Letters of the Day (Feb. 1): Drug-testing of welfare recipients

  • Updated: January 31, 2014 - 7:02 PM

In Florida, it really was a small percentage. But is that the point?

Before drug-testing welfare recipients (“Welfare drug tests challenged” Jan. 30), Minnesota might want to look at Florida’s experience. Before the law was struck down, Florida tested 4,086 applicants, and 108 (2.6 percent) failed. Before Florida Republican U.S. Rep. Trey Radel resigned this week for cocaine possession, at least one out of 17 Florida Republicans in the U.S. House bought cocaine (6 percent). The odds favor testing House Republicans rather than welfare recipients.

JOHN SHERMAN, Moorhead, Minn.

• • •

Some county officials insist the drug-testing mandate applies to such a tiny sliver of the welfare population that it’s not worth the cost to administer. One legislator says that all truck drivers have to be drug-tested to keep their commercial driver’s licenses. Note that word — “all.” Is it worth it then, perhaps, to test all welfare recipients instead of a “tiny sliver”? Or, to use the administration cost viewpoint more broadly, why don’t we tell our police agencies to not investigate burglaries and thefts using well-paid officers and detectives and prosecutors, and instead just subsidize victims for their losses? Given the millions of people in just the metro area and the probable fact that a “tiny sliver” or so are robbed or burgled, it sure seems to make sense, on a cost basis, not to pursue violators of the public peace and security. Sounds good to me, but then again, I just got off the potato boat.

MIKE AUSPOS, Ramsey

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