Sec. Leon Panetta said the budget process "went to shit" after his tenure in Congress on the House Budget Committee during a Thursday town hall event.
"In the Congress I worked on budgets, and frankly, at that time, we had the courage to make some tough decisions and eventually balance the federal budget, and then it all went to shit after that," Panetta said while discussing his career with troops in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Panetta served as the director of the Office of Management and Budget under former President Bill Clinton.
The secretary of defense warned Congress earlier this year they cannot fix the national fiscal issues with only more defense cuts. He has also been a noted critic of the impending sequestration, saying he would "take whatever the hell deal they can make" at a September press conference.
Panetta spoke at length Thursday about the various terror, cyber, and geopolitical threats the United States could face during the appearance.