A Texas Democratic state senator has suggested that if Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) wants to follow through with his plan to drug test his state’s unemployed, then the governor himself should also be tested. According to Huffington Post, State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer (D-San Antonio) said that as the largest recipient of government funds in the state of Texas, Perry should be held accountable alongside his fellow Texans.
Martinez Fischer said this his plan’s inspiration comes from the Bible.
“The Bible talks about not judging others,” he said, “If the governor wants to sit in judgment, then we’re going to judge everybody by the same standard.”
Perry announced on Tuesday that he intends to implement a drug testing program for everyone who receives unemployment benefits, making him the latest Republican elected official to call for such a measure. Lawmakers in more than 30 states have called for testing of people who receive public assistance, in spite of the fact that in every case thus far, the laws have been a resounding failure.
Florida’s Gov. Rick Scott (R) implemented a similar program in 2011 that ended up not only not saving the state money, but costing it more than if it hadn’t tested applicants.
Studies have shown that people on public assistance are actually statistically less likely to use drugs than the population at large. The Florida program returned a 2.6 perent rate of positive tests, mostly for marijuana. The estimated incidence of illegal drug use among the general population is above 8 percent.
Martinez Fischer claims that submitting to a drug test is no less than Gov. Perry owes the state.
“He’s the largest recipient of government subsidies in the state of Texas,” he said. “His subsidy for his mansion is no different from someone else’s Section 8 voucher.”
The state legislator also believes that the public is due some explanation of Perry’s “Oops”-moments during the Republican primary. The governor, he said, “has yet to come clean with his association with painkillers during the presidential campaign.”
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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