The Reason Roundtable

The DHS Will Be Disinformation Dolts

Plus: perpetual "scope creep" of the welfare state


In the latest Reason Roundtable, editors Matt Welch, Peter Suderman, Katherine Mangu-Ward, and Nick Gillespie discuss the formation of the "Disinformation Governance Board," as well as President Joe Biden's student loan forgiveness plan.

1:38: The "Disinformation Governance Board," brought to you by DHS

26:58: Weekly Listener Question: I have often heard Nick make the case for a welfare state that is designed to go to those that need it over universal systems such as all the old age retirement programs. I find "need rather than universal" compelling. However, per Nick's book recommendation The High Cost of Good Intentions, I don't see how we can have a reasonable expectation that any system designed to help the needy does not become universal. It seems the history of the U.S. is almost entirely one that is for expanding safety nets to people who don't need it (but would nonetheless like "free" stuff). I can't see anyone running on a platform that goes against entitlements and winning (long-term). The person who runs on either keeping entitlements the same or expanding them will always beat the person who says we need to reduce the number of people receiving the entitlements. So my question is: Is the idea of a welfare state strictly for the needy utopian?

32:39: Biden's latest proposal for student loan forgiveness 

48:30: Media recommendations for the week

This week's links: 

"New DHS Board Seeks To Counter What It Thinks Is Disinformation," by Joe Lancaster

"Homeland Security Chief Admits New Disinformation Board Already Did a Bad Job of Informing Public," by Robby Soave

Tracing The Truth with Emmanuelle Saliba

"Elizabeth Warren Wants Joe Biden To Deliver a Massive, Illegal Handout to the Well-Off," by Peter Suderman

"Are Millennials Responsible for Their Own Student Debt?" by Nick Gillespie

"3 Reasons We Shouldn't Bail Out Student Loan Borrowers," by Nick Gillespie and Meredith Bragg

"The FDA's Menthol Cigarette Ban Is a 'Racial Justice' Issue, but Not in the Way Its Supporters Mean," by Jacob Sullum

Send your questions to Be sure to include your social media handle and the correct pronunciation of your name.

Today's sponsors:

  • We all want to make sure our family is protected in a medical emergency. What many of us don't realize is that health insurance won't always cover the full amount of an emergency medical flight. Even with comprehensive coverage, you could get hit with high deductibles and co-pays. That's why an AirMedCare Network membership is so important. As a member, if an emergency arises, you won't see a bill for air medical transport when flown by an AMCN provider. Best of all, a membership covers your entire household for as little as $85 a year. AMCN providers are called upon to transport more than 100,000 patients a year. This is coverage no family should be without. Now, as a listener of our show, you'll get up to a $50 Visa or Amazon gift card with a new membership. Simply visit and use offer code REASON.
  • This podcast is sponsored by BetterHelp online therapy. People don't always realize that physical symptoms like headaches, teeth-grinding, and even digestive issues can be indicators of stress. And let's not forget about doom-scrolling, sleeping too little, sleeping too much, undereating, and overeating. Stress shows up in all kinds of ways. And in a world that's telling you to do more, sleep less, and grind all the time, here's your reminder to take care of yourself, do less, and maybe try some therapy. BetterHelp is customized online therapy that offers video, phone, and even live chat sessions with your therapist, so you don't have to see anyone on camera if you don't want to. It's much more affordable than in-person therapy. Give it a try, and see if online therapy can help lower your stress. The Reason Roundtable listeners get 10 percent off their first month at

Audio production by Ian Keyser
Assistant production by Hunt Beaty
Music: "Angeline," by The Brothers Steve