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Your views on drug tests and welfare

ON YOUR MIND


If Utah’s recent experience is any indication, drug testing for welfare recipients in Ohio will be a similar boondoggle. They recently tested about 10 percent of their 4,700 residents receiving assistance and discovered 12 were using drugs. Yes, that is correct — just 12.

So they spent thousands of tax dollars to prove what common sense should tell us. Drug use among welfare recipients is no worse (and sometimes even less) than that of the general population. If you are getting a couple of hundred bucks a month for food, shelter and clothing, you are not out buying drugs.

However, there is a segment of our population that is causing great harm to our country and should be tested for drug use. I am referring to Wall Street brokers, hedge-fund managers, the upper management and CEOs of banks, and heads of non-profit hospitals making millions upon millions of dollars.

The decisions they have made have ruined countless Americans and they are continuing to do so. They are the ones with oodles of disposable cash who have obviously been smoking funny stuff. GARY OGG, CASSTOWN

Speak Up

Re “Should Ohio test welfare recipients?,” Sept. 3: Before Sen. (Tim) Schaffer and others heap more humiliation upon people less fortunate, they need to consider that these people are not totally responsible for their plights. There is a tremendous gap between the haves and have-nots and the economic inequality is startling. How about considering less degrading efforts — by trying to help them in more positive ways, like spend more time and taxpayers’ money to create better paying jobs; legislate ways to bring manufacturing jobs from overseas; and work on laws raising the minimum wage? Schaffer and friends might be surprised, if they tried harder to understand the needy, instead of putting them down. Should we give our legislators tests for drug use, as well as IQ tests for governing skills?

Re “Debate grows over drug testing those on welfare,” Sept. 2: A statement in the article about drug testing welfare recipients reads: “It’s unfair to target the poor and to believe they would be less honest and law-abiding than others.” Rewrite that sentence, and instead of the word “poor,” insert “working person”, or “a condition for someone being hired”, or “high school athlete wanting to play sports.” We already have drug testing for the three conditions mentioned, so why is it unfair to the poor?

It’s not just persecution of the poor, although that always sells well. It’s a self-righteous smokescreen to avoid discussion of the real reasons for unemployment and poverty.

I strongly feel drug tests for welfare recipients would be of value. Tests should be random and unscheduled. Anyone can be clean for a few days to pass a scheduled test. It is so discouraging to be in line at the grocery and the person in front of you is eating better than you are. I work a full-time job and see what others with special governmental privileges, entitlements or whatever you want to tag it are eating. Then I look and see all the money that must have been spent on piercings, tattoos, tobacco, etc. It makes one want to get on that program also. Make no mistake — if individuals truly need assistance, by all means. But the ones who are lazy? That is another story.

Anyone who receives state or federal aid should be tested every week — regardless if it is food stamps, grants for college, federally backed student loans, federal loans for housing, welfare checks, etc. It will stop illegal activity and create jobs — because someone will need to process the tests.


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