Saturday, September 14, 2013
Let's fuck the poor people some more.
Yeah, because that will make them become more responsible.
The state lege in NY is trying to pass a law requiring drug testing for people on TANF. I just talked to a county rep's wife about this.
Her husband is for it and so is she. She says that hurting these people will make them straighten up and fly right. So, basically, what she, her husband and others are saying is that punishing all poor people because some percentage of them might be using illicit drugs is okay. Apparently meting out that punishment is preferable to their being angry and feeling impotent about "welfare abuse". It's just that simple. That they are willing to suspend people's 4th amendment rights--if it even occurs to them that they are doing so--is not a problem. That the primary recipients of the punishment will be defenseless AND blameless children is also not, for them, a problem.
Having dealt with a fair number of irresponsible assholes in my life I have seen numerous instances where punishment for wrong doing was simply "rolled downhill" to someone with even less power than the person who was being punished in the first place.
I could be mistaken about what I think are the motivations (anger about their powerlessness to make people behave is the primary one, imo) that drive people to think withholding benefits to dependent children will be sufficient to drive their parents into the job markets/stop their being addicts. I am willing, however, to bet a case of beer that not one person that advocates for this sort of nonsensical "solution" to what is perceived as a pervasive problem (and it is not, actually) would be very uncomfortable if they were told that THEIR drug use (alcohol is, after all, a drug) should bar them from holding public office, taking a government paycheck or being given benefits like medicare and social security. We need, also, to bear in mind, that the drug testing is not to identify drug addicts but simply drug users. Whether a person shoots Mexican Brown, snorts meth or coke, tokes a doobie or hits a crack pipe is immaterial. All/any drug use is grounds for disqualification from the programs under discussion.
I truly understand the frustration of people who have to deal with a permanent underclass but it doesn't mean that I must agree with them. Their prescription for eradicating welfare fraud/drug use amongst welfare recipients is the opposite of a panacea.
The way I see it is this. If it's okay to make people on TANF or unemployment piss in a cup to collect their enormously bloated checks (I think they get, like, $5,000 a month and vouchers for Cristall and a Lamborghini) why not the crazy old fuckers on SS and the people on SSI and the people on ANY sort of gummint assistance, including--and most especially--all of those millionaires and billionaires who were forced to accept low or no interest loans from US as punishment for stealing or losing $T's? I mean sauce for the goose and all that noise.
Why are people who use drugs while they draw government checks for their work or as subsidies any less likely to be drug addled or have their drugging affect their performance?
The video at the Gawker link is from a Congresswoman who's more of a man than most of them:
The headlines I've seen say, in a variety of ways, that she "shamed" her congressional colleagues who voted against food stamps. I doubt that happened, those people are impervious to shame. She may have alerted a few non-braindead voters to the fact that their representatives are not, in fact, that.
H/T to Southern Beale's "Good News Friday" column of today.