Friday, May 7, 2010

Welfare- The Good, The Bad... The Drug Tested?!

My post tonight, although I made one today already, is about a touchy subject for some and a moot point for others- the subject is welfare.
I thought of it because I came across a facebook page " Drug Tests for Welfare." The site promotes people who are on welfare to be drug tested.

Here are my thoughts on the government welfare and government freebies.

I applied for food stamps in the past, and I received about $250.00 for groceries each month. I know a lot of people are against it, and it IS embarrasing, but I had Kendra to think of. At the time I was a single mom and a college student, struggling to make ends meet. So I swallowed my pride and went through the harrowing ordeal of obtaining aid. It was one of the most embarrasing situations in my life. Not only did I have to undergo the third degree and lose every ounce of self respect, but what's worse is I had to tell my employers and my landlord what I was doing because they were required to fill out forms in order for me to get aid.

Here's the thing that bothered me though- I went through checkpoint after checkpoint- filling out information, sending in documentation, interviewing, having people fill out all these forms. It was just Kendra and I in the house at this point and I made about fifty dollars a week. I couldn't work more due to classes, and as I explained to my case worker, I was going to school so that I would NEVER have to go to their office after graduation. I was going to school to provide a better and more stable life for me and my child. That same office gave a single, healthy, middle aged man a brief glance, a smidgen of paperwork and he received $1200.00 a month from the government. He had no kids, and no obligations. He wasn't laid off and he could have found a job. I see him at a local diner quite often. I sacrificed my self respect for $250.00 a month to feed my kid, and he gets a month's salary plus his electricity bill covered.


I still don't know. But I just am not sure that's how the system is supposed to work.

A lot of people told me it was my fault that I was on food stamps anyway. I shouldn't have had a child if I couldn't afford it. In the truth, they are right in my case, but not in others. I personally have no problem taking birth control, and I'm a pro-choice girl. Keeping Kendra was my decision. However, there are people out there who have an ethical belief that birth control and abortions are wrong. Many of these same people do not believe that a wife has a right to deny her husband his fun. I do not believe that those people should be punished because of their beliefs. But by the same token, if these people are not having a child because of their ethical beliefs, it is their responsibility. Like in my case. I made the choice and I stand by it. I do not regret the choice that I made, but I also don't expect my government to be responsible for it. At the same time, I don't mind taking a helping hand when it's offered. I don't ask for charity, but if it's handed to me, I'm not going to turn it down. Because when it comes down to the line, you are taking that away from your child, not yourself. I could live on ramen noodles, but my little girl couldn't. And while I would love to have another child, I know I am not financially able to right now. Now that I know the costs of having a child, I am taking a little responsibility and making the decision to wait. If an accident occurs, so be it, I will love the next child as much as the first, but I'm not going to TRY to have another baby.

But I digress... the facebook page I found promotes drug testing for welfare people. I support that. I don't think you should be allowed to have welfare if you are on illegal drugs, but by the same token I don't think you should get to keep your kids if you are on it either. Many companies drug test you before you are allowed to make the money, so the welfare folks should have to take a test before they are allowed to get the money. I am so sick and tired of seeing doped up moms dragging their unwashed child through the grocery store, and walking out with a case of beer, a pack of cigarettes, and a case of spagghetios. It's just not right.

One of the arguments against drug testing people who receive welfare is that the cost would outweigh the benefit. I disagree. If we can keep one parent from being on drugs so that they can feed their kid, then the benefit is definitely greater. And you know what?? They are going to need workers to do all that drug testing... do I hear the sound of new jobs echoing in the distance?!?! Sure it will be a low paying job, because you would work for the government, but that's better than the amount you are making today if you are unemployed like most of us.

Many people blame society today. I don't. I blame those women. PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. They choose to put themselves before their kids. They choose to do drugs. Let them deal with the consequences. I miss being a party girl sometimes. It was fun. But I had a child and that's all there is too it. I can miss it all I want, but I'll never do it again. I have someone else to think about besides myself.

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