Feb 4 2012
I thought y’all would enjoy a good laugh at CNN Radios description: Libby Lewis CNN Radio (via WYFF 4)
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) — Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich may or may not win the GOP nomination. But his words warm the cockles of the hearts of Republican business leaders here. If’s he’s elected, he told South Carolina business leaders this week, “We never again pay anyone for 99 weeks of doing nothing. … It is profoundly wrong to pay people to do nothing.”
Gingrich wants to require job training in exchange for an unemployment check. In South Carolina, some lawmakers want to impose mandatory volunteer work and drug tests. Welcome to the tough love state for people without jobs. Or people who have some work but not enough to make it.
Kevin Bryant, an outspoken conservative in the state Senate, is sponsoring a bill to require drug tests for people who apply for unemployment benefits. Conservative lawmakers in 10 other states have introduced similar measures.
Bryant, an affable, rosy-cheeked pharmacist from Anderson, is backing Ron Paul for president.
“Barry Goldwater said back in the day, ‘It is not my goal to promote welfare — but to protect freedom,’ ” Bryant told CNN this week, standing on the steps of the South Carolina State House. “When we protect freedom, the quality of life always improves. When we try to distribute wealth, we only bring everybody down.”
South Carolina is one of the poorest states in the nation, and its official unemployment rate — just under 10 percent — is higher than the nation’s. It has been since the recession began.
It ranks near the bottom — 45th — in the amount of money it gives to people who’ve lost jobs. The average check is $235 a week. And South Carolina cuts off benefits six weeks earlier than most other states. Bryant says he thinks it’s too easy for workers who don’t really want to work to get unemployment benefits.