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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Why Trey Radel Proves We Should Drug-Test Congress — Or End The War On Drugs

Why Trey Radel Proves We Should Drug-Test Congress — Or End The War On Drugs

Almost five months to the day that Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) was arrested for purchasing cocaine from a federal agent, he joined House Republicans in voting for a provision of the Farm Bill that would have drug-tested recipients of food stamps.

The congressman’s arrest shows us that this vote may not have been about policy. Perhaps it was a cry for help.

With the stated goal of reducing fraud and saving taxpayers money, eight states have instituted drug screening to determine eligibility for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). In Utah, Arizona, and Florida, the programs ended up costing more than they saved, all while scarring recipients with a presumption of guilt.

Despite the evidence that such programs are both wasteful and a possible violation of the Fourth Amendment, House Republicans joined the nearly three-dozen states that proposed testing recipients of public assistance for illegal narcotics. What were they trying to tell us?

Maybe chemical dependency is fueling the GOP’s fixation on repealing Obamacare, its lax work schedule, its willingness to shut down the government if they don’t get their way.

Testing welfare or food stamp recipients will have no serious benefit for taxpayers, but shouldn’t we know if our representatives who helped turn a record surplus into a record deficit as millions of Americans are out of work may not be deserving of a paycheck?

Why would they resist such a common-sense approach to keeping big government under control? Do they want to pay higher taxes to finance the depraved indulgences of those suckling off the government teat?

The state legislature of Florida, where Radel is from, passed legislation to drug-test all state employees in 2012 — except themselves. They even turned down an offer of free drug tests from our Carl Hiaasen.

Why would powerful people reject this completely responsible use of government funds?

Could it be that they use illegal drugs at the same rate as the rest of the country? Could it be that the suggestion of drug use is beneath them, since their salary from taxpayers will soon be tripled or quadrupled by lobbying firms? Maybe the fear of being branded an illegal drug user is more powerful than their “principles?” Who would want to live with that threat lingering over their every choice?

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  • tdm3624

    A Congressperson is being paid by taxpayer money. So if welfare recipients have to be drug tested, so should Congress.

  • Mortalc01l

    Nothing new here; just another “do as we say, not as we do” Republican hypocrite.

    The war on drugs is an obscenity that has decimated our population (mostly men and mostly black) and has lead us to leading the World in incarceration rates.

    It’s a disgrace that’s showing how it’s OK to be a rich white Man who openly admits his cocaine use now and who tragically, will get a slap on the wrist, compared to the prison sentences that the rest of us schmucks would get.

    • Jane Caspar

      Also,it is strange that it is only when he is caught that all this breast-beating occurs, if he hadn’t been caught would he be so apologetic or would he just go on as before,jolly as a sandboy?

  • Igor Shafarevich

    While those opposing liberty claim that intellect magically begets knowledge, knowledge is actually gained through imitation and experience.

  • Buford2k11

    I would rather see a “competency” and “sanity” test instead…the drugs we can live with…it’s the corruption, bribery, and pure insanity of members that is at the heart of our nations problem…

    • Jane Caspar

      Yes, but sanity,etc is strongly affected by drugs and if anyone is going to be tested it should be everyone,not just the poor.

      • sudon’t

        True, but it only seems to affect the sanity of those who don’t use them.

    • [email protected]

      Wow, that is one way to clear our Congress. How about political talking heads who do not have the slightest idea what they are talking about and who enraged the population with false information.

  • rustacus21

    … sigh… We’ve known for years conservatives can’t possibly be in the state of mind they are on the myriad of issues they have been pathetically WRONG ON for these many years, unless partaking in the ‘culture’ Mr. Radel has relished & has been consumed by for so long. Note how no contemporary conservative are seen in Church or heard brandishing philosophies from Scripture? None of them do b/c none of them dare, lest the truth become even more plain – to those stupid enuff to continue voting for the likes of them. This is the results of money & tax cuts dominating our political & social systems…

    • Allan Richardson

      They do go to church “to be seen of men” as Jesus said, and they quote parts of the Scripture out of context to support their philosophy of hate and Mammon.

      They are Herods masquerading as Jesus.

  • Sergio

    I’m introducing a bill in congress that all representative be tested for drug abuse before casting a vote on any bill, and all that test positive be barred for ever to serve…let’s weed out all hypocrites from the house and the senate, these so called “religious-tea-party” republicans are an aberration and the scum of the nation…I need cosponsors…

  • William Russell

    Am I the only one who noticed that they charged him with MISDEMEANOR possession? Cocaine is a Schedule-II controlled substance, which is a felony. Hell, just having cocaine RESIDUE (like molecules that a CSI might find while CSIing) on a mirror is a felony in most states. Which means he should have been charged with a felony outright, but somehow the charge was a misdemeanor, like one might get for having half a gram of pot. Something smells rotten and corrupt here.

    • gert7to3

      He had 3 grams, that’s some serious blow. There’s definitely a double standard here.

      • Siegfried Heydrich

        Nope, that’s what the law is in DC.

  • blyvl

    As a Border Patrol agent, before I retired, I was subject to random drug testing and mandatory testing in some situations such as an accident, a shooting, etc. I didn’t feel the testing was unreasonable, and I don’t see why our “leaders” shouldn’t also be subject to the same requirements.

  • Orland724

    I always knew he was doing too much Koch.

  • Liberty: Coercion’s Absence

    Trey Radel is a disgrace. Boehner should call for his immediate resignation and forfeiture of all benefits of the office he has disgraced.

  • Liberty: Coercion’s Absence

    Where moral standards guide our interactions, civilization’s order spontaneously grows upon the lattice of acceptable behavior.

  • 788eddie

    Be sure to watch Fox News and listen to Rush Limbaugh for the announcements concerning Trey Radel (but I wouldn’t recommending holding your breath for it).

  • mandinka

    Better still start with the WH. Old slick Obama would be the 1st to test positative