Democratic congresswoman Gwen Moore of Wisconsin recently introduced legislation that will require wealthy taxpayers to submit to drug testing if they wish to take advantage of certain tax breaks.
The Top 1% Accountability Act will require taxpayers to send drug tests to the IRS if they seek itemized deductions totaling $150,000 or more. If they refuse to do so, they will only be allowed to claim lower value deductions on their taxes.
Congresswoman Moore put the bill forward in reaction to moves taken by Wisconsin’s governor, Scott Walker. Walker has implemented legislation that allows the state to ask recipients of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program questions about their history of drug use. Recipients can be forced to submit to a drug test if the state suspects they use illegal substances. If the recipients refuse the drug test, their assistance from the program can be terminated.
Governor Walker is suing the federal government to allow the Wisconsin state government to place similar drug testing requirements on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), more commonly known as food stamps.
Moore said she believes these requirements serve to stigmatize the beneficiaries of the TANF and SNAP programs and that she hopes placing similar requirements on the wealthy will open a conversation about the criminalization of poverty.