- Associated Press - Thursday, January 10, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — The co-chairman of the U.S. deficit commission calls failure to agree on a plan to reduce the national debt “the most disappointing thing in my life.”

Erskine Bowles said that “what is going on in Washington is absolutely nothing.”

Mr. Bowles, a former White House chief of staff for President Bill Clinton, told MSNBC that nobody gets “a gold star” for deficit reduction in connection with the recent deal to avoid the fiscal cliff.

Mr. Bowles, who co-chaired the deficit panel with former Sen. Alan K. Simpson, said: “There’s no easy way out. The solutions are painful.”

He also said Washington must come up with at least $4.7 trillion in deficit reduction. Failing that, he said, “we’re not going to have any money left over to spend on anything else” but servicing the debt.

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