August 25th, 2010
02:52 PM ET
12 years ago

Co-chair of Obama debt panel under fire for remarks

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="An advocacy group is calling for the ouster of former Sen. Alan Simpson."]New York ( - An advocacy group is calling for the ouster of former Sen. Alan Simpson, the co-chairman of President Obama's bipartisan debt commission, who described Social Security as a "milk cow with 310 million tits!" in an email.

Ashley Carson, executive director of the Older Women's League, wrote in a blog post in April that Simpson is targeting Social Security to fix the deficit even though it "doesn't contribute" to the country's debt problem. She also accused Simpson of "disgusting ageism and sexism" in characterizing those who oppose cuts to benefits as "Gray Panthers" and "Pink Panthers."

In his email to Carson, which was sent Monday night, Simpson said he is defending Social Security, not trying to undermine it, and referred her to information showing the program's long-range shortfalls.

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Filed under: Debt • issues • President Obama
soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. Marge

    I think this guy is suffering from dementia. So we have people who paid in to a fund all their life. Starting with the republican president Reagan who took the first money from this fund to balance HIS budget and never repaid it, Bush who did the same. And now republicans are messing them selves about taking away something people have paid for and calling it the same as welfare.

    So they want to take the money from social security and hand it over to the crooks on wall street, so the crooks on wall street will fill the republican pockets.

    this is the trouble with the Have's they want MORE...Oliver Twist anyone.

    August 25, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  2. NVa Native

    Crazy old white guy says crazy things with unabashed arrogance mixed in with ignorance ...while insulting people without any remorse ..... and you didn't understand right away he's a GOPer???

    August 25, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  3. JSRagman

    Call it a tit if you would like to Senator Simpson but it doesn't compare to the Giant Government Tit that you have been on while serving in the US Senate. Now that's a tit that the rest of us would have liked to suck on for all these years.

    August 25, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  4. Tony

    This is not about Obama or an excessive amount of tits... this is about a system that people have paid into their whole lives to receive an amount of money for retirement that wouldn't support and average life style. Recipients of SS funds with no other pension or retirement plan are probably trolling the cat food aisle of the supermarket right now. Everyone looks to cut spending in areas that don't effect them but damage many others. How about pay cuts for all legislators... they've got way more then they're ever going to need, and if it ain't enough when they retire there's always social security.

    August 25, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  5. rdepontb

    Well, no wonder Republicans and Democrats alike are looking for another political party. Former Republican Senator Simpson-yes, you know him well if you're over the age of 30-has indeed always used plain language in trying to communicate with the human race. It now seems that, working with Democrats, he has switched to "salty" (??) language, and the Democrats are apparently just fine with that. As long as he's on a "bi-partisan" commission.

    Our nation cannot seem to catch a break from losers. Mr. Simpson, do both major parties a huge favor and step away from the table. If you didn't want the job, or if you don't want it anymore, don't go creating generational and gender divisiveness out of pure pique. Just go.

    August 25, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Hello Jack in your haste to hate you failed to note that this guy is a Rethuglikkklan. Nice display of your intelligence there!

    @ not fooled: See above. Don't waste your breath on the Jacks and Augsbees of this planet. They bring NOTHING of value to the table of life.

    August 25, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  7. 'Bama Grandma

    Do you want to end social security and medicare? If so, vote Republican.

    August 25, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  8. Marge

    I know you don't have the guts to post this, but John from MassHysteria New York..Boy it shows republicans are stupid, ignorant, lacking in brains, mentality deficient and anything else that shows he was standing behind the door when brains were given out. Ha ha ha doesn't his post show just what goofs republicans are.

    August 25, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  9. Randi L.

    Simpson's comment was offensive, but I appreciate the work that he is doing as part of this bipartisan debt commission. As a Republican former senator, he has shown a willingness to depart from the GOP party line rhetoric of no tax increases. Despite the language he uses, Simpson is a problem solver and should remain a part of this commission.

    August 25, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  10. JKT

    Dear CNN: Why did you put "doesn't contribute" in quotes? It is a *fact* that SS doesn't contribute to the debt because it is collected, stored, and spent *completely separately* from all other monies. Like the USPS it is independent of all government budgeting. Please remove the quotes, for leaving them in is an implicit condemnation of a factual statement.

    August 25, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  11. Evil Hollywood Liberal

    Stay classy, GOP. They would have you believe it's an entitlement program, but my deduction on my biweekly paycheck says otherwise.

    August 25, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  12. Marcus

    Yo Augsbee... Will you EVER come with some rational and not easily debunkable argument of your own creation? 'Cause repeating the same stuff over and over again just make you... boring (to use a kind word).

    August 25, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  13. Mike

    Does anyone realize that the average IQ in America is 95.
    The High end of Mentally retarded is 70.

    Do you AVERAGE Americans think you are better at thinking about and think through and coming up with solutions then those who have an IQ of 70 and below?

    Then why do you not think that folks that have an IQ 25points higher then your own would be better then you at solving problems?

    President Obama's IQ is 135+, that means that the average American is as mentally deficient when compared to him as a retarded person is when compared to the average American.

    All of you with IQ's lower then 120 need to be quiet, sit in the corner and cut out shapes in the construction paper using the round nose scissors, the folks that can actually do the thinking want to discuss things that you WILL NOT understand.

    August 25, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  14. Alex

    Hey! One of those 310 million sucking from the teet is my Grandma! And your Grandma! And your grandma, and your grandma, and your grandma, and your disabled Vietnam vet, and your disabled Iraq war vet, and your disabled Afghanistan vet, and pretty soon you!!!

    And I vote that any politician who complains about tax payer money going to help American citizens should get thier tax funded pay check revoked!

    August 25, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  15. JKT

    @G4: "Social Security was a ponzi scheme from the begining so it was bound to fail."

    Um, except that it's not failing at all. According to the CBO, SS is secure at least through the year 2037. Yes, 2037. That's pretty darned stable. It ain't broke and we shouldn't be trying to fix it. There is no dilemma (except perhaps how Faux News has convinced you that there is a dilemma.)

    August 25, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  16. Squealy

    Well, then, why have we workers been paying into this fund for all these years, now to be accused of "sucking off the tit" when it comes time to receive the benefits? If government wants to reduce or eliminate SS, then kindly give me back the many thousands I have paid in so I can go an invest it myself so I have something to retire on!

    August 25, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  17. Kirk

    Look at how mad the democrats get when you try to wean them off their tit!

    August 25, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  18. GJ

    Alan Simpson merely tells it like it is. The truth can hurt.

    August 25, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  19. JSRagman

    Ponzi must be the new buzz word for all you right wing idiots. I also read where all the excess spending has been since Obama has been in office. How many of you out there would like to have the approx $12,000,000 per hour that we have been spending in Iraq since we wrongfully invaded them in 2003? Does this fact have anything to do with the shape of the USA today or did it all begin on January 20, 2009? For all of you righties with amnesia, 1/20/09 was the day that President Obama was sworn in.

    August 25, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  20. Ancient Texan

    Sen. Simpson is 100% correct. There's millions collecting who never paid a penny into the fund. We were forced ever since it's inception, to pay into the fund, and assured it's in a" trust fund lockbox", growing to meet the need. But along the way the "Trust Fund" was raided. It was put into the General Fund and the Lock Box was filled with IOU's. So now it must be funded out of the general fund and is about to go broke. With millions of Baby Boomers now at retirement age, it cannot keep up with outgo.

    August 25, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  21. surveyman

    All you babies feigning outrage need to grow up. You need to go sit on R. Lee Ermey's couch.

    August 25, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  22. Shirley in California

    Unfortunately, comments were closed on President Obama's speech so I have to post here.

    Greg in Pottstown, PA wants to know how Obama has improved my life. I'll give you two examples right off the top of my head. 1) my 19 year old son WILL NOW HAVE FULL HEALTH COVERAGE until age 26 and yes he does work and 2) more take home pay. I hope you understand now and by the way PLEASE learn to spell before you get so worked up.

    August 25, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  23. Ridiculer...Alan Simpson...???

    Must have learned from his boss...who is an expert at it......Ridicule we mean.......................................................................................................

    August 25, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  24. Haren

    To G4,
    You know what was ponzi scheme Iraq war, medicare part C,
    tax cut to rich guys. energy bill, corporate welfare,farm subsidy.
    My friend take your anger out where it belongs

    Okay so he was kind of rude but its also kind of true. People assume that they automatically deserve to retire at 65, even if they haven't saved, even if they haven't paid alot into social security, even if the average life expectancy is going up and up.....Social Security was a ponzi scheme from the begining so it was bound to fail. The only way to solve this dilemna is to raise the retirement age to 72, come up with a formula that better ties contributions to benefits and to means test out the top 5% of the country from even getting the benefit (or possibly giving them back only as much as they paid in?)


    August 25, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  25. NC

    Looks like you republicans are going to have to take care of grandma and grandpa if you vote republican in the midterm election. It is no secret they want to abolish Social Security and Medicare. I never expect to collect Social Security, Hope you have 401K and a pension. If republicans get control of the house and senate bring back the poor house, no medicare or social security for grandma and grandpa.

    August 25, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
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