Alan Simpson, a former Republican lawmaker from Wyoming and co-chair of the president’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, said common calls on deficit reduction do little to nothing to address the burgeoning federal deficit, last scored at a record $1.5 trillion. Tackling large entitlement programs and the defense budget are necessary parts of the deficit fight, he said.
“I’m waiting for the politician to get up and say, ‘There’s only one way to do this: You dig into the big four: Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and defense,’” he added. “Anybody giving you anything different than that, you want to walk out the door, stick your finger down your throat, and give them the green weenie.”
He also dismissed a recent push by some Republicans to reduce federal spending to 2008 levels, as well as a call from the president for a five-year freeze on discretionary spending as “peanuts.”
Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) are leading a group of roughly 20 senators who want to introduce the commission’s plan as legislation.