Apr 9, 2011 6:04 PM by AP posted By James H Egbert

Experts in Colo. debate fed budget woes in forum

DENVER (AP) - Bridging the political divide dominated the discussion at a Colorado forum on taming the federal deficit.

The partisan back-and-forth in the nation's capital prevented the two senators who assembled the panel from attending their own event in person. Democratic Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet were kept in Washington, D.C., Friday by the 11th-hour budget talks which successfully averted a government shutdown.

They instead gave an Internet welcome to about 200 people gathered at the University of Colorado-Denver.

Forum panelists former Sens. Gary Hart of Colorado and Alan Simpson of Wyoming said that politicians' fear of losing office is the main block to making unpopular choices to repair the national pocketbook.

Simpson, who co-chaired President Barack Obama's debt commission, joked that his committee worked well only because members don't have to face voters. Simpson's commission last year proposed a combination of spending cuts and higher taxes to cut $4 trillion from the federal budget over a decade.



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