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Erskine Bowles

erskineErskine Bowles was appointed to the position of co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform in February 2010. Currently the president of the University of North Carolina, Bowles announced his plans to retire as soon as a replacement has been found. Bowles is also a former Clinton White House chief of staff.

Bowles began his business career at Morgan Stanley & Co. in New York as an associate in the corporate finance group. In that position, he provided corporate finance expertise to America’s middle-market companies. After a while, he returned to his home state of North Carolina, where he founded and served as chairman and CEO of an investment banking firm that became Bowles Hollowell Connor & Co. Bowles also was a founder of Kitty Hawk Capital, a venture capital company, and Carousel Capital, a middle-market private equity company.

In 1993, Bowles was appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve as director of the Small Business Administration, and later was tapped to serve as deputy White House chief of staff (1994-95) and White House chief of staff (1996-98). As chief of staff, he helped negotiate the first balanced budget in a generation. As a member of the National Economic Council and National Security Council, he helped guide domestic and foreign policy.

Prior to serving as deputy White House chief of staff, Bowles helped direct the government’s response to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. After he left the White House, he also served from 1999 to 2001 as a general partner of Forstmann Little, a private equity firm. He ran for the U.S. Senate in 2002 and 2004, and currently serves on the boards of Morgan Stanley and Cousins Properties.

Bowles graduated from the University North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1967, and from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business in 1969. He holds eight honorary doctorates from universities and colleges throughout America.

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  1. Here are some, but not all of my suggestions for reducing our deficit.

    1. Increase the retirement period of government (civil service) employees, from 20 years to at least 30 years; better yet, let government employees retire at 65, like most Americans already do.

    2. Reduce Federal workers pay, to at least the same level that private sector employees would earn for the same work. Re-evaluate pensions and retirement benefits.

    3. Reduce the number of paid Federal holidays, and the length of Federal, paid vacations.

    4. Relax the procedures for firing incompetent federal employees.

    5. Eliminate redundancy in Federal agencies!

    6. Divest most government-owned assets, such as lands, of which the government was never meant to own, or control, anyway.

    7.We must rein in foreign “aid” spending, as well as the funding of everything from the U.N., to the W.M.F.! We can no longer afford to be “Sugar-daddy” to the world, nor can we continue to be its policeman.

    8. Investors, and entrepreneurs are being strangled by regulations, taxes, and uncertainty. We must, in particular, provide relief, and incentive to small business! We must stop sending our jobs overseas; again, our taxes, and regulations are driving the loss of U.S. jobs, which is currently responsible for an unreconcilable, and unsustainable transfer of wealth, from the U.S., to countries like China! Our federal government needs to stop buying overseas products, and start buying from our own companies, whenever possible!

    9. We have to insist on “fair-trade” policies that do not allow other nations an unfair advantage in the global markets. We must stop sending our jobs overseas; again, our taxes, and regulations are driving the loss of U.S. jobs, which is currently responsible for an unreconcilable, and unsustainable transfer of wealth, from the U.S., to countries like China! Our federal government needs to stop buying overseas products, and start buying from our own companies, whenever possible!

    10. Institute the “fair tax” system. Adding “value added taxes,” to our already over-taxed economy, on top of our current taxes, is a formula for disaster! We cannot tax our way out of our dilemma, and the attempt to do so will only result in a “bigger piece” of a very much smaller pie; and less revenue. It is also unlikely that we can, in any near-term scenario, “grow our way out of the deficit. The “fair tax” system would harness the “underground” economies, such as drugs, and illegal aliens thrive on. It would also tax foreigners who now live here tax free. Think doctors and high-tech workers. It would also derive revenues from overseas visitors. Finally, the I.R.S. would be largely unnecessary, saving untold billions; maybe some of its employees could be re-tasked to our borders.

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