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February 22nd, 2010
07:00 PM ET

How honest are federal government officials?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Yet another sign of our broken government:

Three-quarters of Americans think our federal government officials are dishonest.

A new CNN/Opinion Research corporation poll shows only 22 percent of those surveyed say federal officials are honest; a whopping 75 percent say they're not.

These figures have remained virtually the same since 1994. And, what's more, people think the problem of dishonesty goes back much farther than that.

This poll is out on the 278th anniversary of George Washington's birth - and it shows 74 percent say the father of this country lied to the public while he was president... that would be the very same George Washington who was known for never telling a lie.

Also, Honest Abe doesn't fare much better in this survey... with 71 percent saying Abraham Lincoln also lied to the public as president.

All this goes to show the idea of broken government has been around for a very, very long time. Probably for good reason, Americans are always a little cynical about people seeking elected office. They don't believe that politicians always tell the truth - because they don't. Also, experts suggest that people might sense that the president sometimes has to keep things from the public.

But whatever the reason - we keep sending these politicians to Washington, hoping they will represent the people's interest. Even though we think they're dishonest. The voters are their own worst enemy.

Here’s my question to you: How honest are federal government officials?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Government
February 22nd, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Is our government broken beyond repair?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Almost nine in 10 Americans believe the government is broken in what is clearly a crisis of confidence in the way we run our country.

A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll shows an overwhelming 86 percent of those surveyed say the government is broken. That's an increase of eight points from four years ago.

On the plus side, of the 86 percent - 81 percent say the government can be fixed, while five percent say it's beyond repair.

According to the poll - the increase in those who say the government is broken is highest among wealthier people and those who live in rural areas. Guess what? This is the same group of people who make up the Tea Party movement.

Americans are disgusted. They're tired of politicians playing games in Washington while the country slides ever closer to catastrophe. The list of problems the U.S. faces is daunting: From the skyrocketing record deficits and the more than $12 trillion national debt, to the still fragile economy, millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans, health care, and education... just to name a few.

And on so many of these fronts - our government chooses partisanship and politics over real solutions while the problems continue to get worse. They spend their time raising money and campaigning for the next election... so they can stay in Washington and do nothing for a few more years. One day in the not-too-distant future it won't matter what they do.

Here’s my question to you: Is our government broken beyond repair?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Government
February 22nd, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Should gov't control what health insurance companies charge?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama is finally out with his own detailed plan when it comes to health care reform. Some have been asking for this for months.

But the timing is a little suspect. The president's grand plan comes just four days before the televised, bipartisan, health care extravaganza... where Republicans are supposed to bring all their ideas to the table for fixing health care.

Yet it sounds like if the Republicans aren't on board... the president will get the Democrats to jam through this plan without approval of the GOP.

The White House Communications Director says the president "expects and believes the American people deserve an up or down vote on health care"... and, if the Republicans are intent on filibustering, the Democrats might use a procedural move called "reconciliation" - where they only need a simple 51-vote majority.

Meanwhile as part of the president's plan, the federal government would get new authority to regulate the health insurance industry - almost like a public utility. This comes in the wake of outrage over recent premium increases of up to 39 percent by one California health insurance company.

The health and human services secretary - along with state authorities - would be able to deny substantial premium increases, limit them... or even demand rebates for consumers. In the past, oversight of insurance companies has been left up to the states. But the president's proposal calls for a new seven member Health Insurance Rate Authority to monitor the industry and come out with an annual report setting the guidelines for reasonable rate increases.

Here’s my question to you: Should the government be able to control how much health insurance companies charge?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Health care
February 22nd, 2010
02:11 PM ET
February 22nd, 2010
02:08 PM ET
February 22nd, 2010
02:02 PM ET