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Bowles, Simpson Press Conference Quotes and Transcript

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Fiscal Commission Co-Chairs Join 60+ Experts in Letter Calling for Super Committee to 'Go Big'

Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson joined Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, at a press conference on Monday, September 12, to help release a letter urging the congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to "Go Big" and exceed it's mandate of finding $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction. The letter was signed by more than 60 business leaders, former government officials, and various budget and economic experts, including the Fiscal Commission co-chairs, and came just a day before the first public hearing of the Select Committee. At the hearing, the message gained momentum, as Senator John Kerry called for the committee to "go big, go long, and go smart," while Congressman Chris Van Hollen mentioned the letter explicitly. 

Read the full transcript of the press conference.

Watch the C-SPAN video of the conference.  

Read the full letter

Read the press statement from Bowles and Simpson.  

Read the New York Times story about the letter.

  

Quotes from the Press Conference 

Bowles and Simpson on why the select committee must exceed its savings target

And 1.2 (trillion dollars), frankly, is peanuts, as we used to say in the grandstand.  --Al Simpson

Four trillion (dollars) is not the maximum amount we need to do, it's not the ideal amount; it is the minimum amount we need to do to stabilize the debt and put it on a downward path a percent of GDP.  --Erskine Bowles

Bowles and Simpson on why Going Big is easier than going in pieces

The more comprehensive we made it, the easier our job got, the easier it was to get to majority rather than the less - you know, trying to do just little teeny pieces of it.  --Erskine Bowles

The tougher we made our proposal, the more people came aboard.  I think that same thing can happen with this super commission.  --Al Simpson

Bowles and Simpson on how Going Big is necessary to restore confidence among the public, the markets and the world

We need to do this reassure the markets....we also need to do it to restore public trust and to restore the trust that was lost during the whole debt/default debacle that occurred in July and August, as I think America lost a lot of confidence and trust - people and companies and countries around the world.  --Erskine Bowles

The reason nobody with the credit agencies is messing around with Great Britain or France or Germany is simply because they have a plan.  They may not get there.  We don't have a plan.  --Al Simpson

Bowles and Simpson on the need for serious action now

I know that in Washington it's difficult for Congress to do - to ever do anything big or bold all at once.  As I thought back on our experiences in the 1990s when we did balance the budget, you know, we didn't do it all at one time.....Fortunately at that point in time, we had the luxury of time.  We don't have that luxury anymore.  We need to act and we need to act now. --Erskine Bowles 

We don't do BS and we don't do mush.  And if you're looking for BS and mush, just watch every congressperson that talks about cutting the deficit and telling you nothing about how to do it.  --Al Simpson

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Sep 22, 2011
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Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson joined Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, at a press conference on Monday, September 12, to help release a letter urging the congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to "Go Big" and exceed it's mandate of finding $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction. The letter was signed by more than 60 business leaders, former government officials, and various budget and economic experts, including the Fiscal Commission co-chairs, and came just a day before the first public hearing of the Select Committee. At the hearing, the message gained momentum, as Senator John Kerry called for the committee to "go big, go long, and go smart," while Congressman Chris Van Hollen mentioned the letter explicitly.