Thursday, 24 January 2013
I found this post on Facebook this morning and I thought, "Hey, that's great!" I even clicked the "Like" button. I poured some coffee and sat at the table when a small voice inside my head asked, "But, what about the children?"
I finished my coffee and jumped on my laptop to find out a little more information about this new law. What I thought was such a great piece of legislation turned out to be another ill-thought out bill that when enforced, would make the children of our state, the ultimate losers.
If you take the benefits away, such as food stamps, medical coverage and shelter costs, who will feed these children, treat them when they're ill or put a roof over their heads? Once again, children will suffer because of their parent's actions. But, the legislators thought of the solution to that! They will give the benefits to a family member to be distributed to the children. In effect, our state government is putting in a middle man.
Now, this might work, I thought! But, what about children who don't have family members who can't or won't agree to take on this responsibility? What happens when these family members don't exist? Who takes care of the children? I found no answer in the law for that!
I researched more and found that this bill was being touted as a way to get people who are addicted to drugs the help they need. Wow, that's great, I thought. But, what kind of help are we talking about? The bill had been in effect for only a short time before an injunction questioning the constitutionality of the law could be considered. In the four months the law was utilized to test welfare applicants, only 108 out of 4,086 people tested positive. And the majority of these 108 only tested positive for pot. A drug that is now legal, or on the way to being legalized, by many states.
So, why are we doing this? Further reading gave me the answer. It was going to save the state a lot of money by not giving benefits to people who tested positive for drugs. Ok, I could see that as a good thing. Then I went back to researching and found some very different results. The new law was costing taxpayers much more than we would ever save by not paying out the benefits to those who tested positive. And the voice inside my head asked, "How were they going to save those benefits, if they said they would pay them to someone else to support the kids?" Now I'm confused!
I realize that the welfare system is sometimes abused by lazy, selfish people who don't care to work for a living and would rather work the system to their advantage. But, I consider myself an intelligent person who worries about the effects on our children in this state. If this law prevents even one child from getting fed properly, then I say get rid of it! If one child dies because of lack of medical treatment, I say Stop! And, if one child is left out in the rain or cold in order to save a few bucks, then I say shame on us!
So, before you start jumping up and down and praising this new law... look up the facts. I hope you'll change your mind. Please, think of the children!
You'll have to excuse me now. I have to return to Facebook and click on the "Unlike" button.
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