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Deficit panel's Simpson blasts political 'stupidity'

Dec 6, 2012 - The Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- The co-chairman of President Barack Obama's deficit commission is assailing the politics of political brinksmanship surrounding the "fiscal cliff," saying Congress "put the chain on their own ankle."

Former U.S. Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson says "you have to have a blend" of revenue increases and spending cuts to achieve a deal to avoid the cliff.

Simpson tells NBC's "Today" show it's ridiculous for Democrats and Republicans to speculate on which party would suffer more if no compromise agreement were achieved.

He says, quote, "That's like betting your country. There's stupidity in that. This is big-time stuff."

Speaking of Congress, Simpson says, in his words, "If you gave 90 percent of them a profit-loss statement in one hand and a balance sheet in the other, they wouldn't know how to read it."

Former Clinton-era White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles co-chaired the deficit commission with Simpson.

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