Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Alan Simpson Bashes Back the Ex-Senator Takes No Guff from His Fellow Geezers

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Alan Simpson Bashes Back the Ex-Senator Takes No Guff from His Fellow Geezers

Article excerpt

Try to save the nation from the approaching crisis of unsustainable spending on Social Security and Medicare, and the demagogues will come at you with the lie of how you would force poor, old Joe to eat dog food. Or, more imaginatively, they may show a video of granny meeting her end as someone shoves her wheelchair off a cliff. Some reformers then may hide, but not Alan Simpson. He fights back.

Mr. Simpson is the former Republican senator from Wyoming who co- chaired President Barack Obama's bipartisan deficit and debt commission with Erskine Bowles, a White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton. The two made some superb recommendations to cut spending (Democrats booed) and reform taxes (Republicans booed) only to be mostly ignored by politicians putting career before country or failing to grasp that no compromise meant no solution.

Mr. Simpson and Mr. Bowles were especially able in figuring out a way to avert Social Security's suicidal trajectory through gradually slowing the growth in benefits without reducing current benefits. They would also slowly raise retirement ages as well as have the best-off among us contribute more to payroll taxes, but no, no, many times no to all of this, screeched some firebrands.

The vitriol caught on. When Mr. Simpson was recently in Oakland, Calif., a seniors group, California Alliance for Retired Americans, handed out flyers saying, "Bowles! Simpson! Stop using the deficit as a phony excuse to gut our Social Security!"

Mr. Simpson wrote the group a letter, not just any letter, but an endlessly quotable letter taking special umbrage at the flyers' photos of young people. These are the ones, he said, who would "get gutted while you continue to push your blather and drivel. What a wretched group of seniors you must be to use the faces of the very people we are trying to save while the 'greedy geezers' like you use them as a tool and a front for your nefarious bunch of crap."

Mr. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.