The proponents of the War on Drugs never take a rest from conjuring up new and cruel ways to beat up on vulnerable populations for political gain. 2011 saw the rapid emergence of a particular nasty variety of this drug warrior tact, drug testing the poor to receive public assistance. Regardless of how one feels about the concept of public assistance in general, this idea is utterly cruel and is merely a tactic by “the haves” to pit “the barely haves” (or perhaps “near-have-nots”) against the “have nots.” Several states passed laws to their state’s welfare laws, and now Congress is considering applying this approach to for Federal unemployment funds. (http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/267874/20111215/drug-testing-unemployment-benefits-allowed-payroll-tax.htm)It’s easy to understand the appeal to sly and effective trick to manipulate average hard-working people who just want to hold onto the little they’ve earned.
Hey person playing strictly by the rules and working 60 hours week at multiple jobs to avoid going on welfare, don’t you think those people receiving public assistance shouldn’t be able to buy drugs with your tax money that’s going into their pockets? Why don’t we drug test them just to make sure.
One Republican member of of the House, Tom Read of NY, has even made the utterly moronic assertion(http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/201309-house-dem-leader-gop-drug-testing-idea-insulting-to-unemployed?page=3) that employers aren’t hiring because none of the applicants can pass a drug test.
However, drug testing those receiving public assistance makes absolutely zero sense. Poor people are less likely to purchase drugs than wealthy people, yet poor people are not the only one’s receiving money from the government that might eventually be used to purchase drugs. I’m talking about corporate welfare recipients. So, when you consider that rich people are more likely to use their money to buy drugs, shouldn’t the rich who receive government money be subject drug testing. After all, should we not be absolutely certain that not a cent of the huge paychecks resulting from corporate welfare ends up in the hands of drug dealers? I think we owe it to the tax payers.
Now, in spite of the SCOTUS holding in Citizens United, which asserted that corporations are people, I don’t think it’s physically possible to give Halliburton a urine screening. So what I propose is simply this, that drug test the entire board of directors and each and every share holder for any corporation receiving and government money. It’s the only way we can be sure that our tax dollars will not end up in the hands of drug dealers.
Thankfully, a vocal and intelligent member of Congress, Chris Van Hollen (Dem. MD) has called out the GOP on the class-baiting rubbish.( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/22/unemployment-benefits_n_1165459.html) Additionally, it looks the this attempt by the cruelest drug warriors in the House would face stiff opposition in the Senate, so thankfully nothing may ever come of this on the Federal level, but damage can be done even if the policy is never implemented, but should this idea ever be seriously vetted, I hope that Van Hollen or another Congressperson with some sense of decency will add an amendment extending the testing to shareholders and board directors. Maybe then rich people will finally stop buying more drugs than poor people, but I doubt it.