USA Today’s recent article on food stamps is a perfect example of the way welfare recipients are vilified.
The article reported how 23 states are proposing to impose more regulations on welfare recipients.For example, people applying for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in Colorado must pass a drug test to be eligible for aid.
“If you have enough money to be able to buy drugs, then you don’t need the public assistance. I don’t want tax dollars spent on drugs,” state Representative Jerry Sonnenberg who sponsored the law, is quoted as saying.
Jason Williamson, an attorney quoted in the article, said the laws are made under the assumption that people on welfare are more likely to use drugs, even when the statement is not true.
I agree with Williamson. Colorado’s proposed law and others like it are only serving to dehumanize people receiving government assistance.
Too often, society unjustly makes negative assumptions about recipients. Like the politicians sponsoring the laws, most people associate recipients with negative characteristics, such as irresponsibility or drug use, even if it is not true.
Laws like these must be repealed to stop the dehumanization of recipients. To change our culture and the way we view welfare recipients we must first take down the laws that support it.