Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Alan Simpson Gives The Game Away: We’re All “Lesser People”

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 22, 2010

Just as Michael Steele touched off a huge furore when he admitted that the Southern Strategy, far from being something only Richard Nixon used, has been part of the Republican bag of tricks for four decades, Alan Simpson has sent his fellow Catfood Conspirators scrambling for cover as they fall over themselves trying to disavow his blunt statements concerning the Catfood — erm, Deficit Commission’s true goals:

By the way, the stuff Simpson’s spewing, particularly about the worker-to-retiree ratio, has already been debunked to a fare-thee-well. Here’s one debunking:

Myth: Social Security is a victim of the aging baby boom, reflected in the ratio of workers to retirees, which used to be 16 to 1, is now 3 to 1, and in 2030, will be 2 to 1.

Reality: Today’s projected deficit has nothing to do with the size of the baby boom or worker to retiree ratios. The 16 to 1 ratio is a meaningless factoid, plucked from 1950, a year when Social Security was expanded to cover millions of new workers. The ratio never influenced policy in the slightest. It is the kind of ratio experienced by all pension plans, public and private at the start when few workers have yet qualified for benefits; the 2 to 1 ratio is meaningful and does translate into higher costs, but those costs were addressed decades ago. Congress has enacted ten significant Social Security bills since 1950. Every enactment has taken into account the baby boom, and each has left the program in long-run actuarial balance. The most recent enactment was in 1983, when the program was in balance through 2057 – the year the youngest boomers, those born in 1964, will turn 93. How social security went from a projected surplus through 2057, when most of the baby boom will be dead, to today’s projected deficit involves a number of factors, mainly related to changes in assumptions about wage growth, productivity and disability rates. The change from surplus to deficit is totally unrelated to the number of baby boomers, as one would surmise. After all, no new baby boomers have been born since 1983.

Remember, Simpson comes by his upper-class arrogance honestly: He’s the spoiled-brat son of a former governor and senator, not the hard-bitten self-made man he’s implied to be. And his own son, Colin, is the Republican Speaker of the Wyoming House.

One Response to “Alan Simpson Gives The Game Away: We’re All “Lesser People””

  1. Charles II said

    One can say without fear of contradiction that he is both beloved by Washington society, and a vile man… and that there’s a connection between the two.

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