About a year ago, Gov. Nikki Haley tried to sell a plan requiring South Carolina’s unemployed to take drug tests in order to receive their benefits. The plan mirrored a similar policy by fellow tea-partying Gov. Rick Scott in Florida, which requires drug tests from welfare recipients.
As evidence, the governor claimed that half of the people who had applied to work at the Savannah River Site were found to be on drugs. Luckily for South Carolina, Gov. Haley’s claim was quickly found to be completely bogus — If you were a company looking to move its operations, would you want to move to a state where half of your employment pool was on drugs?
South Carolina’s drug-testing-for-benefits plan was scrapped almost as soon as it was mentioned. Now it looks like Gov. Haley has come around on her opinion of drug use among South Carolina’s jobless, because her administration is suddenly pushing welfare recipients as a good hiring source!
Not that we mind, or anything. Unlike SOME people (cough, SCGOP, cough), we do not blame families who need welfare and don’t feel the need to sing songs comparing them to slaves.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Gov. Haley and Department of Social Services Director Lillian Koller announced that over 12,000 people have found jobs through the state’s welfare-to-work program. Team Haley distributed a list of businesses who decided it was “good business sense” to hire workers out of the program.
“They saw people hungry to work, they saw ambition and people eager to work and improve their circumstances,” said Koller.
What the companies didn’t see is a bunch of drug addicts, which is a good thing given how often welfare recipients are slandered by race-baiting politicians hoping to cut assistance programs. “Being on public assistance can really debilitate the soul,” said Koller. “It’s not an uplifting experience.”
That MIGHT have something to do with Republicans singing songs comparing them to slaves, of course, but that’s neither here nor there.
At the press conference on Tuesday, Gov. Haley also doubled down on the Romney campaign’s fact-free assertion that President Obama “gutted welfare requirements” by giving some states greater flexibility in states’ welfare-to-work programs.
“Our state has had to do things in spite of Washington,” said Gov. Haley, claiming the Obama Administration’s waivers means states are now “just handing out a check.”
Just like Gov. Haley’s claim about drug use among the unemployed, her characterization of the welfare waivers is completely false. Fact-checkers have repeatedly debunked the Romney campaign’s claim as a lie, but that hasn’t stopped his surrogates from repeating it in an effort to race-bait the conservative base — and it looks like Gov. Haley is no different.