Indiana is the latest state to decide that poor people need to be punished and humiliated for the crime of being poor. The bill that would force people to pull down their pants and pee in exchange for state assistance was only withdrawn after it was changed to include drug testing for the legislators..
Drug testing people who are poor enough to apply for state assistance has already proven to be an abject failure.
Remember Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) idea of mandating drug tests for welfare applicants? As we’ve discussed before, the Republican governor had a theory: the state could save money by forcing drug users to withdraw from the public-assistance system.
At least, that was the idea. In practice, the policy failed spectacularly – only about 2 percent of applicants tested positive, and Florida lost money when it was forced to reimburse everyone else for the cost of the drug test, plus pay for staff and administrative costs for the program.
Drug testing people who apply for assistance is a waste of time and money. It's also been struck down as unconstitutional.
A federal judge on Tuesday struck down as unconstitutional a Florida law that required welfare applicants to undergo mandatory drug testing, setting the stage for a legal battle that could affect similar efforts nationwide.
Never ones to let an unfair issue die, the Republicans are trying again in another state. They've merely "tweaked" the law this time, hoping they'll be able get around the unconstitutional bits. Issues of fairness or privacy do not concern them. If you're poor, everything is fair game.
Indiana legislators have decided to go down the road of being the next testing ground for failed Republican policy.
The roads they really need to focus on are on the ground. Indiana does the worst job of any state at clearing their roads and highways. I'm not talking towns and side streets – which make no mistake, they also do a lousy job of clearing. In this case I'm referring to their main interstates I-69, I-74 and various state routes.
Here is the truth about Indiana versus Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Illinois: To be blunt, Indiana’s road efforts are the worst I have ever seen. I saw westbound Interstate 74 go from almost pure ice to almost normal right at the Illinois line and beyond
The Interstate Highway System signed into law by President Eisenhower is a boon to areas like mine. It makes traveling between our states by car a matter of course that can be easily navigated by grabbing a map or, in this modern era tapping into your cell phone's GPS, and hitting the road. Much has been done to expand, improve and make the experience of driving through the Midwest a safe and adventurous experience.
Driving through Indiana in winter is not an adventure, it's a nightmare.
I live in Ohio and I travel to Indiana frequently. We're all having the same brutal winter weather. West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Illinois. Winter here is very harsh. I was recently trapped in Muncie, Indiana for two days. We accepted the fool's errand of traveling into Indiana because it was only a two hour drive and the roads in Ohio were clear.
We drove the last 50 miles over a terrifying sheet of snow and ice on a main road. The closer we got into the city, the worse it became. We were the only people on the road where a semi and a snow plow had given up and pulled over. But I could not afford to stay on 35 North all night. We had to get to shelter before dark. We barely made it. It took us nearly five hours to complete what is normally a two hour drive max, because the roads were so very dangerous. If I had known the difference in the roads between the two states, I would have waited.
In every other state, but Indiana, it seems that the state coordinates with counties, cities and townships to clean and treat the roads. Everyone does their part to keep the roads clear in harsh winter weather that dumps snow, ice, rain and slush and deadly mixtures of all of these onto the roads.
The most recent massive and deadly pile-up in Indiana to make national headlines is a result of their failure to take clearing their roads seriously and to make more of an effort to do so. There is no reason they cannot tap into the resources and lessons from their neighboring states to prevent tragedies like this from happening in the future.
Three people died and more than 20 were injured — including one critically — in the crash Thursday on a snowy stretch of eastbound Interstate 94 in northwestern Indiana. At least one person was trapped in a vehicle for hours before authorities could come to the rescue, Indiana State Police said.
But I suppose it's more important for the 1% to force people pull down their pants and pee when they need are help the most. It's easier to amuse yourself thinking that you're solving a problem that doesn't exist than it is to face the real problems that truly cost lives.
Indiana should stop pissing on their constituents and focus on their true priorities.