Corker and Clyburn: looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Corker and Clyburn: looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship

by digby

I wrote earlier about Bob Corker's proposed Grand Bargain earlier and lo and behold he later appeared on Andrea Mitchell's show to pimp them.

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I urge you to watch the whole thing but this is what's important:
"It does appear that Speaker Boehner and the President are open to talking about revenues with entitlement reform. You've seen a number of Republicans backing revenues. Now what we need to see are real offers [from Democrats] of entitlement reform."
Right on target is James Clyburn practically sending smooches to his good pal Corker.
"We want to take a look at what we can do to Medicare and Medicaid, means testing, although we do means test Medicare now. I think we ought to expand means testing and I really think we can take a look at the way we compute the consumer price index."
He then went on to endorse Corker's plan, to which Mitchell gleefully replied, "how's that for progress!"

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I still doubt they can get a Grand Bargain together before the end of the lame duck, which is really good news considering what Clyburn just agreed to.  Unless, of course, you think this is a good idea:
The [Corker] proposal includes pro-growth federal tax reform, which generates more static revenue - mostly from very high-income Americans - by capping federal deductions at $50,000 without raising tax rates. It mandates common-sense reforms to the federal workforce, which will help bring its compensation in line with private-sector benefits, and implements a chained consumer price index across the government, a more accurate indicator of inflation. It also includes comprehensive Medicare reform that keeps in place fee-for-service Medicare without capping growth, competing side by side with private options that seniors can choose instead if they wish. Coupled with gradual age increases within Medicare and Social Security; the introduction of means testing; increasing premiums ever so slightly for those making more than $50,000 a year in retirement; and ending a massive "bed tax" gimmick the states use in Medicaid to bilk the federal government of billions, this reform would put our country on firmer financial footing and begin to vanquish our long-term deficit.
I assume you understand that means cutting wages and benefits for federal workers, implementing the "chained CPI, which is a benefits cut to all manner of people who get federal benefits, voucherizing Medicare, raising the eligibility age for both Medicare and Social Security, cutting SS benefits for middle class retirees, and pulling the rug out from under Medicaid financing. That's what Clyburn gave such fulsome praise to in that clip and what he says can form the basis of "both parties jumping together."

Keep in mind that this is all being done to solve a problem that does not currently need solving and which will make our country poorer and less secure for the vast majority of its citizens. But hey, I guess we can all get on the Republican plan: "don't get sick and if you do get sick, die early." I'd just add that we should just die early --- with this chained CPI in effect most of us will be very poor if we do manage to live very long after working to age 70. Not much point in hanging around, really. Thinking that's a feature not a bug.