Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas linked Social Security disability payments to heroin and meth addiction during a speech on Nov. 9 to the conservative Heritage Foundation (video below).
“After a certain point when disability keeps climbing and becomes endemic, employers will struggle to find employees or begin or continue to move out of the area,” Cotton said, according to Raw Story. “The population continues to fall and a downward spiral kicks in, driving once thriving communities into further decline.
"Not only that, but once this kind of spiral begins, communities could begin to suffer other social plagues as well, such as heroin or meth addiction and associated crime.”
Cotton said that he planned to introduce a bill that would create a timeline for when non-permanent disability recipients had to go back to work.
Cotton's plan would also force disabled people, who can't return to work, to re-apply for their benefits.
However, Cotton supported corporate welfare for the defense industry in May, according to the Arkansas News Bureau. Cotton pushed for an $87.1 million taxpayer bond for Lockheed Martin to build 55,000 joint light tactical vehicles (JLTVs) near Camden, Arkansas.
“Tom supports the JLTV project because this vehicle can and will save thousands of lives,” Cotton's spokesperson Caroline Rabbitt told the newspaper in an email. “As a solider in Iraq and Afghanistan, Tom saw soldiers lose their lives who could have survived had they had this vehicle. And he would be proud to have this vehicle made in Arkansas."
However, there's no evidence that the JLTV could not have been built without the corporate welfare in Arkansas or any state.
“We don’t want the government to be picking winners and losers, because they keep picking losers,” Cotton said, according to a National Review article published in 2011, when he was running for office.