Bloomberg Touts Deficit-Reduction Plan, Says Bush Tax Cuts Should Expire

Hours after it was voted down in the House of Representatives, Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave his vocal support to a deficit reduction plan Thursday as the solution to stabilize the economy.

Bloomberg made his comments in the opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal and at a breakfast forum hosted by the newspaper at the Pierre Hotel in Midtown.

Seated beside former Senator Alan Simpson and former White House chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, Bloomberg endorsed the plan, commonly known as Simpson-Bowles, which would slash the federal deficit by $4 trillion over 10 years by cutting spending and raising revenues.

The proposal would include tax increases on the wealthy, who live in New York in large numbers. Asked by the Journal’s Alan Murray whether the plan could harm New York, Bloomberg said the priority should be putting the nation’s finances in order.

"You may disagree with some of their choices, but at least it was made with thought and with some advice from others and consultation. And that's what we need."

In his Wall Street Journal op-ed, Bloomberg rejects both the Republican plan for more tax cuts and calls from Democrats to raise taxes for those making more than $1 million a year.

"Pitting one group against another not only divides us in counterproductive ways," Bloomberg writes, "but offers one group the false promise of something for nothing."

Bloomberg said the president should allow the Bush tax cuts to expire for everyone, and Congress should pass the Simpson-Bowles plan.

Bloomberg appeared comfortable, riffing genially with two longtime Washington insiders about the broken political system. Still, Bowles and Simpson supplied most of the zingers.

 “We call this the Cialis plan,” Bowles said, referring to the erectile dysfunction medication which has often been advertised during the Sunday morning political talk shows. “When the time is right, we’ll be ready,” he added, paraphrasing one of the taglines in Cialis ads.