Saturday, September 10, 2011

Want to eat? Pee in this, please.

As either of my long-time readers could tell you, I have held for quite some time that South Carolina just sucks. And they keep on trying to prove it.

Latest idiocy: Governor Nikki Haley (R-Obviously) wants to drug test people who get unemployment benefits.

In her words (and channeling her inner teenage cheerleader), "I so want drug testing. I so want it."

But, being a Republican, if the facts don't match the "common wisdom," she's more than happy to make shit up.
"Down on River Site, they were hiring a few hundred people, and when we sat down and talked to them -- this was back before the campaign -- when we sat down and talked to them, they said of everybody they interviewed, half of them failed a drug test, and of the half that was left, of that 50 percent, the other half couldn't read and write properly," Haley said.
Fortunately, the Huffington Post reporter did that thing we used to call "journalism" and asked somebody if she was right.
Jim Giusti, a spokesman for the Department of Energy, which owns the River Site, told HuffPost he had no idea what Haley was talking about with regard to applicants flunking a drug test.

"Half the people who applied for a job last year or year 2009 did not fail the drug test," Giusti said. "At the peak of hiring under the Recovery Act we had less than 1 percent of those hired test positive."

The River Site doesn't even test applicants. "We only test them when they have been accepted," Giusti said.
I'll give Haley a little bit of credit, though. She got the one thing right.
"That's what we have in South Carolina," she continued. "We don't have an unemployment problem. We have an education and poverty problem."
The rest is crap, but she's finally figured out one of the chief causes of unemployment. I mean, it's a shame that she couldn't have figured it out a couple of months ago, when she tried to slash education funding for the state so badly that the state Legislature, Democrat and Republican, overturned most of her budget and overrode her attempts to veto. But at least she knows it now, right?

Of course, Teabaggers don't care about facts; they care about ideology. Governor Rick Scott of Florida instituted a drug testing policy for unemployment, which didn't do the state a lick of good.
The law, which took effect July 1, requires applicants to pay for their own drug tests. Those who test drug-free are reimbursed by the state, and those who fail cannot receive benefits for a year.

Having begun the drug testing in mid-July, the state Department of Children and Families is still tabulating the results. But at least 1,000 welfare applicants took the drug tests through mid-August, according to the department, which expects at least 1,500 applicants to take the tests monthly.

So far, they say, about 2 percent of applicants are failing the test; another 2 percent are not completing the application process, for reasons unspecified.

Cost of the tests averages about $30. Assuming that 1,000 to 1,500 applicants take the test every month, the state will owe about $28,800-$43,200 monthly in reimbursements to those who test drug-free.

That compares with roughly $32,200-$48,200 the state may save on one month's worth of rejected applicants.
The paper went on to calculate that Florida will save $40,800-$98,400, an amount which will be eaten up in staff hours and other resources in administering the program. Oh, and they're going to spend over a million dollars defending it in court. So, Rick Scott just cost Floridians more money that they don't have. So that's some awesome leadership, right there.

Now, if you do the math, the national rate of drug use is about 8.9 percent of the population aged 12 or older. (The majority of those users are 18 or older, but that's like math and stuff, so screw that.) Now, if only 2-4% of the people applying for unemployment are drug users, that means that the unemployed population is actually using less drugs than the rest of America. (Maybe because they can't afford them - that might make sense...)

Obviously, Governor Haley can't do simple logic.

1 comment:

Steven said...

Darn it,'re using facts again and you know those thing don't fly in South Carolina. It was darn good post though!

Speaking of facts; your governor is a real piece of work! Where do the Republicans find these people?