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The argument - Essay Example

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[Instructor Name] National Conference of State Legislatures reported that in 23 states drug tests will become mandatory for the recipients of government welfare program. The efficient use of taxpayer money is perhaps the concern that has drawn good deal of attention towards this growing issue…
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The argument
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Download file to see previous pages Tight state budgets of the current year have drawn attention towards the efficient and effective use of taxpayer money instead of wasting it in, otherwise activities that are deemed to be used for illicit drug abuse. According to those in favor the money that is being used to help the welfare program can be saved for other public welfare expenditures where it is more needed. A Republican speaker of the Wyoming house, Edward Buchanan, said, “The idea from Joe Taxpayer is, ‘I don’t mind helping you out, but you need to show that you’re looking for work, or better yet that you’re employed, and that you’re drug and alcohol free.’ ” (The New York Times). He has simply tried to put forward the motive for drug testing. To be able to be qualified to receive the welfare aid, one must be subjected to drug tests first to ensure that the taxpayer money will not be used in illegal drug activities. To support the point, Garth Everett, a Lycoming County Republican who is in support of drug testing legislation said that the workers are often tested for drug abuse by their prospective employers before their employment, however the recipients of welfare aid are never subject to such tests which may reduce the effectiveness of this program. Such drug tests will enable the government (that can be seen as an employer in this case) to ensure that the money expenditure on welfare program is being spent responsibly and in the best interest of the beneficiary. Since government can be seen as an employer of welfare recipients in this case, this shouldn’t be contrary to the law and constitution. (Hall). As opposed to those in favor of the new legislation, those against it have tried to make their point on the basis of statistical evidences and past data relating to substance abuse. The main point of their argument is that, the new legislation makes an unnecessary and unreasonable assumption about the recipients of welfare aid program that they are necessarily involved in some kind drug activity. This is strictly against the US constitution which prohibits any unnecessary search of people. Therefore testing these unfortunate citizens for drug abuse would amount to an unconstitutional search of people who sought help. Eventually this will also lead to withdrawal of public confidence in the welfare program and attract unnecessary expenses in future. Courts in US have dropped such issues in the past on the similar grounds. A Democrat state representative against the legislation, W. Patrick Goggles, said, “This legislation assumes suspicion on this group of people, it assumes that they’re drug abusers.” (The New York Times). Democrats are also of the view that the actual costs to conduct these drug tests and all other overheads preponderate the potential benefits and savings expected to be derived from it. In Idaho, such a budget analysis was conducted last year which showed that the costs of this program are likely to be more than the saving. This caused the proponents of the program to drop this idea. There are also various statistics available to support this theory, for example, one such study says that the recipients of government aid are not more likely than the general US population to abuse drugs which is 8% of the population. Maria Kayanan said, "What the states are doing ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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