Bill Clinton Slams Both Parties for Supercommittee Impasse

Monday, 28 Nov 2011 12:43 PM

By David A. Patten and Kathleen Walter

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Former President Bill Clinton slammed both Democrats and Republicans for being so caught up in their differences that they failed to recognize opportunities to agree on common-sense ways to reduce the budget deficit through the supercommittee process.

Speaking in an exclusive Newsmax.TV interview about his new book, “Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy,” Clinton said both sides in the recent supercommittee standoff may have concluded that they would be better off waiting until after the election to find areas of agreement.

Story continues below video.

Despite failure, the supercommittee should strive to minimize cuts from the non-defense discretionary budget, contends former President Bill Clinton. In an exclusive Newsmax.TV video interview, Clinton explains that many “unpainful” ways can achieve savings while allowing Republicans and Democrats to hold firm on taxes and entitlement programs, respectively.
"Now, in my book," he said, "I outlined a whole bunch of cuts they could make in that budget, and savings they could achieve based on a 1,000-plus page report by the Government Accounting Office that outlines duplicative programs and things of that kind. But if you do it all, you could maybe get up to a $100 billion a year, if you included collecting a third of the taxes that are owed today but not paid.”

However, he noted that he is concerned that “the default position which allows the Republicans to hold firm on taxes, and the Democrats to hold firm on Social Security and Medicare, ignores that there are some options that would not be particularly painful for either side."

For example, Clinton said one proposal on Social Security that the Simpson-Bowles Commission made would improve benefits for low-income elderly folks while saving $200 billion over 10 years. "So I'm worried that both sides have retreated," he told Newsmax.

Clinton, who balanced the budget after a head-on collision with fiscal hawks and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, did designate some areas that should not be cut.

He described discretionary spending, which is only 15 percent of the total budget, as "our future." Cutting those programs would hurt Americans down the road, he said.

He also contended that it is a mistake to cut foreign aid, which is only 1 percent of the budget.

"That's why Bob Gates, who was President Bush's secretary of defense,
pleaded with the Congress not to cut it, because he said, 'Making more
friends and fewer enemies is always cheaper than going to war.' And that needs to be part of our national security spending," Clinton said.

Editor's Note: Read These Other Newsmax Exclusives:   

Editor’s Note: To get Bill Clinton's new book, “Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy,” at a great price from Amazon — Go Here Now.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Pope Urges More Muslim Opposition to ISIS in Turkey

Friday, 28 Nov 2014 10:55 AM

Pope Francis condemned the Islamic State group's assault on Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq and Syria, . . .

Experts: ISIS Lacks Funds to Keep Control of Iraqi, Syrian Territory

Friday, 28 Nov 2014 10:14 AM

Islamic State (IS) militants may ultimately lose the war in Iraq and Syria because they do not have enough money to run  . . .

Rifts Evident Among Top Democrats After Midterm Trouncing

Friday, 28 Nov 2014 09:11 AM

Tensions that have been simmering within the upper echelons of the Democratic Party are rising to the surface in the wak . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved