MY VIEW: Alan Simpson, David Stockman and Bill Frenzel
CNN recently invited several former Washington leaders to offer their thoughts on Washington's debt-ceiling gridlock, and we are proud to say that three out of seven are CRFB board members: Alan Simpson, David Stockman, and CRFB co-chair Bill Frenzel. All three had interesting perspectives on the debt standoff.
Sen. Simpson wrote about his frustation that no meaningful action has been taken to stabilize and reduce our debt. He highlighted the importance of the Gang of Six proposal, saying:
As soon as the Gang of Six came out with its plan, the slings and arrows started zooming in from both sides. Yet that is the strength of the plan. Everyone would have "skin in the game." The best fiscal plan -- a plan of the magnitude necessary to right our fiscal ship and of the balance necessary to draw enough bipartisan support to actually be enacted -- is the one that offends the most folks on both sides.
So regardless of what happens in the coming days with the debt limit, I ask all of you who care so much about our nation's future; I say, just pray for the Gang of Six!
David Stockman pointed out that raising the debt ceiling is not the critical issue, our debt is:
The crisis lies in the debt, not the ceiling. Kicking the can with a six-month ceiling increase is the worst possible alternative because it allows the politicians of both parties to continue making the Big Fiscal Lie...In the meanwhile, both the Boehner plan and the Reid plan are just big numbers flimflam. Their 10-year discretionary caps can't be enforced, and the debt crisis is right now. In the next two years, where it really counts, each would save only $60 billion, or 1%, of the baseline spending of $7.5 trillion. That's a pathetic joke.
We are borrowing $6 billion per day with no end in sight and rolling the dice in the hope that apparently clueless bond fund managers will continue to buy the debt of a quasi-bankrupt country. One day soon, they won't. But then it will be too late.
Bill Frenzel expressed hope that even though comprehensive fiscal reform has been put off for now, it might still be possible. He concluded:
A debt ceiling bill is still a long way from home, but hopefully at least a temporary end to the game of chicken is in sight. The "Grand Bargain" is deferred but hopefully not abandoned.
There is hope that Congress will act responsibly and bring the nation back from the brink of economic chaos.
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"My Views" are works published by members of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, but they do not necessarily reflect the views of all members of the committee.