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January 6th, 2009
02:00 PM ET

Economy: Do you Trust Congress?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The 111th Congress convened in Washington today. The problems confronting the country are many… the economic crisis, energy, health care and climate change, among others.

Democrats control both houses, but Republicans are not without power, especially in the Senate. And there are disagreements among Democrats as well over such things as runaway federal spending, what to do about the automakers and the right policy when it comes to the use of fossil fuels.

The public is also skeptical. According to a new Gallup poll only 19-percent of Americans approved of the job the Democratic Congress did in 2008, one of the lowest scores on record.

By the end of the year Congress' approval rating had risen from a low of 14 percent last July to 20 percent in December.

But overall, Americans remain dissatisfied with how things are going. And it's a pretty safe bet that if Congress doesn't improve on its past performance this time around, it will be a very short stay in our nation's Capitol for many of them.

Here’s my question to you: When it comes to the economy, how much do you trust Congress to do the right thing?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Dick in Warrenton, Virginia writes:
Not at all! This is yet another inept and misguided and misled mob. Name one thing that this body has done right yet in a crisis. Gave the banks all that money without oversight? How about the knee-jerk reaction to Mr. Burris' nomination? Did not even wait for the facts or a legal position! If Pelosi, Reid, Feinstein, et al want respect from Pres. Obama and the American people, they darn well better start earning it!

CJ from Atlanta, Georgia writes:
We collectively elected them, so we are going to have to live with the decisions our elected Congressmen and women make regarding the economy. Funny how Congress has the lowest approval ratings ever, yet incumbents got re-elected in November. Next time, try harder if you want change.

Karen from Nashville, Tennessee writes:
That's a joke, right? They're politicians.

Janie from Holyoke, Massachusetts writes:
Not while Pelosi and Reid are at the helm, and continue their stupid power-plays. I predict Obama's toughest opposition will be these 2 jokers, as they will want constantly to control every move our new President makes. I hope Obama has the intelligence and wisdom to reject their ideas if it is in the best interest of the American people.

Frankie writes:
I trust Barack Obama's goals. The Republicans had deliberately succeeded in hamstringing the Democrats who could not prevail against a Presidential veto. The Republicans chose gridlock over compromise. So. It's unfair to judge the Democrats by the past, but our whole government had sure better be judged for what they all do next.

John from Rohnert Park, California writes:
Trust them? Every time Congress makes a joke it becomes a law. Every time they make a law... It becomes a joke!

Ron in San Antonio, Texas writes:
Hell no!


Filed under: Congress • Economy
soundoff (126 Responses)
  1. David

    Not really but they are the only game in town. I just hope they do the right thing no matter what the out come be.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  2. Mike, Syracuse NY

    I trust them to do whatever they think they need to do to get reelected.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  3. chet-NJ

    No. Congress will bicker and fight for their own little piece of the pie at the expense of the country. Soon Obama will have to fight with those idiots.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  4. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    Based on past performance, I trust the Congress about as far as I can throw an elephant. But the reality is that they are the only players in the game at the moment that can do something about this.....so we have no choice but to hope they do the right thing.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  5. Sandra -- Oklahoma

    I don't trust them as far as I could throw them. They are as bad as the banks they gave the money to that won't account for what they did with it. If they were really concerned about the economy they would have just given it to the people to begin with . Between paying off their houses, cars, credit cards and improving their living situations they would have turned the economy around in a flash.......But, the greedy buggers would have lost out and missed all the media coverage they get by being butt-heads.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  6. Kellie

    If they pass a dynamic stimulus packet promptly that will address the urgent needs of this struggling economy, then "yes!". If they'll give money to AIG, Chrysler, Ford, etc and not directly to the struggling people of this country, then "no!".

    January 6, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  7. Chuck from Sheboygan, WI.

    I guess it depends on what is determined to be the right thing to do to fix the economy. Do we go further in to debt to stimulate jobs and consumer spending? Do we tighten our belts and accept the fact that there will have to be a fundamental change in the how this country operates? Either way, I'm pretty sure the Congress will screw it up. Do the right thing? That's not in their job description.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  8. Roger from Espanola, New Mexico

    How far can we trust individual representatives? We need to take a more active part in what goes on in Washington by writing to them and letting them know that if they don't get their act together, they won't be sitting in office term after term after term. More people need to be informed as to what goes on in government and not adopt opinions formed by others who have based their opinions from talk radio etc. Yes, the government needs to be able to do its job, but we need to let them know that ultimately, it is the people they represent that hold the reigns! Perhaps if we achieve this, we can trust government a bit more than we have lately.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  9. don in naples, florida

    Not at all. The congress spends too much and resorts to trickle down economics all too often. Our country has reached is threshold for debt. They don't seem to have the urgency to fix anything or do anything differently to fix the problems that exist.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  10. Sam from Pheonix, Arizona

    Congress has been completely unreliable with tax payer money. Just look at the bailouts where they just handed money to unsuccessful companies. They continue to do this what's next will McCdonald's get a handout without doing anything for the taxpayer.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  11. Richard in Ohio

    The recent 2 year history of Congress proves that they can only do one of the two following options: (1) Nothing (2)Take action that will make things worse

    It sure looks like they will once again pick option (2).

    January 6, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  12. Keith - Cleveland

    You're kidding, right, Jack? Economists can't even agree on what to do... Congress was never strong on foresight, and were just bullied by Paulson to hand over $700B of our tax money. They have borrowed from our Social Security funds 4 times, now tell us that it's in a bad way... And you ask if we trust congress with our money?

    They haven't done the right thing yet... What makes you think they can start now.?

    January 6, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  13. Ed

    When government manages public projects it checks common sense at the door. The government has proven itself time and again to be incompetent in its management of public projects and funds. Look at how government spends money on the military projects, the Big Dig in Boston or any other project you care to name. They accept cost over runs and fail to get value for our tax dollars. Why will their management of the economy be any different than any other project the government has managed. There is an old saying "I took this person to the dance before and didn't have a good time so why am I asking them again."
    Ed, Branchville, NJ

    January 6, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  14. Tripp Mechanicsburg, PA

    Nil. Congress gave away hundreds of billions of dollars to Wall Street with no promise of reform or method to track how the money was spent. That's why I trust Congress as far as I can throw them. Luckily, I do trust Obama to do the right thing regarding the economy. He is the sharpest politician around and will get Congress to follow his lead.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  15. Geri

    With the shape the economy is in now it is unthinkable that we should trust the Senate to do anything right since their negligence is partially responsible for the financial fiasco we are faced with. I trust them to do the right thing by about 20%.

    Geri – Mead, OK

    January 6, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  16. L.M.,Arizona

    Can anyone do any worse then Bush. Trust is a word that should never be associated with politicians just like "family values" oil and water.

    L.M.,Arizona

    January 6, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  17. John

    Jack: No, I do not trust Congress with the economy, but I do trust President-elect Barack Obama and his team. Congress should listen an do has requested by the Obama Administration after January 20th. He should have a long honeymoon period for 2 reasons: 1. The economy is really messed up by the Bush Administration; and 2. Obama margin of victory truly gives him a mandate and political capital.

    John
    Alabama

    January 6, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  18. Dennis

    Hi Jack,
    I would not trust congress to shine my shoes let alone try to fix the economy. This buch of baboons are more interested in lining their pockets than fixing anything. Let's face it, they don't have a clue. Where were they for the past eight years when all this mess could have been forseen and delt with. I think that it is a little late now.

    West Carrollton, Ohio

    January 6, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  19. Gigi in Alabama

    I can't see whether I trust Congress or not is of any significance. They will do whatever they want no matter what I or anyone else thinks of them.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  20. Jackie in Dallas

    You want me to put Congress and trust in the same sentence, Jack? How?

    Truly, if President Elect Obama can get the collective Congress off their overpaid, overstuffed cans and do the work that they were elected to do, AND they can forget partisan party politics as usual, they MIGHT actually do some good. However, I think it will be an uphill battle as long as Pelosi and Reid remain their positions. I tend to vote Democratic, since they come closest to my moderate views, but these two have already shown a lack of leadership that is scandalous and need to be replaced!

    January 6, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  21. Mike, Cleveland, Ohio

    Jack, the people in the 110th Congress are fools and that is just about the nicest thing I can say about them, for now!

    January 6, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  22. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    On a scale from 1 to 10 I'd give Congress of trust level of minus 50. Just look at the record on the first $350 Billion and the other bailouts.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  23. Robert W. Brooks

    Jack,

    It's not so much a question of trust as it is a question of competence. The answer to our economic crisis is not to throw money to everyone who ask for it, but rather to have a well thought out economic policy that promotes growth and stability. I'm not really sure Congress knows how to do that. Just look at our country's budget deficit. If I had a printing press in the basement I could do just as well as Congress.

    Robert
    Forest, VA

    January 6, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  24. Richard Green

    Jack,

    I don't trust them at all. The leadership in Congress is still the same folks who were frightened into giving hundreds of billions of tax payer dollars[with no strings attached] to the richest and most financially incompetent bunch of lunatics that George Bush and Henry Paulsen could find. [They actually believed Bush!!!!] Then they allowed the many fatuous condescending idiots among them to stand up and blame this mess on auto workers, single parent families, and the newly unemployed with nary a word of protest from the leadership.
    I trust you, Jack, not them.

    Richard Green
    San Clemente, Cal.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  25. Ray, Florida

    Define trust Jack!

    January 6, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  26. Al, Lawrence KS

    "Trust" and "Congress"...2 words that should never be used in the same sentence.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  27. odessa

    i don't know but i am tired of millions of people losing jobs, healthcare,homes, education etc...something has to be done for the people because they are paying elected officals' jobs to do their what is best for their constitiuents...ideology must be out the door and start thinking about people who are struggling eveyday not rich folks...rich folks take money for granted while the poor and working are struggling to survive...congress better take care of their business or else face consequences when voters kick them out of office for not doing their jobs...we send them to washington to help the poor,middle and working classes so all americans have a better share of the pie meaning healthcare, better jobs, keeping their homes etc...if they can send money for iraq,money for big banks etc, it's time for them to take care of business at home..

    January 6, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  28. Lois Canada

    I trust them to do anything that helps line their pockets!

    January 6, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  29. Gigi

    I don't trust the congress at all. They are to busy playing junior high. The people should start voting in anyone not a part of either the Republican or Democrat party. if we could get 36 members willing to consider the needs of the people and for the good of our country we might gain some respect for our selves and from the rest of the world.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  30. Jackie in Dallas

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    You want me to put Congress and trust in the same sentence, Jack? How?

    Truly, if President Elect Obama can get the collective Congress off their overpaid, overstuffed cans and do the work that they were elected to do, AND they can forget partisan party politics as usual, they MIGHT actually do some good. However, I think it will be an uphill battle as long as Pelosi and Reid remain their positions. I tend to vote Democratic, since they come closest to my moderate views, but these two have already shown a lack of leadership that is scandalous and need to be replaced!

    January 6, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  31. Sherri

    I trust Congress more so NOW because its majority Democratic. When I think of bills presented in the House by the Democratics to help the average American and how the Republicans with George Bush voted against the bills, its sickens me. I put my trust in THIS 111th Congress & soon to be President Obama. They have one hell of a mess to clean up with 2 wars & a economy that in a deep deep sinkhole. Hopefully this Stimulus package is a BIG start but so desperately needed & there're working on it NOW which is a good sign!

    January 6, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  32. Mary - California

    Under Bush Administration, it was pretty hard to trust Congress to do the right thing. Under Obama, it could improve – let's hope so.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  33. Mike - Hot Springs, Arkansas

    Hey somebody has to try to clean up the mess. As long as the Dems do not let the Republicans give it all to the rich we may have a chance.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  34. circy in New Mexico

    Trust Congress? I would feel safer diving off the top of the Empire State Building.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  35. HD Taylor - Arizona

    Jack, I don't trust Congress any further then I can throw it. This congress along with the previous congress and the Bush administration do not represent democracy or the citizens of the USA and they are totally unfaithful to the US constitution. Unless you are a wealthy elitest or a socioeconomic special interest group, you no longer have a voice or representation by congress. At this stage, illegal aliens from Mexico have greater representation by the US Congress.

    HD Taylor,

    Phoenix, AZ

    January 6, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  36. Patricia

    The last time that Congress had a majority, it was Republican & look at where the economy is!! It's in the toiddy. Democrats can't do any worse, trust me, I just hope I don't have to watch John Bonher cry in the well of Congress, when he doesn't get his way.

    Patricia
    Palmdale, Ca.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  37. ST

    I think there is a possibilty that the NEW Congress will do something. People keep thinking the same people are in charge and they're not. We elected new leadership in November. Give them a chance to do something. If the Dems screw up, we'll vote them out in 2 years. Plain and simple.

    January 6, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  38. John in Rohnert Park

    Trust them? Every time Congress makes a joke it becomes a law . . . every time they make a law . . . it becomes a joke!

    January 6, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  39. Mary from Houston, tx

    I'd like to think someone can get our economy back on the right track, seems like Congress and our new administration are our only hope.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  40. Ron San Antonio

    Hell no!

    January 6, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  41. Dick, Warrenton, VA

    Not at all!!!!. This is yet another inept and misguided and misled mob. Name one thing that this body has done right yet in a crisis?? Gave the banks all that money without oversight (Gee, ya think the banking lobby had anything to do with that or the "czar" from Wall Street??) How about the knee-jerk reaction to Mr. Burris' nomination? Did not even wait for the facts or a legal position!!! Geez, when did the Republicans sneak back in??

    If Pelosi, Reid, Feinstein, et al want respect from Pres Obama and the American people, they darn well better start earning it!!

    January 6, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  42. CJ in Atlanta, GA

    We (collectively) elected them, so we are going to have to live with the decisions our elected Congressmen and women make regarding the economy. Funny how Congress has the lowest approval ratings ever, yet incumbents got re-elected in November. Next time, try harder if you want change (e.g. Saxby in Georgia).

    January 6, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  43. Jenna Wade

    When it comes to the economy, how much do you trust Congress to do the right thing?

    I do now with the Democrats at the helm in the House, Senate and White House.

    It's going to take multiple Democratic terms to clean up the HUGE mess left by the Republicans.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    January 6, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  44. Eric Bracke, Fort Collins, CO

    None, nada, zippo. Congress does not have the werewithall to understand the economy. The infrastructure stimulus bill will not have an effect on the economy for years. The bailout of $700b with virtually no oversight has done little or nothing. The stimulus package last spring did nothing. People spent their "refunds" on paying off debt and adjusting to high fuel prices.
    Congress just doesn't understand the economy. What type of idiots borrow money to get themselves out of a credit crisis????

    January 6, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  45. Independent for Obama

    Not while Pelosi and Reid are at the helm, and continue their stupid power-plays. I predict Obama's toughest opposition will be these 2 jokers, (not the impotent Republican party) as they will want constantly to control every move our new president makes. I hope Obama has the intelligence and wisdom to reject their ideas if it is in the best interest of the American people.
    Janie,
    Holyoke ,Mass

    January 6, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  46. Mari Fernandez, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Interesting answers from the folks. From January 1994 through January 2007, both House & Senate were under Republican control, with Newt Ginrich(sp?) as its leader. The Republicans had a field day de-regulating. Now we have been left with a disaster!

    Bush took office in 2001, when our Nation had been enjoying one of the most prosperous times in our history! President Clinton had managed to balance the budget, pay off some of the National debt to about $5 trillion. Clinton had left Bush with a nice BIG SURPLUS.

    And now...... what is Bush leaving? A disaster!

    Its really not a matter of trust, its about being informed as a people. Too many Americans do not pay attention to Washington, unless there is a scandal! We need to be informed. And I do not mean ......listen to AM radio.

    Now it is the Democrats chance to make things better, to get us back on track and change things. We need to pay close attention, and IF they blow it....... throw them out. I am an Independent who voted straight Democratic this time. I have trust in President-elect Obama, I will give him a chance and time because he is facing an enormous challenge!

    And by the way, both liberal and conservative economists..... including Paul Krugman, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economist agrees that the Obama stimulus package is needed to jump start the economy. Let's pray he is right.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  47. Janice Illinois

    Jack, Can you hear me screaming from where you are?? No! They can Not be trusted, all of those who are there now, were there Then. What's to trust??? term limits , term limits. How much more of these do nothing people do we have to accept and pay for for the rest of their days?

    January 6, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  48. OBDAG in Appleton, WI

    Since I no longer trust Congress to do the right thing on any topic I doubt they can do anything right in regard to the economy. My opinion might change if they voted a pay reduction for themselves mainly for never getting the job done my attitude might begin to change.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  49. Rose

    I trust congress more now then I have in the past eight years. I think with a Democratic President and a democrat majority in both houses, I trust the peoples business will get done.
    I do have my reservations with the Republican minority leader. Obama gave them an olive branch, let's see what he and his fellow republicans do with it.

    Rose, New London, CT

    January 6, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  50. Thomas in Tx

    Not much.I see they will take time off in Feb.Maybe that is a good thing.How much trouble can they get us in then?

    January 6, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  51. Pugas-AZ

    You would think with the spotlight on them and the magnitude of the problem, they would do the right thing. I think they are somewhat "caught in the headlights" and are groping for solutions. They will probably make some good calls but the odds are that the majority of the actions will be highly questionable. Time heals all wounds.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  52. Rob

    If I had a choice between PROgress and CONgress....

    January 6, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  53. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    If you mean the 'right thing' means doing something for themselves; The "yeas have it". Otherwise, the public be damned.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  54. Greg, Hamilton Ontario

    What is congress? A big room full of crooks pretending to love their country. They are no different than any other form of politician completely untrustworthy. That's what's different about president elect Obama, he has an air of trust about him. Surely you felt that too Jack.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  55. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    Not so much, but I trust the American people. We are finally fed up. Things will get done despite the government. I have no doubt.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  56. Nuwan

    This is not a matter of trusting congress doing the right thing. I do not think anybody has a magic wand to fix the economy soon. I don't think anyone knows what the right solution is. We all have many opinions based on the past experiences. So congress and even president Obama will have to do things that may work or fail. Economic recovery will take time. So I can only give a good answere if we can all agree on what the right thing to do to fix it.

    Nuwan from Houston, TX

    January 6, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  57. Jane (Minnesota)

    I don't have much confidence in Nancy & Harry's ability to lead – They have not shown any leadership the past 2 years but that's what we are stuck with – one can always hope that a spirit of bi-parisanship will sweep over both houses of Congress after this disaterous Bush-Cheney reign. If the bipartisanship doesn't happen – God help us all!

    January 6, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  58. Paula in Albuquerque

    No. They've never given me reason to...

    January 6, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  59. James Bussacco

    Jack"
    I haven't trust Congress since I started to vote 60 years ago. Just check the records of Senators and Congressmen present and those in the past. At one time they wanted to build a statue of Will Rogers in Washington, Will Rogers, a great American told them to build his statue to face the Congress, so that I can keep an eye on those crooks.
    Jim
    Pittston Pa

    January 6, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  60. John from collinsville, Illinois

    Compared to the last eight years trust and hope is all I got. I dont think it can get any worse so go for it.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  61. susan from Idaho

    The only time our elected officials will do the right thing is if all incumbents are voted out and the new ones know unless their actions are for the good of all the people they will be voted out as well. It costs millions to run a campaign and they are not looking for short-term employment. This prim Donna gridlock crap has got to go.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  62. Terry from North Carolina

    Jack
    Without tighter controls over the institutions that we have bailed out we will not get out of this mess, why didnt Pelosi and Reid institute these measures in the form of legislation ? Congress just doesnt get it.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  63. Hope M. Madisonville, KY

    Do you mean do we trust them to screw things up worse than they
    are already? I'd say yes to that question. But I guess we have to
    cross our fingers and let them do whatever it is they do and trust God
    that they do what's right for the country.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  64. Dave from Ontario

    Hopefully Congress will apply Lincoln's sacred words .. "of the people, by the people, for the people"... to the economy.

    There is no trust left, and Obama is right. All that's left is 'hope'.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  65. James Norton Jr.

    Republicans have already shown they are willing to let our economy sink with their actions with the auto makers. Now they are getting ready to torpedo any stimulus initiative despite an almost one hundred percent consensus on the need for it. Unfortunately, Democrats will allow them to get away with it under the guise of bi-partisanship. The economy is simply about money, Ironically, all our currency says, "In God we trust." This is where we should really all place our trust!

    January 6, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  66. Marjorie Lominy

    Hell No!!!!
    Marjorie
    NY

    January 6, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  67. Tim

    Congress must learn the difference between good and bad spending habits. Drunken spending is throwing money around. Responsible spending is putting bucks into things that are needed, but don't necessarily advance the economy. Investment spending is spending that yields long-term gains. Under Bush, Congress did a lot of the first, a little of the second, and none of the third. Time for a change.
    Tim in Texas

    January 6, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  68. Marilyn from Louisiana

    As long as Reid and Pelose are involved, I do not trust anything. Reid sounds like an "Old Hard Man" only thinks of himself. Pelose only says what Reid wants her to say. They will be the same under Obama and they were under Bush. Time for them to move on and allow Obama to do what he promised all Americans.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  69. dennis north carolina

    No, they act like children or have the minds of babies with no education. Would you trust them???

    January 6, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  70. Howard M. Bolingbrook IL

    We have no other choice, but to trust the congress. I hope they live up to
    our need.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  71. Kim - Blair, NE

    Alone, I do not trust Congress. However, any group is nothing without appropriate leadership. Everyone had high hopes when Dems took over as the majority. Nothing happened. I believe that had to do with piss poor leadership from the Executive Branch of the government.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  72. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    Jack, the fundamental flaw of Congress is that they will always put their political interest and their state or district’s interest ahead of the national interest. This country and its workers are in dire need of assistance and instead of ensuring that everyone who needs it receives help, they are going to bicker about who gets more. I pray for sanity out of this Congress, but with Reid and Pelosi at the helm, I feel that my prayers shall go unanswered yet again.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  73. itsme

    as much as i trust another bush in office

    January 6, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  74. cat

    H E double L no.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  75. Bernadette Loesch

    Dear Jack, Concerning my trust in our Congress; I DO trust them much more now that they are in the balance of power. The GOP in both houses went out of their way to obstruct justice at every turn during their eight long years under Bush/Cheney.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  76. W A Ingraham

    The proposed plan is a waste of money, ie public works, tax reductions of $500.00. Come up with a rebate of some kind for people to purchase homes and hard goods, ie autos. That would get the economy moving.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  77. Carlton Colquitt

    I trust the Republicans to continue their practice of slash and burn, and character assassination, and the Democrats to continue their practice of responding to that spinelessly. We are not going to get out of this mess. It will get worse. Because hypocrites control the agenda and have nothing at stake personally. The people who call the shots got theirs long ago. As far as they're concerned, the rest of us are just out of luck.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  78. Greg Ross

    Idon't trust any of them to anything right for the Country. They only do what helps themselves.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  79. Kyle

    Trust? That's a good one!

    I haven't trusted anyone in government since I was a little kid and didn't know better. They're all crooks who are only differentiated by the slightest differences in their crookedness. They only serve themselves and their special interests, economy be damned.

    There's only one thing I can guaranty you this congress will accomplish, and that is to give themselves more money.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  80. LUCY - ILLINOIS

    H E L L O, Are you saying that the congress was better the first 6 years when Bush was in charge? They were the biggest bunch of do nothings ever. The last two years the Democrat led congress could not do anything with Bush there to veto whatever they wanted to get done. It should be better for our country after Jan. 20th.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  81. Stan

    In general, I like the idea that the Democratic Congress will not act as a rubber stamp for the Democratic President. And, in general, I like the idea that Obama plans on seeking imput from the Republicans even if he has the votes to ignore them. However, when these general principles are put into practice on the stimulous bill, they will lead to delays and to additions that are unnessary and too expensive. Like the huge tax cuts that are being proposed. We have had eight years of tax cuts – they don't lead to jobs. If these new tax cuts do anything – which is debatable – they will only help improve corporate bottom lines, but that has not of late translated into jobs – at least not jobs in this country. Obama was elected to try something different. But so far, the Republicans don't seem willing to go along with new ideas. If the Republicans won't change, and if reaching across the aisle continues to be more important that doing the right thing, this congress will not solve our economic problems.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  82. doug

    I do not truly trust congress, after all they seem to listen directly to those who line their pockets before they listen to those who vote for them. Unfortunately many of those who we might turn too in the private sector also seem to have a political objective. I think though if we were to have a private sector think tank from a variety of different financial leaders, we might be able to find a common ground to help everyone in our country and not just those who pay to play with congress.

    Doug Owen
    Banner Elk, NC

    January 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  83. Allen

    Jack, what choice do we have? It will be two more years before we can change any of them, lacking a recall. Since most voters seem to like their representatives and senators I don't see that happening. We can always hope that someday voters will understand that they hold the keys to Congress and will vote out incumbants who are not doing what is best for the country.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  84. JOHN FEDAKO

    None, nada, nil, zero,never

    January 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  85. Neil Stribling

    Sir: With all due respect, our elected individuals are taking the public to the cleaners. My and your great, great grandchildren will be paying this HUGE BILL for years to come. I intend to return any tax breaks/ Stimulus monies to the IRS. I know my taxes are going to increase and I desire to use any money returned to me for TAX PURPOSES. Stribling

    January 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  86. Steve from Fla

    Trust Them? Only if their is something in it for themselves. They seem to only want to serve for the power and could care less about the American.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  87. Michael in Los Angeles

    Jack,

    Are we allowed to use the words "trust" and "Congress" in the same sentence?

    January 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  88. Joshua from Lompoc, CA

    As a Democrat I say No! I do not trust any of them. Nothing will ever change unless we take out the lobbyists, special interest and the wealthy. What we need is is good hardworking middle class Americans running DC. Only then will things change.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  89. Christina Jones

    (to Bernadette) Balance of power? you have no clue who really runs this country do you? dems and repubs exist solely for entertainment in my eyes, because the real forces of power are not concerned with parties in the slightest. before you say you trust this government you should really take a closer look into building 7 at 911 and how the government failed to mention it COMPLETELY in the official report.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  90. SHIRLEY-OHIO

    Do the right thing for me or them. For themselves, they will do the right thing for me they won't.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  91. Mike In Canada

    Jack, I'm a Canadian but I find myself hoping that Congress will do something constructive. Our Prime Minister has closed Parliament until the 28th....that's just over a week after President-elect Obama takes office. With four-fifths of our economy tied directly to yours, there's no reason for our government to govern....they can't do anything until after you act....At least you still have 1 leader at a time.....

    January 6, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  92. bob wulf

    I do NOT believe Congress will do what is right for the country - no less for me. They have proven it over the past six months. Which one of the 535 Congress and Senate reperesentatives last year read the entire "Bailout" bill before they voted so they could get out of town to campaign. It started out 3 pages and became over 450+. All full of pet projects and no REAL oversight on their behalf. Why, for instance, did they not put provisions in the bill prohibiting mega-million bonuses to executives whose companies were bailed out? All the majority of elected Congresspeople and Senators care about when they vote is - HOW WILL THIS LOOK FOR MY REELECTION or to MY LOBBYISTS who will contribute to my campaign!

    January 6, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  93. Annie, Atlanta

    It isn’t Congress that’s not trustworthy, Jack. It’s the people that vote these idiots into office over and over. 46 M of them voted to put Sarah Palin in possible line for the presidency! As long as ignorance prevails, we all lose.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  94. Di

    Our representatives and senators have been elected by those Americans who vote, so if there is anyone to blame, we all have to take our share. This past election has shown that when Americans really pay attention to what our government has been doing, we can make a change and make our wishes heard. We just need to CONTINUE paying attention, to all of our representatives and senators. When there are issues important to you, do your research and then contact your elected representatives and make your wishes known. If they do not follow through on what the American people really want, then we have the choice to vote them out. The first step that needs to take place is to be truly informed on what is really going on in OUR country. (and not by the propaganda sources of talk radio! – get a broad view on the issues from a VARIETY of sources). I love this country and we have a chance to be great again.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  95. Will K from San Jose

    I trust Congress about as far as I can comfortably spit out a rat.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  96. Jay in Texas

    How can you trust a Congress which is responsible for spending hundreds of billions of dollars on illegal wars that have cost thousands of young American lives? Trust is something that must be earned and total distrust is the only thing this Congress deserves.
    Brownwood, Texas

    January 6, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  97. Teri in St. Augustine FL

    I think I would have trusted them more if they voted down that automatic $4,700 raise they got. It's like their healthcare – their plan is golden, while we can't afford ours. We're losing our jobs and home values while they are running up the deficit for our grandchildren. Maybe if they wouldn't have given Wall Street those billions without accountability while demanding the UAW take more pay cuts, I could have some trust or respect for them. They can make amends, but it seems they're more worried about their friends in high places and drama.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  98. Fred Gravely

    I can not trust a congress when the speaker of the house, not being happy with the jet she is provided because it has to stop to refuel, and obtains a 200 seat jet at the rate of $60,000 per trip (120,000) per week after her three days of hard labor in the house. What else can you expect after this

    January 6, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  99. Wynn

    Of course I trust congress do the right thing just like I trust the SEC to protect the investments of me and all other investors.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  100. Diane/Allentown, PA

    If I say I trust congress, can I get my employer on that bailout list – what we need to survive is chump change next to what's been given so far.

    What do you think my chances are? I trust Congress, I trust Congress, I trust Congress....................

    January 6, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  101. Tom Feagin

    Not much.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  102. Ken Pichon

    This United States Senate, previous home to the likes of Theodore Bilbo, Gary Hart, Joe McCarthy and many others of their ilk, have the gall to refuse to seat Roland Burris from Illinois? If there is ever a Hypocrite Hall of Fame, this group will be enshrined immediately.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  103. itsme

    first jack remove all REPUBLICANS,ALLDEMOCRATS AND ALL,INDEPENDENT.AND VOTE,IN AMERICANS WHO HAVE THE AMERICAN PEOPLES INTEREST FIRST AND FOREMOST. then jack maybe someone will trust congress again.as of right now we vote people into office to live BETTER than the average RICH person and expect them to know what it is like to have bills to pay,

    January 6, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  104. phil from florida

    does it realy matter what the american people think. from what i have seen congress does whats best for lobbiest,big bussiness and themselves.the average citizen doesnt stand a chance.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  105. Yehudah Freundlich

    My optimism concerning the 2009 congress is based upon the competence and leadership qualities of President Obama. He and his extremely competent team will be presenting policies and plans that congress will have to evaluate and criticize Obma's post-partisan approach will get congress to focus far more on substantive issues than they have in the past. In short, Leadership means not only doing but also getting others to do their job. I am optimistic that Obama will display the necessary leadership and get congress to work well..... I hope.

    Yehudah Freundlich, Sharon, MA

    January 6, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  106. Karl from SF, CA

    I trust John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, and their kind of idiots, to do all in their power to keep this Congress from fixing anything, like they did the past two years. It's sad that there are large enough pockets in people in this country that feel these people are worthy of re-election. Isn’t mass insanity re-electing the same people over and over and expecting a different outcome?

    January 6, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  107. Stephen

    I would like to be able to trust Congress, but alas, their record over the last few years does not make me feel 'warm and fuzzy'. That said, I hope they realize, that WE, the voters, have a final say in their jobs. Consider us, because we, in the end, will consider you. When we consider that 'All' of us win or lose on their actions, I hope they step forward.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  108. vern-t anaheim,ca

    no,have we ever been able to trust congress,not in my lifetime which is almost 70m years

    January 6, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  109. Brian Galloway N.J.

    Jack, I have no trust of this congress they give away trillions of our tax dollars to people making millions of dollars in bonuses while they take one third of my paycheck which I need to survive. They are the biggest mob in the world, you know it , I know it, and everybody else knows it.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  110. itsme

    I trust them so much that i vote we change the name from congress to congest.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  111. Jerry - Toronto, Ontario. Canada

    Trust Congress? That's like asking a bunch of pit-bulls to guard your steak.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  112. Harvey Miller

    I trust Congress just about as far as Barack Obama can throw Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, tied together.
    Tustin, Michigan

    January 6, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  113. Robo

    They're all we have. Is there another alternative?

    January 6, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  114. Alton Drew

    Hi Jack:

    I don't trust Congress on the economy. With the exception of senators like Sen. Gregg of New Hampshire, Congress doesn't know what the word economics means. The stimulus package will become a Valentines Day wish list; an excuse to fund every conceivable activity that has nothing to do with providing America with technology that increases output or training and educating American workers for new opportunities.

    Alton E. Drew
    Atlanta, Georgia

    January 6, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  115. Eron.V

    Just because i love her doesn't mean i trust her.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  116. RICH

    Trusting congress to do the right thing is like putting a hungry fox
    in charge of the he house–they give themselves the best retirement in the world–the best medical in the world–the right to a raise without a vote–and to spend hundreds of billions of dollars of our hard earned tax money–without guarantees from the banks and financial institutions– or a paper trail to show how teyare using it.

    They could have given it to the people who pay the taxes–lets see ( $700 billion plus #300 billion plus Obama's $300 billion Divided by say 250 million- tax payers???

    I repeat there would not be an economic crisis (created by congress)

    Huh–the result would be what economic crisis??–all the bills could be paid–mortgages paid–credit cards paid–jobs created–let the ceo's who run their companies into the ground go on unemployment-with out their $$$ severance money.

    Why should I trust congress???

    January 6, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  117. Christi from Newton, Iowa

    Since the economy went down the toilet Congress has rubberstamped Bush adn Paulson in a case of the blind leading hte blind. Nobody knows what to do. Great bunch of leaders we've got. I don't trust them for crap. Every time Bush threatened to veto they cowtowed to him. So even when the people revolted and voted in a democratic congress, Bush still got what he wanted. He is an undersized-overcompensating bully and congress keeps giving him our lunch money while we starve. When are they going to stand up for the people who voted them in.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  118. Dave

    No! Congress is an exclusive club of self-centered egotists who get there by the funds of special interest groups for whom they work and pander to their constituents by bringing home slabs of bacon. Very few members have the best interest of the country in mind. Very few members care much more than to get re-elected by whatever means it takes. One of the definitions of an hypocrite should be “member of the US Congress.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  119. laurie michigan

    gee some people out there must trust them as they keep getting voted into office from their respective districts. I guess they just don't trust those elected in different states. The current (or should I say former) congress had such a low approval rating because the majority of citizens don't understand how government works. I think they walked out of high school government classes and forgot everything they learned and took no further interest in government until all of a sudden, its hit them where it hurts....their pocketbooks! It's a good bet that half of them never even voted as shown by the low turnouts on election day(s).

    I am willing to let the new administration take a stab at helping the US over this domestic catastrophe, but even with the stimulus plan, I'm sure the states will muck it up.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  120. Bob Reiss

    In my mind, the reality is that he was appointed legally and you may not agree with the choice, it is done. The Gov is still the Gov. The same holds true for any pardon the gov gives. It is not their choice if they don't like the gov selection, they need to do what is legally done not what is politically correct.

    Deal with it!!!

    January 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  121. Emmanuel Ndingwan

    Senator Roland Burris must be seated in the U.S Senate without question. The U.S senate has no legal standing to bar Burris from the senate. The senate must follow the law despite the controversy of his appointment. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?

    Emmanuel, Greensboro, NC

    January 6, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  122. Tom

    NO. They don't have the guts to make a tough decision because it might cost them some votes. All they care about is getting re-elected and the way they do that is take from Peter (taxpayers) to pay Paul (the people who get gov't contracts or welfare checks). Soon Peter will take the advice of Thomas Jefferson who said, "A little rebellion now and then is a good thing."

    January 6, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  123. Billie D.

    Jack, if they handle the economy the way they do everything else it will be overspent, underfunded and left in committee to be discussed to death.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  124. Colorado Dave

    I'm not sure anyone could do a worse job than the GOP so the odds are pretty good for the Democrats doing much better. I love the statements by Obama for no earmarks. The last stimulus package has so much GOP pork I don't think it should have been called a stimulus package. It is funny how the GOP insults everything until they get greased.

    January 6, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  125. Ray Lawson from Danville, VA

    No!

    January 6, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  126. Eli, Oklahoma

    Do you think because we have a new congress anything will change?

    January 6, 2009 at 6:29 pm |