You Don’t Have A Right To Live At Someone Else’s Expense


With a stroke of the governor’s pen, Georgia has become the latest state in the union to require drug screening as a prerequisite for accessing benefits under certain social programs.

The idea itself isn’t new, it’s been debated for decades and other states have passed similar laws, but what caught my eye was the ACLU’s assertion (and no doubt imminent lawsuit) claiming the law is unconstitutional:

Under the law set to take effect on July 1, applicants who fail a drug test will become ineligible to receive benefits for a certain time period, based on the number of past test failures.

The measure will not affect benefits for children. If a parent fails a drug test, children can still receive payments through another person designated by the state.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia opposed the drug-testing requirement and believes it is unconstitutional, Executive Director Debbie Seagraves said on Tuesday. There is no evidence that welfare recipients are any more likely than other groups to use illegal drugs, she said.

“You’re taking a group of people and basically profiling them,” Seagraves said.

She would not say whether the ACLU plans to sue, but previously she has predicted a lengthy court fight if the measure became law.

The idea that this is some sort of discrimination is ludicrous. There is no specific demographic being singled out here other than people who are applying for government benefits. Those people must prove that their sober. What’s so bad about that?

What’s left unstated here, I think, is the assumption that people have a right to live at the expense of other people. That’s not how it works. We can debate about social programs as policy, but as a practical matter if you’re going to make yourself dependent on someone else that someone else has every right to put conditions on their aid.

We don’t have to provide this aid. We do it because, as a society, we’ve decided to provide it. And, as a society, we can put whatever conditions on it we want.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • NDwriter


  • The Fighting Czech

     This should just be the start….what we need is drug and alcohol testing in Bismarck and Washington DC.  When I lived in the Twin cities,  I would watch the MN legislature  channel on TV.  There were a couple of clowns that would stand up and ramble on,  speech slurred,  one hand on the desk to steady themselves.  while Im not the most observant person out there,  Even I could tell what they had for lunch….                                                                            I can never figure out why everyone is so concerned about a truck driver and what he does,  when at the absolute worse, could kill maybe 50 people riding in a bus,  (which hasnt happen yet to my knowledge,)  yet  We have possible drug addicts and alcoholics in places of power, making decisions,  that can affect millions of peoples lives.                                                            Im not impressed by the self-indignation the legislatures display when ever random testing is mentioned.. because you are right,  I dont trust you,  and I do think you should have your crap all together when you work for me…  
    And Like I constantly hear,  If you arent doing anything wrong,  you dont have anything to worry about….

  • jackstan84

    The only tough things about these is doing the cost benefit analysis, our tax payers would then have to pay for a company/hospital to administer the test. Then you also need a social worker to make sure the benefit still goes to the child, which I’m sure will come with a lot of complications. Many studies done on these programs have not showed them to be cost effective for the tax payer. In Florida I believe 2% of welfare recipients failed the drug test and in Arizona 1 of 87,000 people failed the drug test, although somewhere around a thousand declined to apply for the programs. The Florida drug tests cost the state $30 a piece to administer, so they ended up losing of $100,000, and Arizona their losses were somewhere in the millions. The argument against would be that despite both lost a lot of money some people did not abuse drugs because of the program, I believe just over 9% of the welfare population, and close to 7% of the general population is believed to be using drugs.

    • Kelly C

       Take the $30 out of their first payment. Problem solved.

      • mickey_moussaoui

        Poison the drug supply, problem solved

    • Bat One

      Since when did those on the Left discover Cost/Benefit Analysis?  April Fools Day was three weeks ago!

      • Econwarrior

        Neither liberals or libertarians want to debate on a cost/benefit basis.

    • Econwarrior

      Your understanding of cost/benefit is faulty.  Unless the anticipated benefit exceeds the cost, you don’t take the proposed action.  In terms of drug screening, that’s up to the employer to determine whether the benefit(unstoned employees) is worth the relatively low cost per employee for the screening.  In terms of govt jobs, our tax money should never be paid to drug-addled employees.

      • jackstan84

        ???? Why do you respond to my statements when u never really read them? If it costs more to administer than what you save that goes in the red. Do you know what a cost benefit is? What does it save the tax payer vs. what soes it cost the tax payer. In this case it is the government administering the test not an employer. And actually I’m not even a member of the left I have voted republican more often than liberal in the voting booth. Im just not a radical and I look at things from a variety of perspectives. I read studies from the Cato institute, heritage foundation, i have read ten books about politics in the past six months alone, five conservative, three liberal, and two classics. History major major in college as well although I suppose you would count getting a college education against me.

        • Econwarrior

          The only thing that saves the taxpayers anything is lower tax rates.  Your reading list, which doesn’t include anything in the area of economics, explains a lot about the stuff you try to sell here.
          As with many of your suppositions, the one about me is just plain wrong.  A college education can be a good first step to knowledge.

          • jackstan84

            Most of what the cato institute and heritage foundation are based on economics, I also had to take an economics course load in college, did you receive your econ. training from fox news?

  • Camsaure

    Where is the ACLU when those of us who work for a living and are paying taxes have to take drug tests for employment or to prove that we are fit to drive? Either we are all discriminated against or none of us are. Why should bums on the dole have more freedoms than those whom are supporting said bums?

  • The Fighting Czech

    Better yet,  Have everyone receiving benefits, do about 20 hrs of community service work every week to earn a check.  they can trim weeds along  guard rails,  sign posts,  pick up garbage,  paint hydrants,  even shovel snow away from the hydrants in the winter months.  there is lot they can do….  at 20 hrs a week, recipients can pair up with others, on different shifts, to take care of each others kids while they are working.  

    On another note,  Should a person be considered a fit parent,  if they cant pass a drug test?  What are the chances of a Crackhead parent giving a crap if her kid gets fed?   That kid could be around only as a source of income to support the habit..

  • Guest

    I’d like to see state and federal employees have to screen as well. 

  • Hannahchandler2001

    I would really like to see some actual solutions to the problem rather than everyone just throwing money at poor people. They are poor for a reason!! If they have a drug/alcohol problem than help them kick it. If they have a mental health problems than help them. The majority of people in our welfare and prison systems, for that matter, have one of these problems and it is really hard to get help. And if they are lucky enough to get the help they need it is no guarantee that it will actually work. I’m not really sure taking their well fare money way from them is the right approach. I really wish the bureaucracy could work on a more one on one, instead of the one size fits all.

  • Guest

    Enforce our rights of ‘Equality’. Put the law in to test all sinators every six months. Or pull those Belial demons out of office. They are evil and are domestic terrorists working to destroy our Constitution for the vatican government. 

  • Guest

    Republicans have NO Family values and mean to kill us for their anti-American vatican gov. to take over for Belial. (Belair). Those who lie have no morals. Those who have no morals HATE GOD. Those who hate me hate the One who sent me. Case closed. ‘Vengeance is mine.’ saith the Lord. 

    • valarie

      Wow.  Call your doc and get back on your meds.

      • Guest

        I don’t have a doctor. Do you? You really sound like you need meds worse than me. Or your parents raised you to be cold-blooded viper. Which is it?

      • Guest

        Hey, where the check you said you were sending me?

      • Guest

        Are you willing to pay my doctor bills?

    • Carolport


      • Guest

        I was having a discussion with people on the page that was on. I wasn’t supporting it, I was showing people how disrespectful and cold-blooded bosses are.

    • Mark

       laughable considering the left wants to destroy the family or abort it.

      • Guest

        Yes. You teach we lowly women valuable survival teachings. Yes, I will keep praying for you and all my other enemies.

      • Guest

        Yeah, if you were my kid, I’d divorce you if prevented from aborting you. Animal idiot.

  • Spartacus

     If I have to pass drug screening to get a job and then have my wages taxed to support these programs it’s only fair that those partaking the benefits pass drug screening too. Liberals should be on board with that idea too since it falls under “social fairness” unless they’re really just hypocrites.

  • WOOF

    You people whine about government being too intrusive.
    Get a mortgage interest deduction, need to renew your drivers license, take advantage of federal subsidies of airfares in North Dakota, have a family member receiving Medicaire benefits  oil depletion allowance????
    Squat and pee in the cup beyatches.

    • Guest

       How many illegals do you have working for you?

  • Guest

    ” Get a mortgage interest deduction,”

    Better get it now woofieeee. If the douche in chief gets re-elected you can kiss it goodbye!

  • Jfisher17

    “You’re taking a group of people and basically profiling them..”  So when people apply for a job that requires drug testing before getting hired, isn’t that “taking a group of people and profiling them?” Funny “logic’ that ACLU has. 

  • KrackerX

    Maybe drugs should be mandatory.

    • Econwarrior

      Another libertarian comes out of the woodwork.

    • Guest

       It’s our domestic rich terrorist’s way to attack and destroy our Constitutional rights, isn’t it?

  • Meyerjh

    Monday at our local supermarket—Tattooed, pierced, disheveled woman sidles up to the checkout ahead of me.  Her cart was loaded with chips, salsa, sugary “dessert” type stuff, and she paid with an EBT card.  After that, she pulled out enough cash to buy two cartons of cigarettes, and used the rest of the change to buy lottery tickets.  Made my blood boil.  I happen to know this woman, and know that she and her former husband have two children.  She divorced him last year in order to get more “benefits” according to her father.  They filed for bankruptcy last year before the divorce, and within a week, they had a new Dodge Durango sitting in the driveway.  White trash.

    • borborygmi

      What they weren’t black.  Now you dishearten the racists on this board. 

  • Conservativeagenda

    We need to get back to the attitude that being on on welfare is shameful.  Shame is a very useful emotion, in moderation.

    • Guest

       O-I like that comment! I am ASHAMED that a lazy rich bitch like you is in our country! Commies are like that. How would you like to be shaved bald-headed? O-poor thing, I bet a man won’t touch you with a ten-foot pole. Uglies rarely get any. Never mind. Clearly you hate GOD. You’re in BIG trouble. Wait for it.