be made.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  4  
Reply Fri 3 Jun, 2011 04:59 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

I think the difference is that most people see at as penalizing adults while a few of us see that it might have some benefit for kids.


I think you're quite wrong in your perception of how other people see it.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  6  
Reply Fri 3 Jun, 2011 05:08 pm
@boomerang,
What I am getting is a whole 'those of us who have adopted know better' schema, whether or not I'm right on that.

You must know that I'm strongly for adoption, so I won't go there. But it does not mean that you care more about children than any of the rest of us arguing different points. It's a red herring that is emotional, in my view, and somewhat obscuring of issues.
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Fri 3 Jun, 2011 05:31 pm
@ossobuco,
I don't think we "know better" but I do think those of us who have been through the process of adopting might see things a bit differently. It is a wildly invasive process.

Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jun, 2011 05:44 pm
More than two dozen states are doing it or have legislation proposed. I think it's the economic crisis we're in, but it likely won't pass in all states. W. Virginia has already voted it down.

Arizona's law has been in effect since late 2009. They ask a series of questions about an applicant's drug usage and if any of the answers are yes, the applicant is tested.

The proposed legislation in Ohio will include alcohol detection in their testing and an applicant is only allowed to fail once before losing benefits for a year.

Most of us question the constitutionality of such a law, but one source I discovered points out that may only apply to random testing, with lawmakers getting around that by having all applicants tested.
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Fri 3 Jun, 2011 05:51 pm
@boomerang,
That's true - I have to distinguish between your and CJane's arguments.

I'm not clear that all this would somehow benefit children (see other arguers' posts) but will admit some maybes.

I'd still rather see testing for cause. The child's mother in my family should have been interviewed more than she was, but - there was a beginning bias towards the woman at the original hearing re the dad and possible child abuse, that they were probably defensive of if any of them noticed. I was there, until I was sent out, and saw the bias. The judge, the attorney for the mother, the attorney for the child, were women. The attorney for the father was a divorce attorney out of his element, a guy recommended to the husband. The bias toward the mother was creepy. (I was sent out since I might have been called to testify.) Would that I had been.
Water under bridge now. I did talk with the head psychiatrist, who thanked me, said he now understood, no wonder the child didn't recognize a penis.
He died shortly thereafter. But nothing was changed, dad paid for three years or so of therapy for all individually.

The mother, though, remembered me as the only person going over to her in the vast courtrooms lobby and saying hello. I got calls from her for years until she died, many of them incoherent, but not always all of it. She admitted setting her accusation up and being sorry. A long sentence on one phone call.
the child told me later she remembered when the woman at the bus stop said strange stuff to her - brought up by her, not me, and her description fit. I know I was the last person to talk with the mother besides anyone in the emergency room, as she called me from there.

Well, that's just one scenario that I know of.

I figure this kind of complication is multiple. The kind of scenario that would keep children from getting help frightens me.

I'm irritated to hear that adopters are special in understanding why florida's take should win or not.


ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jun, 2011 06:08 pm
@ossobuco,
Dad eventually got custody, years later. Child grew in knowledge of the world, but not in a bad way.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  4  
Reply Fri 3 Jun, 2011 08:00 pm
@boomerang,
Quote:
I think the difference is that most people see at as penalizing adults while a few of us see that it might have some benefit for kids.


I see this as politicians targeting poor families for their own benefits and getting away with it as everyone just know that poor families are full of drug users unlike the middle class and above.

The only problem with that is poor families tends to have the same ratio of drug users to non drug users as everyone else in society.

There is no reason for the poor as a class to need to prove to the state that they do not abuse drugs any more then the Bill Gates of society.

So if it a good idea for Joe Blow earning 15,000 a year to piss in a jar for the goods of his kids then damn it Mr. Gate should need to piss in a jar for the goods of his kids.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  3  
Reply Fri 3 Jun, 2011 08:03 pm
@boomerang,
Quote:
I don't think we "know better" but I do think those of us who have been through the process of adopting might see things a bit differently. It is a wildly invasive process.


Once more asking the state to turn over a child to you is not the same as people with their own biology children that are being single for such treatments for the "crime" of being poor and asking the state for help.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  3  
Reply Fri 3 Jun, 2011 08:17 pm
@Irishk,
Quote:
The proposed legislation in Ohio will include alcohol detection in their testing and an applicant is only allowed to fail once before losing benefits for a year.


So the poor can not have a can or two of beer if they wish for government help for their families?
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  3  
Reply Fri 3 Jun, 2011 11:56 pm
@manored,
Quote:
Its no progress if they only abstain from drug-use to get their money though.

Why not? Abstaining from drug use, or any other harmful activity is abstaining from drug use or any other harmful activity - it doesn't matter why or what your motivation is - if you're abstaining, you're abstaining.
Quote:
After all, its not a perpetual deterrent like in prisions, but rather ends after the test is over, and then you lose a derrent thats a motivation.


No, what I'm saying is if there is random testing, in other words it might happen, it might not - you don't know when it will happen and when it won't - this might have an effect on peoples' behavior.

I mean, I'm not allowed to take gum or cell phones into my work. I've only gotten searched three times since I've been working there, but the knowledge that I could be searched at any time has deterred me from taking gum and a cell phone into my work every day. I don't do it because I never know when I might be searched. See what I'm saying?
And here's an analogy for you...I'm not one of the staff who are bringing illegal items into the prison to sell to the inmates, but I have to be searched just because I might be. That's just the way it is.

Quote:
However, prefering that money to go to complete waste... what do you gain if instead of supporting someone's addiction, your money is completly and utterly wasted? I cant think of a reason to prefer that other than hatred for drug-users.

Well, if they were randomly tested, it might provide a deterrent without many of the tests ever being done. That'd save some money, wouldn't it? Just the threat of the test might change some behavior - in a good way - that would benefit these kids.

And look - I don't have any hatred for drug addicts. Some of my favorite people are addicts. I THANK GOD I wasn't born with an addictive personality. I see the struggle and sadness they endure EVERY SINGLE MINUTE OF EVERY SINGLE DAY! But those who are addicted will be the first to tell you they need outside help to fight their addiction.

And as I said - apart from all the money issues and conflicts of interests - I'm for anything that might help some of these kids get what they need - and yeah - help their parents understand where their priorities should lie.

And it's not because they're poor. If you ask me to borrow money - it's my right to ask you what you need it for and what you might plan to spend it on, isn't it?
If it's your own money - heck - it's none of my business what you spend it on then - is it?

If you're getting a benefit - there's usually a cost attached, innit? That's life.


URL: http://able2know.org/reply/post-4629283
BillRM
 
  3  
Reply Sat 4 Jun, 2011 07:34 am
@aidan,
Quote:
And it's not because they're poor. If you ask me to borrow money - it's my right to ask you what you need it for and what you might plan to spend it on, isn't it?
If it's your own money - heck - it's none of my business what you spend it on then - is it?

If you're getting a benefit - there's usually a cost attached, innit? That's life.



Let see so anyone who benefit from a government loan or program should be willing to give blood and urine samples just in case they are drug users.

The millions of people who had or will take out a student loan, or a government back home mortgage, or small business loans or………..

Most of the farmers in this country, the management and boards of directors of most of our major banks and the same go for two out of three of the US cars companies.

Sorry we would never dream of doing so for all the people above but it is ok for the poor because they are poor.
0 Replies
 
 

 
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