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?

  • Mar 29 2013: That's way too much. If it's like that don't even give cash. Give a voucher for every thing otherwise don't intrude cause you are going to create a monster that will be more difficult to control than some drug addictions.
  • Mar 29 2013: How often would they screen because hard drugs such as crack and meth are out of your system in three days and if test times are known would be really easy to work around. That would be a big waste of money.
  • Mar 29 2013: For Christ's sake,
    stop trying to legislate everything!!
    You'll never get it right and it will never be perfect
    and the arguing will continue over it not being perfect.
    End the unjust system you are all a part of.
    Why the hell can't anyone see that dealing directly with the cause
    is the way to correct something?
    I don't get it?

    Yesterday I read about a teacher in Amerika who has been taken to task for using the word "vagina"
    in a class he was teaching, I think, about re-production!!!

    Just how neurotic are U.S. citizens?
    To the rest of the world you are self-centered bunch of neuroses and you sound like a
    tree full of birds, yakking away.
    A word!!!!! a f.......... word!!!!!!!!!!
    and people are up in arms about what is natural and should be taught and known.

    You are so sold on legislating every single part of your lives that you have allowed your
    government to MAKE YOUR LAWS APPLICABLE IN OTHER COUNTRIES!

    Take the time to think.
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      Mar 29 2013: You have a point. We are more divided than I have ever seen it in 70 years. We are becoming racially divided, class divided, etc ...

      The government has more hidden aganedas than I have ever seen

      You spoke out loud and clear above ..... what do you see as the cause .... what is the cure?

      I have suggested in almost every reply that we need to return to a Constitutional government. Do you think that would help?

      We in the USA are to close to the forest to see the trees ... give me your views.

      Bob.
      • Mar 31 2013: Robert
        It is really simple.
        The system we all live in is unjust. It is an unjust system that thrives on corruption.
        In order to be successful in the monetary system, one has to become corrupt and resisting becoming corrupted will make life very difficult, while those who are in power break laws, make laws, and these laws make it harder for people to simply live, work, survive, thrive themselves, grow and to do so in relative peace, security and with comfort. The tighter things get, the greater the chance of either breaking a law simply to survive, or willingly breaking laws, a la criminal activity, simply to meet ones needs. These needs are the same for everyone in the world, so people are afraid they won't get their needs met, they don't get their needs met, and they take risks that are akin to seeking out a loan shark, something most would not do.
        The privatized prison system in Amerika is a great example. It's private. It's business. It can only thrive on more crime, not less. People need to wake up. A criminal, one who commits a crime, is not a bad person. They are trying to survive in whatever way they can. Many do not have the options so-called "good people" have, but the options for "good people" are also running out as they are being taken away. One way is by taking away their liberties, which is happening a la endangered species in the U.S.
        Thus, an unjust system can never be made just. It can't. Never! The reasons or causes either have to be totally eradicated or a completely new and just system created and implemented as the Declaration of Independence compels Americans, authorizes Americans, commands them and tells them what the result should be.
        Money is the reason. A monetary system can only live on the food of crime, greed, inequality, poverty. slavery, war and death. It is also an economic system that is anything but economy, which means not wasting, being prudent and I'm running out of characters while Americans are running out of time.
      • Apr 1 2013: Hi Robert.
        Another chance to reply.
        Returning to the Constitution sounds good.
        Returning to the Republic we began as would be good.
        However, at times when the discussion is around the changes we need, desire and even know are sensible the posts usually go something like this.
        "We don't need to make all these large, difficult and risky changes to our system.
        What we need are leaders who are ethical, honest, not greedy, not criminal and will act accordingly for the interests of their constituents, and so on and blah, blah, blah."
        Sure, we need that but it is almost childlike to really believe we will get honest, ethical people, who care, when the system they have learned and come up in is all about who you know, a willingness to be unethical and even criminal and we have watched this exact reality play out time and again right before our very eyes.
        The system is wrong. The system is wrong. A new, just system is needed in which there are no reasons for corruption because we develop a world-wide system whereby the Human Needs of all people are Human Rights. Just to begin.
        The control of or false right to own any of the earth's resources must be abolished because in reality, they were here, everywhere, for everyone and were free.
        Ownership is part of corruption, greed, inequality, poverty, slavery, war and death.
        Capitalism is about capitalizing on the back luck of others, on what they don't know, what they have been lied to or deceived about, solely for gain. Another form of corruption in a corrupt, unjust system.
        But back to the Constitution. It was rumored some years ago that George Bush was quoted as saying, "the Constitution is nothing but a Goddamned piece of paper."
        Well, that hasn't been verified but we know it has been under great attack, attack meant only to destroy it.
        Well, the real truth is that the People are the Constitution, even if the document is destroyed, they have to destroy us/US and we don't have to do anything they say, command or threaten.
  • Mar 29 2013: Great idea We can catch them using drugs and send them to jail. Then we can save so much money spending fifty thousand a year to lock them up and money for child protective services etc. Little kids have been killed in foster care in Texas. That would solve the problem of family crime if we don't doom them to a life forever as criminals as often happens. But we can avoid spending a few thousand a year. Great idea as we are already broke but don't show it through accounting tricks.
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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.

          Bob.
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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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    Apr 2 2013: Peter, I can't describe the level of sympathy that I felt about your welfare cut off. But welfare funds spent on drugs, booze or tobacco is sort of wasted in my book. As are gallons of diet soda, potato chips by the 10 lb bag, candy, and cheetos.
    I would also list, IPads and IPods, Late model sedans and 4WD pickup trucks with chrome bumpers.
    But seriously folks, I have never been on welfare, it was a pride thing, but, there were days when the sheriff was at the door. Maybe, I was lucky and I never got to the point to go to the welfare office. But, some are not so lucky and need help. There is no reason to not help the needy...
    What bothers me there are a bigger group of wantees, who have taken generosity and despoiled it.
    We got in trouble when we took helping the needy away from the Salvation Army and the little old widow ladies at church and gave it to the state welfare office. Now, there are a great number of small soup kitchens, church groups that scrape by trying to help the needy in our neighborhoods. Just imagine what good they could do, if they had the budget of the state welfare office.
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    Apr 2 2013: So no welfare for people who take drugs? What about fat people, they waste money on food they don't really need? And welfare money should only be able to be spent at Walmart where you get value for our dollar. Also if you're on welfare you can only drive a four cylinder car because big cars are wasteful.

    But seriously folks. If I was on welfare and had it cut off because I smoke $50 worth of pot a week, it would probably irritate me that the guy next door who drinks $100 worth of burbon a week still gets paid. And the other guy who smokes $100 worth of cigarettes still gets paid and the other guy who blows all his money at the track still gets paid etc
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      Apr 2 2013: Peter, Yeah, no system is perfect. If I took the money then my family suffers when I spend it on drugs .. I think that is what they are aiming at. If I was identified as a welfare abuser then take me out of the picture and hopefully my wife who would be next in line would provide in a better manner. If not then go to plan C which could be someone who would pay the bills and shop for us with the state money.

      As a government employee I had to take a test to be hired ... do a random check once a year ... must test if I am involved in any event that could go to court or where any doubt exists that I may have been under any sort of influence.

      To be honest part of the problem is giving cash / checks. Give cards that have specific rules and penalities would be much easier to control.

      No easy answers here .... thanks for the reply. Bob
  • Mar 31 2013: Yes, I think it is the right and a necessary message of responsible government.
  • Mar 29 2013: They need to model there program after other states. Ca has good ideas in its program. Nothing is perfect but it's far from broke.
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    Mar 29 2013: Let's see, what is questionable about the Texas welfare system.
    With the food card, you can purchase just about anything in the store,
    With the cash, you can almost spend it anywhere, and my favorite...
    The nicely dressed lady arriving in a late model car, looking up from her i phone and telling the next lady in line
    If it wasn't for this food bank. I don't know how my kids would eat."
    Are there people out there that need help? Yes
    Are there people out there milking the system? Way too many!
    Texas like most if not all welfare systems appears to be over funded and under supervised. If drug tests will slow down the use of welfare funds to buy drugs, I got no problem with that. I don't get no public assistance to support my Krispy Kreme addiction.
    Again there are people who need help. A number less then those that ask for it.

    .
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    Mar 29 2013: The Texas welfare system is broken way beyond the need to drug test.
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      Mar 29 2013: Perhaps .... but you have to start somewhere .... what do you suggest?
      • Mar 29 2013: Drug testing is way too intrusive but if you have warrants you can get rolled up at the welfare office and in ca they have welfare to work programs and every wed hold job club meetings and also pay for treatment programs for drug addictions.
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      Mar 29 2013: If you look at it from the other side it is being used to stop drug abuse and that helps the families of the abuser .... I can assure you from a law enforcement point of view .... is a real need.

      Bob.
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          Mar 29 2013: Chris, You cannot help anyone if you do not know a problem exists. This is a means of isolating a problem.

          Do you think the family is being taken care of ... the drug abuser is not concerned with others ... once he / she is identified the process can be re-addressed and safe guards put into pl;ace to help the family.

          Doing nothing is not my idea of a solution.

          Bob.
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    Mar 29 2013: YES