In Congress and state legislatures across the nation, Republicans have repeatedly called for drug testing those who apply for any form of government help, from food stamps and welfare to unemployment benefits. The argument is always that these are people who disproportionately use illegal drugs even though that assumption has proved wrong in every state that has tried it.
A HuffPost/YouGov poll found that a majority of Americans agree that it is a good idea to test people who receive these benefits as well as those in several occupations such as the military and airline pilots. Sixty-four percent of those surveyed said that they favored or strongly favored testing for welfare recipients while only 18 percent opposed such testing.
A more interesting finding of the poll was the response to whether members of Congress should be tested. In that case the consensus was even greater, with 78 percent saying that they favored or strongly favored random testing.
Democrats have often suggested to Republicans that perhaps lawmakers should also be tested — a suggestion that has always been laughed off as unnecessary. Only Kansas requires testing for the governor and other top-level government officials and recently expanded that coverage to include any member of the state legislature who is suspected of using illegal drugs.
The topic of testing seems to bridge the gap between parties with 77 percent of Democrats, 75 percent of Independents and 86 percent of Republicans favoring testing for Congress. The difference was a bit greater on testing welfare recipients with only 50 percent of Democrats in favor of the idea, while 64 percent of Independents and 87 percent of Republicans said they should be tested.
Those polled tended to favor harsh punishment for a lawmaker caught using or possessing drugs as Tea Party congressman Trey Radel (R-FL) was in late October. Sixty-six percent said that a congressman caught with even a small amount of illegal drugs should not be allowed to complete his term with only 14 percent willing to allow him to finish the term.
The poll was conducted between November 25 and 27 2013 and interviewed 1000 adults in the U.S.
Watch the video below from Huffington Post.
h/t: Huffington Post