XBCOM/275 - Final Paper - Should Welfare Recipients Be Required To Drug Test?

Essay by thewahm May 2013

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Should Welfare Recipients Be Required To Drug Test?

Whenever there is an economic downturn, recession, or near-depression, the United States government looks for places to cut and for instances of waste fraud and abuse to help curtail spending and lessen the amount of debt it takes on. While spending on social programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is only a small part of the total of government spending (less than 2%) and defense spending is larger than all other spending combined (around 57%) politicians in one party have found that going after the poorest among us is a sure vote-getter (Jonsson 2012). Florida's healthcare industry CEO-turned-governor Rick Scott, who spent $75 million of his own money to get elected governor, has catered to his base constituency and his colleagues in the medical-biological field. In 2011, he signed a bill that required the testing of all Florida residents who received government benefits (from social programs) for the presence of illegal drugs in their system.

There is no program for testing government workers: police, fire, teachers, and administrators - or any other Florida citizens who receive a check from the state's treasury. (Actually, TANF benefits are a federal program). Now that the Florida test has been done and the experiment is through, many are surprised by the results and the efficacy of that drug-testing program

I. Proponent Argument for a Law Requiring Drug Testing

Pro Argument A: There are valid arguments on both sides of this debate and deciding which side to take might depend on proportionality and degree rather than absolutes and principles, though claiming, "It's the principle of the thing" is valid in its own right. A small flaw in this aspect of the argument though is that it presumes that welfare recipients want to be on...