Obama's Boldness Rap

Did the President really miss an early chance to go big on deficit reduction?

Former Wyoming senator Alan Simpson is a hard-charging High Plains octogenarian who has never wasted much time choosing his words. So if you ask him what would have happened had President Obama championed the $4 trillion deficit-reduction plan that Simpson co-authored in 2010, he does not hesitate to answer: "He would have been torn to shreds."

And yet Simpson still would have preferred that the President do more. His co-author, Erskine Bowles, a Democratic former chief of staff for Bill Clinton, voices a similar sentiment. "I was surprised and disappointed," Bowles says, that the proposal "didn't get more focus."

The so-called...

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