Let’s Spread the Wealth Around — to Drug Addicts

Saying that it is ‘unfair for taxpayers to continue to foot the bill for welfare recipients who participate in illicit drug activity,’ Florida Governor Rick Scott has signed into law a controversial drug screening law for those applying for welfare, according to CNN. ‘It’s the right thing for citizens of this state that need public assistance. We don’t want to waste tax dollars. And also, we want to give people an incentive to not use drugs,’ said Scott.

Under the law, those applying for welfare will undergo drug screening and will be responsible for the cost of the testing. They would, however, recoup the cost if they are approved and pass the screening. Those parents who have a positive drug test, however, could designate another person to receive benefits on behalf of the children.

Shortly after the bill was signed, five Democrats from the state’s congressional delegation issued a joint statement attacking the legislation, one calling it ‘downright unconstitutional.’

Unconstitutional?

Oh, really? How constitutional is it to force some citizens to pay the incomes of other citizens — drug-abusing citizens, or not? This is the REAL question that is never raised, and never will be raised, but should be.

Liberals and civil libertarians are right to be concerned about government prying into the drug use of private citizens. People have a political right to destroy their lives with drugs if they wish to do so, and in a free country they are left free to do so. But they don’t have the right to do so on another’s dime — or trillions, or anything in between.

Lies lead to more lies. The myth that the welfare state is morally justified, much less economically prudent, is a horrendous lie. The lie that stealing from productive Peter to pay for unproductive Paul, and using government force to do so, is morally justified perpetuates further lies. This includes the lie that unproductive Paul is entitled to do what he pleases with the money that productive Peter was forced to provide him.

Even if you accept the terms of the welfare state, that government can and should help those deemed unable to help themselves, the policy of Governor Scott in Florida is entirely justified. Welfare is supposed to help those who cannot help themselves. So if a person is using that welfare money to buy booze or drugs — well, isn’t that an abuse of the law?

Of course it is. But not if you’re a liberal. Because if you’re a liberal, which means that you’re a socialist and an irrationalist, then you don’t view drug abuse as a choice. To a liberal, drug abuse is an illness. That person using the welfare money to buy drugs is (to a liberal) as helpless as a cancer patient over the growth of his tumor, or a heart disease patient in cardiac arrest.

To a liberal, it’s cruel and unusual punishment to require the helpless drug addict to stop using drugs in order to receive his welfare checks. Idiots in the mental health, substance abuse and psychiatric professions — myself excluded — have perpetuated this lie for decades. The drug addict using tax dollars to buy his drugs is simply acting in accordance with what most of the “experts” claim as scientific truth.

As awful and immoral as the idea of government intruding into the private lives of people is, it’s even worse for a government to turn some of its citizens into slaves. In principle and in hard fact, that’s what welfare is. That’s what all wealth redistribution is. I don’t care whether the redistributed money goes from productive people to drug abusers, or to corporate executives who are being rewarded, with tax money, for doing what politicians want them to do.

And — surprise, surprise — the ACLU is considering suing the state of Florida¬†for drug-testing welfare applicants. When will the ACLU take up the case of citizens who work being forced to pay taxes to support those who — in the case of drug-abusers especially — prefer not to work?

It will be interesting to observe the ultimate outcome of this policy dispute in Florida. Liberals will scream that everyone, drug addicts included, are entitled to unconditional benefits. They’ll dare conservatives to (1) question that welfare itself is moral; and (2) question that substance abuse is anything other than a disease. If conservatives respond as they almost always do, they will back down.

If opponents of liberalism ever grow a spine, then maybe we can begin the process of ending wealth redistribution as we know it.