That's why Commission co-chair Alan Simpson -- with his blunt contempt for Social Security and and other benefit programs (such as aid to disabled veterans) and his acknowledged eagerness to slash them -- has done the country a serious favor. His recent outbursts have unmasked this Commission and shed light on its true character. Unlike his fellow Commission members, who imperiously dismiss public inquiries into what they're doing as though they're annoying and inappropriate, Simpson -- to his genuine credit -- has been aggressively engaging critics, making it impossible to ignore what the Commission is really up to.
In June, he walked out of a Commission meeting and proceeded to engage in an amazingly informative, 8-minute colloquy streaming in real time on the front page of FDL, making unambiguously clear that the Commission is working to cut Social Security benefits. And over the last several weeks, he has used increasingly flamboyant rhetoric to attack both defenders of Social Security and the program itself, as well as even attacking wounded veterans for failing to sacrifice enough by giving up some of their benefits. Whatever one thinks of Simpson's remarks, I prefer his public, engaged candor to the extreme, arrogant secrecy of his fellow Members.
Greenwald certainly has a point here. Simpson has single-handedly removed any and all doubt that the Commission's job is to cut these benefits deeply. The fact that Simpson hasn't been shown the door by the Obama administration is all the evidence that you need that the fix is in. The Village is fully on board with the plan as well. It all goes back to the concept of "noble sacrifice" that Digby was talking about the other day.
Official Washington -- and that includes Obama -- has decided that it's time Americans paid for the excesses of the last decade or two. Never mind the massive wealth imbalance in the country over that same period, one that has gotten far worse even in just the last two years. Time to tighten your belts, America. You're picking up the check so that the top 1% can continue the party.
Simpson's comments are being met with outrage and anger by some Democrats, but Republicans are silent, and the Village is too busy telling us it has to done for the "greater good".
Welcome to the new normal.