The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
6 Points

Mandatory Drug Tests for Welfare Recipients?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/13/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 716 times Debate No: 68274
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




I started this debate as more of a discussion instead of an argument. I am personally for the use of random drug test for welfare recipients, because I don't believe most taxpayers want to directly fun drug money for other people. I am interested to hear the other side, however, both in my opponents arguments, and in the comments.

By the way don't tell me I should have gone to the forums for a discussion; those places are evil.


How do you know welfare recipients are druggies?

I know that the U.S. welfare is not a perfect system, but that is no reason to believe that it is not good enough the way it is right now.
How many welfare recipients are actually druggies?
I don't think there are enough druggies among the welfare recipients to justify a program of random drug tests. How do you know you're actually funding drug-addiction? How much of the welfare is actually being paid for drug addiction? I've met some people on welfare and none of them are drug addicts.
That leads on to my next point.
How much does it cost to do these random drug checks and how will you decide who to test?
I think random drug tests would be very expensive. We'd have to get personnel to administer the test, we'd need to fund the test mechanisms, we'd have to take people out at random to disrupt their lives to do the test.
104million people or about 35% of the United states population(1) receive welfare. How much money do you think it would take to test randomly enough to be able to make the data matter? I'd say we'd need to test at least 10% from all sections of the United States. Transportation, medical, personnel employee costs, all of these we need to account for.
What you're suggesting is that we add a very large unneeded number to the U.S. citizen's tax burden.

I think the cost won't justify the benefit, whatever it is. We don't know if even a fraction of these 104million people are drug users and what fraction of this fraction should we test and how we know what fraction we should test. People who get welfare are in just about every single U.S. city.

Why should taxpayers pay to do these tests?

Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for accepting this debate. Let me start by pointing out that what you said, and I quote, "How much of the welfare is actually being paid for drug addiction? I've met some people on welfare and none of them are drug addicts." You definitely know enough people to be an accurate judge of this point. But, you do ask a good question, I don;t really know how much the test would cost. I guess what we would need to find out is whether or not the cost of the tests outweighs the amount of welfare money going to illegal drugs.


So we spend $668 billion dollars a year on welfare and we have 104million people or 35% of the United States taking welfare.
Based on the chart in link (2) at number 13, there are about 124.808 million people who use drugs at least once in their lifetimes.

Nearly 90% of first-time drug users don't become dependent. Since we're only worrying about welfare funding drug dependency, 90% of the 124 million people are irrelevant, so about 12.4million people actually become dependent.

How many of the 12.4million actually take welfare?

How many of this 12.4million only take welfare?

The idea of random drug testing has been tried, tested and refused. Oklahoma's administration found that random drug tests are actually less effective than just polling for drug users(5). It's also more expensive. So expensive in fact that Utah spent $30,000 and caught only 12 drug users with random drug tests on welfare people(6). That's $2500 per person! You can literally just pay another family $2500 in welfare!
Since Utah has 2.9 million people, it should have an average of about (12.4/316) * 2.9million drug dependent people or 113,797 people. Utah caught 12. What about the other 113,784 people that weren't caught? That's like a 0.01% success rate. That's horrible.

Now imagine that all 12.4million welfare recipients are dependent on drugs. To catch all 12.4million with $2500 per person. it would cost $31 billion dollars! And that's by assuming that $2500 means 100% guarantee of success. That's incredibly stupid.
94% of drug users can be found by just polling people!(6)

Polling is 9400 times more successful in catching drug users. It's also cheaper.

And that's why it's not worth it to do random drug tests. It's a waste of money that can go somewhere else, and there are way better methods to catch welfare-abusing drug users.

Why I think welfare isn't bad
On average families on welfare spend 77% of their income and welfare money on necessities (4). So on average, families who receive welfare aren't wasting their money or spending it frivolously on drug addiction.. Welfare goes to helping people survive and keep up living standards. Welfare is good for the people.

Debate Round No. 2


IwinYoulose333 forfeited this round.


Mandatory drug tests are expensive and inefficient. There are much better alternatives, and states have proven that.

That concludes the debate.
Thanks for reading!
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Josh_debate 1 year ago
They should completely get rid of welfare or at least reduce it greatly.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bsh1 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's rebuttals were not comprehensive--there were several dropped arguments. Pro forfeited. Pro did not use any sources. Args, conduct, and sources points go to Con.