Today At The Virtual Summit: Countering The Greedy Geezer and Greece Debt Hysteria Spin

Bill Scher

Today at the Virtual Summit on Fiscal and Economic Responsibility for People Who Did Not Wreck the Economy hosted by Campaign for America’s Future…

There Are No Greedy Geezers: Former members of the 1982 National Commission on Social Security Reform Eric Kingson, Nancy Altman and Lori Hansen strongly criticize current White House debt commission co-chair Alan Simpson for scapegoating seniors:

His co-chair, Alan Simpson, gives ugly voice to harsh, ageist stereotypes, deriding older Americans as “greedy geezers.” Here’s how he described the future of the fiscal commission: “It’ll be a bloodbath. Let me tell you, everything that Bush and Clinton or Obama have suggested with regard to Social Security doesn’t affect anyone over 60, and who are the people howling and bitching the most? The people over 60. This makes no sense. You’ve got to scrub out [of] the equation the AARP, the Committee for the Preservation of Social Security and Medicare, the Gray Panthers, the Pink Panther, the whatever. Those people are lying… [They] don’t care a whit about their grandchildren…not a whit.”

The nation’s serious long-term fiscal problems need to be addressed but will not be if the co-chairs consistently wrongly characterize Social Security as a fiscal drain and a cause of the nation’s long-term structural deficit.

Greece Is Not America: Dean Baker takes on the Washington Post for blithely comparing the Greece debt crisis to America’s fiscal picture:

If there was an interest in making comparisons to Greece it would have been useful to remind readers that the United States government, unlike the Greek government, can print as much money as it wants to finance its debt during a period of economic weakness like the present. It also has a large diversified economy which is still largely self-sufficient, unlike Greece.

They’ve Hated Social Security For A Long Time: Kim Wright reminds us that the anti-Social Security rhetoric hasn’t changed in 70 years:

“The promise of secure benefits is a ‘hoax’, the taxes paid into the trust fund are ‘wasted’ by the government rather than prudently invested and ‘the so-called reserve fund…is no reserve at all’. Sound familiar? That’s because it is. You’ve heard the same core argument made most recently by President George Bush, now multi-billionaire and fiscal hawk Peter Peterson, David Walker, and countless other conservatives on Fox News and Capitol Hill. However, this particular statement was made by Republican presidential hopeful, Alf Landon, in 1936 before the first Social Security check had even been delivered.

We’ve Just Strengthened The Medicare Trust Fund. The deficit hysterics won’t tell you that, but I just did.

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