REPUBLICANS JUST DON’T LIKE THE UNEMPLOYED, CONT’D…. If I didn’t know better, I might think Republican lawmakers actively dislike — on a personal level — those who’ve lost their jobs in the recession.
One GOP congressman recently compared the unemployed to “hobos.” Several Republicans have blocked extended benefits for the unemployed. In the House, GOP lawmakers tried to eliminate a successful jobs program.
But Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) is taking Republican revulsion for the jobless to new depths.
Hatch introduced an amendment to the tax extenders bill that would require those who are applying for some of the benefits in that bill, including unemployment and welfare benefits, to pass a drug test in exchange for the benefits.
“Drugs are a scourge on our society — hurting children, families and communities alike,” Hatch said in a statement. “This amendment is a way to help people get off of drugs to become productive and healthy members of society, while ensuring that valuable taxpayer dollars aren’t wasted.”
Under the Hatch amendment, individuals who fail to qualify for benefits because they failed a drug test wouldn’t necessarily be jailed, but would be enrolled in a state or federal drug treatment program.
There are so many problems with such a ridiculous idea, I hardly to know where to start, but let’s just focus on the most offensive angle to this: Hatch seems to think those who’ve lost their jobs should necessarily be suspected of drug abuse. What does the senator base his suspicions on? Nothing but his own twisted worldview.
I find it hard to imagine a proposal like this will go anywhere — at least until there’s a GOP majority again — but it’s nevertheless a startling reminder that the Republican Party just doesn’t seem to like unemployed people.