Sullivan-County.com News, Opinion


Virginia Republicans are Hypocrites on Welfare

by Lewis Loflin

Also see Poverty a Complicated Issue Bristol Virginia-Tennessee

Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients May Become Law in Virginia

Richmond, Virginia: Virginia Republicans are passing bills to require drug tests for welfare recipients and is one step closer to becoming law. It require's initial screening of people seeking benefits under Virginia's Temporary Aid for Needy Families Program. Those testing positive face a mandatory blood test.

Those failing would forfeit their benefits for at least a year. Democrats claim bill as a violation of the U.S. Constitution's guarantee against unreasonable searches and seizures. We may know by week's end. Tennessee Republicans are trying similar measures. January 25, 2012. Tennessee considering drug testing welfare recipients.

The above is just one example of Republican loathing of anything to do with private welfare. They want drug testing for someone applying for $20 worth of food stamps, but have blocked efforts at the TICR (Virginia Tobacco Commission) for over a decade to enforce compliance and accountability standards against their wealthy patrons they handed out almost $800 million to.

On the housing end for example Republicans fight hard to block any form of affordable housing while using public funds to subsidize high income development. While they give lip-service to 'private sector' hype they fight to have many private development costs shoved off on the entire community. It's not 'private sector' when government acts in partnerships with private business to ensure their profits while socializing their costs.

As liberals and conservatives here fight their petty culture wars they together have created and sustain this mess and unless we address why, there will be no solution. They are both blind to the fact the social problems here in Tri-Cities has two sources: self-destructive behavior from the underclass liberals refuse to address, and an exploitive and corrupt economic system where there's no real dividing line between business and local government Republicans fight to protect. That restricts jobs and opportunity to a select few.

Republicans simply refuse to accept the fact of limited economic opportunity (spare me the cult of the 'entrepreneur') and need to realize many low-end jobs are economically non-viable without massive government subsidies. If one can't live on a job, they can't take the job. Working here to assure business has a cheap labor force to the point one can't earn a living in the end is no help to business because nobody will work for them anyway.

Or so it seems. That problem was solved by flooding to country illegal aliens to act as a serf labor force driving wages down even further - both parties for differing reasons support it.

In 2014 Virginia Republicans continue to block Medicaid expansion while looting the Tobacco Commission of hundreds of millions of dollars to underwrite their corporatist' cronies with public welfare. Our esteemed Democratic Governor intervened to help the Republicans pilfer $100 million in public funding to underwrite a private retail development in Bristol. Now the AP is reporting a $300 million shortfall. What am I missing here?


I believe in one God, and no more; and I hope for happiness beyond this life. I believe the equality of man, and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow-creatures happy. Thomas Paine

Excerpts from Will Durant's The Age of Faith Pages 162-186 Pub. 1950