Posted by: N.S. Palmer | September 3, 2010

Alan Simpson’s Irrefutable Argument

By N.S. Palmer

Criticize former U.S. Senator Alan Simpson all you want.

As the Republican co-chairman of the Cat Food Commission, Simpson remarked that Social Security is a “milk cow with 310 million tits” and that medical treatment for disabled veterans is too costly. He’s an easy target.

But Simpson’s argument is irrefutable:

1. The U.S. government has limited resources. It cannot do all the things that people want it to do.

2. Therefore, it must prioritize how it uses those resources.

3. It isn’t going to stop bombing, invading, and occupying other countries. It isn’t going to close the more than 700 military bases it has around the world. It isn’t going to stop giving hundreds of billions of dollars to military contractors and security companies.

4. It isn’t going to increase tax rates on the wealthiest Americans back to the levels of the 1940s-1990s, when economic growth was higher and unemployment was lower than today.

5. It isn’t going to cut the fat benefits it pays to, for instance, former U.S. Senator Alan Simpson, who unlike most Americans has a defined-benefit pension and free medical care in addition to his personal wealth.

6. Therefore, it has to cut benefits to some other groups of people who lack political power to stop the cuts.

7. Therefore, it has to cut benefits to the retired, the disabled, and the unemployed.

Copyright 2010 by N.S. Palmer. May be reproduced as long as byline, copyright notice, and URL ( are included.


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