A sacred golden cup

It is an article of faith in some circles that people gravitate toward the welfare system because it makes more room in the budget for, as the phrase goes, prescriptions available without a prescription.

Or, you know, not:

Last year, the Republican-dominated Oklahoma Legislature passed a law that requires drug screening of adult applicants for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or TANF. The Oklahoma Gazette reported this week that only 29 out of about 1,300 applicants were supposedly caught under the new program from November 2012 to February 2013. That’s a whopping 2.2 percent, and even those who refused to take additional tests weren’t exactly caught doing illegal drugs or didn’t receive money.

Given some of the measures they come up with, I’d be surprised if only 2.2 percent of legislators were doing drugs.

And even if they’d caught twenty, forty, fifty percent, a rule like this sets an extremely bad precedent: it opens the door for all manner of mischief. What’s to stop some petty tyrant of the Michael Jacobson mindset from installing a weigh station at the supermarket checkout and disallowing any purchases he deems inappropriate for your BMI? Legislative Republicans need to put down the bong and rethink this thing.



  1. Roger Green »

    8 July 2013 · 8:48 am

    In addition to the humiliation of the welfare recipients, it’s a bloody waste of taxpayer dollars, which they also discovered in Florida. Whatever money that was supposed to be saved by kicking folks off the dole was far less than the cost of the screening.

  2. Tatyana »

    8 July 2013 · 11:56 am

    he who pays the piper… and what bureaucrat thinks the money (s)he controls is not hers to command?

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