Newly minted Republican deficit commissioner Alan Simpson has a message for Americans: if you don’t want your grandkids picking grit with the chickens, better ignore soundbite politics and get lawmakers to find real solutions to the deficit.
President Barack Obama Thursday named Simpson, a former Wyoming senator, and Erskine Bowles, the head of the University of North Carolina, to lead a bipartisan panel searching for ways to cut the deficit.
Obama called Simpson “a flinty Wyoming truth-teller.”
The former lawmaker quickly embarked on some truth-telling.
Appearing with Bowles on “PBS NewsHour,” Simpson was asked about Republicans who believed that tax cuts were needed now, even if they raised the deficit in the short term.
“I’m not smoking that same pipe,” he replied.
Both he and Bowles said everything would be on the table — from tax increases to program cuts — as they talked to members of both parties about how to bring down Washington’s record budget deficits.
“We have a deficit-to-GDP ratio today of 10.6 percent,” said Bowles, a former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton who helped negotiate the last balanced budget deal.