Big Republican Government

West Virginia Lawmakers Pass a Drug Testing Bill

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.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    It never ceases to amaze me how many Americans would rather spend $200 on drug testing or some other measure to make sure someone who is “abusing the system” loses $50 worth of benefits.

    • Victor the Crab

      If they truly think they can catch just one of these alleged people and force a shame parade on him to the public as the example of a lazybum moocher who’d rather use taxpayers dollars to get high on some substance than go out and get a job, all to have a warm fuzzy feel good moment for themselves, than abhorrent mission accomplished on their part.

  • muselet

    House members said they’ve fielded numerous complaints from constituents who allege that welfare recipients use their TANF benefits to buy items that they sell off for cash, and then buy drugs with the proceeds.

    Oh, FFS. I know it’s a cliché, but dammit, the plural of “anecdote” is not “data”!

    –alopecia

    • GrafZeppelin127

      It’s a good cliché.

  • Clusterpuck

    Isn’t this the same guy who sickened himself and some of his “brave” fellow legislators with the raw milk fiasco?

    And, don’t you love the way they just keep running the same play. State-by-state, efficiency or effectiveness be damned. As long as it plays with the rubes.

  • Aynwrong

    No amount of drug testing (or anything else) is going to “restore confidence in our government institutions” for people whose entire ideology is based on a refusal to ever see or acknowledge the need and positive benefits of government.

    Ronald Reagan, AM radio and Fox News trained these seals well.