Bowles compares fiscal cliff negotiations to “kabuki theater”

Erskine Bowles compares negotiations over fiscal cliff to “kabuki theater” on the PBS NEWSHOUR tonight; tells Gwen Ifill that if two sides come to an agreement too quickly, “their own side would just kill them.”

Erskine Bowles, co-chair of President Obama’s  National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, told PBS NEWSHOUR Senior Correspondent Gwen Ifill in an interview Monday ( December 3) that he thought both Speaker Boehner and President Obama are closer to making a deal on the fiscal cliff than the current state of negotiations makes it seem.

“That’s just a kabuki theater” said Bowles of early efforts by Treasury Secretary Jeffrey Geithner and House Speaker John Boehner. “If they got to agreement–the way Washington is–too quickly, their own side would just kill them because they wouldn’t think they had negotiated hard enough. They got to go through this exchange.”

After Speaker Boehner and fellow Republicans released a counter-offer to the President this afternoon and a letter this afternoon suggesting their plan follows what Bowles outlined during congressional testimony in 2011, Bowles joked that “it is nice the Speaker would give me some credit for trying to do that” but said Republicans would ultimately need to accept some tax hikes on the wealthy that they remain opposed to today.

Ifill’s interview with Bowles will air on the Monday, December 3 evening broadcast of the PBS NEWSHOUR (check local listings).

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