Senator Bradley Draws A Distinction

I would like to clarify the article "Senate Democrats: Clobbering Clinton with the suggestion box" (Washington Outlook, Oct. 25), which reported that I was interested in "building a new economic safety net."

In an Oct. 7 speech, I did propose that the government respond to the massive transformations shaking our economy. But in so doing, I drew a clear distinction between the safety net and what I call an economic security platform, an important distinction you unfortunately glossed over. This is what I said:

"The economic security platform is different from a social safety net. The safety net of government subsidies is where you end up if everything is falling out from under you and you are about to hit bottom. The economic security platform is where you rest before you advance. It is strictly and intentionally limited because of resources--we have a gigantic debt--and because of theory--the market's dynamism must not be lost. To add a house of additional new programs, mandates, and work rules would create a structure that would not be seaworthy."

Bill Bradley (D-N.J.)

U.S. Senate