State and federal governments are broke. The left and the right have very different ideas on how to get government back on solid financial ground. Compromise seems unlikely going directly to budget discussions.
Legislative bodies might find common ground by first identifying common principles, or outcomes deemed desirable. For example, they might agree that a strong middle class is good for democracy. They might agree that focusing on developing jobs that cannot be outsourced would be good policy. At any rate, find the common ground and then budget to those shared ideals.
I know some questions may not be dealt with that need fixing, but at least we would make some headway to our goal of a balanced budget that meets common needs. I hope they could agree that educated minds and home-grown jobs that create value are the underpinnings of a solid middle class. I also hope they could agree that the best way to create value and jobs at home would be to guide our economy to become energy self-sufficient.