Alan Simpson: Tax Hikes for Rich, or Drinks on Me

Erskine Bowles increasingly confident now that parties 'starting to tango'

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 9, 2012 12:17 PM CST

(Newser) – It's just another Sunday teetering on the fiscal cliff, with the Hill reporting that both Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles are indicating that tax hikes for the rich were a foregone conclusion. “I think Erskine and I both agree that if anybody out there who is, quote, rich doesn’t think their taxes go up, the drinks are on me, I’ll cover it,” says Simpson. And even "that alone won't solve the problem," adds Bowles, who nevertheless indicated he was "more encouraged" than a week ago, because the GOP and Dems "have started to tango now." He praised John Boehner as "a speaker who really gets it" for not wrapping his proposal in any deal-breakers, notes Politico. Elsewhere on the Sunday dial:

  • Bob Corker on Obama's tax offer: "There is a growing group of folks looking at this and realizing that we don’t have a lot of cards as it relates to the tax issue. I think [that notion] has merit....I actually am beginning to believe that is the best route for us to take."
  • Christine Lagarde on the fiscal cliff: “The best way out of this will be a balanced solution ... (which) takes into account both increasing revenue … and cutting spending, as well." Failure would mean "markets would react very quickly" with stocks "really taking a hit."
  • Cory Booker on his career prospects: "I am absolutely considering running for governor, as well as giving other options some consideration. I'm going to be focused on that for the next week to 10 days or so." As for a run for Frank Lautenberg's Senate seat: "Yeah, I’m actually looking at that a lot as well."
  • Newt Gingrich on Hillary Clinton's 2016 prospects: It's "virtually impossible" for any Democrat to deny her the nomination, and a Clinton candidacy "clears the field."

This April 14, 2011 file photo shows Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, co-chairmen of the president's deficit reduction commission.
This April 14, 2011 file photo shows Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, co-chairmen of the president's deficit reduction commission.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
Alan Simpson, co-chairman of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, speaks during a news conference on deficit reduction, Monday, Sept. 12, 2011.
Alan Simpson, co-chairman of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, speaks during a news conference on deficit reduction, Monday, Sept. 12, 2011.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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