In a sane world, when Sens. Joe Lieberman and Tom Coburn came together to create some grand policy solution, they'd get a pat on the head and be ignored. Unfortunately, no matter how truly disastrous their ideas are, they are being embraced. To wit, their idea to raise the Medicare eligibility age, a proposal health care expert Jacob Hacker calls "the single worst idea for Medicare reform," was adopted and floated by the White House in the "grand bargain" phase of the debt ceiling negotiations.
So when this dynamic duo is back at it again, no matter how crazy they sound in describing their efforts, look out. It'll be the next option on the table, if for no other reason than being "bipartisan."
Lieberman explained that he is working with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) on a Social Security spending reduction plan and that “we can’t protect these entitlements and also have the national defense…to protect us…with Islamist extremists”:LIEBERMAN: I want to indicate today to my colleagues that Senator Coburn and I are working again on a bipartisan proposal to secure Social Security over the long term, we hope to have that done in time. To also forward to the special committee for their consideration. So, bottom line, we can’t protect these entitlements and also have the national defense we need to protect us in a dangerous world while we’re at war with Islamist extremists who attacked us on 9/11 and will be for a long time to come.
Sorry, American seniors and soon-to-be-retirees. You paid into Social Security during your entire working lives in order to have a more secure old age, but the hell with that. We've got defense contractors who want to be paid. Stock up on catfood. Because the Islamist extremists hate us for our freedom. And our commitment to our elderly.
Seriously, if we hadn't already been through the experience of Lieberman's and Coburn's extremely bad Medicare idea being embraced as a valid policy solution, this one could be written off and ridiculed for the absurd idea that it is. But since the Super Congress has been created specifically to pit defense and safety net programs against each other, don't be surprised if you see this one getting traction.