Friday, January 24, 2014

Alan Simpson of Simpson-Bowles fame lays out his experience in dealing with the President.

Readers please note that I was emailed that this is untrue and not exactly what Alan Simpson said and/or meant. I have added this response in blue in the "read more" section. I advise reading both and use your own discernment and research to decide as I cannot prove 100% which is accurate at this time.

Here you have it. This guy is not working for YOU, for America, or even common sense of purpose.

He is focused solely on a Commie Agenda of reckless Social Spending leaving only the next President to worry about the consequences. Grossly irresponsible, out of touch with reality, and a dreadful incumbent Fraudster who a Gutless, feckless bunch of Supreme's have failed to face down and show down. A Clown runs the circus.


"was quickly advised that the Obama agenda would go forward at all costs."



Middle East and Other Musings
13 January 2014

As you have heard me say before that volunteering at the Bush Center library is a "great gig". I could write about my great experiences daily; but today was one of the highlights, so far…

Southern Methodist University has a lecture series called the Tate Lecture Series which has a significant speaker every month from September to May. Last month was Charles Krauthammer and last night was Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson. Tickets to those events are like "hens teeth" and they are passed down from father to son or family to family and has a waiting list of 7 years for season tickets for the general public. One of the benefits of these visits is that these folks normally visit the library (after normal hours) while in town.

Today's experience was worth a lot. Alan Simpson was the co-author of the Simpson - Bowles Commission appointed by the current president to come up with a plan and path forward to help the nation get back on a sound fiscal footing. It was to include spending limits and controls that would address existing entitlements, a change in tax codes and the abolishment of selected existing tax breaks for special interest groups. Accordingly, It called for a sound fiscal plan that would get us into reasonable balance in 10 years.

As everyone knows, Alan Simpson (R) (82) is a retired senator from Wyoming and is known for his "frank" opinions and statements and in some ways seen as eccentric in some of his views. Erskine Bowles (D) (69), who was Chief of Staff in former administrations, is a respected Democrat and was an equal partner in putting this study and report together with supposedly high respect and influence in the Democratic Party.


The intent was for the current President to use their report as a road map to fiscal responsibility. This report was issued in 2010 and as quickly dismissed by the president as a non-starter prior to the election of 2012 based on its perceived political impact on his re-election.

When I saw Simpson today in the museum, I approached him to welcome him to the museum as a team leader since that is my job for the general public. Normally, VIP's or "celebs" have Foundation escorts during these visits, but in typical Simpson fashion, he wanted to be just another visitor.

All volunteers wear the same uniform and have a prominent name tag for the public to see. Little did I know that when I approached him to welcome him, he would receive me as a long lost friend and it was Howard this and Howard that in typical politician fashion. After two or three minutes of asking about the library (which he loved) and how often we work and what days do we work and other small talk, I asked him for his assessment of our current national fiscal and spending problems and his view on the future efforts needed to turn the nation around.

I spent the next 15 minutes (just the two of us) listening to him expound on his view of our future. His first answer was that with this president we will never make progress. He then related a story that when Bowles and Simpson requested time with the president to urge him to seriously consider their report, he was stunned by the response (as was Bowles).

The president told them that he would take no action on any of the Commission's recommendations and explained his rationale in the following way - prior to his re-election and probably after his re-election he would do nothing. Simply put it was a pure political decision. He stated that to accept reductions in the growth of entitlements would alienate his base and he would only look at the tax increase side of the recommendations after the election. He further added that to accept the recommendations would give the Republicans a victory as seen by the voters and he was not ever going to do that now or ever. He was adamant that he wanted more spending and more taxes and that he would pursue that course throughout his administration until his last day in office.

Stunned by that answer, Bowles asked him if he would do what's right for the country and exert some leadership to save the nation's fiscal future. Obama's response was that he would let the next president worry about the spending and debt, but he was going to spend and tax and re-distribute wealth throughout his term.

Both men were furious and after spending 1.5 hours with the president, they left in utter disbelief. Bowles, thinking that he could have some credibility with the D's in the House and Senate tried to gather some influence with that group and was quickly advised that the Obama agenda would go forward at all costs.

In one desperate attempt to get some traction, Bowles thought that if he went to see the president without Simpson being there, he could have a more meaningful result. That effort resulted in the same answer as they got the first time and that meeting was closer to the election and was dismissed as untimely and unnecessary by Obama. The end result is what we are now seeing each and every day. Bowles and Simpson believe that this president is not interested in anything except his political agenda.

About this time Simpson's wife joined us and we talked for few more minutes as she reminded him that they had a plane to catch and they had to move along.

In summary, I should not have asked my questions given my role of a neutral docent, but as an American I wanted to know his thoughts. I was stunned that he would be that candid with a perfect stranger, but knowing Simpson it has been typical of his behavior over his career.
These are the reasons that volunteering at the Bush Center make life in America bearable for me at this time. I thought you might want to see this insight from an experienced Washington insider. He was candid and as he left he said, "Don't expect anything good for America until this guy is gone".

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Response from former U.S. Senator Alan K. Simpson:

This is a very serious response to the “classmate/volunteer” who posted the most extraordinary and bizarre document called “Alan Simpson and a Look at Obama.” I do not know who this fellow is, and I never spent 15 minutes with anyone (as he says: “Just the two of us”) that day – but I sure as hell know who I am and what I said. So hang on tight!

The first part of the young person’s remarks are quite correct. And all of it is pretty sharp and real in my memory right down to the sentence, “ ….. but in typical Simpson fashion, he wanted to be just another visitor.” Next is where the fabrication and the exaggeration and plain damn lies begin.

First, I don’t remember calling this fellow “Howard this and Howard that in typical politician fashion.” The rest of that paragraph is correct but the rest of it is a serious distortion of what I told anyone – classmate, volunteer, person listening, or anybody else within the range of my remarks.

What I said was this: “We turned in our report on December 1, 2010 and it was not received well by the President or anyone else. The President thanked us and walked away from it – as did most Republicans and Democrats.”

I often tell people who would ask me, “Why did the President and Congress reject the plan?” And I always respond, as I did to anyone, including “Howard” – “The President knew if he supported our proposal – the Moment of Truth – that he would be blasted by his base who would say to him: You said you would close Guantanamo and you didn’t. You said you would cut the deficit in half and you didn’t. And now you’re talking about doing something with entitlements thus hurting poor seniors and veterans, and you’d better forget that. The Republicans – in the event he would have voted for it – would likely at that time of continual bitterness have caucused together and decided if Obama votes yes, we’ll unanimously vote no.” That was always stated most clearly by me to anyone who has ever inquired over these last months and years.

It was after many months later when the President asked to see Erskine in order to discuss the situation. Erskine then had approximately an hour and 45 minutes with the President. I was not present. And after a candid conversation with no staff present, the President told Erskine that he knew well what our commission had done, that he understood our proposals, agreed with many of them and that he intended to address many of them “after his reelection.”

According to my friend Erskine, the President made no specific recommendations about what he intended to do other than what I have stated above. This “volunteer” is a pure visionary and sure short on the truth. The President never said, “that to accept the recommendations would give the Republicans a victory as seen by the voters and he was not ever going to do that now or ever. He was adamant that he wanted more spending and more taxes and that he would pursue that course throughout his administration until his last day in office.” This is one damn lie.

The next paragraph is a stunner indeed. Bowles never urged him to follow a specific course of action. And Obama’s response had nothing to do with the statement that “he would let the next president worry about the spending and debt, but he was going to spend and tax and redistribute wealth throughout his term.” The President sure as hell never said it to Bowles or to me or to any American. This is a total fabrication.

And as far as “both men were furious after spending 1.5 hours with the president, they left in utter disbelief.” First, as I stated before, I was never there with the President, so that’s another pretty good slap at veracity. My only “utter disbelief” is about his quote since Bowles never said anything about “thinking that he could have some credibility with the D's in the House and Senate tried to gather some influence with that group and was quickly advised that the Obama agenda would go forward at all costs [sic].” No such comment was ever made.

Nor was there ever any “desperate attempt to get some traction” and Bowles never thought “if he went to see the president without (me) being there we would have a more meaningful result.” There never was a “second time” to see the President, since there was never a “first time” with me there, as has been clearly reported publicly and again here.

At no time have Bowles or I ever said that the “President is not interested in anything except his political agenda.” And the capper in this desperate distortion is the final quote which has never been uttered from my lips, “Don’t expect anything good for America until this guy is gone.” I never said that, it’s another damn lie. This is our President. I didn’t vote for him – but he appointed me by Executive Order to co-chair the Commission. So “Howard” must have a tremendous bias against me and this president. What I said is; “This President wants a legacy, as all presidents do – and he might succeed in passing legislation on gun control and climate change and immigration, but if he doesn’t get a handle on the growth and cost of healthcare and work to assure solvency to Social Security for 75 years then he will have a failed presidency – and he surely doesn’t want that!” That’s what I said, and what I always say.

It sure burns a guy’s butt when he finds some wandering soul named “Howard” who either doesn’t hear correctly, or chooses to fabricate a conversation to fit his own ego or prejudice. He needs to get back in the classroom and listen ever more closely to the instructors – or his mentors – or all persons he has conversations with. He’ll get a helluva lot further in life that way!

I’ve been in politics a long time and I commend a wonderful poem to all who want to get into this fray because if you are in politics, just know that it is a contact sport. Yes, you sometimes take it right in the chops, and you’ve got to learn to give as good as you get. I do that. I always remember Rudyard Kipling’s powerful poem “If” – and let me quote a few great lines,

“If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;”
…….

But here’s the best one for the good old “volunteer” at the library:

“If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,”

That seems to say it pretty clearly for me. Take your own pick as to who is telling the truth. I just wanted to state “my side” – always a good thing. And never let anyone in public, private or political life – ever distort who you are or what you say. Onward!

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