Earlier this year, Florida became the first state to enact into law the requirement that welfare recipients be drug tested. On July 25, a federal judge put that law on hold. Once again, the people of a state demanded fiscal responsibility from their elected officials, and once again the federal government tramples states’ rights. If the people of Florida do not want their tax dollars spent on substance abuse that is their right.
The entitlement mentality has become irrational stupidity. When America was still practicing self-reliance and living under the Judeo-Christian principals the country was founded on, helping your neighbor was called charity. Somewhere along the way, charity turned into welfare. The liberal and progressive movement turned welfare into an entitlement. Now that some states are trying to implement a measure of fiscal responsibility, entitlement welfare going to substance abusers is being defended.
I am a retired long haul truck driver, so I’ll speak to what I know. The trucking industry was one of the first in America to implement drug testing as part of getting and keeping a job. It was federally mandated. Today, a good number of trucks on the road are being driven by people with degrees, that instead of drawing 99 weeks of unemployment or getting on public welfare programs chose the good old American way and are being independent of the government until things get better.
Put yourself in that truck driver’s seat for a minute. He is gone from his family days or weeks at a time. He has to be not only the breadwinner of the family and worry about his home, but he also has to be responsible for his actions and spending practices as an individual.
Every two years when he gets his mandatory physical to drive, he has to submit to a drug screen. He has to submit to at least three drug screens per year to keep his job. He has to submit to random drug screens, or his company will be fined for not complying with federal regulation. Even though I owned my own truck and made my own contacts when I last drove a truck in 2014, I was drug tested five times in a period of nine months.
When that truck driver goes home, he is like most everyone else in his neighborhood. He has responsibilities. He gives from his heart in a charitable way. He helps his community. How does that truck driver feel when he sees a house down the street, inhabited by a guy doing drugs, drinking, does not work and drawing a welfare check every month?
Some people lose their jobs out of misfortune. I see no problem with helping that person keep his family and life afloat until he can get his footing again. That’s the American
way. That is neighbor helping neighbor. I am happy to participate in that process.
If my colleagues, by regulation, are forced to take drug screens in order to pay taxes, their neighbors should have to take a drug test to spend those tax dollars when there is a reason to believe the money is used to support an illegal and dangerous lifestyle. Fairness works both ways. Taxpayers have rights equal to tax dollar recipients.
I’ll see you on down the road.