All of Those Crack Heads

Snorting Cocaine - Drug useEveryone knows that Rick Perry, Texas’ governor, is right: everyone who is getting cash assistance from the state is a drug-using leach on  good, tax-paying citizens.  They take that giant wad of tax-payer’s cash and rush down the street to the local drug dealer.  Lazy leaches on society!

Rick Scott, Florida’s governor, and Florida lawmakers believed the state could save a fortune if they denied cash assistance to all of those drug users!  And that’s just exactly what they have done.

So, how is that working out?

Now that Florida has begun demanding that everyone receiving state cash assistance pass a state-funded drug test, only 2% of those tested actually test positive for drugs.  Another 2% didn’t bother take the test for any number of reasons.

Oops!  The governor’s ignorant prejudice against poor people is showing!

So, how much money is this saving the state of Florida since the tests cost the state $30 per person, per test, per month?

Well, according to this article in the Tampa Bay Online:

Cost of the tests averages about $30. Assuming that 1,000 to 1,500 applicants take the test every month, the state will owe about $28,800-$43,200 monthly in reimbursements to those who test drug-free.

That compares with roughly $32,200-$48,200 the state may save on one month’s worth of rejected applicants.

The savings assume that 20 to 30 people — 2 percent of 1,000 to 1,500 tested — fail the drug test every month. On average, a welfare recipient costs the state $134 in monthly benefits, which the rejected applicants won’t get, saving the state $2,680-$3,350 per month.

But since one failed test disqualifies an applicant for a full year’s worth of benefits, the state could save $32,200-$48,200 annually on the applicants rejected in a single month.

Net savings to the state — $3,400 to $8,200 annually on one month’s worth of rejected applicants. Over 12 months, the money saved on all rejected applicants would add up to $40,800-$98,400 for the cash assistance program that state analysts have predicted will cost $178 million this fiscal year.

Wow! Now that’s a real bargain! [sarcasm dripping from every single letter]

And this estimate does not take into account the amount of money the state is spending to implement and enforce the program.  And when the lawsuits begin to fly, as they inevitably will, how much more will this ignorant prejudice against the poor cost Floridians?  And who exactly will hold all of these prejudiced law-makers accountable for wasting tax payer dollars?  (Or is punishing these people worth this price?)

From my vantage point, this is just another example of the hatetriotism sweeping this country and eating the soul of our humanity: pick on a tiny percentage of the population that is defenseless against the system, in this case, poor people.

You know, this is such a good idea; I suggest the state test all state employees for drugs, anyone who gets paid any money from the state. My hunch is that far more than 2% of all state employees are using illegal drugs. Just think of all the money the state could save if they fired everyone getting paid with state money if they test positive for drug use!

I bet the rich wouldn’t have to pay any taxes at all!  Maybe no one would!


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5 Responses to All of Those Crack Heads

  1. Dan Marvin August 31, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

    It get’s worse, Tim Tyson – Scott’s wife has a financial interest in the company doing the drug testing.

    http://www.palmbeachpost.com/money/gov-rick-scotts-drug-testing-policy-stirs-suspicion-1350922.html

    • Tim Tyson August 31, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

      Isn’t it almost always about money?! I mean, that’s just exactly what Jesus taught!

  2. Dan Keller August 31, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

    They did a pilot program and found less than 1% of people applying for assistance had a positive drug screen. So, the taxpayers are going to spend millions to make Scott’s former company much wealthier.

  3. Brent Curtis August 31, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

    Another example of why governments shouldn’t be handling poverty programs. They’re inherently bad at it.
    BTW, I’ve been subject to random or command directed urinalysis screening for the last 27 years. No cash return on me.

    • Tim Tyson August 31, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

      I agree that government is inherently bad at the way it administers virtually any program that has funding associated with it. The fraud and corruption in the war contracts, let alone the no-bid contracts, are yet another example. But the later example doesn’t dismiss government’s responsibility to provide for national security. And national security extends well beyond funding the military.

      This is where we will probably always disagree, Brent: As long as our economic model promotes savage inequalities, as long as everyone who wants a really good, high-paying job can’t find one, as long as people are not born without mental and physical limitations and handicaps that preclude their economic viability, as long as people can’t afford to retire when they are too old to work or even care for themselves, as long as corporations care vastly more about profit margins than the people who help them earn them, and as long as people can not afford basic health care (especially with catastrophic illness) government needs to live up to this moral and humanitarian imperative: mitigate for social justice.

      Based on our previous conversations, I suspect you think the church is better suited to take on these social obligations. But there are too many reasons why too many people want organized religion to stay out of their lives. I believe with all my heart that social justice, taking care of people above all else, is a moral imperative for and the primary duty of government. Ours, like most, does a very poor job of it. But in my mind that is no reason to abdicate this moral obligation and outsource it for profit to an economic model that, when the Bush administration gave it free rein, proved it cares only about maximized short-term profits for a few to the exclusion of absolutely everything else. (As I’ve blogged several times before, even organized religion is caught up in their tax-free, for-profit mentality. I trust organized religion even less than government. At least government doesn’t claim to know/speak for the absolute will of God.)

      [wink] As for your drug screening: You do look suspicious! [/wink]