Alan Simpson Horses Around and Broad-brushes the Blame for the Fiscal Cliff



81-year old Alan Simpson, former Senator from Wyoming, and the eponymous co-chairman of the Simpson-Bowles Commission, is noted for his straight talk and elfin sense of humor. But both of these qualities may have gone beyond their freshness date.

Simpson appeared on the Today Show this morning to reprimand  both  political parties for playing chicken at the edge of  the fiscal cliff.  He also tried to explain his appearance in a bizarre video callled "The Can Kicks Back."

In the video Simpson dances Gangnam Style along side a guy dressed like a grocery store  can.  The dance was easy, Simpson said.  All he had to do was pretend he was riding a horse and whirling a lasso.  A cinch for a guy from Wyoming.  But after a few distressing  moments of watching what Jon Stewart would call a  'Moment of Zen', it is clear that Simpson has finally squandered the last of  his gravitas inheritance.

The point of the video was  to reach out to the younger  social media crowd, to alert them to the dangers of falling off the fiscal cliff, and  to motivate them to exert political pressure on Washington.

More easily said than done though, considering how Simpson in the same breath scolds those he wants to recruit: "Stop instagramming your breakfast and tweeting your first world problems, getting on YouTube so you can see Gangnam  Style."

But, good intentions aside, Simpson may be cutting off his nose to spite his face. Like when he called senior citizens the "greediest generation'  when their support was needed to rid  Medicare. of waste and fraud.   It's clear in his video,  Simpson is  mocking the Millennials by holding up to derision a harmless and ephemeral cultural fad .   His serious  message gets lost  in the weeds of  its silliness. The young are smarter than Mr. Simpson seems to think.

As for who's to blame for the fiscal cliff fiasco, Simpson---despite his libertarian views---betrays his allegiance to the Tea Party-controlled Republicans.   If Simpson were  an honest broker, he would recognize that President Obama has offered a balanced $4 trillion deficit reduction plan while the  Republicans  have remained intransigent and obstructionist.  Stuck on supply-side economics.   Entrenched in the nonsense of  the trickle-down of wealth from those so-called 'job creators': the top 1%.

And that's something Simpson's Psy-che doesn't seem to understand.



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  • From what I saw on TV
    Simpson was too old to appeal even to me.

    So how is he going to appeal to people 35 years younger?

    Maybe they can get Carly Rae Jepson (whoever that is) on the Senate Appropriations Committee. But this was a joke. Maybe they can get other members of the Simpson family (like Homer) to do the video next time.

    Hence, whatever his political slant on the deal, this isn't going to make much difference.

  • The Jepson idea is a non-starter: she's Canadian.

    Homer has that je ne sais quoi all right.

    BTW, Mr. Burns explains the fiscal cliff very well: " Think of the economy as a car and the rich man is the driver. If you don't give the driver all the money, he'll drive you over a cliff, it;s just common sense."

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    One would have to be a citizen for at least 9 years and 30 years old (Article I sec. 3 par. 3), but I don't know about any of those people. Maybe Haley the American Idol runner up who performs at the Wheeling Walmart may qualify.

    In any event, even though the debt is supposed to fall on the Facebook generation, of all the Simpsons, that generation knows Alan the least. And I'm sure the video wouldn't help.

    On the other hand, I don't think Homer would be in favor of increasing taxes on liquor and candy, like the Illinois legislature did.

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