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Welfare, food stamps, unemployment peeps subject to drug testing/cap lottery winnings

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http://apnews.myway.com/article/20090326/D975MFE80.html

Want government assistance? Just say no to drugs.

Lawmakers in at least eight states want recipients of food stamps, unemployment benefits or welfare to submit to random drug testing.

The effort comes as more Americans turn to these safety nets to ride out the recession. Poverty and civil liberties advocates fear the strategy could backfire, discouraging some people from seeking financial aid and making already desperate situations worse.

Those in favor of the drug tests say they are motivated out of a concern for their constituents' health and ability to put themselves on more solid financial footing once the economy rebounds. But proponents concede they also want to send a message: you don't get something for nothing.

Discuss.

I think it's a good idea...if you show positive results...you're put into a program to help and in a probationary time where you still receive benefits, but violations while on probation could remove help altogether.

Caught this tidbit too.

Drug testing is not the only restriction envisioned for people receiving public assistance: a bill in the Tennessee Legislature would cap lottery winnings for recipients at $600.

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I'd be OK with a limited version of this - but not the lottery part, thats stupid.

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You know what would be cool? If people on welfare or unemployment for longer than six months were forced to ride around with Mexican lawn service workers for one day a week.

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I'm iffy on the lottery winnings...but why not cap at a certain amount. Calculate incoming income to the household...figure out the percentage of the household income coming from government and forfeit that percentage of the after-taxes amount.

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I have one hesitation with this and that is many of the people on welfare have kids. I don't care one bit if some jerkoff wants to get high all day and go hungry because they can't get food stamps but when that jerkoff has kids it becomes an issue. Unfortunately you can't force people to be responsible no matter how many incentives you provide. Taking the kids away is the only option I can see, something like a 3 strikes and they're gone scenario. But, how many more kids would that put in state homes? I really like the idea of adding some responsibility and accountability to receiving welfare, I just worry about the collateral damage all the low lifes that don't care about anyone but themselves will cause to their children.

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I have one hesitation with this and that is many of the people on welfare have kids. I don't care one bit if some jerkoff wants to get high all day and go hungry because they can't get food stamps but when that jerkoff has kids it becomes an issue. Unfortunately you can't force people to be responsible no matter how many incentives you provide. Taking the kids away is the only option I can see, something like a 3 strikes and they're gone scenario. But, how many more kids would that put in state homes? I really like the idea of adding some responsibility and accountability to receiving welfare, I just worry about the collateral damage all the low lifes that don't care about anyone but themselves will cause to their children.

Agreed...but I'm positive there would be a probationary period/3 strikes/rehab help provided...but at some point you have to see that the children are probably better to be removed from the parent.

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So this kind of nanny state is good. The kind where we get to tell people how to live their lives.

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So this kind of nanny state is good. The kind where we get to tell people how to live their lives legally (minus the lottery part).

Fixed

Yes...kinda like we're telling AIG employees who worked out an employment contract with their company. No different.

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Welfare is not supposed to be a way of life which is what it has become. So yes, requiring people who don't work to comply with not doing illegal things that other people who work have to do (how many of us had to take drug tests when we were going to be actually earning our paychecks?) is not a nanny state in my eyes. It's more of a parent who requires children to do chores to get an allowance type thing IMO. If they are blowing welfare dollars on drugs instead of using it to do what it's supposed to be for, how is that beneficial to the kids?

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So this kind of nanny state is good. The kind where we get to tell people how to live their lives.

How is this a "nanny state"? Many employers have drug policies and required testing... if the gov't is providing your living and meals, why can't they have a similar requirement?

Is the idea of welfare a help to get people who are down and out a leg up to improve their lives or a crutch for them to walk with the rest of their lives?

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My question is how much it'll cost. Drug tests aren't free...

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My question is how much it'll cost. Drug tests aren't free...

I'm betting around $20 per test...probably less on bulk purchase.

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