AARP: Simpson’s Remarks Cross The Line, Undermine Confidence In Deficit Commission

ZUMA Press/Newscom
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The AARP — one of the most influential advocacy groups in the country — isn’t taking too kindly to Alan Simpson’s off color characterization of Social Security: “Senator Simpson’s latest attack on Social Security is offensive for several reasons, particularly for belittling a bedrock program that is the foundation of family security for all generations,” reads a statement from AARP Senior Vice President Drew Nannis.

The vast majority of the 310 million Americans he insulted – particularly 156 million women and younger Americans for whom the traditional pension will be a relic of history – don’t have access to the type of traditional pension retirement security that Sen. Simpson has from his decades in Congress. Perhaps that’s why his comments demonstrate a woeful disconnect from or disinterest in the challenges facing many American families for whom Social Security is literally a lifeline.

“Sen. Simpson’s most recent departure from reality would be easy to dismiss if not for his position co-leading a Presidential commission that will likely recommend changes to Social Security. Sen. Simpson’s remarks not only cross the line of good judgment, but they undermine the serious work of the commission and give us little confidence the commission can fairly look at important programs such as Social Security.”

Simpson, who co-chairs the Obama Administration’s fiscal commission, has been criticized and lampooned all day for comparing Social Security to a “milk cow with 310 million tits” in an email to a critic. That email is part of a pattern for Simpson, who does not take kindly to his critics.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com
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