Sure, It Sounds Good

State Senator Doug Jackson wants to end welfare benefits to drug addicts. This is one of those things that sounds good, except for that drug addicts are, by definition, addicted to drugs. If their own desire to quit using drugs, their knowledge of the hurt their addiction is bringing their loved ones, and their own fear of getting caught is not enough to keep them from using, the threat of getting kicked off welfare if they get caught and convicted of a drug offense isn’t going to be enough to keep them off of drugs either.

And what happens to their kids?

And do you think Jackson has looked into how many partners of drug addicts end up in trouble with the law, because there are drugs which they don’t use, in the house?

This is awesome grandstanding, but it will have some devastating effects on families in Tennessee.

5 thoughts on “Sure, It Sounds Good

  1. Perhaps a lawyer reading here will chime in but I believe that such laws are unconstitutional since a portion of most federal welfare benefits which are tied into state benefits for adults are intended to support children.

    Anyway, you are right that is bad public policy. Better to require drug treatment for recipients but that is costly so one assumes it won’t happen.

  2. So, if this is how we’re going to craft public policy, are we going to stop allowing elected officials to pay for alcohol with their Per Diems and expense accounts?

    It’s the same logic.

  3. KC,

    Drugs are a barrier to good parenting. Alcohol is virtually a necessity for the Legislature to function. Think of it as lubricating the machinery of government.

    Consider Shaw’s Andrew Undershaft in ‘Major Barbara’ on the benefits of whisky:

    “It enables Parliament to do things at eleven at night that no sane person would do at eleven in the
    morning.”

  4. Drug treatment is a whole lot cheaper than the cost of police, courts, and incarceration. It’s cheaper than courts and incarceration even if you keep the cops arresting people for drug offenses. In fact, drug treatment is even cheaper than incarceration, period. You’d think that we could funnel a little money away from prisons and into treatment programs, wouldn’t you? But noooooooo, between lobbyists and the desire to shame and punish, the prisons win every time.

  5. So. It’s based on drug convictions. If that person got clean while they were in jail and then really were working their program, they’d still not be eligible for benefits for a year? Really?

    Sounds like a way to ensure those damn addicts stay down.

    And, taking their checks to buy cocaine? Hahaha, I don’t think there are any drug dealers who accept EBT.

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