GOP Co-Chair of Deficit Commission Decries Inability of Washington to Find Common Ground -- Including Republicans Allowing 'Pettiness to Overcome Patriotism'

Former Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., the GOP co-chair of President Obama's deficit commission, told ABC News that "The American people are disgusted at both parties" for not being able to agree on a measure to reduce the deficit. "Everybody says, 'What in the hell is going on?'" Simpson said. "The American people are smarter than their politicians." He also expressed misgivings about his perception that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., undermined Speaker John Boehner's ability to compromise with Democrats, saying, "The stuff that’s going on in my party, where the -– pettiness overcomes the patriotism -– it’s just disgusting to me." Simpson criticized anti-tax activist Grover Norquist and the AARP as preventing progress. "You cant get there with this continual business of don’t touch this and don’t touch that," he said. He reiterated what the Deficit Commission plan spelled out: that the only way to arrive at a serious attempt at deficit reform is with a combination of cuts to entitlement programs and new taxes. "Reagan raised taxes," Simpson said. "We’ve never had less revenue to run this country since the Korean war." Contrary to some Republcans expressing skepticism about the Aug. 2 default date, Simpson said that Treasurt Secretary "Tim Geithner ain't fooling." "This is turning into a laugh except there’s nothing funny about it," he said. -- Jake Tapper

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