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Bowles, Simpson lament inability to tackle meaningful deficit reduction

"What's right for this country is to solve this long-term fiscal problem. We face the most predictable economic crisis in history. The fiscal path we're on is not sustainable. They know it and they've simply got to stand up to it. We've simply made promises we can't deliver on," said former Clinton Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles on MSNBC's "Daily Rundown" Tuesday.

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The Bowles-Simpson fiscal commission plan released last year recommended generating revenue from a simplification of the tax code that would have eliminated deductions while lowering rates to spur growth. Their plan would also have reformed Social Security by cutting benefits.

Former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) joked at the beginning of the interview that they had "effectively irritated everyone" with their proposals and that only their family and friends were on their side.

Later, Simpson took a more serious tone and lamented the inability of Congress to stand up to special interest groups in order to pass proposals that would effectively reduce the deficit.

"If you can't take those people on, you shouldn't be in Congress. If you can wade through emotion, fear, guilt and racism and get the nut of things," Simpson said.

"We don't do B.S. and we don't do mush," added Simpson.

Bowles and Simpson are meeting with the supercommittee today to share their ideas on reducing the deficit. The congressional panel is charged with finding an agreement to cut at least $1.2 trillion over 10 years from annual deficits.

They will tell the 12-member committee that failure to reach a basic $1.2 trillion deal could result in another downgrade of the U.S. bond rating and that failure to reach a larger deal risks fiscal calamity down the road.

An open hearing of the committee will be held this afternoon.

For a detailed look at the testimony of Simpson and Bowles for today's hearing, click here