This isn’t very reassuring. Retired Republican Sen. Alan Simpson, who sits on the president's deficit commission, said Monday that Social Security was a “Ponzi scheme” that was never intended as a retirement program. “It was set up ’37 and ’38 to take care of people who were in distress—ditch diggers, wage earners—it was to give them 43 percent of the replacement rate of their wages,” the Wyoming Republican said. “The [life expectancy] was 63. That’s why they set the age at 65” for Social Security. Social Security, actually founded in 1935 when the life expectancy for men was 77 years and for women 79 years, tracks births for every year since 1947 and was overhauled in 1983 to take into account the baby boom era. Simpson, who also attacked the AARP as “38 million people bound together by love of airline discounts,” made his comments at a event hosted by the Investment Company Institute, a group that represents money managers who control some $13 trillion in assets.