Letter to the Editor

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Residents who apply for temporary financial aid benefits in Mississippi will have to submit to drug testing if the state deems they are likely to be substance abusers under a new measure that passed in the Mississippi Senate on Wednesday after passing the state House earlier this year. It would require new applicants to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program to submit to a questionnaire that would evaluate the likelihood of substance abuse.

This does NOT apply to SNAP. Steve Benen, Rachel Maddow’s Democratic hack from MSNBC, attempts to manufacture some outrage by declaring in an MSNBC Op/Ed: “Still, the underlying motivation for policies like these seems to be an unwarranted assumption: if you’re struggling during difficult economic times, and relying on the safety net to keep your head above water, maybe you’re abusing illegal drugs.” Benen has a long history of reporting what is happening while at the same time what he thinks is “really” happening. (The two paths rarely entwine). Benon would, apparently, have the taxpayers fund someone’s addiction. Discovering an addiction, however, is a path toward recovery and there are plenty of programs available in Mississippi to help an addict recover. Benen says: “Requiring those who are relying on the safety net to give the government their bodily fluids in exchange for benefits is not only legally dubious; it’s also ineffective and a waste of money.” No, not really.

Zorek Richards

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