An Engine With No Brakes
by Francie Grace
"It's unbelievable how much this debt is going to grow over the next 10 years, 20 years, 30 years. And if we don't attack it now, there's going to be no money for those who want to invest it in education, innovation or research so that we can be competitive in a knowledge-based global economy. There'll be no capital for small businesses to grow. We've got to address this deficit, and we've got to do it now." That's the case made this week by Democrat Erskine Bowles, co-chairman of Bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, the panel created by President Obama to draft, by December, recommendations on how to solve the crisis of the federal budget deficit and national debt.
Bowles commented in a CNN interview in which deficit panel co-chair Alan Simpson, Wyoming Republican, called the deficit "an engine with no brakes" that's going to wipe out "all the things you cherish." Citing his cattle country pedigree, Simpson pledged that all ideas are on the table and added: "We're going to slay every sacred cow in the field."
Bowles, a former chief of staff for President Clinton, also pops up in another interesting news story today, in USA Today, in which he talks about telling his 90-year-old mother about his responsibilities on the deficit commission. Bowles said she was proud of him, but was quick to caution: "Don't mess with my Medicare."