Alan Simpson is an ignorant asshole:
Kevin Drum with a summary: Alan Simpson, Social Security Illiterate
Jonathan Chait tries for a little humor: Alan Simpson Angered By Math
Matt Yglesias has a good observation: In Washington, You Don’t Need To Know Anything About Policy To Be a Senator Or Chair Important Commissions
Ezra Klein: What Alan Simpson doesn’t know about life expectancy and Social Security
I try not to write a lot of posts in the “politician said stupid/inflammatory thing” genre, and so I’ve ignored most of Alan Simpson’s piquant outbursts on the grounds that they’re largely irrelevant to the issues at hand. But if he seriously doesn’t know that life expectancy from birth has increased dramatically over the last 70 years while life expectancy at age 65 hasn’t, well, he needs a new job.
As co-chairman of the President Obama’s deficit commission, Simpson is one of the guys tasked with figuring out what to do about Social Security, and one of the arguments he’s charged with evaluating is that we should raise the retirement age specifically because people are living so much longer. There’s no way for him to make a sound judgment if he lacks a basic familiarity with this data.
There's not much you can say when influential policy makers don't know squat about what they are in charge of. That, of course, allows venal people to twist the system in ways that hurt millions of people.
Is Alan Simpson merely a grown up Bart Simpson? Is that the long and short of it? Well, tallness has a lot of career benefits (other than in basketball), but a tall a**hole makes an easier target than a cute small a**hole. DOH!
it's striking that RAISING the FICA tax is no longer in our vocabulary.
I'd rather pay more FICA than have to work 2 more years in my 60s before I get my SS money.
'course, they know that the middle class is totally screwed and can't stand any more tax burden, that's why they cut another 2% this year.