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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Nathan Tabor
Bio: Nathan Tabor
Date:  April 24, 2007
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Topic category:  Other/General

Drug Testing Welfare Recipients

It's funny how selective the mainstream news media are in their war coverage. While American television viewers receive wall-to-wall coverage of the war in Iraq, we seldom hear about our nation's decades-long war on illegal drugs.

Of course, the country's drug war petered out during the "I didn't inhale" Clinton years. With another Clinton vying for the White House, it only makes sense to revisit the drug issue. Is our nation really doing enough to free its citizens from the slavery of addiction, and the loss of opportunities and dreams that result from illegal drug use?

Unfortunately, America has become far too tolerant of illegal drug use. This is disturbing, considering the fact that the illegal drug trade can seriously jeopardize our national security.

Fortunately, there are a few simple common-sense actions we could take to stem our country's reliance on illegal drugs. For instance, it only makes sense that welfare recipients should have to take drug tests in order to qualify for benefits.

Before you assume that this is an unfair burden, consider the fact that many workers must submit to drug tests before they're even called in for a job interview. Companies and even federal agencies realize that illegal drug use can lead to a host of problems on the job—lost productivity, absenteeism, undependability, and even violence. For the proper functioning of businesses and government offices, a drug-free workplace simply must be maintained.

If drug tests are required for those who work, it only makes sense that they should also be mandated for individuals who are being supported by our tax dollars. After all, what incentive does a welfare recipient have to kick cocaine, as long as he has money in his pocket provided by Uncle Sam?

Such a policy would not be punitive. Rather, it would actually be quite benevolent. For, if you truly care about the poor, you'll be concerned enough to help relieve them of dependence on illegal chemicals to cope with the stresses and strains of life.

Of course, you might wonder why a fiscal conservative would propose a new government program like drug testing for welfare clients. The fact is that such a program could easily pay for itself. I propose that the cost of drug testing be covered by those who have been kicked out of the program, giving them new incentive to get jobs.

Opponents of drug testing of welfare clients claim that U.S. drug laws unfairly target the poor. The fact of the matter is that our drug laws are simply designed to protect all citizens, rich and poor, from the ravages of the illegal drug trade.

Ronald Reagan had it right in the 1980s when he launched a federal war on drugs and enacted a zero-tolerance drug policy within his administration. The Gipper ordered drug testing of federal workers, demonstrating his concern and compassion for American families. Congress also had it right in 1996 when it enacted the Welfare Reform Act—an act which authorized states to conduct mandatory drug testing as a precursor to state welfare benefits.

Our illegal drug problem is a national disgrace. It will not die quietly. It's up to public officials to take bold action against the drug lords who threaten the safety and sanity of our children. And that begins by forcing drug abusers off the welfare rolls.

Nathan Tabor

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Biography - Nathan Tabor

Nathan Tabor regularly appears on radio and is writing a book for Thomas Nelson Publishing. Nathan received his BA in psychology from St. Andrews Presbyterian College and his MA in public policy from Regent University.

In 2004, Nathan ran for Congress (NC5) in an eight-way primary. He raised over $850,000 and received over 7,500 votes in the most expensive primary in American history. Nathan's supporters included Dick Armey, Ed Meese, Steve Moore, Art Laffer, Pat Robertson, Bob Jones III, Congressman Robert Aderholt, Congressman Trent Franks, Congressman Jim Ryun, Beverly and Tim LaHaye, Mike Farris and many others. Dr. Jerry Falwell dubbed him the "young Jesse Helms."


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Copyright © 2007 by Nathan Tabor
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