Elder statesman such as Robert Rubin, the former Clinton Treasury secretary, are casting the months after November as a time to reconcile the partisan chasm, since the cliff is projected to send the economy back into recession.
“The so-called fiscal cliff, with its expiring tax cuts, sequester and distance from the next election, creates an extraordinary propitious set of conditions for producing compromise across party lines and different opinions to meet our fiscal imperative,” Rubin said last Wednesday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. . . .
Even as the willingness to compromise was badmouthed last week, the gray beards and wise men of Washington’s budget reform community gathered at the Center for Strategic and International Studies to bemoan the country’s growing and unsustainable national debt, urging lawmakers to reconsider a grand bargain.
Seconding Rubin’s message was James A. Baker, the cool dealmaker who served as Treasury Secretary and Secretary of State under Republican administrations. He welcomed the “cliff” as a golden moment to bring all the opposing forces to the bargaining table. . . .
The gathering included former senators Sam Nunn, D-Ga., Pete Domenici, R-N.M., Bill Brock, R-Tenn. and Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and others pushing for a grand bargain along the lines of the recommendations made by the Bowles-Simpson presidential fiscal commission.