Senator Orrin Hatch (R) Says, If You’re Out Of Work, You’re A Drug Addict

Orrin Hatch

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)

What is it with morons from Utah getting all up in other people’s business? Here’s the latest stupidity to emanate from that part of the country, from Raw Story:

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) offered an amendment Tuesday that would require drug tests for those who seek welfare and unemployment benefits. States have the authority to enact drug testing requirements for their welfare programs under the 1996 Welfare Reform Act, signed into law by President Bill Clinton, but they are not mandated to conduct tests under current law.”

Now it was lame enough that the moderate Republican (no, he WASN’T a Liberal), Bill Clinton, allowed this invasive nonsense to be pulled on welfare recipients (Why in hell aren’t we drug-testing bankers? You MUST be high to think some of the gambles those idiots took were a great idea.) just to placate the insane-o hard right Republicans. However this Orrin jerk from Utah wants to expand it to say to millions of law-abiding citizens who are merely down on their luck that, “If you’re poor, unfortunate, or unemployed even due to circumstances beyond your control, you’re obviously a drug addict as well, and should be treated as such.

There is so much wrong with this idea, I hardly know where to begin.

It violates the notion that you are innocent until PROVEN guilty, but rather compels a portion of society (thereby also violating the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment) to prove its innocence, in violation of our basic notions of jurisprudence.

Its a privacy nightmare, because there is no guarantee that the samples will not be used for anything else, such as DNA testing, or that the information about you will remain with the government, and not make its way out into the corporate world, thereby preventing you from ever again obtaining gainful employment, or affecting your insurance rates should you test positive.

Moreover, it does nothing to address the inherent FALSE positive rate that is a part of such idiotic privacy invasions on a regular basis. Some goober here in L.A. just made the news for losing a gig because unbeknownst to him, the herbal tea he was drinking had hemp powder in it, and he gave off a false positive. He’s not a drug addict, just an herbal tea drinker, and it cost him a job. That’s beyond messed up. Eat a poppy seed muffin? No unemployment aid for you. Clearly, you’re a heroin addict, and because you have a medical problem, you should be punished for that, and also made homeless.

This is what passes for logic in the Republican-controlled/warped Senate these days.

Just when you think Republicans can’t come up with any more DAFT ideas, they surpass themselves with something even more boneheaded.

The “Drug War” is over you fool. It didn’t work. We should be discussing how to legalize drugs, heavily regulate and tax the hell out of them to help with the national debt, and to fund RATIONAL drug treatment programs for people who have a REAL problem, not the imagined one in Orrin’s tiny cranium.

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  • samthor

    good article. I detest drug testing and the war on “certain” drugs. If we want to save money on welfare, we should cut corporate welfare.

  • GT

    Unemployment insurance is not a benefit. It is self insurance, you contribute to it from every single withholding in every single paycheck. It is your money, not the governments'. It should have been privatized ages ago!!! Hatch is only pimping for his patron special interest group: The surveilance and private prison industry. Keep you filthy hands off our unemployment insurance, you lying sleazy sack of shit!

  • Ineedashower

    OMG anyone against drug testing for welfare and unemployment benefits is on drugs and scared their money is going to run out. If you're not on drugs then you have nothing to worry about. Just like when you have to take a drug test for a job, if you're not on drugs you have nothing to worry about. Unemployment and welfare is to help you and your family survive… if you can afford drugs with the money then you don't need the benefits. This free money is not to live in luxury it's to survive until you can find work.

    I'm not saying drugs are bad, shit, I use drugs whenever possible, but doing drugs is a choice and you're going to have to face certain consequences for your actions. I know people that have been on unemployment for YEARS and are perfectly capable of working but just get high with the money…. hey they can do what they want but in this economy why would we waste money on someone like that? There is so much wasted money in this country it is criminal, and people are getting used to the fact that they can get money for not doing a damn thing.

    Yes drugs should be legalized; you should be able to do what you want to your body, but do you really think the government should enable crackheads by giving them money to not work? Look, the entire process is screwed up, you have people on benefits for years, people not even looking for work, people perfectly capable of working that just don't because they can get a free check every month. All you have to do is write down the name of two or three companies you tried to get a job at, turn in the form and you get a check. You can just make up companies.

    Maybe drug testing isn't the answer, but you have to do something to stop the bleeding. Maybe they should actually verify that these people are out looking for work. I mean seriously, if you really needed a job, you could find one. But why would you if you can get a check for free? That's what this country has become; we don't want to work, we want everything for free and right now, and we somehow end up getting it. I guess this really is the greatest country in the world.

    I mean come on, illegal immigrants are collecting benefits…. you would think as soon as they applied someone would come over and ship them back to their country but it's all just fun and games I guess. Instead of deportation they get a check in the mail. What a great country.

    • 5by5

      What do you fail to grasp about innocent until proven guilty?

      All of these tests turn that basic feature of American jurisprudence upside down. You should NEVER have to prove your innocence.

      And GT is quite correct, since we pay into unemployment insurance with our own hard work, it isn't within Orrin Hatch's purview to tell us how to use it. it's our money. You'll 'effin give it back to us when we need it. PERIOD.

      I also love how all this invasive crap seems to come from Republicans — supposedly the “limited government” people? As if.

      As for privatizing it? HELL NO. As daft as this is, at least I have the right to bounce 'ole Orrin onto his fat white ass in the next election. Privatize this, and put it under corporate control, and you'll lose ALL ability to protect yourself.

      I don't want smaller government, I want BETTER government.

      • cerebralcaustic

        >All of these tests turn that basic feature of American jurisprudence upside down. You should NEVER have to prove your innocence.

        Jurisprudence also says the government can make welfare conditional.

        • 5by5

          Not if those conditions violate Constitution equal protection.

    • vicwiz

      too much regulation is bad son

    • Hadrian999

      warrentless searches by the government are never justifiable.
      you talk about the bleeding as if it is publicly funded, it int, you pay for it every check you get.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Horseshit! Just one more way to squeeze a few million out of the pool of cash for people who lost their 'opportunity' when businesses across the country started closing doors and shutting down. Sure, its easy to demonize the tiny percentage that either have or have developed a drug problem…but the principle at stake is larger…how many people are you allowed to write off as unsalvagable? Orrin needs to close his hatch. When you're part and parcel of a party that has participated in raping this country and its people almost to death, the only words we should be hearing from you are a tearful apology on the way to a jail cell.

  • Linping6565

    Support your point of view
    http://www.newgoing.com

  • Amanda

    I don't agree with what the senator said but I do think it's a good idea to drug test welfare recipients. I live in an inner city and I know many people (mostly young adults) who claim welfare fraud by saying they're no longer with the mother or father of their child, when in reality they are and get money from the state and then use it to purchase a massive amount of drugs to sell and use. Now I'm a tax paying citizen and I don't really like the idea of my tax money going to these people so they can afford drugs, if you want to do drugs then work for it like everyone else.

  • cerebralcaustic

    >Senator Orrin Hatch (R) Says, If You’re Out Of Work, You’re A Drug Addict

    No, he doesn't say that. He says that people who are abusing illegal drugs should be disallowed from welfare. It's a separate point.

    • 5by5

      Since everyone is forced to take a test to prove they're NOT a drug addict simply by virtue of being unemployed and needing to get the unemployment insure YOU PAID FOR, that is EXACTLY what he is saying.

      Unemployed = Drug Addict, unless you prove otherwise.

      Guilty until proven innocent = Bullshit.

  • cerebralcaustic

    >Senator Orrin Hatch (R) Says, If You’re Out Of Work, You’re A Drug Addict

    No, he doesn't say that. He says that people who are abusing illegal drugs should be disallowed from welfare. It's a separate point.

  • cerebralcaustic

    >All of these tests turn that basic feature of American jurisprudence upside down. You should NEVER have to prove your innocence.

    Jurisprudence also says the government can make welfare conditional.

  • Neo2012

    I suggest we start “STUPID” testing these politicians!

  • Von

    its only a matter of time till you see an article headlining “If you own a Gun, you’re a Terrorist.”

  • Von

    its only a matter of time till you see an article headlining “If you own a Gun, you're a Terrorist.”