Bowles: 'No easy way' to get books back in order | US National Headlines | Comcast The co-chairman of the U.S. deficit commission calls failure to agree on a plan to reduce the national debt "the most disappointing thing in my life." Erskine Bowles says "what is going on in Washington is absolutely nothing." He also says Washington must come up with at least $4.7 trillion in deficit reduction. Failing that, he says, "we're not going to have any money left over to spend on anything else" but servicing the debt. We need a new Government and President- Failure and inaction are considered a success in the current one.