Has he forgotten that the last successful bipartisan budget negotiation was in… 1990? That calling on President Obama to use his Green Lantern-like powers to create a large budget-balance deal is a strategy that has not produced any results in 23 years?
And, given that Alice Rivlin is saying that she thinks that discretionary spending at current levels is too low for the government to function effectively, isn't it time for Leon Panetta to shut up and sit down and stop talking about the need for "tough choices" to further reduce spending?
There are times when I wonder if I lived through the same history as the Green Lanternists…
Damian Paletta: Panetta Faults Obama, GOP on Budget:
Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Monday faulted the White House and Republican leaders for failing to negotiate on major budget issues…. Mr. Panetta said Mr. Obama had to engage Republicans… Congress needed to target close to $2 trillion in additional deficit-reduction over 10 years…. He said this would require “tough choices” by both sides….
Mr. Panetta said… political leaders lacked the resolve that was present during budget negotiations in the Reagan and Clinton administrations…. Mr. Panetta said the White House had tried to engage Republicans on the budget before, but he suggested the Obama administration felt burned by past attempts and no longer felt a deal could be achieved. “You can’t, just because you’ve engaged in some set of negotiations and they haven’t gone anywhere, for one reason or another there’s been a breakdown, [that] is no reason to walk away from the table,” he said. “In this town, you’ve got to stay with it and stay at it.”… He said if the White House felt too many Republicans cringed at the idea of agreeing to anything that Mr. Obama helped design, he should consider delegating negotiating power to someone else to try and break the ice.