"We've got to resolve this issue before it gets forced upon us," Greenspan said. The deficit, which hit $1.3 trillion this year, may begin to frighten the bond market, he said. As that happens, interest rates would move up, which could undermine the recovery, causing the dreaded double-dip recession.
Politicians in general were unenthusiastic about the suggestions, some even outright condemning them. But Greenspan said he believed "something equivalent" to what was recommended would eventually be approved by Congress.
"The only question is," he said, "is it before or after a bond market crisis?"