Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Legislators Standing Up for Taxpayers

by Brett Hooton

Representatives Davy Carter (R-Cabot), John Burris (R-Harrison), and Jonathan Dismang (R-Beebe) authored a bill, HB 1281, which would require drug testing for those who receive government funds from the Department of Human Services (DHS). Liberals are going to flip out over this bill. How dare we invade someone's privacy and drug test them just because the tax payers could be funding their habit!

Several arguments will be made against this bill to stir up emotional, though ill-informed opposition.

1. "You shouldn't drug test minors and the elderly." I would agree with this, and from the conversations I've had with one of the authors, it looks like they don't plan to. As this piece of legislation develops, specific language will be included to take care of this.

2. "It is an invasion of their privacy." When the tax payers start supplementing a person's income, there should be some burden on those receiving the help to ensure us that they're not spending the money on illegal activities. Schools are able to drug test students who take part in extracurricular activities, so the government should be able to drug test those who accept funds from DHS.

With businesses cutting back on their operating budgets, families cutting back on spending, and with the economy in a recession, it should be a priority of our elected officials to ensure that our tax dollars are being spent effectively. Everyone seems to be cutting back on spending except for the State (they're even proposing increasing taxes). Every dollar we spend so that people can maintain their destructive and illegal habit is a dollar we can't give to those who truly need it. The intent is not to take away funding from those who need it, but to instead focus those funds to the truly needy.

This bill will stir up a lot of debate. I'm sure as this bill develops and more language is included, either Jason or I will touch on it some more. I hope that our legislators will work to do what is best for both the taxpayers and those who receive funds from DHS.


Joe said...

I'm a liberal and I'm all for it. Same for subsidized housing. It should be treated like military housing with inspections and expectations with consequences.

Brett said...

Great idea Joe! If you're going to receive gifts from the government...take care of what you receive.