When Governor LePage recently stated his intention to propose a drug testing provision for Maine welfare recipients, the extreme liberal special interest groups came out in force to demonize the Governor and attack any official who would support such a proposal.
A lot of the talking points used by the special interest groups who oppose welfare reform in Maine are either half-truths or are flat out wrong.
The special interests claim that in Florida, only 2% of those who were tested actually tested positive. They fail to disclose that the Florida Department of Children and Families reported that about 1,600 out of approximately 8,600 applicants refused to take the test.
Florida saw a refusal rate of more than 18% in addition to those who tested positive.
The special interest groups claim that because the Florida welfare drug testing law has been challenged and temporarily put on hold by a federal judge, Maine should not even attempt to pass any common-sense reforms. They fail to disclose that Arizona, Indiana and Missouri also passed drug testing laws to ensure that their state tax dollars were not subsidizing illegal drug use.
It’s quite clear to us that utilizing a simple drug test to ensure that Maine’s limited resources are focused on the truly needy and not to subsidize illegal drug use is a step in the right direction.
When we have solicited ideas from Maine people for cutting state spending and protecting Maine’s limited resources, a drug testing provision to protect Maine’s welfare programs has been by far the most common suggestion from people all across Maine.
The special interest groups and politicians that support using state tax dollars to trap Maine people in a cycle of dependence and poverty deny the fundamental truth about the welfare industry they have created.
- They claim Maine welfare programs are ‘anti-poverty’ measures – yet no welfare program can be proven to consistently help Maine people escape poverty – only helping maintain them in a meager existence while creating a trap that is difficult to escape.
- They falsely claim that drug testing for welfare benefits will “hurt the children” – while our government, with a welfare check, enables some of the parents of those same children to abuse drugs. Certainly living in a home where illegal drugs are abused is harmful to those children. They also refuse to acknowledge that provisions can be made to allow children to continue to receive benefits even if their parents are disqualified.
- They claim that a simple drug testing provision is an intrusion to the people receiving benefits, but this very same coalition created the tangled web of Maine programs that require personal asset checks, home inspections, psychological exams & more. The welfare programs themselves are the intrusion, drug testing where appropriate is a common sense measure to minimize abuse and restore a measure of personal responsibility to Maine’s welfare system.
- They refuse to acknowledge that programs such as TANF are designed to serve as temporary assistance, in which the recipients are working toward becoming self-sufficient, often seeking employment in the private sector.
- The special interest groups either ignore or are pleased with the fact that Maine’s welfare programs – designed to serve as a helping hand for the truly needy – have grown to become a heavy hand reaching into every community in our state and ensnaring almost 1/3 of the people of Maine on their watch.
- They do not disclose that many of their organizations actually receive funding from the state of Maine to administer these programs. These special interests oppose all reforms because any reform is likely to mean less revenue for them.
Extreme liberal groups and politicians who have come out in opposition to this reform have yet to see an actual proposal. There is no credibility in the arguments they make against it.
They oppose it purely for any political advantage they might gain, and they work tirelessly to saddle the hard-working people of Maine with anti-jobs, anti-business, pro-poverty laws and programs.
It is past time to ensure that Maine’s limited resources go to those truly in need.
Help protect Maine’s limited resources and ensure that our tax dollars go to help those truly in need, not to subsidize illegal drug use.
Please spread the word to your friends and family. Share this message with them and ask them to sign the petition as well.