ATR Government Affairs Manager Mattie Corrao writes in an op-ed for The Hill: “All eyes this week are on incoming Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, whose predecessor departed from business-as-usual to suggest the Pentagon should not be immune from budget scrutiny. Pentagon spending is expected to total over $6 trillion in the next ten years, and that’s assuming current policy disengaging from the Middle East. Foreign policy and fiscal advocates have warned that the United States cannot expect to maintain both its solvency and its position as the world’s policeman. Mr. Panetta has already proved his national security bona fides as the head of the CIA. The true strength of his leadership will come in the Pentagon budget wars; the country’s spending problem now proving far more dangerous than traditional thinking about Pentagon budgets would have taxpayers believe.”

Tom Cohen reports for CNN: “At the heart of the GOP resistance is a bedrock principle pushed by anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist against any kind of tax increase at all. A pledge pushed by Norquist’s group, Americans for Tax Reform, against any tax increases has been signed by more than 230 House members and 40 senators, almost all Republicans. Norquist and his supporters want to shrink the federal government and believe any new revenue would enable continued government growth.”