CNBC Excerpts: CNBC's John Harwood Speaks with Campaign to Fix the Debt Co-Founders Erskine Bowles & Alan Simpson Today on CNBC's "Power Lunch"
WHEN: TODAY, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 1ST
WHERE: CNBC'S "POWER LUNCH"
Following are excerpts from the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Campaign to Fix the Debt Co-Founders Erskine Bowles & Alan Simpson today on CNBC's "Power Lunch." Following is a link to the interview on CNBC.com: http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?play=1&video=3000143897.
All references must be sourced to CNBC.
SIMPSON ON THE ECONOMY:
IF YOU JUST WANT TO BE THRILLED BY QUARTER TO QUARTER STUFF, THAT ISN'T GOING TO DO ANYTHING FOR THIS COUNTRY. YOU OUGHT TO START THINKING DECADE BY DECADE. BECAUSE THE MATH IS IMPOSSIBLE TO MISS. SO THE DOW- I ALWAYS LOVED IT THAT THERE WOULD BE A RISE IN THE DOW AND THEY SAY WHAT CAUSED THAT? WELL IT'S BECAUSE THE SUPER BOWL OR PRESIDENT'S ELECTION HAPPENED ON SUCH -- THAT'S LIKE READING PIGEON DROPPINGS ON THE EDGE OF THE DIRKSEN BUILDING. IT REALLY ISN'T WORTH ANYTHING AND NEITHER IS THIS BUSINESS. THIS IS IRRATIONAL EXUBERANCE STILL.
BOWLES ON REACHING THE PROMISE LAND:
I 'D SAY WE ARE HALF WAY THERE. UNFORTUNATELY, WE HAVE DONE the EASY STUFF. WE RAISED TAXES ON RICH PEOPLE AND WE'VE CAPPED DISCRETIONARY SPENDING WITHOUT SAYING EXACTLY WHAT WE'D CUT. WE HAVEN'T DONE ANYTHING TO REFORM OUR TAX CODE. WE HAVEN'T DONE ANYTHING TO REFORM OUR ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS, TO SLOW THE RATE OF GROWTH, PARTICULARLY OF HEALTH CARE, TO THE RATE OF GROWTH OF THE ECONOMY. WE HAVE TO DO THAT OR WE'LL NEVER GET TO THE PROMISED LAND.
BOWLES ON THE SEQUESTER:
IT IS NOT SO MUCH A BAD THING, IT IS A STUPID THING. WHAT THEY ARE IS MINDLESS SENSELESS ACROSS THE BOARD CUTS IN AREAS WE DON'T HAVE TO FOCUS ON RIGHT NOW. WHAT WE NEED TO FOCUS ON ARE THESE ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS ON THE CUT SIDE. AND BESIDES, NO BUSINESS GUY WATCHING THIS SHOW EVER BALANCES THEIR BUDGET BY MAKING ACROSS THE BOARD CUTS. THEY GO IN AND MAKE CUTS WHERE YOU LEAST ADVERSE EFFECT ON PRODUCTIVITY. THAT'S WHAT WE ARE NOT DOING. WE ARE JUST DOING STUPID EASY STUFF.
BOWLES ON THE DEBT LIMIT:
MESSING AROUND WITH THE DEBT LIMIT IS, LIKE, CRAZY. WHY WOULD YOU EVER WANT IT MESS AROUND WITH THE FULL FAITH AND CREDIT OF THE U.S. THERE ARE LOTS OF BETTER WAYS TO DO IT. THEY EVEN HAVE THE SEQUESTER AND CONTINUING EXPIRATION OF THE CONTINUING RESOLUTION WHICH WOULD LEAD TO A SHUT DOWN OF GOVERNMENT. AS BAD AS THOSE ARE, THOSE AREN'T AS BAD AS MESSING AROUND WITH THE DEBT LIMIT.
SIMPSON ON REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMEN:
THE ONLY WAY CAN YOU DESCRIBE DISASTER FOR THESE GUYS IS YOU'RE GOING TO GET BEAT AND BE EMBARRASSED AND THEY ARE GOING TO MAKE YOU LOOK LIKE FOOLS. I THINK THAT IS COMING AROUND. I WOULD SAY, DROP THE SOCIAL ISSUES. I THOUGHT THIS PARTY WAS GOVERNMENT OUT OF YOUR LIFE, PRECIOUS RIGHT OF PRIVACY AND RIGHT TO BE LEFT ALONE AND YET THEY MESS AROUND AND ALL THESE SOCIAL ISSUES. THAT IS MESSING AROUND. SO I THINK THAT THEY REALIZE AND BOEHNER CERTAINLY REALIZES THAT GOOD PEOPLE, GOOD STABLE REPUBLICANS OF ANY STRIPE REMEMBER THAT YOU DON'T WANT TO BE KNOWN AS THE GUY THAT CLOSED DOWN THE GOVERNMENT.
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