Wasting to save

The quickest way to ruin what might be a good argument for something is to take an exaggerated action that makes a mockery of it by undermining the claim. Rather than let the argument and its proof stand on its own merits, too often supporters come up with an ill thought out policy or procedure.

We all know there are problems with social assistance programs. In spite of the vast majority of people who do not abuse the system, I am aware of the glaring examples of those who do. Things out of the norm are usually more obvious than those that stay within it.

I have had students whose families play the welfare system for generations producing babies as soon as is biologically possible so multiple generations in the same home qualify for the assistance needed to support children. But then, again, I know that the vast majority of my students whose families depended on welfare followed the rules and, so, were not as obvious as the abusers.

You could pick the former out of a crowd, but not so the latter.

I also know of well-to-do families who take in foster children and spend the least amount of the money they receive from that on the children, but spend it on themselves. I also know many families who do what is best for the child and do not use the system to make money.

I have ended a friendship with an acquaintance who played the unemployment system so he could have a good life filled with partying and social events during his summers without a job being in the way, but I know many more people who use unemployment compensation to survive during the time it took to find another job, and when found, took it.

In my experience in six towns in four states the majority followed the rules, and, so, were not as obvious as the scafflaws who are assumed to be representative of the majority, but aren’t.

We have all noticed the person with the EBT card in front of us in the line at the store who plays the system, but we don’t notice all those others in the store at the same time who, by following the rules, do not stand out.

Basically we are all pretty much unconscious of our toes especially the littlest one until we stub it and it becomes our universe. The other nine toes are still there, but who notices them at that point. We pass thousands of cars on the road to work, but can probably only describe the one broken down at the side of the road or the two that were in the accident we passed.

But if we are to be truthful, we have to acknowledge the system is respected by more than the out of place cases that are so visible.

In this "Christian" nation of ours we seem to be hell bent on eliminating public charity for the most amount of people, and to do that we lay the limited cases of abuse on everyone who depends on public assistance.

A number of states have decided that they could save a lot of money by eliminating those on public assistance who spend their funds on drugs. As a result, the assumption grew that the majority of those receiving welfare and unemployment compensation were simply smoking or injecting away the taxpayers money, and all recipients were assumed to be addicts and abusers of the system,   And, so, they introduced testing programs on all recipients at the taxpayers' expense to get all those cheaters off the dole.

There are many states that have decided to do this. these are just examples of the loudest states that proved themselves wrong.

Florida was the first state to do this after a lot of bloviating about the rampant abuse in the system at a cost of $35 per test. The result was that after making every welfare recipient appear guilty as justification for the testing, they found that 99% of the people in the system were drug free. $118,140 of the taxpayers' money was then spent to reimburse those who were tested, so the state lost money on the gamble.

The state danced around this by saying it was not really about the money, but the drug use, which they proved was at a minimum and only revealed marijuana in the majority of the 1%'s systems.

In Utah, where it was projected that the state would save over $330,000 with drug testing, they found 12 people. It cost the taxpayers over $31,000 for the testing, and this included families seeking temporary assistance in these financially iffy times.

Arizona claimed they would save $1.7 million a year with the testing, and found one person and saved $560.

Oklahoma, never wanting to be left behind in any right wing-nut idea, spent $74,000 and found 29 people who failed a drug test.

During the whole NSA business people have been referring to the Fourth Amendment that rules out unlawful searches and seizures. However, claiming that because it is permissible to assume that the majority of public assistance recipients may be using drugs based solely on that being what we want to believe, we have to assume they all are and that legitimizes a violation of their Fourth Amendment rights.

We demand total adherence to the Second Amendment no matter how exaggerated the claim to the right to bear all kinds of arms is, but we seem to play fast and loose with the Fourth Amendment because it only applies to "them", not us. Gun owners are true Americans; the poor among us are not, I guess.

The only way to justify this bending of number four is to test anyone who receives any government funds. That would include on a short list farmers who get subsidies, Big oil companies that get them too, students who get loans, research laboratories, veterans, employees of the companies that administer the tests, religious entities, and last, but not least, all politicians. Otherwise we have designated a class of people to whom the Fourth Amendment does not apply.

Perhaps those who insist we are a "Christian" nation should have a less than dismissive and prejudiced attitude toward the poor they like to present as shiftless and lazy who prefer to suck on the teat of Lady Liberty.

it violates Christ's admonition to help the poor and not to judge others, especially rashly.

Considering the miniscule numbers of people that have been found with drugs in their system, the majority of cases being marijuana, instead of promoting the implication that all people, or at least the majority, are druggies we could be more Christian and stop judging and know that a few abuser will slip in, while the majority of people are not abusers.

Jesus cured 10 lepers. He is supposed to have been God, so he should have known 9 would not come back and thank Him. He neither gave them a questionnaire before the curing, required them to verify anything, nor did he re-inflict leprosy when the 9 did not come back. He may have assumed that the majority of them were grateful and may have forgotten themselves and run home to their families to give the good news, but he did not assume or act in a way as to say that if even one of them did not return for selfish reasons they all had.

We waste money testing people for political gain, which obviously becomes a political loss if people are paying attention, and then we disprove our claim to be a "Christian" nation by very unchristian behavior toward the least of our brethren, those who need our help.

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