Just when you thought things couldn’t get more silly, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has proposed that by drug testing the unemployed, we just might be able to fix, at least part of the deficit.
From the article:
“A lot of people are saying, ‘Hey, it’s about time. Why do we keep giving money to people who are going to go use it on drugs instead of their families?'” Hatch said.
The goal, he said, is to get users into treatment.
“Now, it doesn’t do away with food stamps. And it does get the help for them that they really need. And if they get the help, then they’re right back on to the cash,” he said.
Hatch said the test would be paid for with money saved by not paying benefits. “Any monies left over would go to help the states with the drug testing and so forth, and if there’s any surplus it goes to pay off the deficit,” he said.
Unfortunately for the Senator from Utah, this has been tried before with few results.
A project in Michigan demonstrated that reality. “A decade ago, Michigan implemented mandatory testing in three welfare offices. Out of 258 new and continuing applicants tested, 21 tested positive for illicit substances. All but three of these women tested positive for marijuana only. In light of such experiences, few states have chosen to pursue similar efforts,” said Pollack.
This is just another in a series of Republican “blame the victim” tactics that ranks right up there with Glen “Just get you a job” Casada.
Unemployed people are no more likely to engage in drug use than the general population, and may actually be less likely, as they haven’t got the funds to pay for the stuff.
Seriously Orin, how’s about you come up with a plan to build jobs for all the unemployed instead of creating one more barrier for people to have to scale as we’re dealing with the mess your party left?