Governor Walker’s budget proposal to require drug testing of applicants in several public assistance programs has been receiving coverage that’s actually amusing for its tone of disapproval that the media can’t quite bring themselves to express directly.
Our favorite example comes from the Northlands News Center, a collection of broadcasters in the Duluth-Superior area.
The reporter mostly plays it straight but blows his cover in the final sentence, presented as a stand-alone paragraph: “Governor Walker is eyeing a 2016 presidential run.”
As in, “Oh, so that’s it! He’s just pulling this mean trick because he thinks it will be so politically popular it might win him a national election and…um…oh…never mind.”
We actually didn’t think we would find a legislative Democrat dense enough to go on record opposing the idea, but an Associated Press story quoted Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) saying the effort to keep welfare recipients off drugs would “further hurt people striving to get to the middle class.”
That’s a peculiar kind of striving, given that prospective employers frequently require drug testing prior to taking on a new worker, and being employable is pretty basic to one’s prospects of joining the middle class. Is it really the Assembly Minority Leader’s belief that the only kind of compensation that can’t be conditioned on avoiding illegal drug use is the kind that’s unrelated to work and financed by taxpayers?
Perhaps Rep. Barca will get in touch with Sen. Shilling and see about adding a new, inalienable right to public assistance to—in effect—subsidize drug habits as an item in the New Progressive Agenda detailed above. The idea seems to be of roughly the same vintage as the others.