The overall message at the Christian Science Monitor breakfast today with Clinton administration official Erskine Bowles and ex-Wyoming senator Alan Simpson about the budget and the deficit was pretty gloomy. Such messages are a lot easier to take though when you’ve got the senator’s legendary sarcastic wit to wash it down:
Here are some of the Simpson’s nuggets of wisdom:
Somebody is always saying, ‘We need a stimulus.’ Well, what the hell do you think a $1.1 trillion deficit is? Unless your brain in vacated, that’s what that is.The tipping point (in budget reform) is going to come when they see a totally dysfunctional government, unable function. (It can just) kick the can down the road. The can now is not a can; it is a 55-gallon drum filled with explosives.
I always love the rigidity of some of those in my party. They are as rigid as a fireplace poker but without the occasional warmth.
If you go to a legislative body and you can’t compromise, you should never be in a legislature. And you should never, ever marry.
Can you tell the difference between being “naked” and being “nekkid”? When you’re “naked” you don’t have any clothes on. But if you’re “nekkid” you don’t have any clothes on but you’re up to something.
(On why it is referred to as the Simpson-Bowles Commission and not the Bowles-Simpson Commission) The reason it is not Bowles-Simpson is that the acronym for that is not appropriate. (Laughter) We call it Simpson-Bowles but that means “sumbitch” so it doesn’t make any difference which way you go.
(On criticism he has gotten from New York Times columnist Paul Krugman) He has savaged me from the beginning. I have been rather genial in my opprobrium and ridicule towards him. So, let him rant. That’s all I can tell you. But I notice that when he goes on the talk shows that nobody listens to him, so that must have some bearing.