Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles think it may be a new day in American politics, one where politicans who hike taxes and alter Social Security stay in office.
Simpson, a former Republican senator, tells MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that he sees evidence of change whenever he strolls through an airport: “I can tell you, we used to get lots of signals. I get more thumbs up now than other digits.”
The pair, co-chairs of President Barack Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, have proposed cutting the U.S. budget deficit by reducing defense spending, eliminating tax breaks, hiking the gasoline tax and altering Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
Those kinds of measures have been a presciption for political suicide up to now, although the recommendations call for lower tax rates overall.
But with voters agonizing over joblessness, the deficit and growing economic powers like China, Simpson and Bowles believe the public wants to hear straight talk about the country’s problems and the steps needed to set things straight.