Sam Seder: Alan Simpson Knows Nothing About Social Security

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From Majority FM, Sam Seder reads from some of a recent LA Times article which challenged anti-Social Security crusader and crotchety old man, former Sen. Alan Simpson over his many lies about the program.

Alan Simpson shows his cards to The Times:

Former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyoming), perhaps our leading avatar of misinformation about Social Security, sent us a lengthy email on Friday responding to our series of posts criticizing his error-rich take on the nation’s preeminent social insurance program.

You can read his entire email here. Be forewarned: It’s a dizzying compendium of ignorance, myths, irrelevancies, and historical revisionism, leavened with a healthy dollop of defensiveness. (Simpson also seems at the outset to have confused columnist Michael Hiltzik, who has been writing about him, with editorial page editor and columnist Jim Newton, who hasn't. But leave that aside.)

Responding to all Simpson's assertions would take a tome, so we’ll simply address two of his main points: That Social Security was never designed as a “retirement system,” and that the original bill’s drafters deliberately set the retirement age at 65 because life expectancy in 1935, at the time of enactment, was 63. In other words, Simpson says it was designed from inception as a rip-off.

You can go read the rest at the link or just listen to Sam read it in the video clip above.


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