by Nanine Meiklejohn | May 31, 2012
Former Sen. Alan Simpson is known for his harsh rhetoric but now he’s gone too far, by sending a letter to the California Alliance for Retired Americans (CARA) slamming its members for opposing his plan for Social Security.
In the letter that CARA received last week, Simpson launched personal attacks on the members of CARA, while defending his plan. “What a wretched group of seniors you must be to use the faces of the very people that 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,” Simpson wrote.
Ridiculous talk, but his plan’s even worse. Simpson’s plan makes harmful and unnecessary benefit cuts affecting both current and future retirees in the name of what he calls “saving” Social Security. It would reduce annual cost of living increases and eventually raise the early retirement age to 64 and the normal retirement age to 69.
The Social Security cuts are part of a broader federal deficit plan developed last winter by Simpson and Erskine Bowles for consideration by a Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform established by President Obama. The plan didn’t receive enough votes to be approved by the Commission. Even so, Simpson and Bowles have been working hard to promote it, and many policy makers, including some Democrats, are embracing it as a reasonable approach to deficit reduction talks that will occur at the end of the year.
To be clear, the Bowles-Simpson plan is loaded with bad ideas: taxing health benefits, lowering taxes on the rich, eliminating taxes on corporations when they offshore jobs, cutting Medicare, and pushing a round of deep cuts for public services.
Don’t believe the hype that Bowles-Simpson is a good budget framework. Its intention is to line the pockets of the rich. Seniors and working families have paid too high a price already for deficit reduction. It’s time now to create jobs and make the wealthiest Americans and profitable corporations pay their fair share.