Friday, December 09, 2011
Urine Big Trouble Now
In September I wrote about states that were considering forcing people receiving welfare or food stamp benefits to undergo urine testing for drugs, in order to qualify for their benefits. Florida actually tried it, and has found that it isn't exactly working out the way they'd hoped. In fact, it's costing the state a lot of money. This hasn't deterred those who are determined to wage war on the poor.
A new warrior has stepped forth. From the Huffington Post:
The bill by Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) would require unemployment claimants to pass a drug test if they are identified in an initial screening as having a high probability of drug use.
Yes, that's right. He wants people who are collecting unemployment benefits from a system they've paid into, to take mandatory drug tests.
Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), said Wednesday that Republican legislation would "reform" unemployment insurance. "We are working on a bill to stop a tax hike, protect Social Security, reform unemployment insurance and create jobs," Steel said.
It doesn't seem to occur to these folks that if there were jobs, there would be fewer folks who are unemployed. They really work hard at having it both ways; decrying the lack of jobs, then blaming the unemployed for not working.
Kingston cited an overwhelming number of job applicants flunking drug tests as the rationale for his proposal.
"I had an employer tell me of an overwhelming response for job openings," Kingston said in a statement. "There was just one problem: half the people who applied could not even pass a drug test."
Last year Governor Nikki Hailey of South Carolina made a similar claim. It proved to be bogus. Governor Hailey had to admit that she's made those comments based on erroneous information. Representative Kingston is refusing to provide the source for his claims.
From Kingston's website:
At a series of listening sessions with business owners throughout the First District conducted earlier this year, Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA) heard repeatedly about barriers to job creation. While he heard many of the issues he expected like overly burdensome regulations and the pervasive uncertainty in the economy, one issue that was brought up in every meeting surprised him: abuse of unemployment insurance.
So, because people are allegedly abusing unemployment insurance business owners can't create jobs? That doesn't even make sense.
“My proposal strengthens the safety net and ensures it will be available to those who use it as a stepping stone back into the workforce,” Kingston said. “It does so without increasing federal spending or placing new, unfunded mandates on the states.”
So, preventing people from collecting unemployment benefits from a fund that they've paid into, is his definition of strengthening the safety net? Ensuring that kids go hungry and may become homeless is a function of the safety net?
I vote we drug test Congressman Kingston. At about 8 pm, on any given night.
cross-posted at MainSt/workingamerica.org
Posted by susanthe at 1:06 PM