Thursday, March 20, 2014

Drug Test All Welfare Applicants

Drug Test All Welfare Applicants
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
March 20, 2014

The Indiana State House needs to stand its ground regarding the drug testing of all potential welfare recipients. The watered down version approved by the State Senate is simply too weak.

Either version of the bill (HB 1351) must still answer questions pertaining to its Constitutionality as per the Fourth Amendment and unreasonable/reasonable search and seizure. The crux is the word reasonable.

Welfare is not mandatory; and while it is deemed reasonable for potential employees to pass a drug test prior to commencing a new job, it is thusly equally reasonable for potential welfare recipients to pass the same drug test. After all, it is the taxes paid by the drug tested employee that fund the welfare of the unemployed. This should be uniform law in all 50 states.

In a recent interview on the O’ Reilly Factor on the Fox News Channel, former Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich raised the aforementioned Fourth Amendment issue as well as the Fifth Amendment in his objection to drug testing welfare applicants. The point about the Fifth Amendment pertains to the right not to incriminate oneself. In both cases – the Fourth and Fifth amendments remain inviolate as one is not required to apply for, or accept welfare. Should applicants accept the aid, they would need to adhere to government policies pertaining to such acceptance. Remember, these are people going to government, not the other way around. Another case for smaller, less intrusive government, by the way.

Kucinich further declared that should drug testing occur, it should be across the board for all who request government aid – such as bank bailouts. Kucinich harped on the bank bailouts without mentioning the bailout of the auto industry, but his point is well taken. But from this vantage point, government should not have bailed out either the banking or automobile industries in the first place. If a business fails, either go back to the drawing board for a more desirable product or go the way of the dinosaur and Oldsmobile. Don’t want strings attached, don’t become a government puppet.

There are concerns about the children of the drug tested welfare applicants whose benefits are denied. According to The Indianapolis Star article of March 5, 2014, “Senate OK’s drug testing for some on welfare,” children “would continue to receive benefits through a trustee.” That idea is very reasonable as drug users are rightfully punished without taking food out of the mouths of children.

Bottom line, if those paying the taxes are held accountable, so too should the recipients of those very tax dollars.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.

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