“Letter” to Alan Simpson

Alan Simpson

As the year comes to an end, there are lots of “best of the year” lists. One recent phenomenon is to list the most “viral videos” of the year. Psy’s Gangnam Style video appears to be the hands down winner. Generally speaking, seniors don’t spend much time watching YouTube videos, but they do communicate with each other via e-mail. As a certified senior, I think I am in a good position to identify the most forwarded e-mail on the senior circuit this year. It is, hands down, the “letter to Alan Simpson”. There are a number of variations of the letter. Although, the name of the sender varies, the text remains constant. I have received at least five copies of the letter forwarded to me from friends. Below is one example:

Alan Simpson, Senator from Wyoming , calls senior citizens the Greediest Generation, as he compared “Social Security” to a Milk Cow with 310 million teats.

Here’s a response in a letter from PATTY MYERS in Montana … I think she is a little ticked off! She also tells it like it is!
“Hey Alan, let’s get a few things straight!

1. As a career politician, you have been on the public dole for FIFTY YEARS.

2. I have been paying Social Security taxes for 48 YEARS (since I was 15 years old. I am now 63).

3. My Social Security payments, and those of millions of other Americans, were safely tucked away in an interest bearing account for decades until you political pukes decided to raid the account and give OUR money to a bunch of zero ambition losers in return for votes, thus bankrupting the system and turning Social Security into a Ponzi scheme that would have made Bernie Madoff proud.

4. Recently, just like Lucy & Charlie Brown, you and your ilk pulled the proverbial football away from millions of American seniors nearing retirement and moved the goalposts for full retirement from age 65 to age 67. NOW, you and your shill commission is proposing to move the goalposts YET AGAIN.

5. I, and millions of other Americans, have been paying into Medicare from Day One, and now you morons propose to change the rules of the game. Why?Because you idiots mismanaged other parts of the economy to such an extent that you need to steal money from Medicare to pay the bills.

6. I, and millions of other Americans, have been paying income taxes our entire lives, and now you propose to increase our taxes yet again. Why? Because you incompetent bastards spent our money so profligately that you just kept on spending even after you ran out of money. Now, you come to the American taxpayers and say you need more to pay off YOUR debt.

To add insult to injury, you label us “greedy” for calling “bullshit” on your incompetence. Well, Captain Bullshit, I have a few questions for YOU.

1. How much money have you earned from the American taxpayers during your pathetic 50-year political career?

2. At what age did you retire from your pathetic political career, and how much are you receiving in annual retirement benefits from the American taxpayers?

3. How much do you pay for YOUR government provided health insurance?

4. What cuts in YOUR retirement and healthcare benefits are you proposing in your disgusting deficit reduction proposal, or, as usual, have you exempted yourself and your political cronies?

It is you, Captain Bullshit, and your political co-conspirators called Congress who are the “greedy” ones. It is you and your fellow nutcases who have bankrupted America and stolen the American dream from millions of loyal, patriotic taxpayers. And for what?
 That’s right, sir. You and yours have bankrupted America for the sole purpose of advancing your pathetic political careers. You know it, we know it, and you know that we know it.

And you can take that to the bank, you miserable son of a bitch.

The “letter” started making the rounds not long after Simpson wrote an equally profanity-laced letter sent last May to the California Alliance for Retired Americans.

To Whom It May Concern:

Erskine Bowles and I thoroughly enjoyed our time on the West Coast and received an excellent reception from folks — at least those who are using their heads and have given up using emotion, fear, guilt or racism to juice up their troops. Your little flyer entitled “Bowles! Simpson! Stop using the deficit as a phony excuse to gut our Social Security!” is one of the phoniest excuses for a “flyer” I have ever seen. You use the faces of young people, who are the ones who are going to get gutted while you continue to push out your blather and drivel. My suggestion to you — an honest one — read the damn report. The Moment of Truth — 67 pages, and then tell me if we’re not doing the right thing with Social Security. What a wretched group of seniors you must be to use the faces of the very people that we are trying to save, while the “greedy geezers” like you use them as a tool and a front for your nefarious bunch of crap. You must feel some sense of shame for shoveling out this bulls**t. Read the latest news from the Social Security Trustees. The Social Security System will now “hit the skids” in 2033 instead of 2036. If you can’t understand all of this you need a pane of glass in your naval so you can see out during the day! Read the report. Get back to me. My address is below.

If you don’t read the report, — as Ebenezer Scrooge said in the Christmas Carol, “Haunt me no longer!”

Best regards,

Alan Simpson

In an informal poll of friends, all had received the letter, some as recently as last week. www.snopes.com, the web site dedicated to separating fact from rumor on the internet, tries to answer the questions posed in the letter here.

The popularity of the Simpson letter among seniors points out the level of anger generated whenever there is talk of “saving” social security by Republicans. On Meet the Press this morning, Lindsey Graham evoked Simpson Bowles. He appears willing to go over the “fiscal cliff”. The line in the sand will be on raising the debt ceiling. When he says, “…we will have leverage…” he means the filibuster.

I like Simpson Bowles, eliminate deductions, lower rates, put money on the debt… I think we’re going to fall out of the fiscal tree. There will not be a big deal. The big chance for a big deal is at the debt ceiling. That’s when we will have leverage to turn the country around, prevent it from becoming Greece, and save Social Security and Medicare. And to anybody listening to this program, I will raise the debt ceiling only if we save Medicare and Social Security from insolvency and prevent this country from becoming Greece. No more borrowing without addressing why we’re in debt to begin with. That’s where the real chance for change occurs, at the debt ceiling debate.

It appears that the Republican Party is unwilling to face the truth. They lost the election and the majority of Americans do not want changes in Social Security and Medicare. There are lots of “Patty Myers” out there who will call “Bull Shit” to Senator Graham and his Republican colleagues if they, once again, resort to filibuster.



  1. The fact that this letter has circulated under at least five different names seems to indicate that someone other than the sender actually wrote the letter and then these people, (if they are in fact real people) forwarded the letter. The use of the term “greedy geezers” was a stupid act on Mr. Simpson’s part but his statement about Social Security is fairly valid. It is easy for us to become enraged over the acts of elected officials, especially in the way the national debt has escalated, and especially in regards to Social Security, but no amount of animus will change the current facts. One of the biggest facts is the reality that there are now fewer people paying into the system than at any time in the history of Social Security. Most people have never understood that this has never been a “savings” program that you pay into and then pull out of when you retire. The taxes from employed workers have generally only gone to support those people who were retired and drawing benefits. Without some type of change to the system it is not sustainable and will end for everyone dependent upon it for retirement income. The best solution will probably be a combination of factors including an increase in the Social Security tax, increasing the cap on income and means testing the benefits to exclude people who have significant income without Social Security. I think that everyone would benefit from Mr. Simpson’s recommendation to read the report and let reason rather than emotion govern the debate.

  2. Does the Simpson Bowles act “cost” the political members of the Washington bodies (past & present) that created the present financial debacle or just the naïve electorate who will do all the “sucking it up”? “Government of the people, for the people, by the people” Somebody trying to kid me? The tail is wagging the dog. And since government people are not on social security, fixing the problem is not a primary concern to them, more like a political maneuver to cover their political butt (er standing).

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