The co-chairs of President Obama’s deficit-reduction commission, Democrat Erskine Bowles and Republican Alan Simpson, told PBS Newshour last night that reform of Social Security and Medicare is on the table.
The president “insisted everything be on the table,” said Bowles, a former chief of staff for President Bill Clinton, when asked if the commission would consider “modifying” entitlement programs or raising taxes.
Simpson, who as a senator called for the partial privatization of Social Security, was more frank.
“You have two choices with Social Security. You either raise the payroll tax, or decrease the benefits — or start ‘affluence testing,'” he said. “The rest of it is B.S. And if the people are really ingesting B.S. all day long, their grandchildren will be picking grit with the chickens.”And later:
“This country is gonna go to the bow-wows unless we deal with entitlements, Social Security and Medicare,” Simpson said.
“I’ll have the same problem with [criticism from] the left when we start talking about entitlements,” Bowles chipped in. “But we have to tell the truth.”
“And we’re going to,” Simpson added.