New Hampshire Bill Proposes Drug-Testing For Food Stamps

258px-Seal_of_New_HampshireWHMUR9 New Hampshire reports:

CONCORD, N.H. — A proposal to drug test food stamp recipients in New Hampshire is creating controversy.

Supporters of the idea (HB 484-FN) say it’s about accountability, while others believe it amounts to profiling low-income families.

New Hampshire isn’t the first state to propose drug testing those who receive taxpayer-subsidized welfare benefits, but in every state that has tried it, there has been significant pushback.

As a full-time student, Julia Juranty said food stamps help her get by, and she said she would have no problem being drug tested in order to qualify for the help.

“If you can afford money for drugs and illegal activity, then you should be able to afford money for food,” she said.

More than 53,000 households in New Hampshire rely on the program to put food on the table. Opponents of the proposal said that drug testing one or two members of the household would punish the children if they were disqualified.

But supporters said it’s a bill that speaks to a bigger problem.

“I don’t think you want drug parents raising children,” said Rep. Pete Silva, R-Nashua. “It’s not about that. It’s about accountability, and that’s why we are in the mess we are in right now. It’s about accountability.”…

For more information, see original article.

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  • Liam_McGonagle

    Awesome. Let’s see, in order for this to mean anything, we’ll have to test every member of the recipient household . . . on a recurring basis . . . on a surprise schedule, to prevent gaming.

    So, lab costs should be in the neighborhood of what, $5,000 per person per year? Maybe tack on a little bit for the inevitable civil rights cases for people unwittingly dragged into this thing by the complexity of issues surrounding whether an applicant is necessarily legally competent to render consent for unwitting family members? Say, $7,000 per year in additional costs?

    No, more than that: Eventually there will be some shocking positive results that beg the question whether the individual should be charged and incarcerated for violating the test. So, for some percentage of applicants, a minimum of $60,000 per year in direct in carceration costs . . . then there’s the additional tens of thousands of dollars in child support costs . . . and then there’s the probable increased in maladaptive behaviour of children of incarceratd parents–that’s probably in the hundreds of thousands of dollars each family . . .

    But let’s not forget the inevitable lawsuits. Will the state be required to report positives to the applicant’s current or prospective employers? And even the most scrupulous lab experiences some percentage of false positives. Should the state be fiscally liable for falsely ruining an applicant’s reputation for false reporting? Tack on perhaps tens of MILLIONS of dollars here in the aggregate–regardless of whether the disclosure of the positive result was intentional or negligent–even regardless of whether the result is accurate.

    Who the hell keeps coming up with this shitty legislation? And why do their parents let them out of the house alone? They’ll only keep getting up to dumbass mischief like this.

    Even the most rabidly ideological right winger has to admit this: Desperately poor people do not make sophisticated analyses of probability when they apply for aid. The additional hurdle will not deterr them from applying, and for the vast majority, will not deter them from being accepted. What it will do is guarantee the bankruptcy of the state about ten years down the line and an eventual untimely end to their own political careers and reputations for competence.

    • Hadrian999

      these bills are pure grandstanding, the authors know they will not pass and only do them to score points for standing up “to those people”

      • robertpinkerton

        While my heart says, “From your keyboard to the Gods’ Eyes!”, my head tells me that there exist political micro-climates in this country that would be hospitable to this abomination.

      • Liam_McGonagle

        You’re right. The authors of this bill don’t need it to pass in order to acheive their real aims.

        But never underestimate the stupidity or the immorality of the average American voter either. In the middle of the worst economic crisis and deficits for 3 generations, Wisconsin elected a man whose plan pivots on slashing revenues by at least $60 million per year.

        I know I harp on that example a bit much, but it’s true.

      • http://www.victoriangothic.org Haystack

        Which is to say, it’s about humiliating the poor.

    • Investinourftre

      Not to mention the fact that drug tests are not and have never been 100% accurate, everyone has been bamboozled, and we have created a profitable function for these tests. There are many people to this day sitting in prison or losing their jobs because of these tests who have never touched a drug in their lives. The only thing holding the the truth from coming out is certain people having to admit they were wrong and ruined many lives in the process, imagine the lawsuits.

    • quartz99

      Yeah, I can agree with the premise that if you have enough income to buy drugs you shouldn’t get state welfare for food just because you spent it all on drugs. And I’ve seen stories about people using their food stamps to pay for drugs in some places. This would help stop that and I can totally see taking steps to make sure the food stamps are actually going to people who honestly need them.

      BUT.

      You have to look at the full cost/benefit and as you point out, the costs of this are going to be astronomical. In a small state like NH, with a small population of poor people, the benefit may still outweigh the cost. But can you imagine how fast this would bankrupt a larger state like New York or California who have such a high population of people who qualify for welfare? Ouch.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Awesome. Let’s see, in order for this to mean anything, we’ll have to test every member of the recipient household . . . on a recurring basis . . . on a surprise schedule, to prevent gaming.

    So, lab costs should be in the neighborhood of what, $5,000 per person per year? Maybe tack on a little bit for the inevitable civil rights cases for people unwittingly dragged into this thing by the complexity of issues surrounding whether an applicant is necessarily legally competent to render consent for unwitting family members? Say, $7,000 per year in additional costs?

    No, more than that: Eventually there will be some shocking positive results that beg the question whether the individual should be charged and incarcerated for violating the test. So, for some percentage of applicants, a minimum of $60,000 per year in direct in carceration costs . . . then there’s the additional tens of thousands of dollars in child support costs . . . and then there’s the probable increased in maladaptive behaviour of children of incarceratd parents–that’s probably in the hundreds of thousands of dollars each family . . .

    But let’s not forget the inevitable lawsuits. Will the state be required to report positives to the applicant’s current or prospective employers? And even the most scrupulous lab experiences some percentage of false positives. Should the state be fiscally liable for falsely ruining an applicant’s reputation for false reporting? Tack on perhaps tens of MILLIONS of dollars here in the aggregate–regardless of whether the disclosure of the positive result was intentional or negligent–even regardless of whether the result is accurate.

    Who the hell keeps coming up with this shitty legislation? And why do their parents let them out of the house alone? They’ll only keep getting up to dumbass mischief like this.

    Even the most rabidly ideological right winger has to admit this: Desperately poor people do not make sophisticated analyses of probability when they apply for aid. The additional hurdle will not deterr them from applying, and for the vast majority, will not deter them from being accepted. What it will do is guarantee the bankruptcy of the state about ten years down the line and an eventual untimely end to their own political careers and reputations for competence.

  • Malk

    I agree with [“If you can afford money for drugs and illegal activity, then you should be able to afford money for food,” she said.] but then again… if you can afford money for drug testing and staff and software to manage the whole process, then you should probably be able to be doing something better with your time and effort.

  • Malk

    I agree with [“If you can afford money for drugs and illegal activity, then you should be able to afford money for food,” she said.] but then again… if you can afford money for drug testing and staff and software to manage the whole process, then you should probably be able to be doing something better with your time and effort.

  • Hadrian999

    these bills are pure grandstanding, the authors know they will not pass and only do them to score points for standing up “to those people”

  • Anonymous

    While my heart says, “From your keyboard to the Gods’ Eyes!”, my head tells me that there exist political micro-climates in this country that would be hospitable to this abomination.

  • FUEL

    Ha ha druggie douche bag welfare bitches are gonna have to smoke ciggies instead of crack in their Cadillac escalade.

  • FUEL

    Ha ha druggie douche bag welfare bitches are gonna have to smoke ciggies instead of crack in their Cadillac escalade.

    • Galser Marcos

      cute attempted tard troll.. but got me to type this.. so +1

  • Liam_McGonagle

    You’re right. The authors of this bill don’t need it to pass in order to acheive their real aims.

    But never underestimate the stupidity or the immorality of the average American voter either. In the middle of the worst economic crisis and deficits for 3 generations, Wisconsin elected a man whose plan pivots on slashing revenues by at least $60 million per year.

    I know I harp on that example a bit much, but it’s true.

  • http://www.victoriangothic.org Haystack

    Clearly, the members of the NH State Assembly are spending their taxpayer-funded salaries on crack.

  • http://www.victoriangothic.org Haystack

    Clearly, the members of the NH State Assembly are spending their taxpayer-funded salaries on crack.

  • http://www.victoriangothic.org Haystack

    Which is to say, it’s about humiliating the poor.

  • Masflojo

    Wouldn’t the cost of drug testing all these people off set the potential savings?

  • Masflojo

    Wouldn’t the cost of drug testing all these people off set the potential savings?

  • Ironaddict06

    Hell yea, there should be drug testing for welfare benefits. If you live in the U.S. think about how much the U.S. gov’t takes from your paycheck for welfare and other taxes-then if you live in a state where there is a state income tax on top of that. When you see crack-heads, meth-heads, and what ever heads there goes you tax dollars if they receive welfare. Also this would be a great TOOL to offer HELP to people that are addicts. If they test postive-have some type of rehab program to try to help these people.

    • Investinourftre

      The cost to repeatedly drug test these people would cost way more than the waste, plus drug tests are easily cheated and themselves are not 100% accurate as advertised. Many people fail drug tests who have never taken a drug in their lives. Tell big Pharm NO! because this is only being presented because they would stand to make huge gains.

  • Ironaddict06

    Hell yea, there should be drug testing for welfare benefits. If you live in the U.S. think about how much the U.S. gov’t takes from your paycheck for welfare and other taxes-then if you live in a state where there is a state income tax on top of that. When you see crack-heads, meth-heads, and what ever heads there goes you tax dollars if they receive welfare. Also this would be a great TOOL to offer HELP to people that are addicts. If they test postive-have some type of rehab program to try to help these people.

  • Anonymous

    The cost to repeatedly drug test these people would cost way more than the waste, plus drug tests are easily cheated and themselves are not 100% accurate as advertised. Many people fail drug tests who have never taken a drug in their lives. Tell big Pharm NO! because this is only being presented because they would stand to make huge gains.

  • Anonymous

    Not to mention the fact that drug tests are not and have never been 100% accurate, everyone has been bamboozled, and we have created a profitable function for these tests. There are many people to this day sitting in prison or losing their jobs because of these tests who have never touched a drug in their lives. The only thing holding the the truth from coming out is certain people having to admit they were wrong and ruined many lives in the process, imagine the lawsuits.

  • Hq

    Not only would drug testing cost the state more money, but likely they’d only be testing for one thing – cannabis. Urine tests don’t catch the harder drugs because they go through your system too quickly.

    Also, what about alcohol? Not testing for that? Because it’s legal, right?

  • Hq

    Not only would drug testing cost the state more money, but likely they’d only be testing for one thing – cannabis. Urine tests don’t catch the harder drugs because they go through your system too quickly.

    Also, what about alcohol? Not testing for that? Because it’s legal, right?

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, I can agree with the premise that if you have enough income to buy drugs you shouldn’t get state welfare for food just because you spent it all on drugs. And I’ve seen stories about people using their food stamps to pay for drugs in some places. This would help stop that and I can totally see taking steps to make sure the food stamps are actually going to people who honestly need them.

    BUT.

    You have to look at the full cost/benefit and as you point out, the costs of this are going to be astronomical. In a small state like NH, with a small population of poor people, the benefit may still outweigh the cost. But can you imagine how fast this would bankrupt a larger state like New York or California who have such a high population of people who qualify for welfare? Ouch.

  • WhiteRose

    Why don’t these idiotic law makers go after the rich like they go after the poor? Oh cause then they wouldn’t get campaign contributions to be elected…. How about instead investing money for laws like this to fund jobs and rehab? Starving the poor and their families to death is the answer, WTF? So then they have to steal etc. and then hire more police and more jail blah blah blah…. guess these idiots don’t see the BIG picture!

  • WhiteRose

    Why don’t these idiotic law makers go after the rich like they go after the poor? Oh cause then they wouldn’t get campaign contributions to be elected…. How about instead investing money for laws like this to fund jobs and rehab? Starving the poor and their families to death is the answer, WTF? So then they have to steal etc. and then hire more police and more jail blah blah blah…. guess these idiots don’t see the BIG picture!

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I’m not unwilling to compromise…if we test the poor for benefits qualifications…lets test every public official, elected official and appointee…garnisheeing their pay if they fail. Our tax dollars shouldn’t give free rides to crooks…so lets drug test everyone…all the time…everywhere…every day…then refuse any tax breaks/public services etc to anyone who fails…no exceptions. Tinkle-test stations should be installed at the entrance of every building…piss in or piss off should be the new rule.

    May have to give up lemon-poppy seed cake though…but truth and justice come with sacrifices. Liberty through obedience! Strength through surrender! Victory through fearful subjugation! Orwell suck my balls…we can do ya one better than 1984! We won’t lament over it and wonder if its right…we’ll beg for it and then applaud when we get it! Woot!

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I’m not unwilling to compromise…if we test the poor for benefits qualifications…lets test every public official, elected official and appointee…garnisheeing their pay if they fail. Our tax dollars shouldn’t give free rides to crooks…so lets drug test everyone…all the time…everywhere…every day…then refuse any tax breaks/public services etc to anyone who fails…no exceptions. Tinkle-test stations should be installed at the entrance of every building…piss in or piss off should be the new rule.

    May have to give up lemon-poppy seed cake though…but truth and justice come with sacrifices. Liberty through obedience! Strength through surrender! Victory through fearful subjugation! Orwell suck my balls…we can do ya one better than 1984! We won’t lament over it and wonder if its right…we’ll beg for it and then applaud when we get it! Woot!

  • Galser Marcos

    cute attempted tard troll.. but got me to type this.. so +1

  • Galser Marcos

    cute attempted tard troll.. but got me to type this.. so +1

  • EAGD

    Drug testing for CEOs and political office only.

  • EAGD

    Drug testing for CEOs and political office only.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pieman420 Aron Kay

    it sux!!! the police state now invades your kitchen

  • http://www.facebook.com/pieman420 Aron Kay

    it sux!!! the police state now invades your kitchen

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