The bill targets people claiming itemized deductions over $150k
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As part of the Republican Party’s ongoing mission to shame America’s poor, over a dozen states now require welfare recipients to submit to drug tests to receive benefits. The drug-testing programs were enacted to prevent taxpayers from bankrolling drug use, but end up costing much more than they save. Welfare recipients are less likely to use drugs than the population at-large, so the costly screenings add more to the bottom line than what they save by denying benefits.
Tired of the Republican demonization of America’s most vulnerable, Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI) introduced the Top 1% Accountability Act which would drug test wealthy people claiming itemized tax deductions of over $150,000 in a given year. Those who fail the drug test will not be able to claim any tax breaks and will have to make use of the standard deduction. “Republicans continue to criminalize poverty and to put forward the narrative, the false narrative in fact, that people who are poor and reliant upon the social safety net are drug users,” Moore said.
The U.S government doles out over $900 billion in tax breaks every year so Moore’s plan could save taxpayers billions. “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,” Moore said.
Moore understands the plight of welfare recipients because she was once one 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.”