3 source analysis

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3 source analysis

Post  Tolen Oliver on Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:09 pm

Testing welfare recipients is a hotly debated topic in politics today as the number of people receiving continues to increase. One purposed requirement in order to be eligible for welfare is that you test negative for any illegal substances. The idea behind this is that people who choose to spend money on drugs instead of food or other necessities are not using tax payer's money for them. It also would help ensure that the people who are receiving the welfare are ready to work. So it sounds like a win-win situation. Tax payer's money isn't being wasted on drugs, and the people on welfare are more likely to be able to get a job and eventually not need the aid anymore. However, how practical is this solution? And is it even constitutional?

The first argument the opposition to the testing makes is that testing all welfare recipients is against the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment makes it illegal for the government to conduct search and seizure without reasonable suspicion. Because they are testing recipients with no reason to believe that person may be using an illegal substance, it could be considered a suspicion-less search. This argument was used against Michigan in 2000 after Michigan passed a law that allowed random drug testing for people on welfare. Testing positive required the person to undergo treatment or forfeit the aid. Failure to take the test would also result in the loss of aid. The ACLU (The American Civil Liberties Union) represented some welfare recipients for the case on the argument that it was against the Fourth Amendment to require drug tests. They won the case, and the law was overturned.

The argument of unlawful search and seizure rests on the belief that welfare is not voluntary. If you do not want to be tested for drug use, then you can just opt out of the program. The government is not forcing you to be on welfare, and thus not forcing you to take a drug test. If you want the benefits, you have to show that you will not be spending it on illegal substances. However, some people argue that it is not voluntary to be on welfare. It is not a choice because needing to be on welfare is normally not a choice. It is because of situations out of the persons control, or poor choices they made in the past. They have no other option except to be on welfare. But if the person is not using the welfare for drugs, then they should have nothing to hide. This brings us to the next problem: who is going to pay for the tests?

The tests cost money, and who does the responsibility for payment fall on? The people required to take the test are already hard pressed for money, thus their need for welfare. Surely it is counter productive to make them pay for the test. The other option is that the government pays for them using money from tax payers. In Florida, where a law was recently passed that required all recipients to undergo testing, the government was the one paying for the tests. It cost the state 8 million dollars annually. Instead of saving the state money, one of the largest arguments in favor of drug testing, it actually cost them more money. That isn't a productive solution in this tough economic times if the purpose is to save money.


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Last edited by Tolen Oliver on Sat Dec 01, 2012 2:22 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: 3 source analysis

Post  adamlowe on Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:16 pm

This is a great topic and something you will be able to get plenty of sources and plenty of opinions on, just make sure your sources are all credible sources and not just someones opinion on the internet. Anybody can post on this subject and because of the huge amount of opinions on the subject there will be plenty to choose from. Just make sure to use facts.

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Re: 3 source analysis

Post  AustinTri on Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:47 pm

Politics is one of the most talked about things, everyone can have an opinion on because everyone has the right to vote. This makes for a really good presentation, just make sure that the information is interesting and doesn't make the reader bored.

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Re: 3 source analysis

Post  AustinTri on Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:21 pm

You could also bring up the topics of Obama vs. Romney because since the election just happened this is a very interesting topic to discuss to get both sides of the arguement.

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Re: 3 source analysis

Post  Tolen Oliver on Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:49 am

I'm not sure if Obama or Romney have a definite stance on the issue. However, if I write more on the topic I will see if either of them had anything to say on the matter. Thanks for the suggestion.

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Final Project

Post  DanielSherwood on Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:00 pm

Definitely research this question a lot because there is a lot of arguments both ways for this topic and I think you can find out a lot on this topic, especially since the election just ended. Make sure you bring up how the nation would be affected financially either with or without welfare.

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