Wednesday, June 8, 2011

we the people...

 I would like to preface this with a little note.  I do not do illegal drugs.  I have, a few times, in the past smoked some marijuana, but I never really liked the way it made me feel.  I drink, occasionally in excess, but less than I ever did when I was underage.  I tend to lean more toward the prescription medications in "like" mostly because they help me sleep when I never REALLY sleep.  But I don't do drugs.  Well, caffeine.  I do not, however, think down on people who use some drugs recreationally.  I do think that when it starts to interfere with your job, your social life, your family, or your bank account that there is a problem.  If you want to smoke a joint when you get off work to de-stress, more power to ya.  I do not care to join.

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.


  1. Wow. Well said Sadie. People are infuriating. The hypocrisy of people in this country never fails to amaze (and depress) me. People spit out what they hear pundits and newscasters say- part of what's so terrifying about channels like Fox news. (I don't want to 100% say that only Republicans do this- I've heard Democrats do it as well, regurgitate what they heard on MSNBC without actually knowing the facts- but I must say I've found in my experience Republicans do it WAY more).

    The other thing that makes me absolutely crazy which you touched on as well is when I hear people say what should be allowed to be purchased when one is on foodstamps. This one really grinds my gears. Someone on my facebook newsfeed had a rant about seeing a woman buying Cheez-Its, ice cream and sodas (among other things, but all what this high and mighty person deemed inappropriate) using food stamps. And they were trying to say that the government should say what people buy with their foodstamps. WHAT?? Just because people are on government assistance now we're going to tell them what to eat? As you said, of course fresh produce is better for you but it's expensive! And for crying out loud, if someone who is having trouble making ends meet and maybe has children and perhaps is a single mom, if she and or her kids get a little bit of joy out of eating Cheez-Its and ice cream or drinking soda, we're really going to deny them that? If you don't have money you don't deserve to enjoy things that other people enjoy- you should just eat to sustain yourself and nothing more? It blows my mind the nonsense that privileged people spout.

    A friend once told me that her mom, a single mom with two kids working 50+ hours a week, used to bring home pizzas for them every Friday. My friend realized later in life that her mother didn't really have the money to do that of course and it obviously was far from healthy- but it made them all SO happy to sit around and eat pizza- it's called comfort food for a reason. Those were some of her favorite memories growing up.

    And what you said about filing for child support? REALLY? How is that relevant or necessary information that they need? I can't believe that noise, that just makes me want to throw my hands up and give up.

    /rant over.

  2. I agree with you on almost all of this. But I am actually for the drug testing. Drugs are a terrible thing and ruin lives, and not just of the people doing them. I agree that people being ridiculous on Facebook are taking it too far and people on assistance are PEOPLE, no one should tell anyone what they can and cannot do, etc. But I don't think they should be governmentally supported if they're taking recreation drugs.

  3. Clare, I am only against the drug testing if it's done to anyone and everyone. I think if there is suspicion or previous histor, yes by all means, test. But to test everyone is a monumental waste of money that is better spent elsewhere... Like on education.