Fiscal conservatives have done it again, proving how their values of saving money do exactly the opposite- at least for the tax payers.
Utah’s newest war on the poor has mandated a quiz for all welfare recipients. This quiz determines if the person is likely to use drugs. If they are, then they are required to take a drug test. Even if they test positive, they are not kicked off of the welfare program and instead required to enter substance abuse programs.
To date, Utah has spent over $30,000 (all tax payer funded, remember) to quiz and test these welfare recipients. Was it worth it?
Only twelve people tested positive of the 400+ that were required to test…twelve.
These twelve will be forced to enter the substance abuse center of their choice, which they will also pay for (though the courses have a sliding scale to base upon income, payment is still required).
At what point will Republicans realize that in cases like these, the end does not justify the means? Wasting $30,000 on only twelve people sounds a lot like another Republican farce, and another way for them to wage the war on the poorest in America.
In theory, it sounds like it’s not an awful idea. Louisiana Senator David Vitter (R) said, “With potentially billions of dollars of welfare funds ending up in the wrong places or being spent on illegal drugs, the least we can do is make sure that money is going where it’s actually supposed to.”
Billions of dollars in welfare funds… on twelve people? Sounds a little sensationalized to me. The whole idea of this law is to save people money by not giving welfare to people using it for the wrong things. But when the solution is costing tax payers more than the original problem, it may be time to try something different.
In 2012 Florida had similar results to Utah. Of 4,086 tested, only 100 were positive. This cost tax payers an extra $45,780 and essentially saved them nothing.
Florida was considered the pioneer to this law, and many other states followed suit. Some states that currently have a similar law are: Missouri, West Virginia, Kansas, Kentucky, and Texas. There are also plenty of other states that are considering the legislation or are pending. Some states have in their legislation that random testing may be administered and ability of receiving welfare is based upon the person’s ability to pass or fail the test. The states enacting random testing are, however, facing fire from the American Civil Liberties Union who say that it is a violation of the 4th Amendment’s “unlawful search and seizure” clause.
Why Drug Testing Welfare Users is Stupid: