Let’s Drug Test Lawmakers Who Force the Poor to Take Drug Tests

Drug-Tests-Welfare-350Tenacity can be an admirable trait in a leader – except when it’s stupid.

Stupid tenacity has afflicted several right-wing governors and legislators who grabbed hold of a bad idea that, in practice, has proven to be even worse than expected – yet they’ve clung to it like Captain Ahab on Moby Dick. The bad idea was to whup-up on the poor and jobless by making them submit to drug tests in order to get the benefit payments that can help hard-hit folks recover. Never mind that there was no evidence that such people are more likely than, say, a state legislator to be on drugs, punishing those who’re down on their luck is considered smart politics in right-wing circles. So, six states have imposed drug tests on people who seek unemployment benefits, and nine now require testing of welfare applicants.

What could go wrong, asked GOP officials as they rammed these vindictive insults into law? Three things, actually: First, as predicted, very few drug users are being found; second, administering this government intrusion is (hello) very expensive for taxpayers; and, third, courts have been ruling these sweeping government searches unconstitutional.

jim-hightower-175Yet, pandering at all costs to the tea party fringe that dominates Republican elections, state lawmakers won’t let go of this demonstrably-bad idea of trying to humiliate people in need of a helping hand. Now, the fad is to pass “suspicion-based” laws that require applicants to fill out state questionnaires, then force those who seem to be a little “suspicious” to submit urine samples to the state. Texas and Mississippi, for example, are targeting those whose occupation might warrant drug testing.

Based on their dogged adherence to this stupid idea, I suggest that the occupation of “lawmaker” ought to top the list of those required by the state to pee in a cup.

Jim Hightower
America’s #1 Populist

Published by the LA Progressive on December 4, 2013
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About Jim Hightower

National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the book, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow, Jim Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be - consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks.

Twice elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Hightower believes that the true political spectrum is not right to left but top to bottom, and he has become a leading national voice for the 80 percent of the public who no longer find themselves within shouting distance of the Washington and Wall Street powers at the top.

Hightower is a modern-day Johnny Appleseed, spreading the message of progressive populism all across the American grassroots.

He broadcasts daily radio commentaries that are carried in more than 150 commercial and public stations, on the web, and on Radio for Peace International.

See more here: http://jimhightower.com/jim