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US plunge off 'fiscal cliff' is likely, say debt gurus Simpson and Bowles (+video)

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Mr. Bowles and former Sen. Alan Simpson (R) of Wyoming have stayed engaged with members of Congress, the White House, business and other interest groups, and the public since releasing a report in December 2010 recommending a $4 trillion "balanced" solution to America's debt crisis. That plan included a package of tax hikes, spending cuts, and reforms to save money on big entitlement programs such as Medicare.

A balanced framework remains essential to strike a deal, and the looming fiscal crisis provides a "magic moment" to get it done, says Bowles. "To get something done in this town, you need a crisis – and we've got it," he says. But a bipartisan plan still requires support in both chambers from both Republicans and Democrats.

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