Simpson hawks debt reduction plan with straight talk, colorful language

Utah delegation gives ideas mixed reviews

Published: Saturday, Dec. 17 2011 3:00 p.m. MST

Sen. Orrin Hatch said the answer to the fiscal crisis is a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, a drum he has banged since being elected to the Senate 35 years ago. His latest attempt to get such a bill passed failed this past week.

"Every time Washington has raised taxes and cut spending in the name of deficit reduction, the tax increases remained but spending did not," he said. "Instead, the higher taxes were used to fuel more spending."

Simpson blames much of the nation's financial mess on voters electing pork-barrel politicians.

"I'd put it on the backs of the good old American public, who for about the last 75 years have been sending people to Congress to bring home the bacon. 'Go get me the dam.' 'Go get me the road.' 'Go get me the airport.' 'Go get a change in the tax code.' 'Go get the monkey off my back,'" he said.

"And now the pig is dead. There's no more bacon to bring home."

The worst possible thing Congress could do at this point, he said, is nothing.

"This cannot be sustained," he said, noting that at the current borrowing rate, $1 trillion a year, will go to interest alone in 15 years.

"That means it doesn't go to anything you like," he said. "It doesn't go anywhere but to some bondholder overseas who's thinking, 'Well, these guys are still stupid. I'll just loan them some more money.'"

Simpson said it's going to take a shared sacrifice the likes of which haven't been seen in the Unites States since World War II to bring the nation's deficit under control.

"You gotta use your guts. You gotta step up to the plate. You gotta quit fooling the American public by giving them b.s. and mush," he said.

And Simpson, who while in the Senate relished and still relishes taking on "phonies," is unapologetic about his notion of how to get the job done.

"At the age of 80, there's a spring in my step because I've finally achieved life's ultimate goal: I've pissed off everybody in America."

E-mail: romboy@desnews.com Twitter: dennisromboy

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