I have seen a meme going around lately to the effect of, “I had to get drug tested to get a job, so you should be drug tested if you are on welfare”. There are so many things wrong with this.
First, I don’t think anyone should have their medical privacy invaded in order to earn an honest living. Also, I think “I have been mistreated, therefore others should also be mistreated” is a terrible foundation for public policy.
Second, in municipalities that have instituted this plan, they have found that the rate of drug use among those on public assistance is generally about one-ninth of the national average. It actually costs taxpayers more to institute this mandatory invasion of privacy than it would to just accept that some tiny percentage (generally less than 1%) of those receiving assistance have used recreational drugs. So it’s not only insulting, unkind, and uncharitable, it’s also a waste of taxpayer’s money.
Finally, the people who receive TANF benefits are the caregivers for minor children. The benefits that would be taken away would directly — not indirectly, not eventually, but directly — result in children not having food to eat. So even if you are willing to spend extra in order to be deliberately unkind to people who are already having a rough time of it, do you really want to make children go hungry as part of that? Really?