Authors: Carmen Cox
(WASHINGTON) -- Former Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson sent an fiery letter filled with expletives to the California Alliance for Retired Americans for a flyer the group sent out slamming the Bowles-Simpson commission report for proposed cuts to Social Security as one way to deal with the long-term deficit.
“Your little flyer entitled 'Bowles! Simpson! Stop using the deficit as a phony excuse to gut our Social Security!' is one of the phoniest excuses for a 'flyer' I have ever seen,” said Simpson in a letter obtained by Politico.
The flyer from the group argues that Social Security is in no risk of going bankrupt.
“Even the most pessimistic forecasts say Social Security’s $2.5 Trillion surplus will fund 100% current benefits until 2037, and 78% current benefits forever, even if nothing is done,” it read.
Simpson doesn’t agree with the group’s positive outlook and goes on to call the group’s message an irresponsible slap in the face to young people.
“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.”
The Bowles-Simpson commission, also known as National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, was established by President Obama in late 2010 to establish a long term plan for dealing with the Nation’s $15 trillion debt. Read their report here.
One of their proposals calls for gradually raising the Social Security eligibility age and an increased payroll tax. The commission also calls for a progressive benefits based system that would reduce benefits for higher income seniors.
Not everyone agrees with the Bowles-Simpson assessment on Social Security. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is one of the most powerful defenders of the current system declaring that the program, while in trouble, is not headed for a crisis.
Indeed many critics of Social Security cuts argue that the program itself is sound but has suffered recent fiscal challenges thanks to Congress extracting money from the Social Security trust fund. Congress and President Obama took $100 billion in short-term revenue from Social Security when they passed the Payroll Tax Holiday back in February.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., raised eyebrows among progressives a few weeks ago after expressing support for Bowles-Simpson but then later clarified on ABC’s This Week that she is interested dealing with Social Security as a separate issue.
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