Looks like Florida's program to drug test welfare recipients will save the state $40thousand to $98thousand a year, not including cost of administering the program, at a cost of only $178million.  tbo.com


This has nothing to do with Florida governor Rick Scott's shadow-ownership of the major drug testing company in Florida.


Republicans are against government intrusion into people's private lives.  This is not an intrusion into anyone's private life, either.











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I think you're missing the point.  It's not correct to think that receiving free welfare is the same as receiving a loan.  In fact, they're 2 totally different beasts.  And I assume your definition of 'handout' is equivalent to free.


Welfare handouts are free to these individuals.  They don't have to be paid back. Loans accumulate interest and it gets compounded.  Sure, I get assistance, but it's assistance for an otherwise unaffordable endeavor for many.  However, the government will not only get the money paid back + interest (including Sallie Mae before the government took over in July of 2010), but they'll also see a return investment when I get done with residency.  So I will be putting back into the system at my OWN expense, all-the-while throughout school as well.  


A tax credit isn't a handout.  It's a deduction from your income based on criteria you've met, ie donation of clothes or books, money to charities, etc... Again, not a handout, but a deduction of your taxes.


Like I stated, welfare is implemented as assistance.  With the assistance, you are expected to provide a return.  It's similar to an investment and we Americans are investing in our poor so that there is an opportunity to make life easier for themselves. 


And yes, I can get randomly drug tested at any time by the hospital and I've already had to do a criminal background check a while ago, along with a statement from my local police department.  

A couple of things. First of all, Stafford (or government "subsidized" loans) are, in fact, a handout. Loans normally accumulate interest. Government-subsidized loans do not because the government pays the loan interest for free while you are in school. Therefore, it's a "handout".

A tax credit is not the same as a deduction. If you have $0 income taxes in a given year, a credit would give you money back. Therefore, tax credits (i.e. earned income credit, child tax credit, etc) are handounts.

When you really think about it, though, nothing is a government handout since we all pay in via taxes. We all pay school taxes (if we own property), sales taxes (which is a regressive tax), income taxes (although some get the whole of their income taxes back). Welfare is not all that different from other kinds of government programs from which we all benefit. We look down our noses at welfare recipients, though, because of an innate classism that exists in most of our minds, that somehow being poor is the fault of laziness or the like.

Subsidized loans accumulate interest after you graduate and it still has to be paid back.  This is unlike welfare where it does not need to be paid back.


And yes, you're correct and I'm incorrect about the tax credit/tax deduction.  Major faux pas on my part.  Thank you for catching that and clarifying it.


I don't agree with your last paragraph.  I don't look down on the poor, and I know many others that don't.  Nor do I consider them lazy.  I don't think of them as any less human than I am and I don't believe classism is 'innate'.  Also, yes, you're right, education is welfare, but again, it's an investment that sees returns, ie. graduating seniors going either to work, to college, playing sports for college, etc...



Subsidized loan interest, while in school, which is paid by the federal government on your behalf does not need to be repaid. That's the handout that I am referring to.


I wasn't specifically referring to your specific views on welfare, but the general view which permiates society. The classism arises when we single out welfare recipients for testing. We do this because there is an assumption that people on welfare are more likely to do drugs.

There is also a large backlash in the US from some groups regarding the very idea of welfare in the first place. That people on welfare are leeching off of the federal government and choose to not work out of laziness. That assumption, again, comes from classism.


As for returns, welfare does provide returns. Returns far exceeding the benefits of those who go on to "play sports for college", which I don't consider a societal benefit at all....People on welfare are normally on it for short periods of time, after which they go on to get jobs. Welfare cash paid out by our government provides stimulus for businesses as close to 100% of welfare funds paid is used to purchase consumer goods, compared to small percentage of funds paid in subsidies or millionaire tax breaks. Consumer spending creates jobs, tax revenues, and also provides food, clothing and shelter for families who, without welfare, may be on the streets dying of disease.

I find it funny, that Florida created this drug testing policy with the classist expectation that they'd save a ton of money by kicking off all of the drug-using criminals, only to find out that the occurence of drug use among welfare recipients appeared to be a smaller percentage than the national average. How's that for irony?


Right, while in school interest won't accumulate because yes, the gov 'pays for it', but the loan is not a handout because it has to be paid back lol.  After graduation, that 6.9% goes into effect and it starts compounding.


No no, I wasn't thinking you were directing the statement specifically at me. I was just clarifying that many people I've come across don't think that the poor are lazy, etc...  

It's not that it's people that are on welfare are more likely to do drugs, it's that those who live under the poverty level are more likely to turn to and abuse drugs.  And it just so happens that people under the poverty level also happen to apply for welfare.


I think we'll disagree with the statement that welfare provides more returns than playing college sports and that they aren't considered to have any societal benefit.  Pretty sure Phil Knight would disagree with you on that.


And yes, welfare pays for consumer goods, but it's supposed to be consumer goods that are meant for survival.  If you live below the poverty line, receive welfare, but spend earned money to purchase drugs so that you eliminate the ability to adequately save, then it should be imperative that one be tested to determine whether or not one should be qualified to receive aid.  


I don't know if the main goal was to save 'a ton' of money.  I'd say more of 'get your stuff together and you can get the aid that's needed'.  From what I've read, it's been about being responsible when receiving welfare.


Anyway, I'll leave it at that.


Who's Phil Knight?
co- founder Nike. His point being that Nike has made a vast wealth off of selling sport related goods. Of course Walmart is worth even more and they receive a very large amount of revenues from consumers on welfare.
I think we could all stand to be a little more responsible, but if the most recent US fiscal disaster has taught us anything its that we have a LOT more to lose from the irresponsibility of people who have money than we do from the irresponsibility of those who don't :)
You mean like spending 178 million dollars to catch a couple of people who have THC in their pee?
Current drug laws are stupid. You can legally drink alcohol but not use marijuana. Why base helping others on a drug test. Compassion is in order. It is easy to pick on poor people calling them lazy. We worship the wealthy out of admiration and envy. The poor who need our help, the elderly needing social security, medicaid recipients are viewed as parasites by many who feel smug and secure in having resources for them selves.
I work in the health care field and many of my patients are on government assistance. At my office, several of those on government assistance are using or abusing illegal or legal (pain meds, cigaretts, alcohol) drugs. So, yes there is an obvious problem that needs to be addressed. I get frusterated when I see a mom with 5 kids and no education smoking 3 packs of cigarettes per day on my dime. Because she is killing herself and her kids and we will all eventually pay for it. I don't think drug testing is a bad idea. But I think a 'handout' is not the way to go. Why are we just giving people a blank check? I want to help people in need, so lets give housing vouchers, gas cards and food stamps. Then mom won't take her government check and spend it all on blow while her kids go hungry.  
Traci, I also work in healthcare. You use the word (handout) which is a code word that implies those on government assistance are undeserving of it. You are stereotyping millions of people. What if you are a single mother and you have a stroke and no income and you need to pay rent and electric and have a phone and need food and clothing and feed the kid? What if you lose your job and you cant find another, then your utilities are turned off then you have your house repossessed and you run out of unemployment compensation?  Do these people then go to live in a cardboard box and rot?



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