When people asked Al Simpson and me why we agreed to take on the challenge of finding a solution to our nation’s deficit and debt, we originally said we were doing it for our 15 grandkids, my nine and his six. However, the more we got into the numbers, the more dire we understood our Country’s financial situation to be. We quickly realized we were not doing this for our kids, much less our grandkids, we were doing it for all of us. We realized that the fiscal problems facing our Country were enormous, the solutions would all be painful, and there simply was no easy way out.
After listening to economists and budgeters from both sides of the political aisle, it became clear to both Al and me as well as the other members of our bipartisan commission that we faced the most predictable economic crisis in history; that the fiscal path our Country was on was not sustainable; that these trillion dollar deficits were like a cancer. These deficits were going to slowly over time destroy our Country from within. And when this cancer metastasized, it would happen so quickly that no one would believe it.
That was why Al and I resolved that we were going to put forward a proposal that was big and bold enough to truly tackle the problem even if nobody else supported us. And that is also why the two of us have continued our efforts on this issue long after the Fiscal Commission closed up shop, creating the Moment of Truth Project to educate policymakers and the public on the Commission’s work, speaking to groups across the country and working with Members of Congress in both parties who want to find a bipartisan solution. We truly believe that our growing debt is the greatest domestic threat facing our nation.
In the end, Al and I choose to remain optimistic about the chances for fiscal reform and about the future of this country. The political system doesn’t always move quickly or steadily, but the magnitude of the challenges ahead will require it to act. Our nation desperately needs broad, bipartisan agreement based on shared sacrifices, not politics as usual. Al and I hope you will join me in this effort to demand that our leaders step up to this challenge and make the tough choices necessary to achieve long-term fiscal responsibility and reform for our country, for our children, for our grandchildren, and for all of us.