One of the core beliefs of the Republican/corporatist faction in America today is that poor people are inherently lazy lawbreakers who deserve their sad fate. Despite claiming to be Christians, conservatives have no sympathy for anyone living in poverty and in fact, demonize and humiliate America’s underclass every chance they get.
Drug testing welfare recipients is a case in point. Despite having no research or data backing up their assertion that poor people are spending their welfare checks on crack, Republican governors have become addicted to the idea of drug testing citizens receiving government assistance. It should come as no surprise that this idea has proven as effective as other Right Wing fantasies like abstinence only programs and D.A.R.E., meaning it has proven to be a useless waste of time and energy.
One of the states participating in this farce is Arizona, which screened 142,000 welfare recipients during a five-year program. Three people tested positive for drugs. Seven states have spent over $1 million testing people receiving government assistance and netted less than 500 users. In other words, the costs of running these programs far, far outweigh their meager results. If these wasteful programs were being run by liberal governors, FOX News would be screaming for investigations and indictments 24/7.
George Bush once said he governed from his gut, and this seems to be the case for many Republicans in elected office. Despite failure after failure, conservatives continue to pursue programs that are based on instincts, conventional wisdom or their warped religious beliefs rather than research, science and data. And is always the case, the end result of their experiment in conservative ideology is wasted taxpayer dollars and added human suffering.