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Bowles and Simpson offer a modified budget plan

WASHINGTON (AP) – The chairmen of President Barack Obama’s 2010 fiscal commission are wading back into Washington’s budget wars with a revised, somewhat milder plan to rein in intractable federal deficits.

The plan by former Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles and former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming would lop more than $5 trillion from deficits over the upcoming decade when combined with the deficit-cutting steps enacted in fits and starts since his 2010 proposal.

It’s unclear what impact the updated plan will have on the bitter divide over taxes, spending and debt. The initial Bowles-Simpson plan won warm reviews from deficit hawks but received a chilly reception from Obama and much of the rest of official Washington for its tough mix of tax increases and cuts to benefits programs.

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