Today, President Obama moves forward. creating an 18-member deficit commission, by executive order. The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform will be chaired by Alan Simpson, a former Republican senator from Wyoming, and a principled conservative, and by Erksine Bowles, the former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton who assisted President Clinton in getting a 1997 balanced-budget agreement with Congress, that led to budget surpluses.
Alan Simpson is the man of the hour. He served in the Senate at a time when the GOP took their responsibilities seriously and participated in governing process.
“There isn’t a single sitting member of Congress — not one — that doesn’t know exactly where we’re headed,” Mr. Simpson said in a telephone interview (to a New York Times reporter) Tuesday just before word of his role got out. “And to use the politics of fear and division and hate on each other — we are at a point right now where it doesn’t make a damn whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican if you’ve forgotten you’re an American.”
"While he criticized some liberal Democrats’ refusal to reduce entitlement benefits, Mr. Simpson also dismissed Republicans’ antitax arguments that deficits could be controlled with spending cuts alone. “But they don’t cut spending,” he said, referring to the years Republicans governed with President George W. Bush. "(http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/17/business/economy/17gridlock.html)