The people have some rights, too

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Expecting those who rely on public assistance to be drug-free is reasonable.

THIS ISN'T EVEN a hard public policy issue, in our view. When an able-bodied individual is depending on taxpayers to pay his or her way, the taxpayers ought to have certain rights, too.

That should include expecting those individuals to pass a drug test.

We've said it before: The objective of public aid should be to help people through a tough time and get them into the workforce so they can pay for their own needs. Public assistance should never become a semi-permanent hand-out. Welfare as a way of life is not helping anybody, it is enabling people to avoid their responsibilities.

GOV. SCOTT WALKER apparently has run out of patience. He has wanted to include drug testing for able-bodied food stamp users for years. The legislature adopted his plan two years ago. First it was hung up because of a combination of adverse court rulings elsewhere and a difference of opinion with the previous administration in Washington. Then, with the election of the Trump administration, Walker thought the new team would clear obstacles in Washington.

Not so far.

Now Walker is seeking to move Wisconsin forward with or without a federal blessing. We support him.

A good society can be measured by how it treats its most vulnerable people, those who simply cannot take care of themselves due to physical or mental disability. But society should never allow itself to be obliged to support people who are capable of doing more for themselves, but won't. Walker's drug-test plan is intended to remove another obstacle - substance abuse - from excuses for avoiding responsibility. He's right. People capable of working should be expected to earn their own way.

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