Alan Simpson calls seniors group 'wretched'

Simpson — who has been known to fiercely defend the fiscal commission’s work, often in colorful terms — also cited the newest report from the Social Security trustees, which said the entitlement program’s trust fund would be exhausted in 2033.


If the trust fund were to run dry, tax revenue could support around 75 percent of Social Security benefits.

The fiscal commission, which Simpson headed with Erskine Bowles, who served as chief of staff to former President Clinton, would gradually increase the Social Security retirement age and the amount of income subject to the payroll tax.

It would also use the so-called chained consumer price index (CPI) for cost of living adjustments to Social Security, which proponents say is more accurate.

Some critics of chained CPI, including CARA, have said it would lead to lower payouts to beneficiaries. CARA has also said that the fiscal commission’s plan would slash benefits for youngest citizens the most, even as it purports to put the United States on a more solid fiscal path for them.

CARA officials did not respond to a request for comment on the letter.

The Bowles-Simpson report remains a key topic of discussion in Washington, with some in the nation’s capital still seeing it as the best vehicle for a “grand bargain” on the federal debt.

Simpson has in the past said that policymakers would have to take a deep look at Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and defense in order to make a long-term fix to the country’s finances.

“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,” he said last year.