Spending Proposals Elicit Gag From Unrestrained Simpson
Former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.), the famously unreserved co-chairman of President Barack Obama’s fiscal commission, said Sunday that there is likely little appetite on Capitol Hill to carry out measures he believes are necessary to tackle the deficit.
“The god here in Washington is the god of re-election. And, I think, that god is a little tarnished,” Simpson said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“I’m waiting for the politician to get up and say, ‘There’s only one way to do this, you dig into the big four: Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and defense,’” he said earlier in the program. “And anybody giving you anything different than that, you want to walk out the door, stick your finger down your throat and give them the green weenie.”
On a bright note, Simpson said that one unidentified Democratic Senator told him, “I’m ready to do this, even if it defeats me.”
Simpson lambasted the overall tone in Washington as hopeless.
“If you hear a politician get up and say, ‘I know we can get this done. We’re going to get rid of all earmarks, all waste, fraud and abuse, all foreign aid, Air Force One, all Congressional pensions,’ that’s just a sparrow’s belch in the midst of a typhoon,” he said. “That’s about 6, 8, 10 percent of where we are.”
The president’s call for a discretionary spending freeze and House Republicans’ plan to bring non-security discretionary spending back to 2008 levels amount to “peanuts,” Simpson said.
“If you don’t do something with the ones that are on automatic pilot, like Medicare, then it crushes out all the discretionary spending, it just wipes it out,” he added.
He fought back against the idea that the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform advocated for privatized Social Security. “These jerks who keep dragging that up are lying,” he said. “We never suggested that. We’re talking about doing a hideous thing to change the retirement age to 68, by the year 2050, and hear people howl and bitch about that. Well, what do they care about their kids or their grandkids?”
Simpson took a moment to express regret about one colorful quote that got him into trouble in August. The Republican caught a lot of flak for comparing Social Security to “a milk cow with 310 million tits” in an e-mail to the executive director of the Older Women’s League.
“I had one regret,” he said. “I meant to say that America was a milk cow with 300 million teats and not just Social Security.”