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Join NOW's "Tits for an Ass" Campaign and Call on President Obama to Fire Alan Simpson
Former Republican Senator from Wyoming Alan Simpson, who this week called Social Security "a milk cow with 310 million tits," is unfit to continue as co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. If he doesn't have the decency to resign, President Obama should fire him.
President Obama created the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform by executive order, ostensibly to recommend legislation to eliminate the federal budget deficit by 2015. He named as co-chairs former Republican Senator Alan Simpson, a longtime foe of New Deal programs like Social Security, and Democrat Erskine Bowles, who advocated for risky privatization schemes in the 1990s.
Although Social Security has nothing to do with the federal budget deficit, Simpson has used his position as commission co-chair to attack Social Security from the get-go. On the very day the commission was created -- before it had even begun to gather facts about the budget deficit -- Simpson told Fox News: "We are talking about Social Security." A scant four days later, he reaffirmed to CNBC: "We are going to stick with the big three [Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid]."
Simpson has spent his entire time on the commission trying to convince the U.S. public that cutting Social Security benefits will somehow help reduce the federal deficit. That simply isn't so. Social Security has nothing to do with the federal budget deficit. Its financing is completely separate from general revenues. In fact, by law, Social Security funds are not permitted to be directly spent on government operations other than its old age, survivors and disability programs.
Oh, and that tired old saw that Social Security isn't solvent, and won't be there when most of us retire? That's not so either. Social Security is solvent all the way to 2037 because of steps taken back in 1983, which successfully prepared the system for the retirement of the baby boomers. And with very modest tweaking, the system can be solvent through 2084. (For more details, see the Social Security Trustees 2010 Report.)
The good news is that the people of this country are not fooled. They know that Social Security belongs to the workers who earned it, not to the government and certainly not to Alan Simpson's Fiscal Commission. Polls show overwhelming opposition to cuts in Social Security -- huge majorities of Democrats, Republicans, Independents, even Tea Party supporters don't want benefit cuts. And despite Simpson's cynical efforts to pit the young against the old, calling Social Security recipients "greedy geezers," huge majorities of young, old and middle-aged people say they don't support benefit cuts, now or in the future.
Here's what we hear Social Security-cutters like Simpson and Bowles are talking about:
For millions of women, the "three-legged stool" of retirement (pension, savings and Social Security) is already frighteningly wobbly. Less than one-third of women have pensions. Moreover, after a lifetime of wage discrimination, many women have little in the way of personal savings. The picture is worst for women of color. Almost half of single African-American women and Latinas aged 18 to 64 have zero or negative net worth, according to the Insight Center for Community Economic Development. Between the recession and the jobless recovery, millions more women have lost their jobs and their homes and have seen their savings and investments disappear. As a result of all of this, Social Security is the one thing that keeps millions of women from falling out of the middle class and into poverty.
Alan Simpson's abusive email to the executive director of OWL is only the latest example of his disdain for women as a class. His calculating attacks on Social Security recipients demonstrate that same disdain -- and with frightening consequences for millions of us.
Please join our "Tits for an Ass" campaign! For every $5 you send, we'll deliver a baby-bottle nipple in your honor to the White House as we demand that the president fire Alan Simpson.