The White House got a boost today from the co-chairmen of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. Former Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles and former US Senator Alan Simpson (R-WY) endorsed President Obama’s deficit reduction “outline” after meeting with the president in the Oval Office, calling it a “solid, responsible plan.” The Wall Street Journal reports:
“While it doesn’t have as much deficit reduction as quickly as we do, he does get to $4 trillion worth of deficit reduction,” said Erskine Bowles, former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton. Mr. Bowles and former Sen. Alan Simpson led a panel of bipartisan lawmakers that last year recommended $4 trillion in cuts over 10 years.
Mr. Bowles said the next step is for congressional leaders and the White House to look at all the deficit plans released, including the framework from House Republicans, and take the best ideas from each. What is clear, he said, is that “this era of deficit denial has to end.”
Mr. Simpson said getting a proposal from the Gang of Six, referring to a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the Senate who are working on a deficit-reduction plan, is key to moving forward. He said it is telling that all the plans released so far would slash the deficit by about $4 trillion.