Though he thinks Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, co-chairmen of the federal deficit-reduction commission, are “in a tough game without a great hand,” Wall Street Journal columnist Gerald F. Seib is impressed that they are playing it cleverly. The co-chairmen’s ideas for reducing the federal deficit some $4 trillion by 2020 were “designed to box in those on all sides who would rather talk in high-sounding generalities about the deficit than deal with the unpleasant specifics,” Seib wrote. He noted how their ideas “made everybody uncomfortable at the outset, which is necessary to be sure no group or special interest can feel singled out for pain.” And by making their ideas public, Simpson and Bowles “made it harder for other commission members to run and hide.”
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