Friday, September 29, 2006

Safety Net

I'm all for coming up with sexy new names for good things if it helps them, but whatever the thinking behind it a "Universal Insurance Program" is just a social safety net, or, in words which are illegal in this country, the expansion of the welfare state. We can quibble about the details in order to confuse Mickey Kaus a bit, but that's what it is.

People should have universal health care, genuine bankruptcy protection, decent unemployment benefits, and the some system of delivering some direct cash support for when they really fall down for whatever reason. We can fight about how to means test such benefits, how generous they should be, and for what length of time, and conservatives will always make sure we understand that The Wrong People Who Are Undeserving are taking your tax dollars. When regional catastrophes happen - hurricane, earthquake, whatever, we should have a federal government which is capable of delivering emergency aid and reconstruction.

It's really not that complicated. But if coming up with a new name for the welfare state helps things along so be it.