Former President Bill Clinton advised Americans Tuesday not to worry about the nation's debt crisis just yet, telling a Baltimore crowd that he's confident a bipartisan budget deal will be worked out after the election to head off automatic spending cuts and tax increases.
"Some of you may be worried about this fiscal cliff [at the end of the year]. Don't be, yet," Clinton told a sold-out crowd at an event organized by Stevenson University.
"Almost no matter what happens, they will have to do something on this budget," he said, according to a report today in the Baltimore Sun
Clinton used his 45-minute address at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall to talk about some of the problems his nonprofit Global Clinton Initiative confronts on a daily basis around the world.
But he also spoke about the presidential campaign and his view that Republican Mitt Romney's plan for dealing with the nation's depressed economy won't work.
Asked how he would resolve the budget crisis if he were still president, Clinton offered the same answer he gave during his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention: "Arithmetic," he said.
More specifically, the former president repeated his call for Congress to adopt a 10-year budget plan front-loaded with new spending to help boost the economy followed by cuts in the out-years to reduce the nation's debt, the Sun reported.
The newspaper said Clinton also described this year's election as a defining event that would help break the government gridlock by forcing Republicans and Democrats to work together.
"I think you'll be surprised after this election," he said.
A recent New York Times/CBS poll found that two-thirds of registered voters still have a positive view of the former president, who appears to be more popular now than he was during his two terms in office.
But some Republicans have criticized Clinton's new role as a campaign surrogate for President Barack Obama, who recently referred to his fellow Democrat as his "secretary of explaining stuff."
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