Welfare

Arizona GOP VP Resigns After Advocating Sterilization and Drug Testing for Medicaid Recipients

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Buh-bye. |||

From The Huffington Post:

Former Arizona state Senator Russell Pearce resigned as Arizona Republican Party's first vice chair late Sunday after receiving criticism over recent comments he made about women on Medicaid.

Pearce made the controversial comments on his weekly radio show.

"You put me in charge of Medicaid, the first thing I'd do is get [female recipients] Norplant, birth-control implants, or tubal ligations," Pearce said, according to the Phoenix New Times. "Then, we'll test recipients for drugs and alcohol, and if you want to [reproduce] or use drugs or alcohol, then get a job."

In resigning, Pearce said that his sin was actually failing to attribute the controversial sentiments to someone else. Given the general craziness of Arizona politics, and Pearce's centrality to America's anti-immigration hysteria over the past several years (see Kerry Howley's great feature of him from 2008: "The One-Man Wall"), I am disinclined to give his explanation the benefit of the doubt.

Far too many self-professed limited-government conservatives exhibit the same tic as either Pearce or his unnamed plagiarism victim. Yes, please get the government out of people's health decisions…as long as those people aren't receiving any welfare. And if they are? Random drug tests, dietary restrictions on food stamps, and now sterilizations. (Keen observers will note that such intrusive morals-testing is never applied to recipients of corporate welfare.)

Though this particular subcategory of nanny statism is a specialty of the right, there's a lesson here, too, for those on the left (as well as for everybody else). Whatever the transaction between government and citizen, imagine your most hated political enemy in charge of implementing it. Chances are you will find his executive ideas fundamentally offensive to your values. One way of limiting such offense is to drive all your political enemies out of government. A more realistic and attainable alternative, however, is to limit the opportunities for government to get all up into your tubals.

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  1. “Then, we’ll test recipients for drugs and alcohol, and if you want to [reproduce] or use drugs or alcohol, then get a job.”

    It’s a shame he resigned. Based solely on these comments, I think he’d make a great president.

    1. (Keen observers will note that such intrusive morals-testing is never applied to recipients of corporate welfare.)

      I’m perfectly fine doing it for them too. Maybe even them first.

      1. Well, some kinds of corporate welfare get you roped in to drug testing, so there’s that.

      2. I fully support sterilizing corporations.

    2. So it’s okay if I want to do all three?

    3. Seconded. Wanna start a “Draft Pearce” PAC?

    4. Wow thats way to far. He is an extremist. To take away anyones rights is flat wrong and no majority of America will agree with that.

  2. (Keen observers will note that such intrusive morals-testing is never applied to recipients of corporate welfare.)

    Very well. Tubal ligations for *those* people, too.

    1. (Keen observers will note that such intrusive morals-testing is never applied to recipients of corporate welfare.)

      What are the IRS and SEC, chopped liver?

      1. Seriously, Welch, did you have a brain fart in the shape of Sarbanes-Oxley?

  3. Big fat “meh” from me. Take the government check, follow the government rules — such has it always been.

    1. That’s what I tell my fellow artists when they receive state money.

  4. “You put me in charge of Medicaid, the first thing I’d do is get [female recipients] Norplant, birth-control implants, or tubal ligations,” Pearce said, according to the Phoenix New Times. “Then, we’ll test recipients for drugs and alcohol, and if you want to [reproduce] or use drugs or alcohol, then get a job.”

    There’s the implied affirmation that Medicaid is a moral and good economic policy which only requires a specific sort of “tweaking” so freeloaders do not abuse it. The fallacy within this thinking is fancying that only a few recipients are freeloaders. In fact, all of them are. They’re consuming resources generated by people who do not use Medicaid. Even IF one of the recipients made a contribution to his or her Medicaid, the fact that the system requires constant injections of borrowed money indicate that the recipients are consuming much more than what they’re putting into it. No manner of punitive measures, restrictions or dissuasive measures are going to change that fact.

    1. The fallacy within this thinking is fancying that only a few recipients are freeloaders. In fact, all of them are.

      We have a winner.

    2. Even IF one of the recipients made a contribution to his or her Medicaid

      Old Mex, I just want to point out tha tthere are two different programs that people frequently conflate:

      1) Medicaid = subsidized health care for the poor.

      2) Medicare = crappy effectively-mandatory state provided health ‘insurance’ for the aged.

      The elderly pay premiums for medicare, until they are too poor to do so, at which point they are transferred into Medicaid. The state then seized as many of their assets as possible to reimburse ‘the people’ for the money spent on treatments under Medicaid.

  5. Unless you live in Arizona, why should you care about this? And the guy was forced to resign. So, how does his actions reflect on anyone but him?

    Reason has posted one Sheldon Richman “well I just can’t figure out what this is about post” on the Rotherham scandal and hasn’t to my knowledge posted anything in months on the John Doe abuse of prosecutorial authority in Wisconsin. The excuse is always “well they can’t cover everything”. Okay. But they have time to devote to this? Really?

    1. Yeah, there are many fallow fields of government abuse that Reason never gets around to plowing.

      I guess calling out partisan a-holes for cheap shots is OK, but holy crap, in the scale of things, one cranky old fuck who holds no government office seems like pretty weak tea.

  6. Whatever the transaction between government and citizen, imagine your most hated political enemy in charge of implenting [sic] it.

    This is good advice, but it is not an argument for why we shouldn’t have programs at all. Your hated enemy won’t be deterred from implementing their programs because those in the past failed to implement their own. Working to elect public officials who act in good faith and are not pathologically stupid or insane is always part of the deal in a democracy.

    I think if you sit and think clearly for a while, momentarily set aside any masturbatory utopian anarchic fantasies, you’ll conclude that having a basic and streamlined social safety net in place is preferable to the far more intrusive system Republicans would replace it with, what with their obsession with making such things punitive and morally judgmental. Just because they favor lower tax rates for billionaires doesn’t mean they are the party of “leave me alone.”

    1. Working to elect public officials who act in good faith and are not pathologically stupid or insane is always part of the deal in a democracy.

      The secret to good governance is unicorns.

  7. GOP adopting another Progressive position? Interesting!

    1. Give the guy a break, he was just trying to reach out to the other side.

  8. Feel free to scroll past this Papist quote:

    “Public magistrates have no direct power over the bodies of their subjects; therefore, where no crime has taken place and there is no cause present for grave punishment, they can never directly harm, or tamper with the integrity of the body, either for the reasons of eugenics or for any other reason.”

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_fat…..ii_en.html

  9. “Given the general craziness of Arizona politics, and Pearce’s centrality to America’s anti-immigration hysteria over the past several years…I am disinclined to give his explanation the benefit of the doubt.”

    So, what if an open-borders fanatic in Massachusetts had said the same thing and given the same excuse? Would (s)he be entitled to more benefit of the doubt?”

  10. https://reason.com/blog/2014/07…..ti-gay-dis

    It’s not unreasonable for the president to define the terms in which others may do business with the government, just as a CEO may implement non-discrimination policies for his or her own business, as long as these rules are fairly and consistently applied. It’s preferable to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would present a blanket ban on anti-gay or anti-transgender workplace discrimination in the private sector. ENDA is a violation of business operators’ rights of free association. But nobody has a right to a contract with the government.

    1. You realize that two different people wrote those articles, right?

  11. Who is this? Why is this a story?

    Why is it that when any idiot whose got GOP attached to his name in some way says something stupid it’s national news?

    How come we’re not hearing about the assistant to the Dem party president of Wyoming? or the antics of the Dem Cleveland selectmen?

    1. or the antics of the Dem Cleveland selectmen?

      Countdown to Federal Indictment, the new reality show featuring City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County government officials!

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