When all else fails shriek 'racism' loud and clear
On May 31, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law a bill requiring all cash benefit recipients on welfare to be drug tested, not requiring those who only receive food stamps. The welfare bill requires that the welfare recipients pay for their drug test, which can range anywhere from $10 to $100, but they will be reimbursed on their initial welfare payout if they pass. If one does fail the drug test, then they become ineligible for a year. If, after failing, one shows proof of successfully completing drug treatment then this one year is dropped to 6 months. Failing the test twice makes a potential welfare recipient ineligible for 3 years.
Governor Scott has already been sued twice by the ACLU earlier in
June, and now may face a third suit in response to this bill. Back in
1999 a similar law was passed in Michigan, but was declared
unconstitutional in 2000 by a United States District Court in violation
of the fourth amendment in argument that “suspicionless drug testing”
violates our protection of unreasonable searches and seizures.
But is that really a good argument? In an interview with WPTV News,
Sen. Gary Siplin, (D) Orlando, said that this is essentially Rick Scott
saying that all welfare recipients are drug dealers. Ridiculous. And in a
recent article in The Economist, Maria Kayanan, of the ACLU in Florida,
is quoted saying that the bill is “patriarchal, racist and
mean-spirited” which is another outrageous claim. How is blanket drug
testing of ALL welfare recipients racist?
The counter-argument from Scott and supporters is that this is going
to help protect taxpayers’ money. Since it is the taxpayers that are
paying the bill and they have to be drug free for their jobs, why not
test the very people who are using their money? It is also very
beneficial for families, as it will help to push those who do use drugs
to either make better life decisions and stop or lose their income.
The goal is not to target minorities or be racist; it is simply to
have those who use taxpayer money to show proof of where it is going. If
it is coming out of my paycheck and I am losing some of my hard-earned
money, then I would love to see that a family is buying clothes and food
for their children and providing shelter. Where’s the harm in that?