Saturday, May 12, 2012

You Go First

This is interesting! The Oregon GOP, led by Senator Bruce Starr, have decided that low income people receiving assistance from the state, need to be drug tested. I guess such a notion is going on in other states as well, and I have some strong feelings about it. Below is part of the Legislative update that came to me in email yesterday...

Abuse of Oregon assistance programs must be addressed

Salem, OR – Senate Republicans will continue to push legislation that can safeguard the integrity of Oregon’s public assistance programs. Data recently released to The Oregonian revealed disturbing evidence of misuse of these funds. In an effort to protect programs for needy Oregon families, Republicans introduced legislation in 2011 to require drug testing for individuals on public assistance.

"Oregon’s assistance programs are meant to help struggling Oregon families pay for groceries, gas and rent while they get back on their feet," said Senator Bruce Starr (R-Hillsboro) who sponsored the 2011 legislation. "A few bad apples are abusing these payouts to gamble, drink and visit strip clubs. Putting a stop to that type of exploitation protects taxpayer dollars and shields the resources for those who need them most."

Note that there is no mention of how and why Legislators spend the money they receive from the state. I guess the idea is that if you are an elected official, it's nobody's business but your own, what you do with the tax dollars that pay your salary. However; if you are poor, you should be expected to be held to a higher level of accountability. Doesn't that define the word "discrimination"?

Are the citizens of Oregon expected to believe that elected people DON'T include "bad apples" who gamble, drink, and visit strip clubs? How about those who take illegal trips, have illegal vacations, and profit from the suffering of others? If they want to insist on disciminating against poor people, I say, ok, let's go for it! But YOU GO FIRST!


Anonymous said...

Sounds fair to me David it's wayne

Magenta said...

Also not mentioned is that banks are profiting from service fees on ATM cards they are now using for cash benefits. Probably ought to drug test the banksters, too. A 2010 federal law capped the swipe fees banks can collect when consumers use ordinary debit cards. But those caps do not apply to the prepaid debit cards used to withdraw cash assistance. Since 2007, Oregon has saved at least $11 million on printing, mailing and other costs associated with the unemployment program alone, and in California, banks reaped $8 million in fees.

The "data released to the Oregonian" indicates where people use their ATM cards to draw cash. To jump to drug testing makes no sense in response to the VERY FEW instances of using a card at OR NEAR a casino -- coming out and saying people are gambling, drinking and visiting strip clubs with public assistance dollars is meant to demonize poor people again. Note also in this article, in September, several transactions involving Oregon Trail cards occurred in New York City - obviously trying to draw a connection to Occupy actions that occurred in September.

David McDonald said...

Thank you once again for going deeper into the data than I Magenta! You always seem to have a view of things that I haven't considered. Wanna get married??