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. Gerald

    I have paid in now for thirty five years, just give me my money back and we can call it even.

    August 25, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  2. Lynn

    Extremely disgusting remark. Referring to social security as a milk cow with seniors sucking from it's tits, but forgetting we have paid into SS since beginning our working lives. If Congress had kept their mitts off the fund it would be healthy for generations in the future. Congress is the one who's been milking SS to death.

    August 25, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  3. Dennis

    Probably not the most polite way to put it, but he's right. Social Security has evolved into something that wasn't intended. When the legislation was pass it was to be Supplemental income. It was not intended to be your entire retirement funds. To go along with Simpson's vernacular, too many people have live"high on the hog" without any thought of how they would live in retirement. We have created an entitlement society where no one is accountable for their own responsibilites.

    August 25, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  4. Illinoistom

    Can Ms. Carlson not do basic math? Social Security has been a fiscal time bomb since the Democrats began raiding it in the Johnson years. What is Ms.Carlson's solution to our debt crisis, besides calling Mr. Simpson names and pretending SS is and will be solvent? If she were a thinking American, she would support Paul Ryan's Roadmap for America's Future which preserves SS for her and younger wage-earners.

    August 25, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  5. Simon, Florida

    There wouldn't be a short fall if those greedy senators like Alan Simpson wouldn't have robbed the social security pension fund to support their pork barrel projects.

    August 25, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  6. HypocriCNN

    Oh My! ...The Obama Administration Under Attack Again? Oh The Horror! The Drama! The Shame Of It All! That And The Medias Blanket Suggestions As To What It All Means! I Think I'm Gonna...I Think I'm Gonna Just...Cry! Boo Hoo Hoo (Hooey)!

    August 25, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  7. Augsbee

    Yeah, those 310 million "t" are sucked by hundreds of unwed mothers with 3 to 4 kids from different fathers who pay no child support. Sure you're upset with Simpson. I have a feeling most of the members of these advocacy groups are in favor of people munching, taking advantage of the system while they sit around all day doing no work, relaxing, hanging out. These advocacy groups are the same that keep favoring stimilus packages while we go into deeper debt but do they care we might end up in bankruptcy...NO.

    August 25, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  8. Jack

    If you are quiet and listen every once in a while some of Obama's "advisors" slip up and display what they really think about the "average" American. Is can be scary, really scary. They are the intelligencia, the elite, those chosen to rule over those that do not know what is really right for them. Just find them at one of their designation watering holes and listen to them after a few martinis.

    August 25, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  9. kat

    Social Security is paid by working people, and I believe it is the rights of older people to draw a check that they have earned. . Welfare on the other hand is milked by millions of people who refuse to work and feel that the government must take care of them. Lay on your butt, shell out kid after kid and depend on taxpayers to support you and your lifestyle. No thanks. We need serious welfare reform now.

    August 25, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  10. sourpuss

    They should be cleaning house in welfare and public housing, not looking at SS. Alan Simpson should be forced to step down for his comments. As a working American, I have no problem with paying into SS to support older Americans, but I have a HUGE problem with paying taxes to support the hordes of single mothers and men who refuse to get a job. Welfare should be a short-term option, like unemployment funds.

    August 25, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  11. mother and sister of soldiers

    People who worked and contributed all their lives should not suffer from the dem's spending spree. This was forced retirement option not to pay. Why pay SS to those who have not contributed or just became citizens? How about not paying the $6 mil of my taxdollars alotted to the Islam Outreach program which is and will restore mosques worldwide plus pay for the NYC Iman's trip to the middle east. Cap welfare like Tenn and pay one amount regardless how many babies you have. Go back to the old system for collecting unemployment....I know that would cut down those who prefer to collect than look for a job. Get the WH to live within the budget. They know what will be collected and what they can spend. A new concept to many citizens within your budget!

    August 25, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  12. Tulsa

    Jack, not nearly as scary as the Republicans.... they NEVER think of the average American.

    August 25, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  13. Bradley Lemberg

    Oh come on everyone. Anyone who has followed Alan Simpson knows that he has always used sarcasm as a method of expression. He is a very sympathetic as well as deeply knowledgeable about the subject. The description he gave is only a piece of his humor and nothing more.Do not vilify the man if you do not like the humor.

    August 25, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  14. Angus McDugan

    Soooooo true. But more like a giant sow hog laying on its side wanting all of America to take a teat. How can we allow ourselves to be dependent on the government to the extent we have. And don't give me the old "the government provides education" routine. The government sucks at managing everything including education. Why else does the DEA need an ebonics interpreter? And why does my spelling suck?

    August 25, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  15. Tulsa

    Care to back up those remarks with some proof? Oh, right, you're a Republican, not interested in TRUTH.

    August 25, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  16. mj

    Gerald – I agree. Have paid in over 43 years. Still working and not depending on anyone. Just give me what I have put in and quit throwing it away to those who have not.

    August 25, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  17. norma

    Oh Jack, you just made a fool out of yourself. This is the Republican co-chair of the bipartisan commision to reduce the deficit. He's the former senator from Wyoming (again, a republican). Thanks for proving my point that Republicans don't care about the average American.

    August 25, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  18. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    May be a disgusting way to put it, but Simpson is right! Everyone who is working today, is paying for grandma's and grandpa's Social Security and Medicare.

    We, Baby-boomers wont see a penny of the billions our generation paid into Social Security.

    Sad but true.

    August 25, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  19. Hannah

    The extreme right wants to get rid of all safety nets for everyone and keep funneling money up to the top, continue boom and bust economies where the private sector gets all profits and the public pays for the failures. So then we can all be true slaves of the corporations. If it weren't for Social Security. we'd have seniors living in tents under bridges, eating dog food. Not a pretty picture. If that happens this country will be toast. you can guarantee people will leave in droves, going to Canada and other countries that treat their working people with respect. And then the rich people can have the country to themselves. They might even have to pay more taxes. Oh, and the right loves paying for bombs and wars.

    August 25, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  20. Disbelief

    And how many "tits" have the Repubicans put out there for other republicans, the no-bid contractors, the right wing itself, big oil, big pharma and the top 1%? It's called "Criminal Hypocrisy".

    August 25, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  21. Dr. Webster

    If he had said "teats" if would have been OK, at least semantically...

    August 25, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  22. John from Massapeuqa NY

    So he is getting hammered for saying the truth? People think there is a trust fund or "lock box." There isn't. There is only paper debt. Your SS withholding is paid out immediately plus more. It was a Liberal/Statist Ponzi scheme from the start and only got worse as they added beneficiaries never originally intended. SS earns about 1-3% interest do the math when you get your annual statement. Any individual could create a very low risk portfolio that would easily earn double that over your lifetime. And you think Liberal/Statist health care will fare any better? My God the American people are so ignorant to simple economics.

    August 25, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  23. Michael

    There is nothing left for the plutocrats to get their hands except your social security and your medicare. They will not be happy until all of us are the modern equivilent of 'tenet farmers' for corporations. Stop drinking the tea people. The wealthy have declared war on workers in this country. Fight back while you still can.

    August 25, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  24. Lori in St Pete

    This is what President Obama gets for trying to be bipartisan. That's right former senator simpson is rethugliban. Uh oh! Time for a few rethugliban apoligists to walk back their comments!

    August 25, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  25. a little sad

    Jack August 25th, 2010 3:19 pm ET

    If you are quiet and listen every once in a while some of Obama's "advisors" slip up and display what they really think about the "average" American. Is can be scary, really scary.

    You talking about the Republican Senator, Alan Simpson?

    August 25, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
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