If you’re poor or unemployed, Republicans want drug testing to be mandatory.
If you’re an American millionaire sucking off the teat of government through tax loopholes and subsidies, Republicans are just fine with that. But if you’re poor or unemployed, the GOP is going full-steam ahead, rewriting laws that will allow them to drug test you.
On Friday, Trump signed a bill, co-sponsored by the ever-annoying Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, that “will allow states to expand the pool of applicants for unemployment benefits who can be drug tested,” according to Dallas News. The reasoning is a bit vague, apart from Cruz declaring it, “Yet another example of executive overreach by the Obama administration,” that just had to be repealed.
Not to be outdone, Wisconsin union-hater, Gov. Scott Walker rushed to the feet of America’s Liar-in-Chief looking for new ways to harass people on food stamps and Medicaid.
According to Think Progress,
Walker is readying a request to let his state screen Medicaid applicants for drug use, which he plans to make public on April 19 and then send to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services by the end of May.
In case you forgot, Florida Gov. Rick Scott pulled a similar stunt back in 2011, with a law requiring drug testing for welfare applicants. However, after winding its way through the legal justice system, it was struck down by the courts in 2014.
The New York Times reported,
The three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, ruled that the law, one of the strictest in the country, was an unreasonable search because Florida officials had failed to show a “substantial need” to test all people who applied for welfare benefits.
The Republican obsession with drug testing only low income Americans could be attributed to meanness, spite, or any number of emotional disorders shrouded in a distorted political veil. Still, their public rhetoric appears to be aimed at making poor and working-class people jump through as many hoops as possible before they can lay their hands on a dime of government support, or “handouts,” as some like to call them. This, of course, is not the case when it comes to America’s upper classes. As Arizona State law professor Adam Chodorow points out in Slate,
Maybe there is a difference between “handouts” and subsidies designed to induce specific behavior. OK, I’ll bite, but that means that all of Wall Street—and shareholders too—should have been subjected to drug testing after receiving bailouts in 2008 and 2009. Perhaps my memory is faulty, but while some politicians opposed the bailouts on principle, I don’t recall any calling for drug testing.
Call it a double standard, a Great Deception, or a right-wing ripoff. Whatever verbal word salad you apply, it still looks like just another Republican tool that pits Americans against each other in the ongoing game of misdirection and excuses for making some people work harder than they should have to just to break even.
Tell lawmakers what you think of their plans for your future by calling the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.
Maryann Tobin is the author of “Afterlife: The Journey Of A Dog’s Spirit” This heartwarming story is told through the eyes of an animal spirit that has been sent back to earth in the body of a small dog. His mission is to help a young woman discover that their destinies are connected to the powers of the Spirit World more than either of them ever imagined. If you’ve ever shared your life with a dog or any other pet, you will never look at them the same way again after reading this book. It’s available now on Amazon.com.