Simpson fears failure in debt talks

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson says he fears Washington politicians have lost sight of the most important question as they fight over raising the national debt limit.

He says they need to ask themselves what's best for the United States - not what's best for their political agendas.

Simpson is a Wyoming Republican who served as co-chairman of last year's national deficit reduction commission. He told The Associated Press on Wednesday that it's clear the country needs to raise taxes and cut spending.

Simpson said average Americans will be hurt by rising interest rates and financial instability if Congress and the White House can't reach a deal and the country defaults on its debt payments.