Alan Simpson Shouldn't Apologize for Social Security Remark

Tuesday, 31 Aug 2010 06:18 PM

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I read an interesting article in The New York Times on Aug. 25 which stated: “Alan K. Simpson, the Republican co-chairman of President Obama’s bipartisan fiscal commission, removed his ‘size 15 feet’ from his mouth to apologize to a critic on Wednesday for a stinging letter in which he compared Social Security to ‘a milk cow with 310 million t*ts.’”

Alan Simpson is a friend of mine. We have known one another for many years, having served together years ago in the House of Representatives before he was elected to the Senate. He is now a Co-Chairman of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

The most interesting part of the Times article for me was Alan’s comments about those who objected to his seeking to propose changes in Social Security which would ensure its fiscal stability.

According to the Times: “The contretemps began when Mr. Simpson sent an e-mail on Monday to Ashley Carson, executive director of the Older Women’s League, to respond to an anti-Simpson column she wrote in April.

Citing Social Security’s chief actuary to buttress the need for changes, Mr. Simpson wrote: "If you have some better suggestions about how to stabilize Social Security instead of just babbling into the vapors, let me know. And yes, I’ve made some plenty smart cracks about people on Social Security, who milk it to the last degree. You know 'em' too. It’s the same with any system in America. We’ve reached a point now where it’s like a milk cow with 310 million t*ts! Call when you get honest work!’”

Perhaps as a result of pressure from the White House, Sen. Simpson wrote a letter of apology to Ms. Carson in which he stated: “Over the last 40 years, I have had my size 15 feet in my mouth a time or two."

To quote my old friend and colleague, Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, when I make a mistake, "It’s a doozy!”

I sent the following note to Alan the next day: “What did you say that required an apology? Nothing that I can see from reading today’s New York Times report. The Alan I knew in Congress would never have apologized.

“If you don’t make changes to reduce costs in Social Security benefits, e.g., eligibility age, benefits, excluding the wealthy from benefits, how will you guarantee permanent solvency?

“Also, why not dedicate a national stock transfer tax, which cannot be avoided by Wall Street, for exclusive Social Security use?

“All the best.”

Both t*ts and teats are apparently acceptable under The New York Times Rule Book.

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