Highlights of Press Coverage of Bowles and Simpson Testimony
WASHINGTON, DC -- On November 1, former co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform Erskine Bowles and Sen. Alan Simpson testified before the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (Select Committee).
Click here to read their full written testimony.
Click here to see the full C-SPAN video of the hearing.
The hearing generated a great deal of media attention -- below are a few of the highlights.
Warning that the country faces "the most predictable economic crisis in history," Bowles urged the supercommittee to reach a compromise such as the plan he and former senator Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) devised that includes both spending cuts and tax increases.
"I believe that if you all go big, and if you're bold, and if you do it in a smart manner, then the American people will support you...I hope for the country's sake you will," he said.
This is a problem we can't grow our way out of," Bowles said. "It's not a problem we can solely tax our way out of. ... It's also a problem we cannot solely cut our way out of -- I think you all have proved that over the last year."
"I'm worried you're going to fail, fail the country," Erskine Bowles, who was President Bill Clinton's chief of staff and who helped lead a deficit-reduction panel last year, bluntly told the committee that is charged with finding at least $1.2 trillion in reductions over the next decade....Bowles said "I think it will be a disaster" if the super committee fails to get an agreement.
Erskine Bowles, who was White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton, said the public would reward the lawmakers "if you're bold and do it in a smart manner" - a euphemism for going well beyond their goal of finding a minimum $1.2 trillion in 10-year savings.
Erskine Bowles, who served as White House chief of staff during the Clinton Administration, and former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming told the Joint Special Committee on Deficit Reduction to do more to shrink the deficit, saying it is "supremely important" the panel succeeds for the sake of the country's economy and public confidence in its leaders.
The experts urged super committee members to worry less about the political climate than the economic harm that would come from rattling credit rating firms and financial markets with failure to reach agreement by the Nov. 23 deadline.
"People admire guts and courage," Simpson said. "They may fight you. They may vilify you. They will admire you."
The congressional debt committee, three weeks from its deadline and reportedly deadlocked, got a polite earful on Tuesday from four of the most passionate proponents of a big, balanced and bipartisan deficit-reduction plan. Their key message: Step up and be leaders. Table partisan interests in favor of the country's interests to reduce the risk of a fiscal crisis. In other words, rein in the federal budget across the board, reform the tax code and make sure all but the most vulnerable share in the sacrifices required.
"I've always thought it's got to be some combination of revenues and cuts," Bowles said…Without a big, bold deal, Bowles warned, "People would look at this country and say, 'You guys can't govern."'
Erskine Bowles floated a new $2.6 trillion deficit-reduction outline Tuesday that is designed to split the differences between Democrats and Republicans on the supercommittee...The original Simpson-Bowles plan called for nearly $2 trillion in revenue, while supercommittee Democrats have offered $1.3 trillion and Republicans have set their sights on far less — perhaps as little as $200 billion. That remains the biggest — and to this point least reconcilable — difference between the two parties on the supercommittee. Bowles sought to find middle ground with a $600 billion Medicare and Medicaid target that is $125 billion more than Democrats have offered and $85 billion less than the GOP’s figure.