Thursday, 27 January 2011

Repost if you agree. No, really.

Did you know that "Kentucky just passed the best law ever! to be on Food Stamps, Medicaid, or Cash Assistance for your Children or Yourself you have to pass a DRUG test. Now every other state should do the same. Re-post if you agree and are tired of people taking advantage of the system to be fucking lazy and do drugs"?  Yeah, I didn't know that either.  And interestingly, when I checked Snopes, I discovered that not only had Kentucky not passed that law, but a federal court ruled in Michigan that a similar law violated Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure.

"But wait!" you say. "Why can't the government mandate that you can't be on drugs if you're getting 'government handouts' that come out of my hard-earned tax dollars?" (these comments usually from the same Second Amendment-loving anti-government people who literally shit their pants at the thought of an individual mandate on health insurance).

Well, let's explore that.  If you want to place drug testing restrictions on so-called "government handouts", we're gonna have to test people who are drawing unemployment, those who get those niiiiice farm subsidies, every single person on Medicare, anyone getting veteran's benefits, housing subsidies, temporary relief from foreclosure, and a number of other government assistance programs.  'Cause they're all fucking lazy, right?  And if someone pees dirty, we're going to yank that assistance, because their kids don't deserve to eat, right?

Actually, according to this lady, you shouldn't even be breeding if you're getting a government handout. This is what she had to say about people on welfare:
"For the welfare losers: If you can't afford to feed, clothe, or shelter yourself or your family without the aid of the government (and therefore, the taxpayers), then it should be COMPLETELY within our rights to drug test you. Drugs are illegal (as stupid as it is, yes, weed IS illegal in the U.S., but that's a separate issue), and you should not be using welfare money to break the law. You should be allowed NO luxuries, such as booze, cigs, candy, drugs, etc. You should get a basic landline phone and an answering machine, not an iPhone. You should be put on mandatory birth control until you're off the government dime. You already had children you can't afford, you don't need to make more. GET. A. JOB! Making life as shitty as possible for those who abuse the system might encourage them to get off it."

Well, (raising hand), I am one of those people who was on welfare.  My older son, who, according to Ms. Anderson, shouldn't have been born, was fed through WIC and other programs while I went to nursing school.  I had a government handout that helped me pay for heat, helped with my rent, and helped put him in daycare so I could work weekends at the Elks and spend my weeknights studying  (yes, every goddamn night; I have the GPA to prove it).  I was lucky enough to have a mother that paid for nearly all of my tuition and a grant from the Single Parent Program that gave me nearly a thousand dollars to help pay for my nursing books.  I dressed both myself and my boy with clothes from the Salvation Army, and my aunt's mother did my hair for free. No, I didn't do drugs, but I occasionally bought a bottle of $9 Moscato to sip before bed.

I am so sick of people judging those who are less fortunate than they.  I am tired of people throwing out "lazy" and "leeches" and "parasites" when talking about people who are on government assistance.  Sure, everyone knows "someone" who pops out a kid every 11 months and uses their child support money to buy a Blackberry, but contrary to popular opinion, those people are not the norm.  MOST of them are like I was, trying to make ends meet. To suggest that someone would want to be on welfare is absolutely amazing to me.  You have no clue how humiliating it is to go to a public assistance office and tell them you need help, or have the receptionist at the doctor's office tell you loudly that they need to see the latest copy of your kid's medical card.

For those of you who think that way, I won't change your mind.  Years of prejudicial thinking and watching Fox News have and will continue to feed your biases.  What I will do is continue to teach my children compassion, and tolerance, and empathy, and they will teach their children the same.  And in a few years, when you're in my hospital, receiving care that's paid for with Medicare and other government-subsidized monies, I will care for you with compassion, and tolerance, and empathy.  No judgment here.


Sharonmanc said...

i cant agree more, there are those abuse the system, we have the same problem here in the UK, but like you, i was on welfare/benefits, without them i would not have been able to provide for my kidsat the time, and with them, working and the help of my mother i was able to gain my education, and pay my taxes to put back into the system. People view it as an easy ride, it is not, it was one of the hardest times of my life, i had no luxuries, was just able to survive. It is meant to be a stop gap, not a way of life, and those that abuse the system, are the ones that mar peoples opinion. The way the ecvonomic climate it here in the UK people of all walks of ;ife have lost jobs, bthose well off who have never been on welfare are experiencing it for the first time, and they now realie how people treat you, especially those inthe governement office, which has changed a lot of peoples views, hopefully for the better

whitney said...

great post and great insight. my son is on medicaid and we receive food stamps and let me tell you, EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. i purchase food for my family with that card, i am ashamed and hoping no one notices. we qualify for more government assistance but i won't even go there. and when i see people abusing the system (like our single friend on a $25,000 salary with free housing, electricity, utility, & cell phone -because he was a youth pastor at a church- trying to get on food stamps and complaining that dogs should be a tax write-off because his pit bull's food was expensive...oh my god.) it pisses me the hell off.