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Sanders Mad at Cow Remark


Published August 26, 2010 at 5:00 p.m.

How do you make a Vermont senator mad?

Compare Social Security to "a milk cow with 310 million tits."

That's what Alan Simpson, co-chairman of President Obama's deficit commission, wrote in an email to the director of the Older Women's League. Sen. Bernie Sanders is fuming about it and has written Obama a letter calling for Simpson, a former senator from Wyoming, to be fired.

"Yes, I've made some plenty smart cracks about people on Social Security who milk it to the last degree," Simpson wrote in the email. "You know 'em, too. It's the same with any system in America. We've reached a point now where it's like a milk cow with 310 million tits!"

Sanders and U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) fired off a letter to Obama on Wednesday calling Simpson's "tit" comment "really quite beyond comprehension." (Links to both the email and letter on Sanders' website).

"Co-Chairman Simpson's comments are highly offensive to the tens of millions of senior citizens, persons with disabilities, widows and orphans who have contributed into this highly successful program and who now utilize it," Sanders and DeFazio wrote. "It is false and demeaning to say that these people, the vast majority of whom have worked their entire lives and contributed into the Social Security system, are somehow 'milking' the system."

More from the letter:

"Let's be clear: Social Security is not going bankrupt, nor has it contributed one dime to the federal deficit. For 75 years, through good times and bad, Social Security has paid out every benefit owed to every eligible American and will continue to pay 100 percent of those benefits through 2037, according to the Social Security Board of Trustees, and until 2039, according to the Congressional Budget Office. In fact, the Social Security Trust Fund today has a $2.5 trillion surplus, which is projected to grow to more than $4 trillion by the year 2023."

No word on how many actual milk cow tits are in Vermont.