The North Carolina legislature passed a law for drug testing of welfare recipients. Then Gov McCrory vetoed the legislation but then the legislature overrode his veto. If a recipient had a charge in the previous three years involving illegal drugs, they had to be tested. Their caseworkers were asking a series of questions that could raise red flags and also require testing.
Democratic State Senator Gladys Robinson said that the program is a waste of state money:
“They found very few applicants. Plus, the process is already in place in terms of asking questions and making those referrals. So, we just wasted state dollars, in terms of that piece of legislation and in terms of the time and staff all across the state.”
The cost isn’t really an issue. Democrats always like to apply the salaries of state workers into any cost analysis but that is a red herring since the state doesn’t pay a single cent over what they were going to be paid anyway. So, we are left with the cost of the drug test, which is $55 dollars.
In the first round of drug tests, 89 people were tested. That means the state paid $4,895. Of the 89 people tested, 21 people failed the test or about 25%. If they fail, the recipients must pay for the drug test. That means the state didn’t pay $4,895 for the tests, they only paid $3,740. In cash alone a single person will collect nearly $800 a month or $9,600 a year. Then you have Medicaid, HUD, HEAP, food stamps and a variety of other government giveaways. I feel confident in saying that the government saved at least $3,740 when they cut of benefits for 21 people, don’t you think?
It’s time to expand the program and test all of those who receive government benefits.