This past April, right-wing war hawk John Bolton suggested during an interview on Fox News that the United States should cut Social Security and Medicare to finance the defense budget.
During debate over the debt deal today on the Senate floor, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) appeared to endorse this call. 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.
As ThinkProgress’s Ben Armbruster notes, the Bolton-Lieberman plan is “is basically a reverse Robin Hood scheme: robbing the poor to pay the rich, or really, the Military Industrial Complex on steroids.” As Ambruster points out, a “recent Reuters poll found that Americans would rather cut defense spending than raid social services in order to solve the debt and deficit problems.” Americans do not appear to have the priorities of these two war hawks.