Bowles sees "seeds of hope" in Obama budget


The chair of President Barack Obama's deficit commission three years ago says Obama's recent budget proposal offers the "seeds of hope" for a Washington budget deal.

Erskine Bowles calls the Obama budget a "substantial step forward," because the president takes on Democratic sacred cows like Social Security with a plan to curb the annual cost-of-living benefit increases of the program.

But Bowles, who wrote a painful 2010 deficit plan mostly shunned by Obama, says he's coming out with a new plan on Friday with deeper cuts to Medicare and the Pentagon than Obama is proposing. He said Obama's plan doesn't go far enough to curb the growth of the government's debt.

Bowles made his remarks Monday at the annual meeting of The Associated Press.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew testifies about the president's budget proposal before the Senate Budget Committee today.

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