News you'll be interested to know

Loading...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Election Rhetoric: Picking on the poor

When In Need Of Political Distraction, Bash The Poor

April 21st, 2012 12:00 am Cynthia Tucker

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.

To read the entire report click here

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

One has to feel sorry for liberals--they have to support a President who has failed at most everything he has tried for the past 3 1/2 years. More people are poor now than when he started. How a person of any intelligence can support him is more than I can figure out.

Obama is trying to sell himself as "cool." That's why he goes on late night talk shows to appeal to the very young who can't think for themselves.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous (7:54 4/25), you didn't address the topic of the post. You picked on the young. Why bother commenting? Was it just to hold an impromptu pep rally for your ideological kin on the home turf of an opponent? Why would an unintelligent liberal or an unthinking young person want to partake in that kind of shallowness?

Jeff W

Anonymous said...

The solution to the cost is to require the recipients yo pay for the test themselves.

Anonymous said...

It is sad that the poor become a political football. Talk about class warfare!

Anon 7:54 - just more smoke and mirrors; whenever you don't like, or don't have anything to say about, the actual subject, you just globalize and generalize your way into a comment. And what makes you think young people can't think for themselves? That shows a shocking level of ignorance. I live with an 18 year old whose political views are more informed than most adults I know. We may not always agree, but she is very thoughtful about her opinions.

Anon 10:22 - that's sheer genuis - require participants in programs designed for people without money to pay for things out of pocket themselves. Are you the young person Anon 7:54 was talking about?

Anonymous said...

On the occasion I get a new job, I have to have a drug screening. Think I'll throw a temper tantrum!

Anonymous said...

If you work, you get a drug test, if you are an athlete you are tested at intervals. But if you draw money from the said taxpayers who work to give it to you, you are bashing the poor. Don't make any sense.

Anonymous said...

If you work, you get a drug test, if you are an athlete you are tested at intervals. But if you draw money from the said taxpayers who work to give it to you, you are bashing the poor. Don't make any sense.

Anonymous said...

You can be reimbursed if you pass the test. The money saved from the 2% who fail can make up for the cost of testing the ones who pass.

Anonymous said...

If you refuse a drug screening for a job, you don't get the job. Period. Do you hear any sympathy for them? Are their civil rights being violated? No!
Are you bashing them? No!

What's the difference?

Anonymous said...

I, for one, did not comment on whether to give a drug test, only who pays. In every instance cited in support of testing - job applicant, athlete, etc. - the one being tested does not pay out of pocket.

Anonymous said...

So simple, if a person passes the test , no charge. The money saved will more than compensate.