Congress' deficit-fighting "supercommittee" must take bold action to balance the budget, and both parties must be willing to compromise to get it done, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Tuesday.
"For too long, Washington has operated on the 'something for nothing' principle," Bloomberg said in speech in Washington. "Both parties have promised their constituents the world — and given them debt and a sluggish economy and anemic job growth."
Bloomberg, a billionaire entrepreneur, said U.S. business leaders won't invest or hire workers until they know how Washington intends to grapple with the deficit.
"Decision-makers abhor a lack of clarity," he said, according to the prepared text of his speech to the Center for American Progress in Washington.
The so-called supercommittee has until Nov. 23 to recommend legislation that would cut deficits by at least $1.2 trillion over the next decade.
Bloomberg said that sum "would be just scratching the surface of the problem — and yet, as of this moment, it appears the committee is in danger of failing to reach even that low bar as a result of the usual partisan brinkmanship."
The Democrat turned Republican turned independent said both parties have to be willing to give on something.
Bloomberg said Democrats "have to face the reality that we need more spending cuts, including reasonable entitlement reform," while Republicans should allow George W. Bush's tax cuts to expire at the end of 2012.