What do Erskine Bowles and James Dean have in common?

You’re right — not much.

That didn’t stop Bloomberg Businessweek from making the comparison.

Simpson-Bowles is the James Dean of deficit-reduction plans: more popular in death than life. Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona calls it “an excellent blueprint.” Democratic Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the ranking minority member on the House Budget Committee, holds it up as a “framework.” General Electric (GE) Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt describes it as “a great starting point,” and hundreds of executives involved in the Campaign to Fix the Debt are touting it as a model for fiscal cliff talks. But most people have only a vague idea of what’s in the 65-page plan. …

Speaking of Simpson-Bowles, John Hood referenced it this weekend on Carolina Journal Radio as a potential bargaining tool for Republicans in the fiscal cliff negotiations.

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