The editorial board at USA Today is probably the most bland, least risky crew out of the national media. The positions it takes on current events issues can usually be summed up as “We see both sides. Both sides are sort of right.”
Every now and then readers get a surprise with an unsigned editorial that takes an actual position. Such has been the case this week. In the last two days, editorials were written with clear opinions. What’s more, they were fairly conservative opinions.
Yesterday the board editorialized that government insurance options encourage risky behavior:
The best illustration of this misguided policy is the National Flood Insurance Program, created in 1968 to provide insurance to homeowners on coasts and near rivers who had trouble getting private coverage.
The creators meant well, but here’s the flaw: The program’s premiums don’t reflect the actual risks, especially in an era of rising sea levels and extreme weather. As a result, federal insurance has encouraged developers to overbuild in risky areas, buyers to purchase there and residents to rebuild even after repeated flooding. [Federal flood insurance subsidizes risks, 11/14]
And today, the paper published an editorial calling for serious cuts in entitlement spending to control government debt:
Yes, taxes need to go up, and not just for the wealthiest Americans. And yes, there’s room for cuts in the Pentagon and other federal departments. But changes in these areas, as needed as they may be, would still be overwhelmed by the burst in spending on Social Security and Medicare as the Baby Boom generation retires and lifespans increase. [Cut entitlements to control debt, 11/15]
It’s a remarkable shift, not only considering USA Today is part of the “liberal” national media, but because the paper typically errs on the side of blah.