The idea of helping others is not a new concept. There are always individuals who need a little extra help every once in a while to get by. The main concept of welfare in the United States has been around since the 1800’s, for that very reason, to assist the needy. During the past five years, many have recognized a trend in welfare recipients and they want answers. Legislation has been submitted left and right regarding the issue of whether or not individuals receiving welfare should be drug tested in order to receive benefits from welfare assistance programs.
In 2014, this particular issue has taken more precedence over many other issues that are disturbing the United States. Many feel that the drug testing of applicants is unconstitutional while others feel that it is not any different than getting a job. As the state’s proposed legislation has shown, the majority of citizens feel they are being taken advantage of by the recipients and they want justification. Thus, the United States government should require drug testing for individuals applying for welfare assistance for the purpose of preventing fraud against taxpaying citizens.
The history of welfare assistance and its existence have dated back to the early 1800’s. The idea of assisting others who were unable to work came to the colonies of the United States from the British Poor Laws. These laws assisted individuals and families who were struggling to pay their bills and put food on their tables. Generally, assistance only lasted until the individual or family could come up with a solution to their issues or until one of them was able bodied enough to get a job. This type of assistance lasted until the 1930’s, when the Great Depression hit the economy and new laws were enacted to protect and assist individuals further.
In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, signed the Social Security Act. The act was intended to help individuals gain employment and help put the economy back on track. In 1939, the act was amended and several assistance programs were evolved such as the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and Unemployment Compensation programs (Welfare History). In 1996, President Bill Clinton, with his promise to end welfare dependence, signed a new law, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (Welfare History). The act was intended to cut down on welfare recipients, but in turn, heightened the amount of recipients. Through this act, the responsibility falls on the states instead of the federal government so long as the states follow the guidelines that federal government has set.
States are, for the most part, at their own discretion when deciding what programs to offer their residents. Generally, most states offer at minimum programs such as Section 8 housing, Medicaid, WIC, Food Stamps, and TANF (Welfare Information). Section 8 housing is a program, which will assist families to obtain affordable housing. Food Stamps and WIC...