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Posted at 10:55 AM ET, 02/ 6/2011

Alan Simpson remembers Reagan, calls some spending cut proposals 'a sparrow's belch' (video)

By Emi Kolawole

Former Wyoming Republican senator Alan K. Simpson joined CNN "State of the Union" host Candy Crowley to discuss the nation's fiscal situation.

Simpson, co-chair of the White House Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, discussed the commission report, which was released Dec. 1, and insisted that anyone calling for budget cuts that did not include Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and Defense were issuing "a sparrow's belch in the midst of a typhoon." He went on to recommend that those listening to anyone who was not willing to dig into the "big four," should walk away "stick your finger down your throat ... and give 'em the green weenie."


Simpson also took an opportunity to clarify an e-mail statement he made in August, in which he appeared to refer to Social Security as "a milk cow with 310 million tits." The remark led half-a-dozen Congressional Democrats and groups like Social Security Watch to call for Simpson's removal from the Commission, and Simpson later apologized for the comparison. During his CNN appearance Sunday, Simpson requested an opportunity to clarify his remarks saying, "I meant to say that America was a milk cow with 300 million tits, not social security."

Simpson was also called on to remember former President Ronald Reagan. "He was real," Simpson said. "He was a man of passion, he was who he was. No facade. ...He was rare and real"

By Emi Kolawole  | February 6, 2011; 10:55 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

Alan:
Stick with simple, correct English sentences and phrases in your communications with national public audiences.
That down home, folksy BS is OK at the corner store or gas station back home on the range but just doesn't cut it when trying to get your idea across to national audiences some of whom may have never seen a cow.

Posted by: wek41 | February 7, 2011 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Alan:
Stick with simple, correct English sentences and phrases in your communications with national public audiences.
That down home, folksy BS is OK at the corner store or gas station back home on the range but just doesn't cut it when trying to get your idea across to national audiences some of whom may have never seen a cow.

Posted by: wek41 | February 7, 2011 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Alan:
Stick with simple, correct English sentences and phrases in your communications with national public audiences.
That down home, folksy BS is OK at the corner store or gas station back home on the range but just doesn't cut it when trying to get your idea across to national audiences some of whom may have never seen a cow.

Posted by: wek41 | February 7, 2011 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Is this supposed to be Alan Simpson, or Bart?

Probably makes no real difference.

Posted by: lonquest | February 7, 2011 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Ohioan, who was president when we last had a budget surplus?

Under which president did that surplus disappear?

Which US president's strategy for cutting social spending involved driving the country so deeply into debt that we would have to cut social programs?


Posted by: exco | February 7, 2011 1:18 AM | Report abuse

Realist201@3:28 PM

I agree with your sentiment that it is not the responsibility of the majority of Americans to take care of the lazy and the neer-do-wells.

I have therefore taken it upon myself to write to the IRS to ask that they deny your claimed mortgage deduction this year on your taxes and any deductions you may take for an IRA or 401K.

Why are my aging relatives who have sold their houses to maintain their standard of living subsidizing people who can afford to own homes? Why are my children subsidizing my contributions to my IRA when I should have enough personal responsibility to save for my old age.

If we're ever going to fix our problems, Realist, we need to get real and stop blaming the other guy and look in the mirror.

Posted by: exco | February 7, 2011 1:04 AM | Report abuse

C`mon, Alan - you seldom think of anything but the laugh - I forgive you.

Posted by: nanonano1 | February 6, 2011 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Simpson has always tried to be a comedian and has had very little success.

His membership on the commission caused it to have doubtful credibility.

Posted by: WESHS49 | February 6, 2011 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Simpson has always tried to be a comedian and has had very little success.

His membership on the commission caused it to have doubtful credibility.

Posted by: WESHS49 | February 6, 2011 8:14 PM | Report abuse

For those other repuglicans with short memories, your hero got us into this mess. Bubba came in and fixed it. Democrat, I believe.

Posted by: brantdavis07 | February 6, 2011 8:04 PM | Report abuse

For those other repuglicans with short memories, your hero got us into this mess. Bubba came in a fixed it. Democrat, I believe.

Posted by: brantdavis07 | February 6, 2011 8:03 PM | Report abuse

While the liberals and the lazy expect much for doing nothing, entitlements must and will be cut back. This is America where freedom comes with responsibility, and if some want to do nothing, then they will get nothing. It is not the responsibility of the majority to take care of the lazy and neer do wells. Either they get off their couch, or they perish-that is the responsibility that comes with freedom.

--------------------------------------

Indeed so as a modest first step we'll

(1) Eliminate subsidies on water for the agri businesses out West. And come to think of it, why is Govt money being used to build water projects for them?

(2) Start charging ranchers who use Federal Lands to pasture their cattle the market rate.

(3) Start charging those who mine on Federal land for mining.

(4) Cut corporate welfare Those wild-eyed leftists at the Cato Institute have a series of policy prescriptions.
http://www.cato.org/corporate-welfare

Yes, indeed let's get the layabouts and ne'er do wells off their couches and off the Government dole.

Posted by: R49Thomas | February 6, 2011 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and we didn't really mean DICK Cheney was a * but that Alan Simpson is like the DICK, Cheney.

Posted by: medogsbstfrnd | February 6, 2011 5:56 PM | Report abuse

If Mr. Simpson doesn't like living in this country, overrun as it is by what he considers free-loaders, he should leave, and find a more congenial place to live.

Posted by: lowercaselarry | February 6, 2011 5:08 PM | Report abuse

It used to be republicans said it is not the governments money since Social Security is deducted from my paycheck every week. That would make it my money which republicans want to take away from me. Or it is a tax increase which is something republicans say they never do. So which is it? A tax increase or theft?

Posted by: Sanchos_ | February 6, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Extending the retirement age to make SS actuarily solvent is probably the most politically attractive alternative but could have the worst long-term consequenses. An action that causes people to stay in the labor force longer will aggravate youth unemployment and slow down promotions for those lucky enough to have a job.

Posted by: twevans1 | February 6, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
You don't have to stay EMPLOYED to get your SS benefits. You just have to wait until you are age-eligible.
If you have saved enough for your retirement (remember SS was not intended to cover ALL your living requirements - just half) you can quit working when you want to.)
Get off the liberal idea that the govenment has to provide EVERYTHING!!!

Posted by: thornegp2626 | February 6, 2011 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Democrats couldn't solve a problem if their lives depended on it.

Posted by: ohioan
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
That is because republicans have the patent on solving problems. Ever heard of tax cuts to the rich. The rich then turn the tax cuts into a golden shower for the middle & lower classes.

Posted by: Sanchos_ | February 6, 2011 4:35 PM | Report abuse

So tell me how someone who has worked all their lives, paid into SS and Medicare, and then received the benefits they deserve, are layabout do-nothings as depicted in some comments? Why not DoD, which accounts for over 25% of the budget? Or farm subsidies? I suspect politics and not common sense, which Simpson is advocating, is the real reason.

Posted by: dave20144 | February 6, 2011 3:43 PM | Report abuse

While the liberals and the lazy expect much for doing nothing, entitlements must and will be cut back. This is America where freedom comes with responsibility, and if some want to do nothing, then they will get nothing. It is not the responsibility of the majority to take care of the lazy and neer do wells. Either they get off their couch, or they perish-that is the responsibility that comes with freedom.

Posted by: Realist201 | February 6, 2011 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I have little doubt that three of the four areas Simpson talked about will come to pass. Cuts in entitlements for the average hardworking Americans, on top of all they have suffered so far is a path of least resistance approach. After all who better to fix the fiscal mess that congress has dumped on us than the people who are out of work, lost their homes, are without any benefits and are unable to seek medical help when they need it. We, as voters, thought our strong lobby and protectors was the congressman we voted for. In reality we witness an almost total cave in to special interest groups and lobbyst. Americans stood helplessly by and watched billions of taxpayer money be promptly and lavously dolled out to wall street, banks ,insurance conglomerates and auto companies. Then had to endure announcements of how these executives intended to payout huge bonuses to themselves and the people who almostly brought the country down.. Americans did not force congressmen to vote for wasteful spending projects, to load up every bill with earmarks, to wage two wars,To lavish countries with foreign aid, To subside companies like big oil, The unfunded unsupported wars by themselves, are a significant reason for our current fiscal crisis,Nor did we have any say in the systematic draining of the social security fund, or governments total failure to properly regulate medicare and medicad from billions taxpayer dollars for fraud and abuses annually.Now we are forced to watch while congress seeks ways to avoid paying the funds back. As for military spending cuts, some might talk but I see little cuts. Even Sec Gates modest proposals were promptly rejected. In short no congressman dares to buck the powerful congressman and lobbyst groups who really control military spending which directly affects the multi billions of taxpayer dollars to their districts annually.War mungers continue to have us all believe that everyone is a threat to us so the lavish expendatures for post WW2 mentality weapons will continue.For example we must have 10 additional nuclear aircraft carriers that even our analysts declare are sitting ducks against the latest missile technology the Chinese have.Reportably one single missile is enough to take out one of these multi billion throwbacks to WW2 warfare. They do, however ;look impressive as did the battleship which we finally scrapped.

Posted by: cliffc1 | February 6, 2011 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Realist201 posts February 6, 2011 11:20 AM
“Simpson is exactly raight - we must uncrease the age at least two years before social security and Medicare kick in, cut defense, slash the federal civilian work force, massively reducegovernment intervention in business and ALL of America. Only then will the bedget come under control.”
First get real and switch to FireFox which performs automatic spell check since you don’t reread before posting your nonsense.
Increasing retirement age will do nothing but keep younger workers out of the work force. Eliminate the cap on SS earnings and treat all income equally will solve the problem.
And where would you slash the federal “civilian” work force? Why not slash the number of 900+ overseas military bases?
Adopt a transaction tax on all financial transactions and 95% of the IRS could be eliminated.
http://www.apttax.com/
Please tell us where there is massive government intervention in business and how the lack of regulations will balance the budget.

http://www.apttax.com/

OH! And tell Simpson to give up his life time health and pension benefits "We The Small People" are forced to pay for.

Posted by: knjincvc | February 6, 2011 1:13 PM | Report abuse

"Simpson was also called on to remember former President Ronald Reagan. " who said deficits don't matter.

Eliminate the cap on Social Security and treat all income equally ... problem solved forever.

Republicans are not saying they want to balance the budget this year or next year but "SOMETIME" in the future and they "THINK" the best way to do it is on the backs of seniors.

Adopt a transaction tax to replace all other taxes.

http://www.apttax.com/

OH! And tell Simpson to give up his life time health and pension benefits "We The Small People" are forced to pay for.

Posted by: knjincvc | February 6, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Extending the retirement age to make SS actuarily solvent is probably the most politically attractive alternative but could have the worst long-term consequenses. An action that causes people to stay in the labor force longer will aggravate youth unemployment and slow down promotions for those lucky enough to have a job.

Posted by: twevans1 | February 6, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Extending the retirement age to make SS actuarily solvent is probably the most politically attractive alternative but could have the worst long-term consequenses. An action that causes people to stay in the labor force longer will aggravate youth unemployment and slow down promotions for those lucky enough to have a job.

Posted by: twevans1 | February 6, 2011 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Simpson fails to mention that just like the constitution, entitlements have come to be regarded by most people to be sacrosanct. This is truly not the case if one is being critically honest in evaluating entitlements in general. They are or were agreements meant to fit a particular time and a particular set of needs. This is also no longer the case. Our leaders in and out of congress should approach the deficit as seriously as their previous counterparts did when enacting the agreements which created the entitlements. Then,as now an agreement should be reached to permanently solve this current set of problems. A permanent solution will more than likely not be available but if we do not try for one instead of the band aid approach so popular by timid politicians and entrenched bureaucrats we will be unable to move ahead in the world as anything other than a financially wrecked bully with a penchant for beating up on those who do not agree with us. I say this because we will no longer be able to use the carrot (foreign aid) and stick (US Military/CIA) approach to foreign policy we have used for two centuries. Any person advocating a clear, un-messy and quick fix should be shunned as if they claimed to be able to see Asia from the side yard or anyone claiming that Yes we can, as if it were a jingle and not a philosophy. Congress is getting set to recapitulate the last two years and the White house is gearing up for the next presidential election.......I would not say Yes we can.......but yet yes we should......it remains to be seen if yes we did........ever happens without making us all cry.

Posted by: jonny2b | February 6, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

"Freezing" current bloated spending is a Slap-in-the Face to Americans.
We know that Democrats "build" automatic increases into their budgets-- that should be outlawed completely. Its politics-- and
that's Democrats for you.
Democrats couldn't solve a problem if their lives depended on it.

Posted by: ohioan | February 6, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

"Freezing" current bloated spending is a Slap-in-the Face to Americans.
We know that Democrats "build" automatic increases into their budgets-- that should be outlawed completely. Its politics-- and
that's Democrats for you.
Democrats couldn't solve a problem if their lives depended on it.

Posted by: ohioan | February 6, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

How about abolishing Social Security all together. The money that is put in to that fund should be for the individual not for the individual and an illegal. The miss use of the funds that have been put in to that program is appalling. Simpson had it right in the first place it is a milk tit for the government. They use it for everything other than what it was designed for. Another example of socialism at work then failing. Thank you Democrats for nothing.

Posted by: Lanche | February 6, 2011 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Simpson is exactly raight - we must uncrease the age at least two years before social security and Medicare kick in, cut defense, slash the federal civilian work force, massively reducegovernment intervention in business and ALL of America. Only then will the bedget come under control.

Posted by: Realist201 | February 6, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse

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