Steve Benen complains about South Carolina Republicans who floated a proposal to randomly drug test laid off workers filing for unemployment benefits:

The idea is so absurd, it's hard to know where to start. Is it legal to force the unemployed to take a government-mandated drug test in order to qualify for benefits to which they're entitled? Who would pay for the administering of these hundreds of thousands of drug tests in South Carolina? Is this Haley's idea of "limited government"?

But perhaps most important is the offensive underlying assumptions. At its core, Haley, Hatch, and those who agree with this are making a truly ridiculous assumption: those who've lost their jobs during tough economic times should necessarily be suspected of drug abuse.

Over the summer, Orin Hatch suggested a similar measure at the federal level. Ezra Klein's asks about dependents:

[I]t's not just the workers themselves who depend on [unemployment benefits], but their spouses, and their children, and their communities. You may not like pot, but is there a reason kids should suffer because their depressed father smoked a joint?

 

 

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