Obama Tossed Out One 'Curveball'
Wage insurance...
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2016 10:40 PM CST
President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Pool)

(Newser) – Though "vision" is the buzzword when it comes to describing President Obama's final State of the Union address, he did share some concrete goals and proposals, among them ways to better support unemployed Americans ... and one was a "curveball," writes Haley Sweetland Edwards at Time: wage insurance. "Say a hardworking American loses his job—we shouldn't just make sure he can get unemployment insurance," said Obama. "We should make sure that program encourages him to retrain for a business that's ready to hire him. If that new job doesn't pay as much, there should be a system of wage insurance in place so that he can still pay his bills."

If you're wondering what wage insurance is, you're not alone, and Edwards gives a thorough explainer of it and its political history (which, the Washington Examiner points out, included a mention in Obama's 2012 SOTU address). The upshot is that it assists workers who involuntarily lost their job and are able to return to work but only at a lower wage or salary; wage insurance would help raise their income closer to their former level. Though it has "actually [had] pretty bipartisan" support, Edwards notes that "most existing wage insurance proposals ... for the most part languish in think tank archives."
 

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