Washington (CNSNews.com) - Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) told CNSNews.com that he agreed with debt commission Chairman Erskine Bowles’s analysis that America now faces “the most predictable economic crisis in history” and that it could strike the nation within two years.
Bowles made his forecast in testimony before the Senate Budget Committee last month, stating, “I'm really concerned. I think we face the most predictable economic crisis in history. A lot of us sitting in this room didn't see this last crisis as it came upon us. But this one is really easy to see. The fiscal path we are on today is simply not sustainable. ... This is a problem we're going to have to face up to in maybe two years, maybe a little less, maybe a little more."
On Capitol Hill on Wednesday, CNSNews.com asked Rep. Davis, “Erskine Bowles, the co-chair of President Obama’s Fiscal Responsibility Commission, told the Senate Budget Committee that America faces the ‘most predictable economic crisis in history’ because of deficit spending and that this crisis is going to hit in about two years. Do you agree with Mr. Bowles?”
Davis said, “I do agree with Mr. Bowles and I think the crisis is probably much closer to us than we would want to acknowledge. I think it’s absolutely essential that we, one, have tax policy that will generate appropriate revenue from individuals, meaning that if we have a segment of the population that’s not paying its fair share then, of course, we are denying our Treasury greatly needed resources.”
“We also need to do everything in our power to create jobs and work opportunities so that people are being productive and can help generate what we need in our country, but we actually have other policies that need to change,” said Davis. “For example, we have large numbers of people who are incarcerated that we’re using public dollars to take care of.”
“If we could reduce the numbers of individuals in our jails and prisons some of whom we are paying as much as $40,000 a year and upwards for, then we would be reducing the cost of operating government,” said Davis.
“So there are many changes that need to occur if we are to get things down to the size where we don’t have the serious economic crisis that we’re facing,” he said.
Rep. Davis also suggested pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan to avert the economic crisis about which Bowles warned.
CNSNews.com asked the congressman, “President Obama’s budget estimates that the federal government will run a $1.6 trillion deficit this fiscal year. How much spending are you willing to cut for the remainder of the fiscal year in order to avert this crisis that Mr. Bowles is talking about?”
Davis said, “I’m one of those individuals who believe that if we could extricate ourselves from some of the foreign war activity in which we are engaged -- and I commend the President from bringing home from Iraq our combat troops, but I look forward to bringing all of our troops out of there -- if we could bring our troops out of Afghanistan that would help reduce the deficit.”
“If we could stop making so many war instruments for killing, destruction, and protection that would further reduce our economic plight,” added Rep. Davis, “and of course we need to be able to practice a greater and higher level of diplomacy so that we’re not spending as much for defense.”
“We have millions of people unemployed in our country who are not productive,” he said. “If we could find the way to help those individuals become productive, contributive members of society, then we’re talking about reducing further deficits and we’re talking about putting our economy on the right track.”
CNSNews.com also asked Davis, “Do you have a specific dollar amount in mind as far as how much spending you’re willing to cut?”
“No,” said Davis. “I really don’t have a dollar amount because I think that you spend based upon your priorities. I think you spend based upon your needs. You spend based upon the quality of life that you’re trying to produce and promote.”
“So I don’t have an exact amount,” he said, “and I’m not sure that the exact amount is the most important thing. I think the most important thing is, one, to get the most mileage out of what we do spend, then to spend appropriately according to our values and according to the needs to our citizens.”
CNSNews.com further asked, “Is there any specific agency or department that you’re willing to abolish in order to help reduce the deficit?”
Davis said, “I can’t think of any that you could abolish. I certainly don’t have a problem looking for ways to reduce and one of the places that I really want to reduce is in defense.”