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Bowles, Simpson at CRFB Annual Dinner

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On June 14, 2011, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget held it's Annual Conference at the Hyatt Regency in Washington, DC, and followed that conference with a dinner event at the Liaison hotel. At the dinner, Moment of Truth project and Fiscal Commission co-chairs Erskine Bowles and Sen. Alan Simpson sat down with Judy Woodruff of PBS's NewsHour to talk about the state of play in Washington on the debt and deficit debate.

In a particularly sobering moment, Bowles explained his fears about the chances of a fiscal crisis and the importance of acting quickly on implementing a significant long-term fiscal consolidation plan:

"I'm a reader of history, and the thing that scares me the most is not the '30s, but think about 1918 in the Weimar Republic. What happened? You know, Germany fought the Great War and financed it all on credit; we're fighting three wars, and financing it on credit. They had deficits as far as the eye could see; we've got about $1 trillion of deficits as far as the eye can see. You know, they manufactured money in order to bring down unemployment; QE2. And they devalued their currency; lord knows we've done that. Now look, We've got a lot of things in this country to keep us from going off the cliff, but this is the most predictable economic crisis in history. And if we don't do something and do it relatively quickly, then what I can guarantee you is the markets will move, and the markets will do it for us."

You can view the entire video from the dinner here. Also catch the video from the conference earlier that day, which Sen. Simpson spoke at and participated in, on UStream here.

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Jun 14, 2011
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At the 2011 CRFB Annual Dinner, MOT co-chairs Bowles and Simpson talk about the state of affairs in Washington.