Over at the United Steelworkers blog, Dean Baker unloads on Alan Simpson and the idea that Simpson knows anything useful about Social Security:
Former Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson has been a holy terror ever since he was appointed by President Obama to co-chair his deficit commission last year. With equal fervor he has attacked both his opponents and the basic facts surrounding the budget in general and Social Security in particular.
Ordinarily, either his rudeness or his lack of understanding of the facts on the issues where he is supposed to be an expert would be sufficient to have him exiled from the public limelight. Yet, because his views coincide with the editorial positions at elite news outlets like the Washington Post, his credibility as a spokesperson on the budget and Social Security is never tarnished.
The bill of particulars against Senator Simpson is getting quite lengthy at this point. In the rudeness category, Mr. Simpson sent a late-night e-mail to the head of a major national women’s organization implying that she was too dumb to read a simple graph. More recently he directed an obscene gesture towards the AARP. This goes along with numerous insults directed against reporters in interviews and a tirade about Snoopy Snoopy Poop Dog.
One can debate how seriously these actions should be viewed. But the contrast with Van Jones, an advisor on environmental issues to President Obama, is striking. Most Washington insider types felt that Jones had to be quickly sent packing after a single off-color remark about Republicans was made public.
I last remember Simpson completely losing his composure on Bill Maher’s show 7 or 8 years ago. And then all of as sudden he is Washington’s darling despite (or because) of his fuzzy understanding of economics and his shocking realization that there are a lot of older people in the United States. The Beltway at its finest!