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Robert Winner


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Do you support the Texas bill to require drug screening for welfare?

It would require applicants to the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program to undergo screening by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

Under this bill, applicants who appear to use drug or have been convicted for drug use will be subjected to testing. Applicants who test positive for drugs would be barred from receiving TANF funds for 12 months.

Because TANF is a direct cash assistance program, a responsibility exists to ensure that these funds are not being used to support a person’s drug habit.

Is this a approperiate means to deal with the problem or are other ways available?


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    Mar 28 2013: It is not appropriate to do this. I was in this situation and felt like it was a huge invasion of privacy. We do not lose our right to privacy just because we take public assistance - which many of us helped fund with our own tax dollars in the first place.

    A better way to deal with this does exist: Put the cash on a state maintained debit card and require all transactions to go through that card. No cash withdrawals possible from that card, of course.
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      Mar 29 2013: DL, That does not stop anyone from buying $100 of listed items and you give me $75 cash. The reason for all laws and policies is that someone has done it and those in charge want it to stop. Texas is a cash state. AZ is a credit card state. The problem is that some of these people are using their benefits to make a drug transaction. A honest man has nothing to fear. I have to do a drug test to keep my job and pay taxes so they can receive these benefits so quite frankly I do not see the problem.

      Should I feel it is a huge invasion of my privacy to have to take it a drug test to keep my job. If I want to keep my job I do it .... if they want the benefits they will also do it. Them there are the rules.

      From the law enforcement side ... anything to stop drugs is a good thing. I do not buy into drugs are a victimless crime. Been there way to often and seen the results. It ain't pretty.

      Thanks for the reply. Bob.
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        Mar 29 2013: Would you also want to require drug testing in order to receive unemployment benefits? What about Medicare? I'm sure there are people using their unemployment benefits to buy drugs.
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        Mar 29 2013: Seriously though, would you want to require drug testing in order to receive any type of government aid or support? In all 50 States? For your driver's license? Passport? To get into school? What about High School kids, because the problem often starts there. Why not require all High School kids to be tested once a month? Drug test all the people all the time?

        Seriously, where do you draw the line?
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          Mar 29 2013: Your right we have to draw a line somewhere ... you asked my opinion ... I think that the Keynesian economic model is killing the US .... I think we have way to many programs to support non-working generational welfare leaches. I think we should go to a Constitutional government. When Clinton changed the rules for receiving welfare and both Clinton and Carter changed the rights of banks to set rules on housing loans they set the national crisis in motion ... Barney Franks and his committee told Pres Bush there was no housing bubble and Fanny May and Freddy Mac were healthy and in no trouble ... Ben Berneke has set us up for the final fall as both a decession and a depression looms.

          We dabate a drug tests while 28 million people are unemployed and more layoffs are announced every day .... big gotchas are exposed everyday in the Obamacare that no senators read but at the urging of Queen Nancy passed anyway ... more than half of the states are at or nearing bankrupcy and say that Obamacare will cause finanical colaspe.

          Our whole way of life is in the balance ... drug users complain about loss of rights, invasion of privacy, and what they have coming ... Make a deal with a grocery store .. place your order ... it will be bagged ... you pick it up .. bill is sent to the state ... lots of limits ... welfare is limited not a lifestyle ... caught on drugs or cheating .. your out ... drug tests are mandatory. Life ain't fair ... get over it.

          Ride with your local police a few times and get a diffrerent look at things. It ain't pretty.

          Please don't take this personal ... I have seen enough drug related deaths and related family problems and I want to see a end to the madness. If a drug test is a way to control even part of it ... I am in favor ... what ever it takes.

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        Mar 30 2013: Thank you for the reply Bob, I think I can see where you are coming from. I can see how it is maddening to not only imagine but actually see your very hard earned cash going towards drugs that destroy lives instead of food for their children.

        As far as where you draw the line though, may I ask you to be more specific than "I am in favor of what ever it takes?" If Texas proposed a mandatory drug testing bill for all High School students once a month - would you support that? Would you support mandatory drug testing to get a driver's license? A voter registration card?
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          Mar 30 2013: DL, There is no such thing as a perfect plan ... to use terms like all, forever, never, etc is a fools mission. However, after horrific events we do required blood testing for alcolol, durgs, etc .. in the instances you refer to such as students how about this: Blood testing will occur when .. involved in fights, confrontentations, radical behavior changes, significant grade changes, and other documented unusual behaviors. For DL no only if you are involved in a significant auto event at the descretion of the officer or by law.

          Finally voters: If you show up to vote for anyone I do not support then certainly your vote should be discarded.

          No really to maintain order and not delay the public ... if a voter requests a ballot and is in the opinion of the officials present impaired then his name should be highlighted on the list and given a ballot coded so as identify the voter by name and specific ballot ... if proven through legal authority he was at the time impaired then the ballot should be discounted and action taken to take s/he into custody.

          We have ventured away from the welfare area ... There is no "one size fits all answer". I am not any kind of authority ... I AM NOT a person to shy away from a problem and I see that a problem exists ... I can ony suggest areas of improvement ... based on my opinion.

          Thanks for the response. Bob.
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        Mar 30 2013: Thank you so much for addressing those questions. I do agree with you about the dangers of using absolute words like 'all', and I think your proposal to only test those with a history helps. With respect to TANF, it seems you have taken the 'all' type of approach though. Why not drug test only those TANF recipients with a history? What makes TANF different from the other examples such that you would require all TANF recipients to be tested?

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