Seems fair to me. Of course, you can no longer distinguish between satire and reality in American politics. Really, when reading the Washington Post, I sometimes have to check the banner to make sure I have not actually landed on an article at The Onion.
In this case, I think it qualifies as both. After all, this governor jammed through a law that requires welfare recipients to undergo urine tests to prove they are not using drugs. Of course, the positive tests have been almost vanishingly few, and the cost to the state has proven higher than before this testing regimen was introduced. See some statistics and costs at end of this post.
But again, as I have said repeatedly: When did reality or facts get in the way of the modern GOP and its talking points and myths?
Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi interrupted a press conference by Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) to ask him to prove to the state taxpayers that he’s not on drugs by peeing in a cup.
“You benefit from hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars every year, so would you be willing to pee into this cup to prove to Florida taxpayers that you’re not on drugs, that you’re not using that money for drugs?” Mandvi asked.
Scott replied that he’s “done it plenty of times.”
Mandvi then tried to pass a cup forward: “Would you pass this forward to the governor? We can all turn around, it’s fine.”
Video from the conference, on YouTube.
The costs and outcomes of this pissing contest, as reported at MotherJones, with appropriate emphasis added:
Florida’s neophyte Republican governor, tea-party-friendly Rick Scott, signed a bill back in June requiring the state’s welfare recipients to undergo drug-testing urinalysis before collecting their monthly assistance check of around $241-to-$303. The measure, he said, would save taxpayer money by barring drug addicts from getting the dole. “Studies show that people that are on welfare are higher users of drugs than people not on welfare,” he said.
Florida’s welfare recipients are proving that Scott’s assumption wasn’t worth a warm bucket of pee. Now, the state is effectively being forced to pay for 11.5 gallons of welfare applicants’ drug-free urine every month, to the tune of around $34,000.
Of the 1,000 or so recipients who have taken the required drug tests (at their own expense) since early July, only 2 percent have tested positive for drugs, according to the Tampa Tribune. That’s well below the national population’s average, and it’s so low that the testing plan—which was expected to cost $187 million by some analysts’ estimates—could end up costing taxpayers even more in the long run.