Badass Wisconsin Congresslady Cracking Down On Rich Folks Who Use Tax Deductions To Buy Drugs

Badass Wisconsin Congresslady Cracking Down On Rich Folks Who Use Tax Deductions To Buy Drugs

OH hooray! Nice time! We are so, so, so happy to read a nice thing after this week of awfulness! Incredibly badass Wisconsin Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Obviously) will be introducing a bill next week called the Top 1% Accountability Act, which will require all rich people claiming over $150,000 in tax deductions to undergo a drug test to make sure they're not spending that money on drugs. They would have to submit a drug test, no more than three months old, or take a much lower standard deduction when filing taxes.

OH I LOVE HER. I LOVE HER SO GODDAMNED MUCH. SHE IS MY HERO AND EVERYTHING I WISH I COULD BE!!! Who cares if the primaries are over? I am electing her president of my heart, right now.

[wonkbar]<a href=""></a>[/wonkbar]This is in response, you see, to the many states that drug test those who receive cash welfare assistance, and to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker suing the federal government for not allowing him to drug test people getting food stamps. The assumption with these laws is that they will save states tons of money by kicking off welfare all the people who spend their government assistance riches on drugs. As it turns out, there are not nearly as many of those people out there as Republicans imagine. Weird! And the cost of those programs far outweigh the benefits! Other than the smug satisfaction of getting to insinuate to poor people that you think they are probably on drugs!

[wonkbar]<a href=""></a>[/wonkbar]It's a horrible thing to do, which is why Rep. Gwen Moore is so awesome and my new favorite person ever. I want her and Nina Turner (who once introduced a bill that would have required men to undergo "special precautions" in order to get Viagra, which is still my favorite goddamned thing ever) to get together and be ball-busting superheroes.

Of course, Moore is not just busting balls here. She's damn serious about this bill, and says she intends to get co-sponsors and push it through, both to highlight the sheer stupidity of drug testing welfare recipients, and to call attention to how much money our country spends on tax expenditures, noting “We think it’s important to engage in some transparency and accountability around tax deductions.”

[wonkbar]<a href=""></a>[/wonkbar]Moore says the idea came to her when she saw Paul Ryan giving a speech about his not-at-all-helpful plans to help the poor in America. “When he stood in front of a drug treatment center and rolled out his anti-poverty initiative, pushing this narrative that poor people are drug addicts, that was the last straw,” she said.

Now, if that bullshit made our faces burn, we can only imagine how Moore felt -- as someone who actually has been a welfare recipient herself. “I am a former welfare recipient" she said, "I’ve used food stamps, I’ve received Aid for Families with Dependent Children, Medicaid, Head Start for my kids, Title XX daycare [subsidies]. I’m truly grateful for the social safety net.”

She also wants to bring attention to the fact that we perceive poor people who receive government assistance as "entitled," but not rich people who get piles of tax deductions, even though technically, they cost us more. And, quite frankly, are way the hell more "entitled." She notes that, when it comes to drug abuse, “There are no boundaries with regard to class or race ... if these poor people who are entitled to SNAP for survival are required to be drug tested, then certainly those people who claim $150,000 or more in tax deductions should be subjected to the same in order to receive this benefit from the government.”

And that's true! Frankly, in my experience, I've known way more rich people with drug problems than poor people with them. Maybe because they can afford it? Drugs are expensive!

“I would love to see some hedge fund manager on Wall Street who might be sniffing a little cocaine here and there to stay awake realize that he can’t get his $150,000 worth of deductions unless he submits to a drug test,” she says.


[Think Progress]

Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse


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