Lately it has become popular for people to post some politically motivated message about mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients on Facebook. I am always taken aback by the meanness of this, and the lack of thought in regard to the consequences of this policy. So let’s take the fictional Welfare Queen dreamt up by Ronald Reagan. She has children andis enjoyingnthe easy life of welfare. Mandatory drug testing gies intomffect. What do you do with this who tests positive for pot? Take away her benefits? Do we really want her children to starve to death? Do we even know what starving children wandering the streets for food looks like? Think the England of Charles Dickens. Or maybe we can take her children away? Do you all know how many children are in childrens’ shelters because there are no foster homes? It sounds great, hey, free money, you need to get drug tested, but the fact is that just stopping benefits will cause huge social consequences, most of which many of the programs’ supporters have never thought about.
The resentment of the poor has been fueled by the Republican Party for many years now, and they have done an excellent job. The Poor are now our enemy. This takes our attention away from the corporations, the very wealthy and the powerful, who have been sending our jobs to countries where people work for dollars a day, they’ve been smashing unions here, cutting health insurance, trying to,dismantle social security. But the poor are our Enemy? They are just trapped in an underfunded public school system and social welfare system that should be incising job training, child care and components to help people train for them, as envisioned by Bill Clinton but unfunded by Republicans.
My belief is that we should stop helping poor individuals when we stop giving billions in corporate welfare to corporations who send our jobs overseas. But that won’t happen because corporations have lobbyists and the poor have no money for lobbyists, and we have a political party that is actively trying to do everything they can to kill them. And I don’t mean that as hyperbole. How else can you characterize the constant attempts to defund children’s health insurance? Food stamp programs? School lunches? Would ending these programs help the poor or harm them? So what is the motive?
And really, if you are middle class and have a mortgage deduction, you pay so little in taxes anyway. I don’t resent my meager taxes going to help the poor. I resent my taxes killing civilians in Iraq. I resent my taxes supporting corporate welfare and banks and brokerages that smashed our economy. I resent the 8% my children are paying on student loans, when the government loans money to banks at .5%. The small amount of my taxes going to the poor? God help them in this country, with the level of vitriol that has been encouraged against them by the rich and powerful. And what about the lazy “do-nothing’s” on Social Security, who take a lot more out of the system than they put in? I resent them – millionaires getting Social Security who take out more than they put in. And those who are actually able to work and collect social security. I resent them more than someone born into poverty, terrible schools, gangs, drugs and no opportunity. And, yes, there are the very, very few who escape. But most don’t.