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December 14th, 2012
10:52 AM ET

Fmr. Gov. Bredesen: The fiscal cliff is a 'self inflicted wound'

Reducing the national debt and deficit, which currently stand at $16 trillion and $1.1 trillion respectively, has been a central part of the fiscal cliff negotiations.

Former Gov. Philip Bredesen is now the National Steering Committee Member of the Campaign to Fix the Debt and he joins Starting Point this morning to explain why he thinks that reducing the debt and deficit are such important issues.

"We have had these high levels of deficit in the past during World War II, World War II, and the Great Depression. The separation now is that the deficit is being driven by an unwillingness to raise taxes and to cut entitlements," Gov. Bredesen says. "There is no end in sight. It's something that threatens to undermine the financial stability of the country. It's a silly place for to us be."

Gov. Bredesen also breaks down the ways that he thinks the country should address the issue.

"First of all, we're talking about doing something real about it, making sure there's at least $4 trillion in reduction over the course of the next ten years and doing it in a smart way, not walking off the cliff, and causing us really to quite likely move back into recession," Gov. Bredesen says. "Plan it out over a period of time like intelligent adults ought to do. It has to be fair, there has to be entitlement reforms and revenue increases. We need to stop this political wrangling that just looks so silly out here in the country."

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