Republican Sen. Tom Cotton Goes On Incoherent Rant Linking Social Security to Heroin Addiction (Video)

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) Image via katv.com

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR)
Image via katv.com

While he hasn’t made headlines in a while, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) burst onto the scene as one of the leading Republicans trying to sabotage President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal. He was the one who spearheaded the letter several conservatives sent directly to Iranian government officials essentially telling them that they shouldn’t get too excited about the deal they worked out with us, because the GOP was going to do everything it could to make sure the United States never fulfills their end of the bargain.


It was honestly the closest thing to treason I think I’ve ever seen; an entire political party actively trying to sabotage a president’s foreign policy.

Well, Cotton recently made news again when he went on some incoherent word salad of a rant linking Social Security disability benefits to heroin addiction and crime:

It’s hard to say what came first or caused the other, population decline or increased disability usage. Or maybe economic stagnation caused both. Regardless, there seems to be at least at the county and regional level something like a disability tipping point. When a county hits a certain level of disability usage, disability becomes a norm,” he continued. “It becomes an acceptable way of life and alternative source of income to a good paying full-time job as opposed to a last resort safety net program to deal with catastrophic injury and illness.

At a certain point when disability keeps climbing and become endemic, employers will struggle to find employees or begin or continue to move out of the area. The population continues to fall and a downward spiral kicks in, driving once thriving communities into further decline.

Not only that, but once this spiral begins, communities could begin to suffer other social plagues as well, such as heroin or meth addiction and associated crime.

Actually, a leading cause behind many medical disability claims is a result of Americans not having access to health care, resulting in health conditions becoming so severe later in life they’re eventually rendered disabled because of them. When people lack preventative health care, their health worsens, often resulting in catastrophic medical events later on that could have been prevented. Then again, that requires “big picture thinking,” something Republicans clearly lack.

Cotton showed this by trying to link a reliance on Social Security benefits to a decline in the overall population of an area. I like how he wants to attribute that decline to the reliance on benefits as opposed to an economy where the top 0.1 percent of Americans have more wealth than the bottom 90 percent. As always, Republicans blame the poor instead of the real cause of a lot of these poverty issues – greed.


Tom Cotton, like just about every other Republican, believes in a top-down economy. He supports policies that benefit the rich, while placing the burden of running this country on everyone else – as evidenced by this ridiculous rant where he literally tried blame disabled, often impoverished Americans who can’t work to a path toward crime and drug addiction.

I would say this is an embarrassment for the country, but rhetoric like this is just the new-norm within the Republican party.

Watch his comments below via C-SPAN:




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Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Edward Krebbs

    *) What you get from Social Security is based on what you put in which is a percentage of your earnings.

    As Cotton is obviously right about Social Security reflecting addiction would mean that addiction is a result of making money by working for many years.

    *) Funny how he can say this when the states which tried (illegally) to tie taxpayer assistance to drug testing found that those getting assistance had a drug rate lower than the general population.

    OTOH – politicians tend to have a higher rate of drug abuse.

    • jest

      Maybe Sen Cotton and other senators should give up their seats in congress that they have become so addicted to for term limits. Get off the government teat Cotton. Your addiction to power and wealth is showing