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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Drug tests for Senate Republicans

While Scott Brown enjoys his new job -- even while going back to his old job and lobbying for slot machines for a family friend's race track -- other folks aren't so lucky. They'd like just one job, or the opportunity to support themselves while looking for one.

But Brown and his Republican Senate colleagues have decided to take a stand -- on the throats of the long-term unemployed -- and say those benefits are wasteful, contribute to the long-term debt of the United States and have to be paid for right now.

The venality and wackiness of the "compassionate conservative" movement that rang up the deficit through two credit card wars and tax cuts for the rich is vividly on display here. David Tuerck of the Beacon Hill Institute and a firm believer in the supply side economics that created the Reagan deficit, thinks benefits only discourage job seekers.
“If the goal is to get people back to work, why tie the money to the condition that you stay unemployed?"
Yet that's a more charitable thought than the one offered by Utah Republican Orrin Hatch, who think the long-term unemployed are fakers who should be drug-tested.
"A lot of people are saying, 'Hey, it's about time. Why do we keep giving money to people who are going to go use it on drugs instead of their families?'"
Brown, as usual, needs more time to think about a Hatch proposal to do just that. Maybe he could use the time spent lobbying for slots to think about it?

Maybe it's time to drug test anyone who just says no to helping real people with real stories of searching for jobs in an economy devastated by Republicans who couldn't just say no to fat cats who feasted at the twin GOP troughs of no regulation and no taxes.

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