Senator Scott Brown (R-Massachusetts) would like to spend this week talking about something different, please. Mr. Brown writes in a Politico op-ed today that he would not vote for the Paul Ryan budget and its plan to kill Medicare:
Our country is on an unsustainable fiscal path. But I do not think it requires us to change Medicare as we know it. We can work inside of Medicare to make it more solvent.
I'm not sure Senator Brown has gone all the way to coherent yet. Is he saying that we don't need to change Medicare? If so, what does that part about how "we can work inside" it mean? Just a few graphs before this, he writes that we should "where appropriate, phase changes in over time." He seems to be echoing Democrats' charge the Ryan budget ends "Medicare as we know it." Maybe the question is still how much you can change something before you have in fact killed it.
Given what Senator Brown told a local Chamber of Commerce in Massachusetts earlier this month, it may be asking too much to expect coherence. "The leaders will bring forward (Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's) budget, and I will vote for it, and it will fail," he said, in remarks reported by the Newburyport Daily News. That statement seems to be the opposite of what he's saying today, but it is very clear.