On Welfare? Then You Probably Have Plenty Of Time To Pee In This Cup…

Having solved the problems of Georgia’s banking crisis, The train-wreck that is T-SPLOST, Removing Georgia from the bottom rung of edcation rankings, passing a resolution honoring whichever beauty queen or Georgia based musician that had time for a Capitol tour, both the Georgia House and Senate have passed bills requiring recipients of some forms of welfare to pass drug tests in order to receive benefits.

Both involved lengthy debates and party-line votes. Republicans said they  would save taxpayer money and protect drug users from themselves. Democrats  described the requirements as burdensome for people who are already poor.

Sen. George Hooks, D-Americus, noted that in the 63 miles between Americus  and Eufaula, Ala., there are five state welfare offices but only one doctor and  no drug stores. How far will they have to travel to get tested, he asked.

“Isn’t it true that this measure will put an undo burden on the struggling  people of this state?” asked Sen. Lester Jackson, D-Savannah.

The Senate sponsor, Sen. John Albers, R-Roswell, disagreed.

“True compassion is doing what’s best for people, not what’s easiest,” he  said.

Legislators declined to extend the priviledge of urine tests to their own service.  After all, the tough love they elequently spoke of during the debate only applies to the faceless masses they will never see, not to the actual peers they see every day who may benefit from the tough life lessons they say food stamp recipients need to learn.

If they wanted to get ahead of the curve, they should have included restrictions on lottery winners from receiving food stamps.  It appears Michigan has not one, but two winners of $1 Million plus lottery jackpots who continued to collect food stamps because “they were not working”.

 

32 comments

  1. griftdrift says:

    I really wanted to write about this but alas, other matters press.

    So let me quickly explain why this is possibly the worst bill ever.

    It tries to solve a problem that doesn’t exist – Florida passed a similar law despite the fact that their own study group determined less than 1% of TANF users test positive for drugs. And that particular bit of stupidity led to….

    The inevitable costly lawsuit – Someone in Florida refused, sued when denied and a judge already slapped the state with an injunction. Of course Florida can’t have been wrong despite everyone in the world telling they were so it’s now making it’s way through the appellate system. The appellate system is not a thrifty place so say goodbye to some of those tax dollars

    And just for the libertarians – Because living in reality and saving taxpayer dollars may not be enough to convince you, let the visual of a government agent observing you while you drop trou swim around in your head for a while.

    • Charlie says:

      Thanks. We should have addressed it before now, and I’ve got a full plate of other matters going on, so I decided to let the above start the conversation and let the facts as you presented above come out in the comments. Thanks for the facts.

      • Rick Day says:

        which is WELL within the margin of error for false positives. I think the false positive may be as high as 3.5~4%

        Now let us follow the money. Which drug testing company is going to benefit financially from this legislation? And which state politicians are tied to PissGate?

        For this, as well as several other stupid laws, is why I detest the GOP and the ilk who continue to vote for them, all the while apologizing for the draconian stupidity of THEIR elected leaders.

      • Clone Of B. Plyler says:

        Grift, if that 2% is accurate..why do most employers require drug tests at hiring & then randomly to stay employed? Do most employers only catch 2% ?

    • dsean says:

      I’m pretty certain most libertarians will reject conditioning government benefits on giving up essential liberty. At least that’s my take on it.

      I don’t particularly care for the welfare state, but that’s no reason to re-entrench the twin evils of state coercion and the drug war.

      • CobbGOPer says:

        As someone with heavy libertarian leanings, I’m completely against this legislation in particular, and the war on drugs in general.

        But once again this session, the same tactic: let’s flood the media with all these socially focused issues and legislation, so that they won’t pay attention to the spending increases we’re pushing through.

      • seenbetrdayz says:

        Yeah, it’s the system we have a problem with.

        Government has a tendency to create problems, and then use those problems as an excuse to further delve into personal lives, thus creating more problems.

        It’ll create a welfare system. This leads to dependency, abuse, entitlements, etc. The system then has to be ‘enhanced’ to handle these new problems. Government continues to grow. It’ll need more taxes to fund that growth. The cycle never ends.

    • sunkawakan says:

      Is sending urine to your state legislators considered a terroristic threat?

      Frankly, I’m much more concerned about the senior citizens who are hopped up on drugs. I say test everyone who’s on Medicare. There are certainly some 70- and 80-somethings who need saving from the ravages of addiction.

  2. Calypso says:

    I’ve got a big cupful of warm pee for these yahoo legislators alright. They can test it for drugs after they wring it from their clothing.

    • Rick Day says:

      The only piss test I’m willing to submit to those Terrorists in Suits is a TASTE TEST.

      Drink up, Shriners.

      I’ve got my own drug testing policy. Piss Off.

  3. saltycracker says:

    This is what happens when you have a swiss cheese of regulations and gov’t deals eat up with fraud and fuzzy math accountability….legislators, lobbyists and their minions come up with ways to stop another hole..or get a piece…..

    Maybe, just maybe, we take a look at the cheese…

  4. gcp says:

    Not sure if these bills refer to TANF only or do they include food stamp recipients? The Food Stamp Program costs over 70 billion a year. Drug testing recipients would be a waste as is the whole program. Best thing would be to phase it out over several years. Let churches and charity groups handle the problem rather than forcing taxpayers to fund it.

  5. Doug Deal says:

    The pessimist asks how they could waste this much time on such a silly bill. The optimist rejoices that this is all they could come up with.

  6. elfiii says:

    The simple solution is to get rid of welfare. Then nobody will be required to study for a urine exam.

    • SallyForth says:

      I wonder what company will get the sweetheart deal of providing the State with all those hundreds of thousands of plastic cups (or jars with tops like at the doc’s office), plus what laboratory corporation will get the contract for testing all that pee and charging for lab reports? Our so-called “conservative” legislature at work inventing new ways to spend taxpayer money unnecessarily…..

  7. Harry says:

    Wow, not one comment on Peach Pundit favoring this legislation. You guys are the Peach Counterculture. I will say this: I favor testing. If druggies want to get public benefits, then let them be drug free and available for work. And, to whoever said we shouldn’t provide welfare benefits in any case, I maintain you are not living in the real world. The only issues in contention are, what should the nature and cost, and who should receive them?

  8. c_murrayiii says:

    Well, if you’re gonna test welfare recipients, I think you have to also test anyone receiving a check from the government, after all, we wouldn’t want to subsidize their drug habits either, whether they are legislators, veterans, etc. I wonder how requiring senior citizens and veterans to take a drug test before receiving benefits would go over?

  9. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    Yet again, another absolute waste of precious public time and taxpayer money brought to you by the good folks in the Georgia General Assembly.

    At least we can all rest assured that no gray matter or brain power has been wasted or harmed during this year’s session of the Georgia General Assembly.

  10. Cassandra says:

    One sitting lawmaker in North Atlanta put this matter up on his FB page asking for comments. The comments ran easily ten-to-one for the Bill. The lawmakers said he thought the Bill was a terrible idea and would not support it.

    So…

    Do we elect lawmakers to do the right thing or the popular thing?

    Terrible Bill, another in a long line of actions, laws, and regulations that confirm my suspicion that some still believe we are a colony of convicts.

  11. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    I agree that it is a suspect bill in which the lawmakers wasted a lot of the taxpayers’ time and money, probably so that someone’s crony campaign contributor could get a sweetheart government contract for their drug-testing firm.

    But from a purely strategic standpoint politically bills like these and other bills involving social issues rally the Republican Party’s base of voters.

    In this particular case, this bill helps rally the support of both social conservatives and fiscal conservatives, both groups of whom may be concerned that taxpayer dollars are going to finance illegal drug use by a socioeconomic group viewed by many conservatives to be nothing more than a bunch of low-income slackers who are too lazy to get a job and are likely much more prone to vote for Democrats than the GOP’s target demographic of middle and upper-class suburbanites and OTP social conservatives.

    If the polls are correct, despite entrenched dominance of the party in the state of Georgia, the GOP needs to rally their base to provide a comfortable margin of victory in the November elections as there seems to be an increasing threat that a largely conservative electorate may be growing disillusioned with the Republican Party’s perceived very severe lack-of-leadership on important issues in the state like transportation, education and water amongst others.

    The fear isn’t necessarily that a largely conservative electorate will vote for Democrats, whom are despised even more so than a failing Republican Party, but the fear is that voters will just simply stay at home and sit on their hands and not vote at all, leaving a much, much, much thinner margin between the hated Democrats and the dominate ruling Republican Party in Georgia in November elections.

    Bills like these and other so-called “red meat” political bills designed to appeal to the conservative base of the GOP also help distract the base and much of the rest of the political spectrum from issue of the dominant influence of lobbyist money and gifts in the Georgia General Assembly, money and gifts in which legislators are clearly loathe to give up.

    Not to mention that bills like these also help provide more work to legislators and their peers in the legal field from the court challenges that are certain to ensue.

  12. Greg Williams says:

    Here’s a thought, perhaps there’s such a low percentage of positive drug tests is because drug testing laws act as a deterrent for drug addicts to get welfare benefits. Welfare leeches that are used to “peeing hot” and still getting a check have a new reality…

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