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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Poor people are useful during political season.

Politicians offer up the impoverished to distract from the myriad problems for which their platforms propose no workable solutions: Is the treasury awash in red ink? Are there too many demands on a shrinking government purse? Then let’s tighten up on largesse for the very poor.

Never mind that traditional welfare programs barely make a dent in federal spending. Middle-class voters are eager to hear plans that aim the budget-cutting ax away from the entitlement programs, such as Medicare, which have a large constituency among the well-heeled.

After all, voters, like political candidates, find it useful to point the finger at the less fortunate. The impoverished serve to remind the rest of us of our obvious moral superiority, of our wise choices, of our supreme good judgment in not being born poor.

That’s why the current season has brought another round of the faddish insistence on mandatory drug tests for beneficiaries of welfare. Nathan Deal, Georgia’s Republican governor, has become the latest political leader to get in on the mischief-making, signing a bill passed by the GOP-dominated Legislature that would require drug tests for recipients of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families.

In places where conservative policymakers tend to gather — such as meetings of the American Legislative Exchange Council — proposals such as this are offered up in lieu of legislation that might actually reduce spending or boost government efficiency or improve the lives of the poor.

Mitt Romney, the likely GOP nominee for president, has endorsed the idea. In February, congressional Republicans refused to pass an extension of unemployment benefits until the legislation allowed states to require drug tests for the jobless.

You might have thought that conservative ideologues — those who insist that the U.S. Constitution guides their every brainwave and that an overweening government is the greatest threat to the survival of the republic — would hesitate to pass a law that so clearly violates principles laid out in the Bill of Rights. You’d be wrong.

Indeed, Georgia proceeded with imposing mandatory drug tests even though a federal judge has blocked a similar law in Florida.

  • tgcapps

    Did you mean to say that MEDICARE is a welfare program. I believe that all of us elderly who have paid our fair share throughout our work years, take exception. Maybe you meant MEDICAID which has been a “socialized” American health care for the poor and disabled since the 70’s. I worked in Missouri’s medicaid entitlement field for over 10 years and I think that it is time that Medicaid recipients pay a small premium and co-pay. I don’t remember hardly any clients that didn’t have a pack of cigarettes in their pockets. That is why I support the Affordable Health Care Act of the Democrats!

    • William Deutschlander

      Could not agree more, well said.
      Especially the $150.00 per month reference to cigarettes!

  • GaryDi

    It a shame that our politicians continue to beat-up the poor. Surely the people are so fed up on business as usual when it comes to this political season, and how they brush off their behavior by simply claiming this is how politics works…b—s–t.

    When will the “people” finally say…we want more out of our so-called leaders of our great country.

    • mugwort2

      Hi Gary
      Agree up to a point. Yes in agreement politicians, especially most Republicans beat up the poor. I hope you’re wrong in your opinion most voters will simply presume this is is how politics work. OTOH you’re most likely correct. Reason wrote up to a point is it isn’t only mandatory drug testing for receivers of welfare. Its the slashing of social programs. For example where I live in PA, gov. Tom Corbett is offering 20% cuts in social services to the disabled, specialized housing for mentally ill, developmentally disabled, battered women, homeless, and more. What does one expect when many Republican governors pledged the Grover Norquist no new taxes pledge. When there is no revenue coming in, the only way to balance the state budgets is to cut services. Oh yes and cutting taxes to businesses. Hope not being a smart ALEC.
      There is a local Republican Edwin Erickson who does care for the poor and is genuinely concerned for them. He truly is a caring man. Erickson is the state representative for a disability advocate I work for.

  • Lack of the universal health care is often the reason that people do not work, since MEDICAID would be cut if they made money working. Often, women with small children (from many different fathers) make a very economic decision NOT to work since than their children would not have medical help, which they need more often than children from middle class working families because of BAD lifestyle choices. One should distinguish between having no money and being poor, which implies poverty of knowledge and motivation for good life, except the one can buy, rather than create.

    Yes many people are poor because they had parents or just some relatives who are dysfunctional and ignorant themselves. Welfare system is not design to help people pull out of poverty but to continue their dysfunctional life styles. there are too many able-bodied people who live on the dole and wasting their lives away. Everybody should have access to reasonable health care (starting with teaching prevention of diseases) regardless of employment. Business should not be responsible to be paying for health care. Most other developed countries have this universal health care independent of business.

    • Rebecah

      You obviously don’ t know a thing about the welfare system. One can not just be on welfare without working. Even if you have small children. There is also, a limit of 2 years in your life time to collect monetary assistance.

      It is sad stupid people make such foolish comments.

  • jebediah123

    I think it’s time congress passes a bill requiring that ALL government legislators have mandatory and spontaneous drug testing—–just to be fair to the rest of the population.

    Does anyone realize the amount of drug use in Washington D.C.? And I can tell you it ain’t “dem po’ nigras on welfare” that’s got the money for them high priced drugs.

    It would be very interesting to see how many congressmen and senators would fail a spontaneous drug test.

    • Maricia12

      I would suspect prescrption drugs would be more of a likely source of drug use in Congress, which is not illegal. By the way, from all indications, illegal drug use is not just limited to DC. It is all over the country. bI do agree that anyone who works for the federal and state governments from the bottom to the top of the chain, should be drug tested. Some government employees are drug tested but probably not our legislatures.

      • The company my husband worked for was doing random drug testing on it’s employees 15 years ago. There was no backlash and it was unionized.
        The backlash came when they moved to the Phillipines 10 years ago for cheap labor!
        Try find ing a job after 37 years in the same company, 61 years of age!!!!

        • mugwort2

          I feel sorry for your husband, his economic situation.

        • Wealthy businessmen, supported by Republicans who de-regulated them sent the jobs overseas destroying the economy. Now they are trying to put the blame on Obama. When that is blamed on Clinton they need to remember that he was forced by a Republican Congress. The Republicans caused the recession.

          As for your husband he has been caught up in it, too young to retire and too old to find a decent job. I hope he does not have a heart attack from it. Men often need to work to be happy. Just like they are doing to teachers these companies don’t value experience and loyalty. It is really sad and needs to change. In fact, I think there should be a tax break for those who hire people whose jobs were outsourced paid for by the businesses that outsource. That is something that has to stop now. Then there needs to be another policy that says that any American owned company that outsources has to pay the people in the other country at least American minimum wage But to do this the Republicans must be disposed of. I loved the series on ABC where Diane Sawyer highlighted companies that created more American jobs.

      • dalnb

        As a long time federal employee in a mid management position I can assure you we had continual and routine random drug testing. I managed a law enforcement program for a military installation and both military and civilian personnel underwent constant testing. It was random testing with no consideration for position, grade or rank. Everyone was subjected to testing and we used drug dogs to do periodic gate searches of vehicle entering and leaving the installation. No one ever complained about being tested and it was rare we found any drugs or caught anyone with drugs in their system.
        Periodic and random drug testing should be mandatory for ALL government employees and contractors at all levels of government!

        • I don’t think random drug testing is a good thing for employees. I think it is an effort at intimidation. For example, East Baton Rouge Parish Public Schools required a teacher to take a drug test if she was injured on the job, BEFORE she received medical care. The thing is the drug that stays in your system longest is marijuana and that is so safe it is legal in several states. Plus, I suspect that mandated testing did not include elected or politically appointed people. For anyone other than police and security officers, airline pilots and school bus drivers I would say no to drug testing. As for them, they should also not have consumed any alcohol for at least 12 hours prior to work. That is the most debilitating drug.

      • clyde w burnham

        True. Only lower-level govt workers are tested. Politicians, judges, anyone in high-level management in govt is not tested.

      • rustacus21

        Abuse is abuse, no matter if it’s legal or otherwise. While alcohol & prescription drugs are legal, the abuse of them cost the nation billions in lost productivity & lives ea year. In this case, we’ll be saving a nation, by exposing drug abusing, incoherent legislators who not only hate Democracy, but all American citizens who don’t look like them or live in their same neighborhoods…

  • quasm

    Ms. Tucker;

    That discovery rate of drug abusers, 2 1/2%, is well worth the expense. This does not take into account those who did not apply for fear of being found out. It sends a good message to those who need help that they must conform to certain standards to receive taxpayer’s assistance and they will not be supported in their destructive behaviors.

    Dik Thurston
    Colorado Springs

    • CrankyToo

      So, trampling on the Fourth Amendment rights of American citizens, and wasting untold millions in Florida treasure to avoid handing out a paltry few thousand to a handful of morons who MIGHT be inclined to spend some of their few precious dollars on weed makes sense to you? You must be a Repugnican.

      I, on the other hand, am a little more progressive in my thinking. I’m also a Floridian and I don’t want that dumbass Rick Scott wasting my tax money in this manner. He might not be so wrong headed if he and his wife didn’t have business concerns with a drug testing enterprise.

      Most importantly, I’m also a patriot, and I detest our Governor for his blatant violation of the United States Constitution.

      But Rick Scott and that peach of a dumbass in Georgia can do their dastardly worst – for now. We’ll get them both at the polls.

    • rustacus21

      Reforming legislative excesses should be our concern. FL’s governor is involved in a venture, as a poster here points out, which administers drug testing procedures. What do we do about the greed that underlies the wealthy & well-connected from preying on the poor & disadvantaged (i.e., charter school administrators who lobby for more funding)? The pathologies underlying greed are similar to those of drugs addicts & are often found working in unison. Legislators & lobbyists should be our first target, so they are coherent enuff to understand their responsibilities to the citizenry…

  • No amount of drug testing will stop ANYONE who wants to from using drugs (rich or poor) and to say that people who are POOR are MORE likely to use it difficult to calculate. How can they afford it? Even assuming they are using benefits to do so – how many people who are working are using their income! So with this premise EVERYONE SINGLE PERSON in America receiving ANY kind of money from the Government SHOULD be drug tested regardless of income or position. THAT is the only way to NOT discriminate against a class of people! I THOUGHT this was America where discrimination wasn’t tolerated and yet, this proposal once again slaps the poor in the face and reports have yet to show ANY increase (% of people using) among this population. I wonder how many politicians would pass drugs tests? My guess – the same percentage as the rest of the world.


  • Maricia12

    I have a friend who gets a veteran’s disability check from the government because he claims to have nightmares from the Viet Nam war where he was also injured. I appreciate his service and am also a Vet . His injuries healed with no lasting effects and the nightmares have not interferred with his career. He went on to spend the next 20 yrs in law enforcement doing a dangerous job which he retired from. He spent the last 15 yrs working at installing security systems and was eventually laid off when the business was sold. He got six months of severence pay. He applied for unemployment and got it for the next couple of years. He had no intentions of looking for another job and turned down any that were offered because he was less than a year away from receiving social security. Before his unemployment checks ran out, he was receiving a disability check, a retirement check form his 20 yr law enforcement job, a social security check and of course he had the huge severence pay. His home was mortgage free before this so he made a lot of improvements and updates on it. He bought two new automobiles and took several trips and a cruise. He believes he was entitled to unemployment and does not see it as a tax payer benefit. His law enforcement check is paid by state tax payers which he certainly deserves. Of course, his military “disability” check is paid by tax payers and his social security check is subsidized by tax payers even though he paid into the system. Do any of you think he should have not applied for unemployment when he had plenty of money to live on and did not intend to take anothe job? It seems a bit dishonest to me, even though he may have been entitled to it. There are many people who have no other source of income that really do deserve those benefits and are seriously looking for another job. I do not know what the laws are since I have not applied for unemployment but it does not make sense to pay it to those who do not financially need it. If you are a conservative, maybe you are thinking this is just more of the liberal thinking about deserving hand outs and entitlements from our goverment. This person is a REPUBLICAN and will be voting for his party, according to him. I am sure there are many more Republicans receiving all kinds of tax payer benefits yet they will be voting for the party that wants to take many of those benefits away from them. Also the Republicans make liberals out to be the entitlement society. Really? Hypocrties come to mind.

    • flyguygirl

      A millionaire, maybe several hundreds of millions of dollars, is entitled to his/her
      social security retirement check at the appropriate age even if they do not need it.
      There is nothing wrong w being rich especially if you earned it, preferably rags to
      riches. Next question is what does this person do with their wealth since they must
      die and cannot take it w them. If there was more private charity then the federal
      government could get out of the way IF the federal government was keeping a squeaky clean house. Dream on. What is at the top filters to the bottom. So yes your friend is
      going to take all that he can get his hands on. Does he do anything at all for anyone

      • Maricia12

        I was more concerned with the rules for unemployment benefits. I thought it was mainly for those who really needed it and I am wondering about the rules for accepting it. Is anyone looking at the other income a person has before they approve giving them unempl9oyment checks or does it not matter? I was under the impression one should actually be looking seriously for a job. If that is not the case and people are just getting these benefits without a real need, no wonder tax payers are angry about people abusing the system. I understand the rules on social security benefits and everyone who has paid into that fund is entitled to receive those benefits on retirement.

    • rustacus21

      Besides the trillions stolen from the economy & continuing in the form of tax cuts to the wealthy only, I’d say that’s ALOT!!! Like most Conservatives, hypocracy is their primary mental & debate currency. MayB the government he so disdains needs to know about all these ‘side’ transactions he’s ‘benefiting’ from…

  • Quite honestly, no politician is ideologically consistent or true to their political affiliations. They are opportunistic, real-politic players where money, power and the aggrandizement of ones fortunes and political influence is the ultimate goal. The people of this country are just a stumbling block that just gets in their way. So their goal is to figure out how to engage in subterfuge, diversionary tactics and a whole host of other foment inducing tricks which blind the American people to the vapidness of their records in making this a better place for regular people.

    • rustacus21

      … but all the more reason we, of virtue & affirmative conscience, have to ‘guide’ the course of policy & government toward a Liberal/Progressive orientation. This is the foundation of the Constitution, afterall. The only question now is, what are we waiting for…

    • rustacus21

      … but all the more reason we, of virtue & affirmative conscience, have to ‘guide’ the course of policy & government toward a Liberal/Progressive orientation. This is the foundation of the Constitution, afterall. The only question now is, what are we waiting for…

  • William Deutschlander

    Unfortunately anything that Romney has had to offer thus far, is based on DECEIT and FLAT OUT LIES.
    The Republican Mantra, “I got mine to hell with you”, has the worst affect on the MEDIAN and LOWER millions who work for wages.
    Ask yourself, Who put us in the worst ECONOMIC COLLAPSE since 1930? The factual answer is G W Bush and the Republican Administration of G W BUSH.
    Do you ACTUALLY want more ECONOMIC DISPARITY under a Republican Mitten Romney 1% Administration?
    OBAMA ADMINISTRATION “SAVED” our country from economic RUIN and we need 4 more years of THE OBAMA TEAM ADMINISTRATION!

  • dljones

    The poor and deprived. What a tainted article Didn’t read the the help of private donations or thanks for doing what we can afford. I qualify for poor as the millions in taxes and government borrowings for entitlements on a portion of my earnings go to the poor. There is no Cadillac in my drive, Nike’s on my feet, food stamps in my billfold, free lunches for the kids, free medical care, kids in crisis or subsidized housing. And I don’t play games with the government to receive these services.

    This year, both my kids graduated with four year degrees. They are paying their taxes and as well their student loans.. I still give them money, and I still drive a 16 year old car. Although my folks were poor, we chose as they did to work as hard. The sacrifice to break the cycle of poverty is ending as the next generation moves on.

    This is a portrayal of opportunity in America, not a badge of honor.

    • phantomoftheopera

      can only work when jobs are available. and how many “poor” are, in fact, working? many have 2 or 3 or 4 jobs. but with low pay, can’t get ahead.

      two kids with two degrees. how did you pay for that? if it was out of your pocket, you’re not poor by any stretch of the imagination. if they got loans, looks like you’re a government leach, too!

    • I just retired after 25 yrs. at my job. I, too, paid taxes for state and federal programs to help the poor. I never begrudged this because #1, the programs were for me too if I ever needed them and #2 I would rather pay taxes for helping people less fortunate than me instead of for a war (s) we were lied into! I do not consider these programs “entitlement” by the way, with the exception of medicaid. I have paid taxes for years for ss and medicare. It is not “entitlement” but my money I paid to ensure I had a “little nest egg” to live on when I retired! The Republicans are so full of it their eyes should be brown! They veto every bill President Obama and the dems come up with that are geared to help the poor, who may be that way thru no fault of their own! Has anyone taken a survey of how many on welfare rolls are on it because the companies they worked at for years folded and they haven’t been able to find another job since? I would bet there are a lot of them in that situation rather than being “freeloaders” as the Republicans would have you believe! If they worked for years at a company that folded and are now in their late 50s, who is going to hire them? Employers are not suppose to discriminate by age but they do! They look at these people and “liability” pops in their heads because people don’t get healthier as they age and they could be a drain on their group medical benefits! I think our 8.2% unemployment rate that is slow to go down reflects this. Normally, in good times, our unemployment rate hovers around 6%, so 8% is not that high above the norm. I would bet the people who are still on unemployment are either uneducated, unskilled or to old! Possibly some are overeducated and would command a higher salary than employers are willing to pay out, also. I don’t think the majority are “freeloaders” as the GOP would have you believe!

      • Well said Sharon. Far too many people are so willing to dismiss the less fortunate among us, forgetting that a great many of our citizens are only one accident or layoff away from the proverty line.

  • I totally agree with you Cynthia and I am not on welfare and have only been briefly 2 times in my life and once was during the time Reagan was president and we were in the middle of a recession! I would bet most welfare recipients, like me, were embarassed to be on it. Most welfare recipients want to get off of it as soon as they can. You have to go thru extensive screening just to get the paltry benefits they offer. I have always said “if you need a piece of cheese, welfare gives you half a piece of cheese” about welfare. They skimp on cash benefits altho they are generous with food stamps. So you get to eat ok but you can’t pay the rent, electric bill etc. with food stamps! The paltry benefits they give you neccesitate getting a job in order to survive!
    Welfare is a state program by the way, not federal! I remember in 1979, I was a working single mom with 3 kids who did get a puny amount of child support but even with that and working a 40 hr. week was having trouble surviving. I am one who lives very prudently BTW. I went to the local welfare office to see if I could get a little assistance and was told I made to much. (I brought home $145 per week and my rent for a basic 3 bedroom townhouse with no a/c, garage or cable was $325 per month.) When I questioned their decision by saying “how come, according to federal guidelines on tax forms, I am considered “poverty level” but you say I make to much?”, I was told, “Well, that’s federal and we’re state and the state doesn’t have as much money”! I told her I thought that was unfair and that what is considered “poverty level” should be the same across the board no matter if it was state or federal level! However, I do see the other side of the coin too, especially now when so many states are broke or near broke! If it wasn’t for the fact that I was approved for a section 8 grant (which is federal rent assistance) I don’t know how I would have survived back then. They go according to your income and believe ideally no one should have to pay more than 1/4 of their monthly income for rent. According to them, I was eligible for a $200 a month grant and I only had to pay $125 of my $325 rent. They paid the difference. I was on the grant for 2 years. During that time, I got remarried and my new husband and I made to much and were no longer on the program. I think the maximum limit back then for assistance was $30,000. If you made that much, you weren’t eligible.
    And the medical card they offered, last time I tried to get one, they had a $1000 deductible and that was in 1982! So, yea, the less fortunate really do need healthcare and that is why I am for Obamacare, even tho I personally do not need it at this time as I am retired.
    Oh, and for all you “immigration reform” haters out there, illegal immigrants can not get welfare unless at least one parent is a legal U.S. citizen. If both are illegals, their kids are illegals and none have social security numbers, which is required to get benefits, and with all the ss fraud nowdays, they do check them out! If one parent is legal and they have children, then those children are legal and are assigned a ss number at birth and are eligible for welfare benefits. So, there are not as many “illegals” out their draining our system as you would have people believing! Furthermore, if legislators were smart and thought “outside the box”, they would go on a “per case basis” as the President has suggested and keep the good ones and allow them a path to becoming citizens with stipulations that they learn English and start paying taxes on their jobs. There is an estimated 10 million illegal immigrants in this country. If we kept even half of them, 5 million new taxpayers in the system would surely help revenue in this country and reduce the defecit!

  • progressiveandproud

    Anyone who believes that republicans truly care about the welfare of citizens needs to retain a very able psychiatrist. The rich could not care less and the poor and middle class republicans are too busy caring about wedge issues to think about the country’s citizens.

  • Here is a thought for everyone backing this idea in the name of cost cutting. Who do you think is paying for the testing?

  • I continue to be alarmed at how the Christian Church in America has embraced this same “mean-spiritedness” as well. We need to actively seek out comprehensive ways to help the poor and get them out of their poverty. That’s “what Jesus would do!”

  • Jim Frederick

    For the conservatives to be the good guys, there have to be bad guys. The Nazis in Germany used this approach to push their cause during the 1930s and through WW II. We need to wake up more of right-leaning America to where the their more extreme leadership is headed, in case enough of them care.

  • A person should be judged on his ability to do the work. Period. This drug testing is ridiculous. It’s one of those job creators that has no real purpose other than to harass everyone. Who is really making the money off this testing? And why do we so passively accept it?

  • Yes. The drug testing was never about saving money. It was about punishing the poor for being poor, and creating a show that would please righteous Americans.

    Moreover, if a family needs temporary asisstance, and the father uses drugs, why should they be denied assistance? The children still need to eat.
    When the poor use drugs, alcohol or tobacco, they are self-medicating. Imagine the rage, the depression, the anxiety you would feel if there was no hope that you (or your husband) could get a job, if you knew your children were in danger walling to school, if there was no safe place for them to play (On the building where you live, there is a sign in Spanish: Your chidlren cannot play here.) In school, you know they are getting a crummy education in over-crowded classrooms (In NYC, in poor neighborhoods, there are often 25, 26 studnets in a 1st-grade class, and 5 or 6 of them should be in special ed. Your seven-year-old can’t read.Neither the mayor nor the school chancellor will ever visit his school. No one cares.
    I’d self-medicate too!
    Everyone should rally around the need to expand Medicaid. In the U.S. we have more poor children (as a percentage of the population) than iin any other developed country in the world. This is not becuase we have so many immigrants, or because our popoulation is so “diverse.” Most of those children are white, and born here.
    Expanding Medicaid does not mean that we have to cut Medicare benefits, or shift the
    cost of Medicare to seniors. (We do need to cut the waste in Medicare– unnecessary tests and treatments, but we would need to do that whether or not we expanded Medicaid.) Don’t let politicans tell you that it’s a choice between “Us” and “Those People.”
    If Americans continue to think of the poor as “those people” we will destroy our economy and our society, not to mention our humanity. .

  • West forgets his medication thats the reason he bashes the president and congress so often They should all be subjected to random drug testing before and after getting into office

  • So we lined up 4,086 individuals against a wall and searched them all under the guise of probable cause for accepting charity? And after violating the fourth amendment rights of 3,978 innocent citizens we found 108 violating the law. That seems American to me. As American as a Fascist, and as cost effective as Corporation with a government contract.

  • Maybe those superior voters should remember the saying, “there but for the grace of God, go I.” As a person who has been poor, and at times, nearly destitute, I know that voters need to look at the dynamics of poverty. Very few people choose poverty as a career choice, regardless of what voters or politicians may think. Millions work but do not get a “living wage” which is not through any choice of theirs, they are dependent on inflation, cost of living, and employers who either cannot afford to pay more, or choose not to pay a higher wage. Children have to be fed, clothed, educated, and taken to the doctor when they are ill. Tens of thousands of persons get food or medical benefits as a stipend to their wages. Utility costs, gasoline costs, etc. create a great burden, especially during the winter months. The elderly, many of whom worked for 30 plus years get food and medical assistance because they are on a fixed income. I remember back in the mid 80’s when many senior citizens across the U.S. were found to be eating cat food because they were hungry and could not afford the cost of food for an entire month. Statistically, there are more elderly and working poor families receiving at least some help or full public assistance than those persons that self righteous Americans deemed to call ‘welfare queens’, a term I always found distasteful. Many women did not work during the fifties, sixties, or early seventies, because cost of living was lower, and the availability of jobs with higher wages and excellent benefits was higher so that husband’s and sons could provide a high quality of living for the families which allowed wives and mothers to remain at home to raise their children. I know, my family was one of those. It was not until my father passed away and my mom only got the widow’s portion of his retirement supplemented by social security, that she began to struggle financially. And now, with the economy still somewhat in shambles, the majority of manufacturing and tech jobs overseas, the burden on American workers and families has become greater. Once again, I iterate, ‘There but for the grace of God, go I.”

    • rustacus21

      … & yet, God blessed us w/the facility of common sense & (reasonable) intelligence. In our circumstances, common sense & rational intelligence dictates we begin to consolidate efforts 2ward changing outward conditions, so that our inward selves can feel a greater measure of security & peace. God does not mean 4 us to fret about the future, but God also commands that we be active on behalf of a better future for ourselves & others… By NOT being confused by ‘FALSE (conservative) PROPHETS’. We’ve been, as a nation, doing poorly on the later…

  • As far as drug testing goes, how many wealthy Americans, truck drivers, and celebrities take drugs, including high end designer drugs and narcotics like cocaine (not crack cocaine), heroin, ecstasy, etc. Maybe we should test those persons regularly, and not only once or twice per year. The middle class, wealthy, politicians, and corporate heads, drink heavily. They also host working luncheons, dinners, etc. and even dinner parties where high dollar alcohol is served. Maybe we should do random drug tests on politicians and publish the results for the entire world to see, and kick them out of office if they fail a drug test, or get a DWI while on the way home from their jobs. The majority of families receiving TANF DO NOT take drugs, especially considering the fact that in most states, anyone receiving a drug related misdemeanor or felony, cannot get a pell grant to attend college and lose their food benefits for life. Guess politicians also don’t mind the fact that families testing positive, even once, would no longer be able to feed their children. So what do they intend to do to guarantee children do not starve.

  • hbbear

    members of congress make daily decisions that affect the lives of millions, they should all be tested. Along with that so should their staffs who do research and provide guidance. While we are at it lets add testing to every lobbyist who is encouraging congress to make decisions that effect our daily lives. Then lets worry about those who receive a few crumbs from these decision makers

  • vmartin65

    As usual, the Republicans are refocusing on the insignificant ways to “Save Money” and neglecting or redirecting the means to totally save money and bring down the deficit, like getting rid of corporate loopholes, taxing the wealthy at the same rates that middle and lower class citizens are taxed at, supporting the oil companies and their billions, getting a piece of the pie from contractors who supply the military with guns, technology and expensive gizmos, etc.
    The right wing Republicans preach about Christianity and how Obama and his ilk are leading the country to ruin and hell, and yet they show the least amount of compassion and love for the poor and wretched “who will always be with us”. Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, house the homeless, help the jobless; stop vilifying them and blaming them and try doing something positive for a change!

    • dmikee

      See Romney’s most recent positions that really make it guns versus butter in this campaign. Cut, cut, cut everywhere but boost the defense establishment’s wasteful spending because we need to preen about with our military strength. The GOP is already rooting for another mid-east war, especially against Iran.

  • howa4x

    The Republicans always yip about class warfare but love to try and pit the middle class against the poor and to make them believe that the meager checks they get are killing the country, while all the time protecting corporate welfare, like giving Exxon money to drill, or ADM money to make ethanol. This is another way of covering tax breaks for the 1% who the republicans convinced the middle class that they are the job creators. Even though under the Bush tax cuts 2.9 million jobs were shipped out of the country and people like Mitt Romney chose to put his windfall in offshore investments. Halaburton got a 6 billion no bid contract for Iraq even though Chaney was at one time CEO, and they paid us back by moving their corporate offices to Dubai. It’s racist groups like the tea party that eat this up. They think all poor people are black even though the largest percentage of people on welfae are white, and thats why this cynical ploy by the Republicans always has an audiance

  • likelystory2

    How much is this drug testing expected to cost us? Many businesses have stopped their drug testing programs because of the high cost. It is not practicable.
    I picture someone ancient and crippled being handed a plastic cup to pee in. Yeah. That’s the ticket. He’ll really get to leave this life with dignity, huh? Why are these ideas so dehumanizing? Because increasingly we the people, being taxed without representation now … since our representatives are busy partying with the rich corporate big swingin’ d__ks … are not considered worthy of the term “human” any more. Sad. This was once a great country.

  • dalnb

    – The GOP #1 mission (According to Mitch McConnell = GOP Party Dominance.
    – The GOP # 2 mission (According to Mitch McConnell = See that the Obama Administration fails.
    – The GOPs tactics = ensure nothing that will improve our national economy and jobs shortage passes while Obama is in office.
    – GOP tactic 2 = keep busy with petty issues (such as prophylactics) so it appears we are doing something.
    – GOP tactic 3 = Build a national mentality of negativism so our economy, jobs, and housing continue to struggle.

  • truther4u

    One can easily match the GOP’s bashing of the poor, with a FACTUAL Pasting of the right. As most know by now, Bush started two Wars with no means of paying for them. He also gave the Rich the Biggest Tax Cut in American History (with an estimated loss in Revenue of $800 Billion Dollars); and, AGAIN, FAILED TO MAKE UP FOR THE LOST REVENUE. That was followed by the Prescription Drug Law that cost the Country over $600 Billion; AND, YES, ONCE AGAIN WITHOUT A WAY TO PAY FOR THE COST OF THE PROGRAM. But, the two Grand Daddy’s of them all, were poised to blow up in the faces of the GOP, and one, George W. Bush. The Sub-Prime Loan Scandal cost the Country $653 Billion Dollars. Where’s the Money to pay for those losses? The other Big Federal Give-away, was the TARP Bailout of the Fat Cats on Wall Street, and the Pea Brains, running Fannie, Freddie, AIG, and GM.

    Republicans ought to try to suck on those Corporate Welfare handouts for a while. All $750 Billion of them.

    When controls were loosened on oversight, the Predator Capitalists seized the opportunity.
    For the past 30 years, Republicans mostly, have been stealing from the productive efforts of ordinary working Americans. Reagan’s Trickle Down Economics was the biggest Scam of the Working Man during the past 30 years. Study after study. clearly documents the fact that most of the growth in GDP went to the top 1%; mostly the Super Rich.

    During the past year the 400 Richest Americans with an average income of over $400,000,000, paid an average tax rate of 17.8%! That is the GOP’s definition of fairness. NOW, the Republicans want to give Corporations still another Tax Cut. For What? With People in this Country starving to death; and some pregnant Mothers going without Prenatal Care; these Greedy Bastards want to give more money to Corporations? How much is enough?

    From a rational standpoint, anyone with a half a brain knows that the Country needs a National Health Care Plan; but, NOT ObamaCare! Place everyone who wants it, under the current Medicare Plan. The Structure is already in place. Such a move would likely save $400,000,000,000! Why don’t we have such a plan? Simple. The GOP wants to protect that 30% Profit Margin of the Large Private Insurers.

    One final note: Reagan, Cheney, and probably Bush, have repeatedly stated during their Tenure, that DEFICITS DON’T MATTER! Sure enough; and true to their beliefs, b0th Reagan and Bush more than DOUBLED the National Debt during their terms in office. A GOP Politician of some renown, referred to this strategy and set of beliefs as, “Voo-Doo,” Economics.

    So much more needs to be said about this subject. But time and space ran out. Check these facts out for yourself. Do your homework!


  • dmikee

    Gotta have someone to hate. In this case, it all the so-called ‘losers’ in our society that have been voted off the island by those who were lucky and fortunate. Our so-called ‘Christian nation’ has some ‘splaining to God to do.

  • Great writing Cynthia!! As we see what “a way of life” has come to create! Through the out sourcing our jobs! As the banks out source and exploits the prosperity of the the common good and the honest living! Defined as a “Lazy bum”! In the devaluation of our living standard! Through profiteering! So it’s no great wonder in the demonizing and bribery in what came to buy a statesman! As it brings all of us to wonder? What the “impediments” of the tea party are all about on Capital Hill! As ALEX sneaks in the back door through our State Legislature in the under-minding our “voting rights” and the well-being of “We the People” today! Even in the name of Our Fore Fathers! As it is! In the Name of Jesus! As it’s all laid against the simple truth of “Love for one another”! As it is “All Men are Created Equal”! We can never call this an Act of Patriotism! Only a thing of Bigoted Ideology and Egocentric! And everything Our fore Father fought against! With marry-old England! But we can never call the “Agenda a “conspiracy”! Just the deformation of governing for the sake of taking advantage of what is good and honest! But what should we call this? Anti-family or Anti-christ?

  • montanabill

    I understand that Cynthia is saying, the poor have difficult enough lives and we don’t need to take street drugs away from them.

    • rustacus21

      All the demographic studies & surveys point in the complete OPPOSITE direction sir. But its predictable that if poverty is imposed upon a specific demographic, they will respond w/predictably anti-social tendencies. The same is true 4 wealth. The children of the wealthy are the very demographic keeping the illicit drug trade flourishing in this nation. No wonder their families need all those ‘exclusive’ tax cut dollars. End the tax cuts, problem solved!!!

      • montanabill

        I’m afraid your last sentence says it all. Letting people keep the money they earned is not called, ‘tax cuts’.

        • rustacus21

          Again, we live in a Democracy. Part of that is being responsible for its upkeep. An upkeep that is IMPOSSIBLE to achieve w/out the contribution, THRU TAXATION, of every ABLE citizen of working age/ability. W/OUT EXCEPTION!!! Minus the 1%, we STILL would survive!!! We are innovative, creative, determined & as Liberal/Progressives, intuitive. We Liberal/Progressives invented America & conservatives? They supported the monarchy. The confederacy. Segregationist (who ENFORCED 2nd classism upon women & ALL non-white’s) bigots & now, the 1%. That’s not a good track record by any measure. Question: take away jobs & economic opportunity & replace THOSE w/’street’ drugs, what do U expect to happen? That, by the way, was the conservative solution. Do U support that way of thinking as well?

          • montanabill

            “…TAXATION of every ABLE citizen working…”. The government has several webs sites that detail who is paying taxes and who is not. They define what percent of income each group makes and what percentage of taxes each group pays. You need to get acquainted with those sites.

          • rustacus21

            The working poor pay lowered taxes b/c that’s ALL they can afford to pay. The wealthy have accountants, lobbyists & off-shore accounts to help them EVADE tax paying!!! What’s the point of U’r take, in other words?!

  • flyguygirl

    Once again you have a story highlighting an attack on women and as I previously stated this is divisive and the nation does not need it. Please read: “The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How It Has Undermined Women” by Susan J. Douglas and Meredith W. Michaels. An excellent analysis that cast aspersions at Reagan and Clinton. I realize that you earn
    a living by foisting division upon society, the most superficial one being the two political parties.
    The first thing you learn in political science 101 in college is that there is no difference between the
    Democrats and Republicans. Americans need to stop living in fairy-tale-land. Poor is not the big
    issue in your essay; rather it is drugs. So let’s get really tough on drugs. I had a friend who helped
    elect one of our past Presidents tell me that he did drugs in the White House and in every state
    Capitol before he chose to quit that lifestyle. He said the reason that the war on drugs is not
    successful is because there is too much money in it. Thus we come to the major problem: money.
    Wall Street is legalized gambling. How in the world do we approve of those people holding major
    governmental positions? By now we all know that They know nothing more than We do about
    major treasury decisions. I trust that both you and your readers see the hypocrisy ribbon weaving
    its way along all levels of government, be it drugs or money. We need leadership and we have none. We need someone to be truthful and tough. So if cigarettes are killing our people then go in and bomb all the tobacco fields. Shut down whatever needs to be shut down. Forget giving $100
    billion to Libyan ($40B) and Syrian ($60B) insurgents when our American people on their arses.
    The government at all levels needs to be held accountable. I will accept that there might not be
    transparency as the White House may be privy to information that is not publicly disseminated
    for various reasons. But when they pull false flag operations as a pretext to start wars they should
    be thrown out. Americans do not kill innocent life on any level, ever. Our common men and
    women won WWII and saved the world. Read Norman Corwin’s “On a Note of Triumph.” In sum,
    Truth is going to be the sought-after commodity in this new millennium. Things may get quite dire
    and dark in the days to come with more innocent people hurt, but a leader will arise and the people will know when this person speaks the truth. What the U. S. stands for is the individual and
    the individual to be born poor or to encounter unexpected obstacles and rise above them. There is
    nothing to be ashamed about by being poor for whatever length of time. This is the American
    success story and the only country in the history of the world that allows for this to occur. So our
    people are more than prepared by several centuries of this mindset to absolutely know when they
    encounter leadership that is truthful. I know this absolutely. At present we have nothing. My dog
    Misty could do a better job than anything we have had in the White House for a very long time.

  • Nancy Breuer

    If this nutty idea really goes anywhere, let’s make sure we’re thorough. Let’s require drug tests for ALL of the beneficiaries of federal welfare: agribusiness, big oil, and huge defense contractors come to mind. That list should embrace, of course, the excellent suggestion of jebediah123 below: to include the legislators in the drug test net. Now does it look like such a cool idea?

  • Of course it’s political theater. Republican politicians like Deal, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana are doing their best to impress the National GOP with how conservative they are in order to groom themselves for national office. Georgia in particular needs to go back to the days of Zell Miller, who was no liberal by any stretch of the imagination, who found a way to improve the public schools. He started the Georgia Lottery, the only legal gambling in the state and dedicated it specifically to particular projects in the schools. Quality soared, every child who wanted it got Pre-K, more good students could go to college, no one goes to school in a ragged building, and the teacher pay approaches the national average because he immediately raised it by 15%. As a result, poor kids were helped. Of course the Republicans have tried to damage the lottery funds.

    Politicians love to pick on groups that have no voice, for whom only a few blowhards like Al Sharpton speak. Gays, children, immigrants, the elderly, whoever is disenfranchised are the targets. I would say that whatever is dished out on the poor and other minorities should apply to the politicians. If welfare recipients have to have drug tests, a pee bottle should appear on the desk of every legislator several times during the General Assembly and they don’t leave until they visit the Sargeant at Arms in the restroom. And on the first day, there needs to be a hair test to make sure there was no hanky panky when they were not in session. If welfare, aid to elderly or disabled people are cut, so should be, by the same percentage, their pension or salary. If school budgets are lowered, the governor and legislators who vote for it lose some technology or a portion of their travel allowance or perdiem. Oh, and for the glbt community, publish in the paper how many times every legislator has been married and if they have any outside children, or history of domestic violence, their high school GPA, if they have ever had a sexually transmitted disease and if they have a relative locked up in a nursing home or living in poverty. I can almost guarantee a decrease in abuse of the poor.

  • We care and give more aid to other countries of the world than we do right here in the “greatest country in the world.” It’s a shame!! How long are people going to take this oppression? The Occupy Wallstreet demonstrations are only the beginning. Eventually, the people will get what they want. I just pray we don’t have a revolution to get us there….

  • Of course poor people are useful, that’s why the Democratic Party of America has been engaging in CLASS WARFARE…a communist/socialist/Marxist game plan – Class Warlfare is atheistic and un-Godly.

    This nation has the MOST OPPORTUNITY of any nation in the world, for all people. This is the only nation that can offer ANYONE from any walk of life the opporunity to step out of their poverty and into prosperity. Is it guaranteed, of course not. Nowhere on eartth or in reality is prosperity guaranteed.

    Redistribution of wealth only ensures EVERYONE IS POOR!

    • Dave_dido

      Paul, I guess your logic goes something like this:
      1.Redistribution of wealth only ensures EVERYONE IS POOR.
      2.The U.S. practices redistribution of wealth in its tax system.
      3.Therefore everyone in the U.S. is poor.
      But I look around me and notice that not everyone in the U.S. is poor. In fact, because the redistribution of wealth has been going from bottom to top for a long time now, we have a situation where 5% of the population now owns 80% of the wealth.
      Therefore, I think it’s more logical to say:
      1. Redistribution of wealth causes some people to be very wealthy.
      2.The U.S. practices redistribution of wealth in its tax policy.
      3. Therefore, the U.S. has some very wealthy people.
      Funny that you seem to think your side has a monopoly on God’s approval. So did the Scribes and Pharisees of Jesus’s time. That’s why they criticized Him for speaking out for the poor and defenseless and eating with sinners. His advocating for the poor threatened their worldview.

    • Maricia12

      Paul, you have been listening to right wing radio way too much. A few social programs do not make a country a socialist nation. Redistribution of wealth is when the government takes away everyone’s wealth and distribites it equally among all its people. We are a far cry from anything like that. Wishing to tax those in a millionaire status a few more percents is not redistribution of wealth. It is nothing new. In fact Pres. “IKE” , a Republican, taxed the wealthy a whopping 90% and that was a long time ago. There is nothing Communist about our government or Marxist. This is just more right wing propaganda. We are no longer living in the 1950’s but for some reason, the new tea party conservatives have not gotten that memo. Communism is no longer a threat and never really did take hold. The class warfare is certainly happening because the wealthy are getting all the tax breaks and the Republican party is passing legislation in favor of the wealthy making it more difficult for the middle class to move forward and be successful. Just ask those who once earned a decent living but are not unable to buy homes or save money. Democrats do not hate wealthy Americans. We want everyone to be able to attain wealth but with a level playing field that is fair to all. They cannot do it when educational opportunities and some other social programs are taken away. Just as we do not always have a say in where all our taxes go, why should you? Republican conservatives do not mind wars that costs trillions of dollars but health care for all Americans is sinful. I would rather help Americans than kill them in unjustified wars. Apparently these moral issues are in the eyes of the beholder. A better system of weeding out the abusers is definitely needed, not doing away with the programs. Many people have achieved success because of them. That is how they were able to escape their poverty
      status. Un=Godly would be not caring about your fellow man. I am surprised you do not know that. Of course, we realize, most conservatives need to mention God and patriotism to make themselves look better but we are not buying that when “actions speak louder than words” .

    • rustacus21

      … such as what occurred in the 1990’s? Or the continuous 30 year period (B4 Nixon) after WWII? Remembering that since 1980, there have been 3 disasterous conservative administrations, which totally, absolutely & unequivocally MISMANAGED the government we citizens WERE otherwise responsible 4. The 1st 2 were abberations. The 3rd was something far more sinister, out of the hands of the voter. The stats are there 4 comparison to convince even the most ideologically biased that conservatism is like a dangerous virus escaping a laboratory, causing massive destruction, if left unchecked & uncontained. & as conservatives don’t understand or believe in science, why leave it up to ‘alchemists’ to solve a ‘scientific’ challenge?

    • rustacus21

      … such as what occurred in the 1990’s? Or the continuous 30 year period (B4 Nixon) after WWII? Remembering that since 1980, there have been 3 disasterous conservative administrations, which totally, absolutely & unequivocally MISMANAGED the government we citizens WERE otherwise responsible 4. The 1st 2 were abberations. The 3rd was something far more sinister, out of the hands of the voter. The stats are there 4 comparison to convince even the most ideologically biased that conservatism is like a dangerous virus escaping a laboratory, causing massive destruction, if left unchecked & uncontained. & as conservatives don’t understand or believe in science, why leave it up to ‘alchemists’ to solve a ‘scientific’ challenge?

  • Of course poor people are useful, that’s why the Democratic Party of America has been engaging in CLASS WARFARE…a communist/socialist/Marxist game plan – Class Warlfare is atheistic and un-Godly.

    This nation has the MOST OPPORTUNITY of any nation in the world, for all people. This is the only nation that can offer ANYONE from any walk of life the opporunity to step out of their poverty and into prosperity. Is it guaranteed, of course not. Nowhere on eartth or in reality is prosperity guaranteed.

    Redistribution of wealth only ensures EVERYONE IS POOR!

  • flyguygirl

    “There is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal. While the first is a condition of a free society, the second , means as De Tocqueville
    describes it, ‘a new form of servitude.’ ” quote by economist Friedrich August von Hayek (1899-
    1992). The individual through his efforts, none of which should be immoral, fraudulent, or
    dishonest, is the one who makes himself/herself equal. If another person prevents this individual
    effort then get rid of them. Of course this must take into account the need to nurture and provide for
    children. A free society cares for those who are incapable of taking care of themselves. Drugs are a choice not an incapacity.

  • montanabill

    You have been reading too much fiction. Do yourself a favor. Find out how many wealthy people there are in the U.S. and how many of them have ‘lobbyists & off-shore accounts’. Also find out what an off-shore account actually shields you from. I will grant you that the wealthy generally use accountants. They usually have varied interests with lots complex rules and regulations to follow.