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Fox Pundits Defend Michigan's New Wasteful Mandatory Welfare Drug Testing Law

Leave it to the talking heads on Fox to spin Michigan's new law as a way to give drug users "an extra helping hand."
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Leave it to the talking heads on Fox to try to spin this as something positive: Michigan Governor Signs Bill Requiring Drug Testing Of Welfare Recipients:

Welfare recipients in some Michigan counties will soon be tested if they’re suspected of using drugs, under a set of bills signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder this week.

The Senate and House bills, which were signed into law Friday, will create a yearlong pilot program in three counties that will screen welfare recipients and applicants to determine whether or not they’re suspected of using drugs. If they are, the applicants or recipients must submit to a drug test. If the test comes back positive, they will be referred to a treatment program, and if they choose not to enter the program, they will lose their welfare benefits. Applicants and recipients will also lose their eligibility for welfare benefits for six months if they refuse to take a drug test, but according to a statement from the governor’s office, the benefits can be restored once they submit to and pass a drug test.

Snyder’s office says the program, which will be completed by September 2016, will help “remove barriers” keeping Michigan residents from finding work and supporting their families. [...]

But research has shown that drug testing welfare recipients can be costly. Last August, state figures showed that Utah had spent $30,000 to screen for and test welfare recipients who were suspected of abusing drugs, and had found only 12 people who had tested positive for drug use. In Florida, where a law requiring drug tests on welfare applicants was struck down last December, just 2.6 percent of the people tested by the state in 2011 were found to be using narcotic drugs. That program, according to state records, cost the state more money than it saved. And in August, after about a month of testing applicants for welfare, Tennessee had tested just one welfare applicant positive for drug use, and had disqualified four others from benefits for refusing to take part in the drug testing process. Read on...


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But if you're Charles Payne filling in on Fox & Friends for the weekend, this is just fantastic: Fox News host: Mandatory welfare drug testing is one way government gives pot users an ‘extra hand’:

During a discussion over Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s Friday signing of a bill mandating drug testing for public assistance recipients, a Fox News host hailed the compulsory tests as a way to “help out” pot users.

Speaking with former “Drug Czar” John P. Walters and Drug Policy Alliance spokesperson Sharda Sekaran, host Charles Payne claimed that, despite the cost of the program, “If someone is on drugs, the likelihood of them ever getting off of these sort of social programs is diminished significantly, so why isn’t this a good idea?”

Sekaran pointed out that “people who are recipients of public assistance, or poor people, are no more likely to use drugs than any other portion of the population.”

“This is unfairly targeting people who are already vulnerable in Michigan,” she said, adding that what people in the state need are jobs to help lift them off the welfare rolls, and that Governor Rick Snyder “should be focusing on that and his economy instead of sifting through the urine of his constituents.”

The former drug czar under President George W. Bush told Payne “Who is going to employ somebody who is addicted?” before saying the programs exist to get people into “treatment,” ignoring the potential loss of food assistance and government services benefits to their families.

Addressing the treatment programs welfare recipients would be compelled to enter, Payne called them “somewhat inviting.”

“I don’t see where that is necessarily unfair to someone who is on public assistance,” Payne said. “In fact, it feels like an extra hand trying to help them out of the situation.” Read on...

Charles Payne and his cohorts that make up Fox's so-called "business block" such as Neil Cavuto aren't happy unless they're kicking around those living in poverty or welfare recipients at every turn. It's one of their favorite pastimes.

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