Erskine Bowles spent his first day of "retirement" spreading doom and gloom.
Bowles, who stepped down as president of the UNC System Friday, used his time as a keynote speaker at the Economic Forecast Forum in Durham today to discuss the "abysmal" federal budget situation.
Bowles compared current budget policy to a "cancer" that will "destroy our country from within.
"We're facing the most predictable economic crisis in history," he addd. "The path we're on now is unsustainable."
Bowles has kept his other job, as co-chairman of President Obama's deficit commission. He didn't discuss what his other plans might include, but made it clear he's eager to fight for his commission's controversial proposals to slash federal spending, reform the tax system and make a variety of other changes to balance the federal budget.
Critics have attacked much of the commission's plan, but some recommendations are expected to be considered as Congress wrestles with a new budget.
"We've got some tough choices we've got to make," he added. "But if we don't make them, I think America will end up a second-rate power. If we do them, we can compete and we can win."