Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tennessee might beat Kentucky this time

Tennessee's state Senate leader Ron Ramsey needs to get with Kentucky state Rep. Lonnie Napier before he gets much further with his welfare drug testing proposal. But once Ramsey gets clear on the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, he appears to really be on to something.

Ramsey says he wants to drug test nearly everyone getting any kind of government benefits. The problem with this is that in order to get through the inevitable court challenges, any such bill must limit testing to cases in which there is shown to be probable cause.

But that's easy to fix.

The really interesting part is where Ramsey's Tennessee proposal goes next. He doesn't just want to test welfare recipients, but also corporate executives getting government subsidies and even legislators.

You see, this isn't just about drugs. It's about questioning who gets government money and why. Once we start weeding government recipients out based on anything -- and drug abuse is a fairly easy one to sell -- then we are one big step closer to questioning the programs altogether.

And we can't get government under control until we question thoroughly the value of every program, eliminating the ones with limited value. Failed welfare programs and "economic development" are two fine examples.