Does a career politician who’s spent his professional life (like his father before him, and his son after him) on the public tit really want to go there?
If it’s easy to make fun of the Cat Food Commission, it’s even easier to mock “Pink Panthers” and their (our) sensitivity about “degrading, sexist, ageist and profane language”. Silly HuffPo firebagger ladies and their PC pablum, so pre-post-feminist! But, chroist jaysus nekkid on a pogo stick, has Distinguished Ex-Senator A.K. Simpson, VSP changed his first name to Abe?:
The flamboyant (some would say plain nutty) co-chair of President Obama’s Fiscal Commission, Former Republican Senator Alan Simpson of Wyoming, who became an instant You-Tube star earlier this summer with a rant against senior citizens, is at it again big-time.
Evidently smarting mightily — and mighty belatedly — from an April 27th Huffington Post blog by Ashley Carson, Executive Director of the Older Women’s League (OWL), Simpson fired off an email Monday. He accused Carson of lying and “babbling into the vapors about disgusting attempts at ageism and sexism and all the rest of that crap.” Piling on the sexist rhetoric, he then instructed her to read a graph which “I hope you are able to discern if you are any good at reading graphs.”
Declining to address whether or not he accepts his own Social Security benefit (he’s pushing 80), Simpson saves the best for last: “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 tits! Call when you get honest work!”
John Kenneth Galbraith, a lifelong defender of America’s Social Security system, often pointed out that those who spent their careers at highly-compensated “intellectual” tasks were more liable to resent mandatory retirement than fear physical breakdown. Someone whose greatest daily challenge on the job is finding a greenroom muffin that satisfies both a rarified palate and the minimum daily fiber requirement may find it easy to forget that working twelve-hour shifts at Wal-Mart isn’t just less monetarily rewarding, it’s also considerably harder on an aging body. As the National Council of Women’s Organizations (NCWO) points out:
Forty-five percent of women over age 65, who live alone, do so in poverty. Women, who earn less on average for the same work as men, are hit again upon taking Social Security benefits; due to lower lifetime earnings, women receive on average less than $12,000 per year in Social Security benefits, while men receive nearly $14,000.
Further, women are not living longer in retirement (low-income minority women have seen decreases in life expectancy), and cannot continue to work more years in physically difficult or demanding jobs. Social Security is not an overly generous program helping all seniors live out luxurious retirements. Social Security provides a base level of replacement income for older Americans who can no longer work, and any cuts to benefits, either in the form of smaller checks or by raising the retirement age, will hurt all generations, forcing more and more Americans back into poverty.
I agree with Paul Krugman on this — it’s time for Obama to fire Alan Simpson.