Wednesday, June 8, 2011
we the people...
That being said...
In the last couple of days my facebook has EXPLODED with people posting congratulations to the state of Florida for being the first in our nation to mandate drug tests for anyone applying for and/or receiving welfare. This does not extend into any sort of social security, food stamps, or aid to dependent children, simply TANF (which is the program that replaced welfare in the 1990s.)
These are republican friends of mine (and being that I live in Nebraska, there are tons of them...) who are suddenly preaching for MORE government, BIGGER government, and pretty much the destruction of civil rights as we know it. It astounds me that people can be so two faced, and so uninformed on the facts. It is one thing to sit back and simply not know any better, but to spout off this nonsense without doing any sort of research and finding out what it's all about? That is exactly what got this country into trouble in the first place!
I wonder if any of their voices would be silenced if any one of them had to tuck their tail between their legs and apply for assistance.
As a single mother, I never qualified for TANF. Even working a measly 16 hours a week, and I made too much money. We did qualify for food stamps, which were enough to keep us fed, but "man these goddamn food stamps don't buy diapers!" It was a hard life. Too many people in this country will know exactly what it is I'm talking about. Not having enough money to put gas in your car and running it on fumes until it finally quits in the middle of a busy intersection. Eating nothing but rice and beans and stuff from cans and boxes because it's cheaper than the fresh fruit and veggies that you crave and that your body craves. Going delinquent on your cable bill, and your credit card bill, because it's fricken cold outside and you have to pay the electric or you will freeze.
Or handing over all of your private information, your bank statement, credit card statements, car information, how much money you make, how much money you pay out to a state agency that is now going to piece together this information and find out just how little they are able to give you. And you have to do this once a year. Or even worse... when you file for child support, you are asked to list your last sexual partners for the last three years, naming dates.
The system is the most embarrassing thing you will ever be put through. It's rape of your spirit and for years I walked around totally ashamed of how I had ended up in this place, not able to support myself or my child. Living in fear that for some reason or another he would be taken away from me, that I wasn't good enough of a mother to deserve this little boy. This little SPECIAL NEEDS boy, who before the age of two had had two surgeries. How would I have ever afforded my million dollar baby without all of that embarrassment? I wouldn't have.
But I would never pee in a cup for the system. I would never let them force me to go to the doctor for a checkup, or tell me what brand of groceries I am allowed to buy. I wouldn't let someone tell me that because I'm white, I am somehow entitled. Bullshit. I am a single mother and somehow that has become the bane of society. I am the leper.
For people who want smaller government to cheer something like this on, makes me that much more uncomfortable about the state of this nation. What's next? Testing for legal drugs? Making sure that anyone on welfare isn't depressed, or anxious, or diabetic? Who is to say what that little cup of pee or vial of blood will tell them, whether we give them permission or not to test it, what's to stop them from weeding out the "undesirables"? Genetic disorders, mutations, anyone who isn't blond haired and blue eyed? Wasn't that a goal for Hitler? Just saying...
The facts are, that the majority of people on welfare are not drug users or abusers. Are there some? I'm sure. But the cost to test everyone, regardless of history or background etc, will cost us so much more.