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Bill Clinton: Simpson-Bowles Is the Way to Go

By Dan Weil   |   Monday, 29 Oct 2012 09:15 AM

Former President Bill Clinton says the Simpson-Bowles commission’s recommendation of spending cuts combined with tax increases provides a good road map for solving the crushing government debt problem.

"While everyone can find things to disagree with in the recommendations of the Simpson-Bowles commission, I believe it got some big things right,” Clinton tells Fortune magazine.

Government debt – at $16 trillion – now surpasses gross domestic product, which is at $15 trillion.

Editor's Note: Obama Donor Banned This Video But You Can Watch it Here

The commission calls for $200 billion a year of spending reductions and $100 billion of tax increases.

Clinton agrees with that concept. “[A]ny credible deficit-reduction plan requires three things — spending reductions, revenue increases and economic growth," he says.

To be sure, the government has to be careful not to impose austerity before the economy has embarked on a sustained recovery, Clinton says. “[A]s the austerity policies in the eurozone and the U.S. show, that will slow the economy, cut jobs and increase deficits.”

CEOs of more than 80 major corporations have joined to urge Congress to agree to a combination of spending cuts and “pro-growth tax reform” that broadens the base, lowers rates, raises revenue and reduces the deficit. But Janet Novack, Forbes’ Washington bureau chief, views them as hypocrites.

“[T]here’s one not so little problem,” she writes.

“Some of the same business leaders who now sincerely want a deal have helped create the Washington gridlock blocking a deal by funneling big bucks to organizations and candidates emphatically opposed to any tax increases as part of a compromise.”

Editor's Note: Obama Donor Banned This Video But You Can Watch it Here

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