Sen. Orrin Hatch wants to attach an amendment to a tax break/social reform bill that will force people who are unemployed to take drug tests to continue their benefits, CBS news reports.
“In its release, Hatch's office says that 'drug abuse prevents many individuals from getting off of welfare and back to work' and notes that many private companies subject their employees to drug testing.”
Note the conflation of unemployment into welfare. He takes it even further, though, when he conflates drug addiction with unemployment benefits and imagines these safety nets are “enabling” drug addition. That's a lot of conflation. Here's that amazing little rhetorical gem from Sen. Hatch's own lips: “Too many Americans are locked into a life of a dangerous dependency not only on drugs, but the federal assistance that serves to enable their addiction.”
Sen. Hatch has a delusion that there are thousands of unemployed administrative assistants doing bong hits in their gold Cadilliacs, running "real American's" off the road.
Obviously he missed the news that there are people with Master's Degrees working as waiters, and millions of people are tap dancing double-time trying to find any work at all; whether or not it kills their resumes.
Can you imagine anything more demoralizing than having to take a urine test on top of that?
I'm sure there are plenty of people living in their parents' basement, milking their unemployment checks. But there are many, many more who are struggling not to show up at their parents' home with their spouse and children in tow.
What makes Sen. Hatch's proposal even more infuriating is that it is tied to H.R. 4213, a bill to save jobs that the Republicans are holding up in the Senate.
Also, H.R. 4213 will also extend unemployment benefits and close a glaring tax loop hole to raise revenue.
It's astounding that the man who introduced S.3502"A bill to restore Americans' individual liberty by striking the Federal mandate to purchase insurance,” doesn't see the glaring incongruity between what individual freedom means from one issue to the next.
His rationale – that because businesses can order people to take drug tests, the unemployment office should too – is also frightening.
I would really love to hear Orrin Hatch's definition of “liberty.”