Their minds haven't changed one iota. Appearing on Charlie Rose March 29, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, the co-chairs of Obama's debt commission, had an engaging conversation about the debt and deficit. They are still optimistic that something will get done to fix an unsustainable fiscal path--even after their December 2010 report failed to gain the traction they wanted--if only because the markets will demand it.
As Bowles notes, "We face the most predictable, and luckily the most avoidable, economic crisis in history." And perhaps that's why it's so hard to fix: The solutions are known, one just has to do them. (Sounds like the first day of exercise regimen.)
The real gems were the quotes of Alan Simpson. Whether it's calling a brain "your bean" or talking about "ElvisPresleycare" (as opposed to "Obamacare"), the man can whip some mighty fine quotes. Here's a few:
"What Erskine and I do, we don’t do charts or powerpoints. We just tell people who don’t know what a trillion is, and we have 16 of them [in debt]. If you spent a buck a second from right now, you wouldn’t hit a trillion for 32,500 years. If you spent a million bucks a day from the birth of Christ you wouldn’t be at a trillion yet. And the big bang theory of the universe happened 13 billion, 600 million years a go and that’s a sparrow’s belch compared to a trillion and we owe 16 of those babies. Now if you can’t wad that up in your brain and figure out where this country’s headed, you, as I said to one guy, you have a brain the size of a—you could take his brain and put it on the edge of a razor blade and it would look like a BB rolling down I-80."
"We have effectively succeeded beyond our wildest dreams because we have effectively pissed off everyone in America. [My wife] said, You have a lilt in your step and glint in your eye like I’ve never seen before because you’ve achieved your life’s goal: You pissed off everybody in America. She said, It used to be just pockets of people, now it’s the whole country."