A sober discussion on trimming $4 trillion from the national debt got off to an unusual start. Erskine Bowles, who was co-chairman of a commission on fiscal responsibility convened by President Barack Obama, began with a shoutout to his personal orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Walter Beaver, who Bowles said had reconstructed both his knees and both his shoulders.
“Without him, I wouldn't be here,” said Bowles, speaking at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons annual meeting in Chicago
Then Bowles and his committee co-chair, former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson, proceeded to describe spending on healthcare as fueling a dangerous rise in deficit spending by the federal government.
Bowles, who worked as President Bill Clinton's chief of staff, said the recent $1 trillion annual budget deficits are “a cancer that will destroy America from within.” And Simpson said that “healthcare is the driving engine that is taking us into the vapors.”
The duo recently unveiled a new framework for reaching fiscal discipline, developed with the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.