Co-chair of bipartisan White House commission tasked to reduce deficit says US ready to make big budget cuts
Al Simpson, the former Republican senator from Wyoming who is co-chair of a bipartisan White House commission charged with recommending ways to cut the deficit, said today that there are no more sacred cows in the federal budget.
"Show me a sacred cow, and we'll step out into the field and god knows what we will do that cow," he said in a telephone interview with the Globe.
Simpson, who is known for his colorful language, said that the federal budget deficit is "an indigestible lump on the table, and if they don't do something about it, it will just get worse every year."
After Simpson and his Democratic co-chair, Erskine Bowles, released draft recommendations last week that included $100 billion in cuts from both domestic and military spending over the next five years, many in Congress balked.
But Simpson said the American people are ready for drastic cuts.
"People walk by and give you the thumbs up, instead of another digit," he said. "They say, 'Somebody finally has put something on the table that's real, not watered down stuff. . .The people of American understand it. . . They have had tough times, their house was foreclosed, they had to cut up their credit cards, and there are millions out there are saying the government has got to do the same."
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.