First, (President Obama) should make a forthright new offer to Republicans: In exchange for them calling off the sequester and agreeing to infrastructure investments, he will offer them a set of concrete steps he will support to bring Medicare and Social Security under control.
In addition, (President Obama) will name negotiators to work with Congress, starting this year, on tax and entitlement changes, and additional tax increases and spending cuts to put our house in order.
Both sides will have to compromise further than they have so far on cherished commitments.
Second, the president should commit to working with Republicans to create a new tone for their relationship.
Instead of each side looking upon negotiations as "I win; you lose," the goal must be to create a "win-win." It is not necessary that each side like the other, but it is necessary that each side puts country first.
Are these two steps hopelessly idealistic? Read more.