And when questioned on the issue in light of the state's shift in policy on economic development incentives -- Haslam's legislative package unveiled last week would add outright grants of taxpayer cash to the state's existing arsenal of tax breaks, worker training and infrastructure assistance -- Ramsey said he'd be "fine" with testing corporate executives, too.Oh, that Ramsey. Of course, we all know corporate executives will not be included in any ill-conceived measure to provide corporate welfare to drug testing companies, but all the same, in any rational world in which Ron Ramsey had a shred of credibility, his answer would've been something more like this:
"It's fine with me. I mean I'll have to check into that," he said.
"I'm fine with that. I'm fine with legislators being drug tested. Because I know that we will be criticized if we target one segment of society like that. But you're right, if they're getting state money, federal money -- oh I shouldn't -- I don't know how you define who the executives are." He said that's something lawmakers would have to look into.
No, we shouldn't require a company's officer to undergo drug testing to get state assistance. The only concern we should have is whether they have a proven track record and business plan in place to create sustainable jobs for the people of Tennessee.Unfortunately, Ramsey and the rest of his poor-baiting rightwing caucus have let their desire to hate on poor people get in the way of rational thought. The same above faux statement should apply to recipients of government benefits. Whether someone smokes a bit of weed whilst on food stamps is irrelevant to whether or not the money we've set aside for food programs are going towards food. The only reason for state mandated drug testing is if a person has shown a history of drug use and a condition of their parole is that they don't use drugs. Otherwise, the operating assumption that if someone is collecting unemployment then they are more likely to be smoking crack, is simply an act of irrational prejudice, and irrational prejudice should not be the basis of any state or federal policy (of course, it all too often is).
The reason Ramsey can't dismiss out of hand this logical extension of an illogical drug testing measure, is that he doesn't want to admit that his drug testing scheme is simply a malicious desire to impugn the integrity of people who use state or federal assistance. When confronted with this question, perhaps Ramsey should use the opportunity to stop and think through the necessity of this nanny-state measure that seeks solutions to problems of which there is no evidence of their existence.