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If Bill Safire were still with us and writing a column about the debt follies in Washington, he might well begin by asking readers: Which of the following outcomes is most likely in the days ahead? (a) The president and Congress reach a historic accord that reduces deficits by some $4 trillion over 10 years while also lifting the debt ceiling through the 2012 elections. So, brother Safire would ask readers, what do you think? Let me briefly tell you how I would respond: For a long while -- since the days of the Simpson-Bowles commission -- I had hoped that option (a) would be the answer. The country desperately needs to get its fiscal house in order, and Simpson-Bowles provided the best plan anyone has devised. It also had bipartisan support, mostly because it had just about the right ratio of $2 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax increases. Sadly, the White House failed to seize that banner and start a parade.


Gergen, David. "No Way to Run a Country.", July 21, 2011.