Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What about wage insurance...isn't that redistribution?

Atrios notes that McCain is reduced to spouting gibberish when trying to reconcile his support of social safety nets with his new political tactic of the week --criticizing any use of the word redistribution in a sentence by Obama.

I know this whole argument is laughable, especially given Palin's support of collectivism and redistribution of natural resource wealth in Alaska, but it also seems that everyone has forgotten about McCain's call for wage insurance in his convention speech:

For workers in industries -- for workers in industries that have been hard-hit, we'll help make up part of the difference in wages between their old job and a temporary, lower paid one, while they receive re-training that will help them find secure new employment at a decent wage.

I wonder what Tito the builder and Joe the plumber would think about that?

Wage insurance is actually something I've supported in the past but I am skeptical that McCain views it as anything other than a way of helping to dismantle the unemployment insurance system. And although I am supportive of wage insurance it would come with a hefty price tag that could crowd out other priorities like health care reform which is probably a big reason why Obama deferred on it. Meanwhile McCain who supposedly wants a "spending freeze" supports wage insurance but provides no price tag for its cost or any explanation of how it would be implemented. Indeed, I doubt that there is a single article in the mainstream press that has called McCain on it. Its seems clear that the press knew it was a gimmick without even bothering to report that to the public.

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