When it comes to the national debt, Erskine Bowles and Sen. Alan Simpson are unapologetically grounded in reality.
To hear each explain the current debt crisis with such specificity and pragmatic vigor, one must wonder why more folks aren’t demanding as much substantive candor from both candidates for President.
Unfortunately, the political rhetoric of a presidential campaign can often deafen the reality of the country’s problems, but it’s a distraction we can no longer afford to indulge. With the first presidential debate now upon us, neither candidate has laid out a detailed approach to fixing the debt. Why?
“Because it's hard,” says Bowles. “The problems are real, the solutions are painful – there’s no easy way out. And I think the candidates are afraid to say we've gotta make some tough choices, we've gotta have some shared sacrifice.”
Washington’s resistance to negotiate a comprehensive solution to the economic crisis exasperates Simpson and Bowles.
“The word compromise does not mean you're a wimp,” says Simpson. “You learn to compromise on an issue without comprising yourself.”
The drumbeat of real numbers and real solutions is what joins the improbable duo. As the two robustly argue in their recent interview on Meet the Press, there are more reasons than not for political leaders to quickly embrace the economy of consensus: national defense, revenue growth, spending, tax reform and saving the little guy. Take a look:
But if we are going to get the presidential candidates to agree, it is going to take a national movement. If you agree with Simpson and Bowles that the national debt is a real problem that must become a real priority – no matter how painful or complicated the solutions – please add your voice by signing the Citizen's Petition to Fix the Debt at http://www.FixtheDebt.org.
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