Former U.S. Sen. John Danforth

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Former U.S. Sen. John Danforth says "government is broken" because of the uncompromising nature of today's partisan politics.

The former Republican senator from Missouri retired in 1995 and was known as a political moderate during his 18 years in Washington. But Danforth says the political center has collapsed and "compromise" has become a dirty word among Republicans and Democrats.

Yet Danforth says compromise is exactly what's needed to fix the U.S. government. He says Republicans need to abandon the idea of no new taxes, and Democrats need to agree to substantial changes in entitlement programs.

Danforth spoke Thursday night at a joint meeting of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis and the Judicial Learning Center.