When Alan Simpson called Social Security "a milk cow with 310 million tits," outrage ensued. When he followed that up by accusing some vets of milking the system, more outrage ensued. The former senator is "painfully blunt" and a little "salty," writes Dana Milbank, but in his role as co-chair of the president's debt-reduction commission, he's also "spot on" about the hard realities facing Social Security.
"If vets are sacrosanct, Social Security is sacrosanct, low taxes are sacrosanct and everything else is sacrosanct, we'll have a whole herd of sacred cows and an economy like Greece's," writes Milbank at the Washington Post. "Let's stop looking for reasons to take offense and start listening to what the man is saying." (Bonus history lesson: Milbank points out Simpson used the same "milk cow" line in 1992, save for a different population count, which is itself a paraphrase of an HL Mencken criticism of FDR.)