The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Drug Testing:
Blaming the Poor for Wasting Taxes

Jan 5, 2015

The Michigan Department of Human Services will soon start a three-county “pilot program” to test adult welfare recipients for drugs.

Only families with children are able to receive welfare or cash assistance. A campaign that targets adults struggling with addiction will hit innocent children with every welfare case closed.

Under this new law, caseworkers will question welfare applicants. Certain answers are considered “reasonable suspicion,” forcing a drug test prior to approval of benefits. Anyone over age 18 who tests positive can cause the family to lose their meager benefits for six months.

The justification of money savings is a bunch of BS. In Florida, where drug testing of welfare applicants was briefly implemented, researchers learned that the huge cost of drug testing was much higher than any money “saved” by benefit cuts.

In Utah, a study of suspicion-based drug testing discovered only nine applicants state-wide who tested positive for drugs!

A Republican legislator who sponsored Michigan’s proposed law essentially said he was aware of this, but people are “tired of giving their tax dollars to people that waste it....

Let’s talk about how tax dollars are really wasted.

In Michigan, roughly 21,000 adults (with children) are receiving cash assistance of less than 500 dollars a month.

Compare that to the 95,000 Michigan businesses–about two-thirds of all businesses–who no longer pay business income tax since 2012. These freeloading corporations benefit from state spending, but don’t pay. If politicians don’t want to “give tax dollars to people who waste it,” then every one of these CEOs should be drug tested or lose their tax break “welfare benefits!”

And why stop there? Next, drug test all politicians whose salaries are paid by taxpayers!

But that won’t happen. The real purpose of this legislation is to drive a wedge between working people and the poor, laying groundwork for the next round of attacks on the social safety net. Justified working class anger over high taxes is to be misdirected toward the poor.

This law serves the interests of the wealthy by drawing attention away from the real drain on taxpayers–corporate welfare.

In an economy without enough good paying jobs, this law smears the unemployed with children as probable drug addicts simply because they need welfare to avoid starvation.

The only welfare that IS a waste of money is corporate welfare for the yacht-buying, undeserving rich!