The West Virginia House of Delegates has nearly unanimously voted (91 - 8) to pass a bill to require drug testing for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits.
Supporters of the bill say they voted to pass it because their constituents have lost confidence in the government, but the joke is on them.
“I expect people who live off my tax money to be drug tested,” said Delegate Scott Cadle, R-Mason. “I don’t want them laying around on welfare and drugs.” [...]
“People out there believe this program is being abused and we’re doing nothing about it,” said Delegate John Shott, R-Mercer. “We need to restore confidence in our government institutions.”
Republicans have been saying government is the problem for nearly 40 years, but I digress.
As you're probably aware, this has been a failure in every other state that has implemented similar programs. Unless West Virginia proves to be the exception, as a rule, these programs reveal a lower rate of drug use among welfare recipients than the general population.
Even if this program reveals an above average rate of abuse among applicants and recipients (it won't), that will not restore confidence in government among people who've never had confidence in government and never will. Creating a new government program that ultimately proves to be a waste of time and money certainly won't boost anyone's confidence.
If you really want to boost confidence in government, a program for drug testing lawmakers might help.
Some House Democrats who opposed the bill said the state shouldn’t be picking on the poor.
“Here we are puffing out our chests, climbing up on our pedestal, saying we know you guys are the problem, and we’re going to drug test you because we can,” said Delegate Don Perdue, D-Wayne.