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February 22nd, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Is our government broken beyond repair?

ALT TEXT

(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?

John in South Dakota writes:
Though our government is assuredly badly broken, it is a long way from being broken beyond repair. The founding fathers, in their wisdom, created a system that is imperfect but one that has stood the test of time despite repeated mishandling and ineptness by Congress over nearly the entire time our country has existed… Only a wholesale change in our leadership in Congress can accomplish a turnaround in our national direction. However I'm skeptical that we have the conviction and bravery to take this necessary step.

Cyle in Dublin, Pennsylvania writes:
Jack, Yes, it's broken beyond repair. But this is the government we deserve. Voters don't educate themselves to the issues. We vote for the candidate who slings the most mud or who looks better on TV. Washington has turned into the Jerry Springer Show because, deep down, that’s what the average American will vote for.

Aldo writes:
The system is not broken, but the people running it are. We need to limit how long politicians serve.

Dennis writes:
If you want to talk about a broken government and country, try what Abraham Lincoln faced and yet we survived and flourished in time. We'll solve this problem.

Nathan writes:
What truly seems broken beyond repair is common sense within our American society. We want no deficit spending, but how dare the government cut Social Security or Medicare. We want no new taxes, but we complain when cops are laid off. We say "kick out all the incumbents," but then routinely give our local congressman high marks. In other words, we each think that we're OK, but that our neighbors are sucking the country dry. What appears to be fundamentally broken is our collective logic.

S. in Tennessee writes:
The government is a train wreck and should be treated as such. Clear the debris, salvage what you can and lay some new transparent rail.


Filed under: Government
soundoff (309 Responses)
  1. tom

    No I don't believe that our government is broken beyond repair. BUT both party must pull there head out of their A– and start doing what's right for the country. Neither party was given a mandate to destroy the future of our kids. It's time they get off their high horses and solve these problems or we will be beyond repair. Tom

    February 22, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  2. stevegee

    Government could easily be fixed – just get rid of the career politicians and repeal all the wasteful programs they've legislated to justify their existence.

    Steve in Philadelphia

    February 22, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  3. JW Georgia

    Asking those in office to fix government is asking the fox to stop eating the chickens. Not going to happen. It might be time to shoot the fox.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  4. Chris Campbell

    It's not that Dems and Repubs can't get along it's that they won't get along. They only want a bill to pass if their party gets credit for it or if their lobbyist give them enough money for it. If we put term limits on congress that would help too.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  5. Jim Wingate

    No. It is broken but not beyond repair. We cannot take such a fatalistic attitude that it cannot be repaired. It can and must be repaired. And, we the people, must make sure that the people we elect to do the business of the people actually do the business we elect them to do. It is not happening now and the partisan bickering must stop. If we allow them to continue doing what they always did, we will always get what we've always got ... and that is more of the same petty partisan bickering. It is time for more than "change you can believe in" ... it is time for change that actually works.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  6. Veronica

    After watching the ad infinitum bickering among "politicians" I wonder how they deal with their own children.. do they allow the negative attitudes, the snipes, the interruptions. I certainly don't with my grandchildren. Maybe they need to have consequences..[like no more votes.. no more running for office]..

    February 22, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  7. buchter

    I think this question is timely and one that is being discussed around the country by all parties, right now.
    I am from Santa Cruz California, bastion of liberals, and many people i've talked to feel that we need governmental reform. The reforn people are talking about would get at the root of why government can't get anything done. Here is an example of this kind of thinking – Politicians are so afraid of not getting elected again that they won't make a decision or do anything while in office. So to battle that, we could extend the time of their term in office BUT apply a single term limit to the office. Politicians could gain office with no worry about what corperations they would have to please to get re-elected and they would have a meaningful amount of time to actually do good work. They couldn't be re-elected, for the same office, but would be recommended, or not, by the voters in their district to be voted in for a different seat, but only after there term was over. Also we, the voters, would have strong rights to recall politicians who did not represent our interests.
    I believe we need to reform the government in many ways, because in it's present state it is not working.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  8. pete reilly

    When something is totally broken,you start from scratch. This year will be the greatest turnout of incumbents in the history of American politics.

    Brevard,n.c.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  9. honestjohn in Vermont

    I don't think it's beyond repair to fix but there is so much wrong that it might be easier to buy a new one.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  10. dana

    I am so sick if the government. I am a single mom of two who makes less than 28,000 a year and can't get help with anything. If I quit my job, then I'll get all the help I want. I can then have more kids to keep getting more money, and more aid, be a bigger burden on society.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  11. Fred Enfield

    From: Norwalk, Ohio

    Saying the government is broken is damning with faint praise.
    It's like claiming that they're actually attempting to honorably represent Americans but some mysterious unknown force has sabotaged their noble efforts.
    Isn't it obvious by now that there's no difference between Republicans and Democrats? We elect Republicans. Something really bad happens. Let's get rid of them and restore honesty and competence by electing those trustworthy Democrats. Something really bad happens. Let's get rid of them and restore honesty and competence by electing those trustworthy Republicans.
    With too few exceptions, our government is run by criminals, perverts, arrogant swine, religious fruitcakes and an entrenched, unaccountable bureaucracy.
    However, I'm no better than them. I don't have an answer either.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  12. Bill Wright

    For the life of me, I don't understand why elected official can't figure out... that once elected, if they really worked on behalf of the people they represent ( us Americans) and actually accomplished good legislation for the country ... they in fact would get reelected again and again.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  13. Chris

    Congress should get behind the president (any president) and enact his policies. If he screws up then he is out in 4 years. But when they keep him from enacting any of his agenda nothing gets done and everyone suffers. The filibuster should be removed and all legislation get approved with 51%.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  14. Wade C

    I do think it is broken. Politicians are motivated in our current system to achieve quick short term results at the expense of long term gains. However, our biggest problem still remains to be the uninformed voter. 90% of voters no longer think for themselve and stay strickly to one side of the party line regardless of the issue at hand.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  15. Randy M. of Minnesota

    I quote from the Declaration of Independence, "That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness." Our politicians need to remember that they are there to serve the people of these United States, not a political or personal agenda.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  16. Homeless D in Atlanta

    Perhaps not beyond repais at this point, but approaching that.

    I believe we are just about at the same point the Romans were shortly before their empire collapsed. Or perhaps at the point the French and the Russians were shortly before their respective revolutions.

    I do not think government cannot be fixed, but I do think many of us would NOT like the fix.

    Part of what needs to be done is that SOMEONE has to be in charge, and looking around I see no one fulfilling that position.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  17. dana

    I am so sick if the government. I am a single mom of two who makes less than 28,000 a year and can't get help with anything. If I quit my job, then I'll get all the help I want. I can then have more kids to keep getting more money, and more aid, be a bigger burden on society.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  18. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    We can blame our government for all that ails America, and in part rightfully so. But blame is merely shifting one's own shame.

    It is time to look at ourselves. We are as ideologically crippled as the politicians. We are as manipulative and greedy as we, like children, must get what we want at any cost regardless of our own virtues or morals.

    It is this society, this culture, that is breaking. The government is only our mirror.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  19. Joe

    Perhaps the answer is to require one term limits for everyone with public financing only for candidates, not corporations and foreign countries (via corporation money) to control our country. Republicans in government represent only the interests of those who pay them; ie: Toyota.
    Joe, Binghamton, NY

    February 22, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  20. Linda Tafel

    Yes, the government is broken but I don't believe it is beyond repair. One of the best things that can be done to break this logjam is to impose term limits for the politicians. We need scheduled turnover and people with fresh new ideas. At least if they are not doing their job, they will be out in a few years. No more of these lifelong politicians. They have got to go!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  21. Edgar L Williams

    I think it's broken but not beyond repair. Unfortunately the power to fix it lay in the hands of the brokees. I think that there should be a term limit for senators and representatives after which they can't run again. Perhaps then those elected might focus on why they are there for as opposed to how long they can stay. And somehow or another the filibuster has got to go. Majority rules, at least that's what I thought.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  22. Bob - Pittsburgh Pa

    Jack,
    First off, you really need to rework your interpretation of the Tea Party Movement. The majority of us are dead center in the wealth spectrum. Take a little more from me and I am in default.

    Secondly, yes the government is broken, but not because of gridlock. It is broken because either side tries to do too much. The Government is for the people, not the party. Congress needs to address a single issue at a time, and find a point in the conversation where 80% agree on a measure that needs to be taken. If they can't get to that benchmark, then the legislation is fundamentally flawed. When something can be done that treats and will benefit all citizens equally then it is worthwhile and they should have no problem reaching an aggreement.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  23. Kathryn Copeland

    Yes! I think it has been broken since the 60s when the legislators lost respect for the people's intelligence and decided that they knew better than we did what was best for our country. This is about the same time that they started concentrating more on staying in office than serving their constituents. This is when in order to stay in office they had to sell their influence for campaign funds.

    Voters also lost faith in elected officials after the catastrophe of Vietnam. It's that total lack of respect on both sides that is the problem.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  24. Curtis

    What evidence is there that this government can be fixed? Every year it simply gets worse. The government grows out of control, they are spending us into ruin, and politicians continue to make empty, impossible promises that it will continue to provide an ever increasing list of entitlements. I have never seen any change in this pattern and I don't think there will be one. We are about plummet over the cliff. But don't just blame the politicians: it's fault of the people who have lost their pride in their independence and self-reliance and instead are willing to lick anyone's boots as long as they get "something for free".

    February 22, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  25. CJ

    We need to vote out everyone that is in office now in the next two elections. (Except the President – I think he is doing his best) Maybe they would get the message.....

    February 22, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  26. Greg Hamby

    Hello Jack: This "broken government" fad is riduiculous. We have the three branches of government. They do their job as they were meant to. I believe that you all are using "broken govt" as an attention getter.
    Lets have some real news. Why dont you report on legislation that is moving through congress{ and it does ona daily basis} so that we can be truly informed. You guys need to take stock of just how you present the news. Stop the sensationalism.
    regards, Greg Hamby

    February 22, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  27. Kyle in New York

    Yes, absolutley Jack. With the healthcare battle going on and Republicans and Democrats not being able to agree on ANYTHING, we are in deep, deep trouble and digging deeper down into the hole.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  28. Joe

    The government as created by it's founders is not broken. It is perfect in structure and conception. It's the politicians who are broken. The way to fix it...vote every last one of them out and start from scratch. Since the business of the people isn't getting done anyway as congressmen themselves now admit, it's time they all join the ranks of the unemployed about whom they clearly don't give a damn anyway. Forget about political parties...come November simply vote against the incumbent.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  29. Barbara B.

    Judging by the lack of governing on behalf of the the people who voted for the members of congress in both houses, it seems that they have no intention of working for the people they represent... they just care about keeping their seat in the next election. I believe the people of this country, both democrats or republicans, deserve much better representation then we have been getting over the last few years. Can anyone say term limits???

    February 22, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  30. Chris

    Money is the root of all ills. No lobbyst should be allowed to work in the adminstration, and none of them should be allowed to leave and become lobbysts. Every person and corporation should be allowed to contribute no more than $1000 per candidate or party per year.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  31. achit

    Change will need some one with real experience and 'back bone'. President Obama does not have any real experience and has not shown any 'backbone'

    Nope...at least til 2012!!!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  32. Ralph Stephens

    Yes, the government is broken. What I find hard to believe is that we Americans keep voting in these same politicians with the same results, same bipartisanship bullcrap! I say vote every encumbant out!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  33. Jim from Ft Lauderdale

    I tend to agree with you but I see this as a party (Democrats) that want to change from a capitalist economy to a socialist economy. The direction of Obama is just too radical for anyone to agree with him from the Republican side. His agenda is just more income-redistribution, and I hope more Republicans and Democrats stand up against all of this!!!!! That is what is driving the Tea-Party movement in mind mind!!!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  34. David McMillan

    NO! However the required repair could prove to be beyond our ability to successfully implement. We are now "governed" by spin-masters who pay little attention to facts and see pragmatic compromise as a sign of weakness at best or capitulation at worst. The only solution is a better informed and knowledgable electorate which I fear is not something that is likely to happen in the short run. There was a time when true journalists took seriously the obligation of that profession – to hold public officials to a high standard of truth and integrity. Today, unless the subject is some non-policy scandle, our news readers are content to allow politicians from both left and right to spout their made-up versions of facts with little or no challenge and even less investigative follow up. Until this changes, a repaired government will elude us.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  35. James in Idaho

    Jack, our Government will only remain broken if we continue to act apathetic to the urgency of now. I think the Tea Partiers have the right idea, but they're going about it the wrong way.

    That break from the greedy establishment they keep yammering about? Well, his name is President Barack Obama, a fairly fresh face in DC, and they're not even willing to see the past for what it is, and the present for the potential that it has.

    I would *highly* suggest they stop drinking the republican cool aid about how the GOP's already tried to talk to this president, and start talking to him themselves. I'll bet my bottom dollar they'd have much better luck being heard.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  36. Elena

    Is out Government broken? The underlying system isn't, but the shirkers in their cocoons in Washington need to be replaced with ciitizens who wish to practice governmennt rather than politics.

    BTW, electing a party who claims that Government is bad and "doesn't work" will not help solve the problem.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  37. michael

    Nope, it is not broken, still have the wealthiest most wonderful place to live in the world. you want to see broken go to egypt, N Korea, Russia etc.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  38. James Florida

    Dear Jack

    As a Non Republican or Democrat and a Tea Partier and supporter of Campaign For Liberty.
    I keep hearing comments that state the Government is broken. Or a remark from a Senator leaving office because Congress is broken.

    The term Broken does not fit Congress or Washington.
    The term CORRUPT fit's perfect.
    Down to all their Lobbiyst Connections and parties and Fund Raisers in their little Town House in Washington everyone knows about now.
    To the Bailout and the Stimulus that never stimullated me or anyone i know.
    To the Health Care companies that are completly fleecing America and killing it's citizens and that is just for starters.

    The United States Constitution states that if the Goverment not doing the will of the People. The People have the right for Redress and have the right to ABOLOISH the Government if they are not doing the will of the People.

    Enough Said

    February 22, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  39. 4kids+ 5

    Pretty close. We need senators and representatives who will spend more time on the peoples business and less time "blowing "themselves up. They can become important if the do the job otherwise we aren't watching or listening.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  40. Ralph Stephens

    Yes, the government is broken. What I find hard to believe is that we Americans keep voting in these same politicians with the same results, same bipartisanship bullcrap! I say vote every encumbant out!

    BTW, this would included my State Senators, McCain and Kyle.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  41. Richard Jackson

    It is amazing how many things can be repaired if you replace 99% of the parts.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  42. Dan, Chantilly VA

    No Democratically elected government can ever be beyond saving. It's the mentality of the American voter that's truly troubling.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  43. seanaidan

    Yes it is broken. Let us tear it up and start over.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  44. wendell j mccormick

    why is it you continue to refer to the republican party as a viable political machine. these are whiny crybabies who do nothing but cause trouble when they are in power and only offer excuses when they are not in power. you always grease the wheels of these crybabies and call it newsworthy. you refuse to point out the fact that the democractic policies have excellent chances of bringing this country to a more civilzied state. your job has certainly gotten easier over the years. lucky you just as you are getting old like the rest of us. things are more expensive now than then and will be more expensive in the future. i only want my taxes to be spent on things that will benefit my grandchildren. render unto caesar that which belongs to caesar and then hope that caesar gives it all to the poor.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  45. Joshua

    Congress was not meant to be a career. it was meant to be a system that you got in a did your duty and got out. Too many in congress think the old way and ideas how to improve situations in America is slowed down by out of date politicians. Think of it this way. We update our computers when they are old and out of date with today’s technology. Politicians need to be updated to today’s views. This goes for the senate also. We need to put a cap on years that the senate and congress serve in their life time. 6 years for congress and 8 for senate.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  46. Bill

    How do you fix a government that is self perpetuating?

    Would you fire yourself no matter how bad of a job you were doing?

    Would you give yourself a pay cut because everyone else makes less?

    I say money is the great fixer. I say no pay. Congress, the Senate, and The President... any and all elected officials get paid when the deficit is gone. But, right now were are running a deficit. So no pay till the budget is balanced and we have enough money to pay them. Elected means YOU WANTED THE JOB MORE THAN YOU NEEDED IT. So do your job.

    And what about common sense taxation and crediting. You can't possibly get more CASH out of the Government than you put in. There are people out there, getting 10 times more CASH from the FED than they even were billed. If those people are poor, give them food, give them shelter, give them education.. DON'T GIVE THEM CASH!!!!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  47. Matt R. from TX

    Jack,
    It's borderline. If the federal government truly believes that they are in office to push their own agendas and not to represent us, then yes, it's broken. When the majority of Americans do not want corporate bailouts, do not want mandatory health insurance (which benefits the "evil" health insurers!), yet Obama and his Democrat minions say WE aren't listening... When Obama and the Republicans continue wars that Americans do not believe in, and then antagonize countries like Iran and N. Korea while telling us "it's for our safety"... The federal government is certainly broken in that we no longer seem to be represented, but herded in various directions that best line politicians' pockets. If the federal government sees fit to balloon itself and its reach further, they may want to watch for the few patriots standing by with the Constitution in one hand and a pin in the other.
    Matt R., TX

    February 22, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  48. Jeanne C. Fuchs

    I think the government is broken but is not beyond repair. We all know that what's needed to fix it is for our elected representatives to remember why they were elected – to serve the people of the United States – all the people, not their district, or the lobbyists or the focus groups or the environmentaists or the health reform activists or any special group – but all of us. They should ask "What's best for the United States" and listen to those who have some ideas on the subject.

    The rules of the Senate and House must be changed to permit senators and representatives to function at a majority level, not an artificial 60%. People like Senator Dodd, already discredited because of his ties to Countrywide, should not be permitted to chair committees that deal directly with subjects from which he should have recused himself. And so on.

    They know what to do – I hope and pray they have the courage to do it.
    Jeanne Fuchs
    Fort Myers, Florida

    February 22, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  49. Chuck Fowler

    Career politicians are to blame here. How can they serve the public if they aren't in touch with the reality of the public's lives. Government can be fixed, but I think we need to have term limits in all public offices.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  50. Sid (from Alabama)

    Yes...the Govt. can be fixed when we, the people, fix our mindset to elect the right candidates to the Congress and Senate....we have to take some of the blames on ourselves and don't always point our fingers towards the government.....

    February 22, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  51. michel goldschneider

    yes...unfortunately...two ways out...get rid of lobyest and special interest...limit to 18 years senate and 12 years congress

    February 22, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  52. hawk in texas

    Jack. the only way to fix the goverment is to ban lobbiest and lobbying. get the corporate money out of polirics. set term limits for house and senate members. remove all activist judges from office. and that includes the supreme court. have the supreme court justices elected by the people and for a term not to exceed 6 years. and when a judge shows to be partisin remove him, or her from office. have an automatic recall of an elected official if that person fails to follow the set rules. and hand the office of president back to the senate where it belongs. no more signing statements like bush did so he could ignore the law and do as he wanted to do. and see that the ethics committe does its job.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  53. Ross (New Orleans, LA)

    Jack,

    The root of the problem lies in two facts: (1) that two parties have a joint stranglehold on our political system and all they're worried about is "winning via the other one's loss" and (2) that most people don't have the time of the day, nor interest, to truly research the issues and that they only stick to bulletpoints & talking points spouted by the label-wearers with which they choose to associate.

    What we need is a massive network of individuals who band together on one simple principle: that they will avoid the two politco-extremes and will NOT stand for an issue without having truly considered it on its merits and potential ramifications. There's only one answer to this problem: the uprising of a vibrant, vigilant, and vociferous INDEPENDENT PARTY.

    ...and you guess what? It is absolutely going to happen. It's only a matter of time.

    Ross
    New Orleans, LA

    February 22, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  54. Jackson

    Yes, the government is broken beyond repair.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  55. Ron Redding

    Jack-our government is too big, and has made it too difficult for the common citizen to be anything more than an insect when it comes to fighting with it. we simply cannot rely on the few in office to listen and respond meaningfully to the millions of us feeling the effects of their policies.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  56. Wade C

    The polarization of the public combined with the naivety of the voters encourages our politicians to keep the status quo and it is evident from the health care process. One party writes partisan legislatrion through back room deals roowithout any input from the other side. One party brings nothing to the table and simply obstructs. Pretty sad.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  57. Jack

    No our government is not beyond repair. It is time the majority of citizens realize it is time to be more tolerant with less bigoted and hypocritical demeanor and work for the good of all. Forget all this partisan trash talk and actions to get elected and stalemate the government. If I am wrong God help the future generations.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  58. Joseph Triacca

    I believe that the government is more shameful than broken. Too bad as it was a great country! Too bad we only give up on party greed when we are attacked by terrorists, (9/11), or involved in a world war!!!
    Joe Triacca, South Carolina

    February 22, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  59. Kevin O'Reilly

    Hello Jack,
    Government is broken but not beyond repair. We as country need the instestinal fortitude to implement single term limits for the legislative and executive branches of government. Eliminate the overwhelming drive to be re-elected and politicians are free to focus on doing what needs to be done in a fiscally responsible manner.

    As it stands now, the focus is getting re-elected. To get re-elected, you need to be seen in public doing something, usually something that costs money and something that we don't need.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  60. Mona, Tulsa, OK

    No government is beyond repair as long as the people are willing to take responsibility for getting the governement they voted in and then taking back the vote and changing it.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  61. Al (Wisconsin)

    Broken? Bill Maher said it best on Larry King last week. I think we are getting to the point that the only possible fix for our government is a Constitutional Convention. Democrats want too much and Republicans just say no. We have almost no Patriots in government anymore, only partisans.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  62. Bon

    Yes, we are doomed. A working democratic republic REQUIRES an informed voter base. As it is our information is undermined at every level by those with a vested interest in misinformation in both government and corporations (as if there is a difference anymore).

    Add on top of that our abysmal academic capabilities and our country can in no way continue to be solvent. A poll CNN itself reported shows that ONE THIRD cannot find Louisiana on a map. How can you expect a country with that much unintelligent baggage to be able to make informed choices? Just look at Sarah Palin. She has become a beacon to the stupid in denial.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  63. Orlando Miera, Albuquerque, N.M.

    Our Congres is all polotics. Both parties are all politics. The Presidents are just as bad. Something drastically has to change in our political system for our government to change and be fixed. I believe that it can be fixed, but I do not think that the will is there, in the Contress or the President. It all comes down to the fact that government, the poli tical parties, the President do not care about the people. All they want is the people's vote. If that changes, it will be fixed, but I don;t see that changing. We need to start from scratch, kick them all out. That will not happen because the people protect their incumbent, and blame the others for the problems. People need to look within themselves and their Representatives, and Senators, and kick them all out.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  64. Cevin

    Meanings, definitions, and general labels have gone the way of the tower of Babel. We live in the world of double-speak now.

    We use deadly force as a tool to inflict positive change in other countries and kill thousands of innocents while chanting "War on terrorism(tm)", an endless war that perpetuates itself.

    Our government is a frame-work to carry out services in service to the public. The problem is that the frame-work is now run by those it needs to change the most. In the end it will still be run by humans subject to human nature. You holding your breath? I didn't think so.

    Social welfare bad - Corporate welfare good.
    Social crime = prison - Corporate crime = bonuses/vacations/business as usual.

    Both parties are a total farce. Vapid personalities on tv use dividing labels like liberal and conservative... democrat and republican to keep the most easily swayed bickering infinitely while those in control continue business as usual. They're not working for us up there in DC.

    We can find help for other countries, but cannot do so at home.

    We are a nation of confused individuals who rarely get the truth of any matter. Impassioned by frustrated emotions and a childish arrogance of entitlement we scourge the Earth with our ignorance. God help those who get in the way.

    Optimism at this moment in my life escapes me.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  65. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Jack, as long as the citizens have the right to vote and elect our officials our government isn't broken.
    There are many people who elected the former president, and who don't like the current White House occupant. In their minds the government is broken. But they can vote for new people to representative them in the House and the Senate, people who are willing to work with the White House. Or, they can put up with what now passes for a Congress and hope for Hell to freeze over.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  66. Eric in Atlanta

    Our current government is broken and is only getting in the way of every American's rights and the pursuit of the American dream. The current politicians believe they are smarter and know how to spend our money far better than we could possibly spend it ourselves. Government should be for the people and by the people not taxing everyone to the point that everyone is afraid to go out and spend money. It seems the mood in the country now is to take back our government and downsize it and get it out of the way so we can go back to being prosperous again.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  67. Mark Burks

    We had all this same drama years ago, with the Carter Administration, remember? America had become too big for one man to govern. Then Reagan became President and provided Leadership, with a capital L, and all that talk ended.
    The system is working the way it should.
    We Always talk about Government being broken when the left has the upper hand but does not get its way. Remember, filibuster was a very important tool when G W Bush was trying to appoint Judiciary. It still is.
    Whats broken now is Our Leadership. Not our Government.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  68. jim Blevins

    Put the blame where it really belongs - on the American people. The idea of electing someone to office and then pretending that you are not responsible for what they do is ridiculous. Too many people want things the way they remember that they used to be - they don't accept that the world has changed and they can't go back to what was. So they elect people to fix the problems without changing anything.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    February 22, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  69. Cindy

    We have a corrupt two party system that cannot gravitate to the middle and solve problems anymore. The Democrats are bought and paid for by the unions and special interests; the Republican are owned by the banks and corporations.

    We may never have another Lincoln or Kennedy because freedom of thought is stifled before it is ever expressed. The heads of the DNC and RNC will only fund Stepford politicians, non-visionary yes people who can be pushed and controlled.

    We need another party that embraces freedom of thought and represents the middle class. A few more months of this economy, we just may have a new party. I am a Democrat by trade but if the Tea Party went with anyone but Sarah Palin, I would vote just to boot this ugly two party system out!
    We the people (not that that carries much weight anymore) just want real jobs, not shovel-ready jobs, and the suicidal spending to stop!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  70. The Cold Civil War

    Our government is broken. It is time to repair it. The answer is in ridding America of political parties. They are not part of our Constitution, just like filibusters and riders. Now is the time to take our nation back. Only half of Americans are still loyal to their political party, instead of their nation and their fellow citizens. We must drop our petty differences and band together. It all starts with ending The Cold Civil War.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  71. Bill

    Yes, the government is broken and will remain permanently so. Even if we “throw the bums out” in the next election cycle, the next crop of senators and congressman will be compromised by lobbyist money. Where else but in America can a hometown 150k per year lawyer get elected to office and leave 2 or 4 years later virtually a millionaire with a high paying job in a Washington lobbyist firm?.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  72. Mick

    It is not clear the institutions of government are broken – these situations have played out similary before in times of national crisis and the institutions have evolved slightly but in whole persisted. The failure is in the people governing and the decisions they make. A year ago it was deemed a failure by those known as Republicans. Today it is recognized as a failure of the Democrats. Luckily we have elections every so often (a working part of the system) that allow us to hold those in charge responsible for their actions. We choose our leaders, and if we make a bad choice, we can change it (hopefully) in time to prevent those leaders from taking the natino astray.

    Bottomline = Government works, but the leaders don't always

    February 22, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  73. Bertha

    Our government isn't broken. Democracy isn't broken. The basic beliefs and values our government was founded on are not broken. We have elected officials who are refusing to abide by the principles of democracy and our founders. Congress was elected to serve the people, not themselves and their pocketbooks. Let's vote them out and start over. We MUST let Congress know they can either work for the people or we'll send them home. Let's send them home and let them look for a job!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  74. Glenn

    The Government is broken beyond repair. The Senate and House members should be forced to accept the same health insurance they vote (or not vote) for us. They should not have an exclusive barber shop on the Capital premises, nor a cafeteria.. they should be forced to mingle with.. constituents!

    For the courts to suggest that corporations have the same rights as individuals, then corporations should go into bankruptcy the same as we individuals and offer a pound of flesh! How is it that corporations should have free speech in elections and campaigns, but they can't vote?

    The court ruling that corporate (or otherwise) money equals free speech is the equivalent of saying $1 = 1 vote! That's broken!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  75. DC Dunne

    Yes our government is broken Jack. Unfortunately we only have ourselves to blame. We send back the same clowns from our districts and states every 2 or 6 years. We want fiscal restraint, but no one wants their favorite program cut. We the people are responsible for what we send to Washington.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  76. Eileen (Peabody)

    I don't think so. However, all those holding office at the moment must be removed from office.

    Who will replace them…..Moderates...those who know how to negotiate. If those people come from the Tea Party (and I'm talking about the intelligent members of that party....not the radicals carrying lynching models of President Obama), so be it. However, we will need another moderate group...let's call them the Coffee Klatch Party. They will be made up of those with progressive philosophies...but on a realistic basis, workable basis.

    No more of this all or nothing....there is no question this attitude HAS TO GO.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  77. SHER SINGH

    YES it is broken. The problem is actually very simple. Make lobbying illegal. I have seen more fear and hate directed at terrorism than at bankers and wallstreet and the sad part is that bankers and wallstreet have done more damage and caused more pain to this country than all the terrorists combined. I am pretty sure the average American has not been a victim or knows first hand of a victim of terrorism yet I am very sure they know someone, if not them self, that has suffered loss due to the greed and manipulation that is wallstreet, the bankers and the lobbying that takes place on their behalf. Hang them all!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  78. Deanna Davis

    Yes it is , we need to start over and have a constitutional convention, we the people, need to state our views take our country back and put those in office that want to serve the people, not the almigty dollor, middle class have always carried this country and if we want to save this country, the middle class need to be put back to work ,civility needs to reighn again and and God ,diciplin,and excellence,need to be in our schools and homes.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  79. Gary

    Allan Simpsom a conservative said on TV today that we can not just cut waste, corruption and fraud and in order to balance the budget. He implied we will have to raise taxes in order to reduce the deficit. We will also have to cut the entitlement programs also. Until both parties recognize this, we will have a broken government.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  80. matt

    I call for a day of national peacefull strike to demand collaboration between both parties and change in Washington attitude. That may gave a message to both Republican (Dr. No) and Democrat to work together. We also need a better leadership from President Obama to accommodate both parties. What I can see is a lack of direction to any point.

    Matt

    February 22, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  81. Brian In Navarre, Fl

    I suggest a Constitutional Amendment that states only the subject matter directly pertaining to the proposed law can be included in that particular legislation. No earmarks, no sweetheart deals, no legislation dealing with other subjects allowed to sway votes! The only financial matter in the bill has to do with the primary cost/savings and related taxes.

    If the law is worthy let it pass on its on merit. If it is not, then let it fail.

    This simplifies the law, creates trust among the people and their representatives, and eliminates the ole' "I voted the way I did because of something else" excuse politicians seem to like to give.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  82. Bryan in Rhode Island

    Is it broken? Not beyond repair.
    Is it pretty FUBAR! "You betcha"

    February 22, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  83. TJ Weber

    Our government is very much broken. A very intelligent and respected moderate in Evan Bayh leaving last week is a sure sign that the purging of moderates is taking place on both sides, and it is sickening.

    The solution is to end this childish trend of polarizing everything from lower level appointees and filibustering every single thing that comes through congress.

    Both parties seem to have forgotten the reasons why our current congress has the majorities that they do; the Republicans (and the tea party activists as well as some early voters in MA, VA, and NJ) have forgotten that their over confidence and poor policies got us into this mess. The Democrats seem to have forgotten that they were elected to remand the Bush Doctrine, and are entirely spineless and unwilling to do anything that takes any balls. They are also the reason I consider myself a liberal, and not a Democrat.

    A short term history lesson would do both parties and our country a lot of good.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  84. Steve, Irvine

    Ban all money contributions to elections, making campaigns purely government funded (with a limited general campaign tax) and on equal footing. This will neuter lobbyist power, but not eliminate their voices or ban them. Citizen letters will have as much financial weight behind them as those of special interests or corporations... None! Only the vote counts and that's what politicians will then listen too.

    Also, allow anyone to vote in any primary, and always have a 'top two candidates' election format. That will weed out extremists and give independents, the majority of the electorate, the voice they've never had.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  85. Antny

    What needs to be fixed? The plutocracy is working as designed. Our experiment with representative democracy was over long ago.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  86. Daniel, Waterbury, CT

    This country has a two-party system, but when one of those parties "refuse to play", the system comes to a halt.
    It's up to the people to use their votes to shuffle the deck and bring some new faces up, but they can only do so much.
    If after the election, the new lawmakers go for what their party decides to do as a block, nothing changes and this country plays election for another couple of years while a lot of problems wait to be solved.
    That's why China is progressing so much. The leaders of the Communist Party decide what need to be done, and it's done.
    Here, we discuss about what need to be done, how, by whom, who will be benefited by it, why, when, etc., etc.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  87. Jim

    Unfortunately yes. As we look at our government now, we see it crippled by the extremes within the parties, while the moderates continue to be pushed out of office. We as American's need to stop looking at things selfishly and starting thinking about these different issues affect the country as a whole. Health care is an example. Low and Middle income voters think that its fair to continue to push expenses towards the wealthy. What they fail to realize is that they will pay the price on the back-end in the form of higher unemployment, lower wages, and declines in the quality of health care.

    We need to start supporting the moderates and have negotiations and vetting of different ideas to find what is best. We can't continue to allow half of the country on any given issue be ignored.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  88. grayson zuhlke

    Without a change in the system I think we are cooked. Self promotion and lust for power and money will keep congressmen from doing what is right for the country versus what is right for the country. No matter who gets in the system will change them to what we have now. It can be fixed but I don't think we have the will to do it.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  89. Rusty Taylor

    Jack it may not be past repair, But congress must make some changes, first "We the People" DON'T need parties, they are the reason NOTHING gets done. The "parties only DO things when the LOBBY DOLLARS are right. We could do just as good having common citizens represent the people from their own districts, and answer to them. The LOBBY DOLLAR must be halted and made illegal,and term limits imposed on ALL seats. Then comes the issue of pay , retirement ans health care benefits,,,,,,pay for congress should be dropped drastically say down to 90,000 per year plus travel costs, their cushy retirement plan should be stopped all together and they SHOULD be required to become part of social security,,,they might fix it then,,,,and take away all health benefits until they find a solution in health care for citizens,,,then they get the SAME plan we get.,,,The BOTTOM line is we need to abolish the two corrupt parties.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  90. Michael G

    Is our government broken beyond repair?
    If we leave things as they are, yes. But fortunately we still have the right to vote.
    So, I have faith that our government will be fixed starting this November.
    Personally, as irresponsible as it may sound to some, it is perfectly logical to me.
    I am planning on voting one way....AGAINST my incumbents. I do not care what party affiliation they have....I am voting against them.
    While I consider myself to be a conservative who has voted Republican for many years, I will vote against my "Republican" incumbant for the simple reason that they have not spoken loud enough to prevent the mess we are in.
    If there is more than two choices, then I will research each of the other two or three and vote for the one who holds values and ambitions for my country closest to mine.
    Can our country be fixed? Yes, let's start by CLEANING HOUSE ! !

    February 22, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  91. Dirk VanBuskirk

    Yes, it is broken and I am not sure we can fix it. They need to focus on fixing problems, not creating them. The health care system is not perfect but does not need to be screwed up by a bunch of fools that refuse to listen to the people. They need to get back to a free market system and get government out of business. So what if the rich make money, they provide the jobs for the rest of us. If you tax them, they just pass it on to the people anyway so telling us that our taxes won't go up is BS. Another part of the problem is the media supporting these dangerous ideas of obama and his idiot team of advisers. America became great because of it's people, not it's politicians. It's became great because of it's manufacturing and business not because of government regulations. We need to get back to basics before it is too late.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  92. Olu

    Jack,

    Yes, our government is temporary broken and yes it can be fixed, however, we need to fix the partisan divide that faces our nation. We have two mainstreams for examples on the left you have the MSNBC, and so on and on the right you have the FOX. Each report whatever affiliate they associated with rather than telling the fact and not injecting any poison into it, let the American people make the final decision based on fact instead of sugar-coating. I am tired of watching news nowadays because what it comes out is who is better than who. Are we not a nation of togetherness anymore? Of course I don't like Obama bailing out the bank industries and not a common man like myself but at the same time I am not the president who has to watch not only for me but for the country as a whole. The democrats need to governed in the center meaning forget the public option for God sake just pass a health care that is good for American people and the republicans should also contribute and not whine like my child....life is about give and take, so my final advise is for this congress to grow up period.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  93. charles owens

    I believe that it is badly bent but with time and patience and if the troops in Washington decide to work together it can be repaired.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  94. Leslie

    It is discusting where our government has led this country with its games and arguing incessively!!!! Spending money like it is an endless pile to throw to the wind. It makes me ill everytime I see the news about whats going on in this country. Why is our government so blind to see where we are headed? Its insane! Other countries are laughing at us, betting on how much longer America can stay afloat like this. I think our governement is fixable, but it wont be. I dont think anyone really knows how to fix it....

    February 22, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  95. RS

    Absolutely not, our government is not broken beyond repair! Our system remains a brilliant design, and I continue to have complete confidence in it long term. But, we maybe could use some top-notch group psychologists spending time with Congress and Obama these days. Now, there's an expense I would welcome. There does appear to be real communication dysfunction, but that is a very fixable problem if people want to fix it.

    I also like the idea of suspending all pay and perks for Congress until they figure out how to work with each other better. You know, kinda like getting your allowance taken away, or being grounded for bad behavior. That will never happen, but I like the idea.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  96. Traci Alexander

    I think saying the government is broken is a nice word for the things Americans really want to say about our elected politicians. I think our government is saveable, but not with the current politicians that we have in office. I think those that have been there for a long time have gotten comfortable. Comfortable with wealth, with kickbacks, feel they are able to break the rules and do what ever they want without any recourse. The American people elected these people into office for a reason. Now, everyone can't promise and do everything – you have to have some common sense. I think those officials like President Obama really wants to do what is right for America, I just think that unfortunately, he took over an Office that was riddled with pitfalls and serious problems. He has decided to go into another direction of which Government has had a say in many private businesses ...affairs, but, like a parent with a child who has gotten into trouble too many times and has now affected other people, he has to step in and try to steer the Country into the right direction. Just think. If we don't let Government step in for a short time and clean up some of these messes, i.e. banking industry, EPA, health insurance, etc., the situations will get worse and by then, when the American people want to run to someone to help fix the problem, it will be too far gone with elected officials who are also too far gone.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  97. Ben from Cambridge, MA

    Jack,

    Our government isn't broken beyond repair, but the two-party system is and always has been. George Washington knew that a two-party system would polarize the country and lead to stalemates in government like the one we're watching with health insurance reform right now. Meaningful change for the better is not going to happen in our government until a centrist third party forms.

    Ben
    Cambridge, MA

    February 22, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  98. Barbara

    Jack – I am Canadian – dosn't matter USA, Canada or wherever the people in Austin Texas have it right! IT IS ALL IN THE ATTITUDE!! Business, education, politics, religion it is ATTITUDE!!

    If people will focus on the good things, show some gratitude and build on the good we would see a difference!!!

    Ontario Canada

    February 22, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  99. William Marcy

    Unless We the Peolple can protect ourselves, this government of ours will fragment even further until there's nothing left to fix.. I think a good place to begin would be the creation of an entire new body of laws that would make political corruption less attractive. Meaningful prison sentences in bad places and seizure of all assets might capture someone's attention. A venue where such swift redress can take place outside the reach of those with political power to circumvent this process is a necessary component. This would be only a start, but once in place would go far to discourage those who seek office for personal enrichment.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  100. Bob in North Carolina

    And why do we have partisanship? The republicans met with Obama shortly after his inauguration to try and find some common ground. Obama's response – "I won". He pushes the most socialist agenda in history, refuses to compromise on any point, calls republicans every name in the book at every opportunity, then claims to be "reaching across the aisle". Give me a break. Bottom line is that we are not a socialist country and the majority of Americans have no desire to go there. Expect more condescension and name calling at the "summit" on Thursday. So how do we fix the country? Elect people in November that have some respect for American voters and will return to the values upon which this country was built.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  101. dockwobbler

    Jack...the Congress has been 'FIXED' for years...the best government money can buy!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  102. Doc in Elko, Nevada

    Not beyond repair, but close. The only solution I see is to fire all 535 members of the House and Senate, then limit terms for all to a single 6 year period. While we're at it, abolish the scandalous Congressional retirement program and put them all on Social Security. That should help draw in people who are genuinely interested in solving problems rather than constantly catering to the special interests in order to build reelection warchests.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  103. John

    Government itself broken? No. The problem is the people, all the people, voters and representatives alike. As long as the majority of the population of this country is unable to admit they may be wrong on any particular issue DESPITE not having any direct proof that they are right and sometimes even proclaiming their "belief" by itself is proof enough for them (religion), then we are going to continue to waste enormous amounts of precious resources on useless, endless arguments.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  104. Rick - Southwest Oklahoma

    No, but it will take a catastrophic crisis to make any progress. When the US starts handing out IOU's for entitlements and tax refunds, then the two parties may drop the partisanship and work together. Until then America's future is secondary to the political power grab and the us-vs-them political mentality.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  105. Lisa in Ga

    Jack, government been broke as a matter of fact broken beyond repair.. my question to you is why is this being pointed out now? Nobody pointed it out before....

    February 22, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  106. Esther

    It is broken. Only a "tabula rasa" would fix this. Meaning get rid of all the Senators and Congressmen that are just parasites of the American people, and start over.
    Houston, TX

    February 22, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  107. Frank Brindel - Atlantic City

    if we continue to vote, tax and spend in exactly the same fashion, then Yes..its broken beyond fixing.

    if we do something different...then we have a chance.

    The chance I give us is, zero, nada, null, none, zip, goose egg!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  108. Aaron Noble

    Politics by party must come to an end! While we elect our representatives to serve us, it appears many of them are only concerned about posturing themselves for the next election. The needs of the people are being neglected and the country is suffering because of it. There is a middle ground on many of the issues facing our country, but it can only be reached if partisan politics is cast to the side and OUR REPRESENTATIVES honestly, and without agenda, focus on what's best for the nation. The American public can fix this, if we stop buying the partisian lines and elect candidates who will truly represent us. It's a shame a poor man or women can't get elected.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  109. sandor Johnson

    Americans are tired of the two-trick Democrat/Conservative pony. Two hundred years of only two choices – both corrupt and spending our nation into a black hole – quickly proving to be our ruin. Elections are nothing more than popularity contest between either head of the same snake. Why do you think Ron Paul just swept CPAC? His 'End the Fed', sound money, a return to free market, Constitutional and Libertarian principles is what founded this once-great nation. There was a time when we voted not on the basis of religion or what our leaders thought about abortion or gay marriage or other social fabric "concerns. We'll never all agree on that. Rather, we used to vote for the principles of our Republic. That's long been co-opted by dumb Americans who want handouts from the nanny state and slick politicians who will sell our country out to give them the handouts so they get the votes to stay in power. Sad....

    February 22, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  110. Peter Blackwell

    Yes our goverment is broken. The Oxford English Dictionary defines Government as "The action of governing, specifically the action of ruling and directing the affairs of state". Who could legititmately declare that there has been any effective "ruling or directing" during the past 9 years or so?
    Let's face it, The USA is a shadow of its former self and if we are to have any hope of restoring ourselves to our former selves, perhaps we should consider a "Coalition Government", much like the government that Churchill assembled during World War 2, where the focus was upon doing the people's work. It was not easy, but it worked.
    We have met the enemy and it is us, so we need to work together for the benefit of all, or we will only succeed in sinking further in to the abyss

    February 22, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  111. Jillian Wright

    No amount of band-aids can fix the gaping wound in our system. It would need intense surgery that, in the end, would be so difficult to save that we might as well put it out of its misery and start a new! There are some redeeming features and people who have kept it limping along, but it is hurting. Hurting itself, billions of people and many other life forms.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  112. Mark Hines

    When president Obama said before a group of republican senators a few weeks ago that the bipartisanship and constant campaigning and blaming the other side is the reason nothing gets accomplished in Washington, and when a U.S. Senator bails out saying that the congress is unable to function and do the "peoples business" then you know that something is very wrong.

    They didn't used to publicize such disfunction, but now it is blatantly being said on the national media.

    Government of the people, by the people, and for the people has vanished from the earth and has been replaced by government of the elite, by the elite, and for the elite.

    Let's abolish democracy and restore the republic that we pledge to in the pledge of allegiance. The one the founding fathers established so long ago.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  113. quieteye

    Governance is broken because we as a divided nation are broken. Who to trust? Who's interest is represented, and how much was paid for it? I think the republicans sold their soul and expect the country to put them back in power based on what they now say and do (nothing -as usual). American short memories will forget what they long said vs what they did (deregulate, budget deficits, underfunded government departments, trickle down, etc.) Please – well financed benefactors may fund tea parties and obstruction governance only as long as people confuse who's interests are really being served..

    February 22, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  114. EricinSA

    Don't worry Jack. We'll fix the government in November. Uh, incumbents, I recommend you beat the rush and purchase your airfare now while its cheap.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  115. Patrick Murphy

    Sure government can be fixed. Voters need to ignore campaign blather, tune out special interest advertisements, and vote for responsible independents. Forget all this "Democrats this" and "Republican thats."

    February 22, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  116. Michael Osborn

    The only way you can fix our governmentis to take lobbying and special interests andthus money, out of the equation. It is ok to oppose somethings, but it is not ok to oppose everything. It does not say in the Constitution that businesses are the People. Nor does it say that representing special interests are constitutents. It is time to remove the perks of gaining office and the influence (MONEY) that guides elected officials.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  117. Jim, Simi Valley, Cal

    Beyond repair. Yes. Our presentive system of government is too complacent in representing themselves and not the people who elected them into office. Our representatives are in the pockets of corporate America and disinterested in representing the needs of this country. The democrats are guitless, and they won the election from the party who helped cause this problem, and they (republicans) think they can fix what they caused. We need to serve a third party system or candidate who is concerned about this country and it's needs, then the present office holders who vote straight party lines and don't compromise for the best solutions.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  118. Kelley

    Los Angeles, CA. Yes indeed this government is broken, and has been careening toward this moment through myriad election cycles. Our elected officials are cowardly and devoid of conviction. 'Partisan' doesn't begin to define the problem: our politicians have been groomed to represent only that part of the electorate that voted for them, ignoring that they were elected to represent EVERYONE, completely tone deaf to the wishes of "the others". The Red State/Blue State divide wasn't invented by the media, but the 4th estate isn't above bearing some responsibility. We ALL elected you, Senator, Congressman, whether we punched the ballot for you or not. We didn't send you to represent the Democratic or Republican party, we sent you to represent the California Party! (fill in your state here). If you'd accept that and stand up to your own party, as well as the oppostion, you wouldn't need 60 votes in the Senate to fix this country's problems. "RE-ELECT NO ONE" should be the bumper sticker on every car in America.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  119. JOSEPH STEFFANIE

    Hey Jack, this government of ours is a total wreck. I'm not sure if any group of corperate executives could fix it. We need to start doing something. Just think if 30 million concern Americans showed up in DC with their registered weapons and surrounded the capital. What a statement that would make to every politican in this country. Just being their with their firearms and peacefully surrounding the capital. It's going to take a major effort by Americans to get their country back and rid ourselves of these worhtless self serving maggots.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  120. Phillippa

    I hate to agree with anything Tea Partiers might believe, but I agree that government is broken.

    I attribute this, however, mostly to GOP posing and blocking of progress.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  121. Rick Gonzalez

    Self preservation, greed and hypocrisy are the eithical codes that politicians must swear on when they get elected these days. So long as these codes are in place the country will continue down the road of economic collapse. The bigger question is , who is going to bail out the largest economy in the world when it happens???

    February 22, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  122. Clint Allen

    Broken??? HA... How about shattered into a million pieces! The only answer is to vote out anyone who calls themselves a politician today and get a new group in Washington. Maybe then they will act with reverance to the American people as our founding fathers did!

    Clint Allen
    Charleston, SC

    February 22, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  123. Pat Higgins

    Windsor, California

    The government is not broken as much as it is inept. We don't have leaders or leadership today; we have what our election process will allow through its gauntlet... and we can see what we get. The best leaders in our history couldn't be elected today and the best leaders we have today won't go near the toxic election process. So mediocrity has risen to the top and today, with Pelosi and Reid, that adage has clearly been proven again. It is actually hard for me to fathom that the two chambers see these two folks as their best... what a statement about the rest of them.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  124. Mike Murphy

    I do not believe that our country is broken beyond repair. We Americans only want our government to do the things that we are only interested in and nothing else. Frankly, some of us are segmented/fragmented, and short-term, listening only to the sensational and sound bites on the news! The honesty in our federal government officials is probably the same as we individuals when we do our income tax!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  125. Anthony from Swedsboro, NJ

    In my mind, the problem with government is the lack of true statesmanship that sees their party as secondary to the needs of the country. Today, compromise is an anathema and recalcitrance a reward. That the general populace is falling into the trap of the conservative's strategy of inaction to prove this administration's impotence doesn't resonate with the less culpable amongst us. As long as this transparent strategy continues to the November elections, of course our government will remain paralyzed. The befuddled masses will flock to the polls like sheep to further cripple government.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  126. joseph

    Dear Jack,

    I do not believe that our government is broken beyond repair. However, I feel that to repair it, several obvious problem areas need to be addressed:

    1). The Senate structure with an impossible necessity for a 60+ fillibuster proof majority. Let the majority rule... period.

    2). Unlimited corporate money financing and electing their candidates for President, Congress, and the Judiciary... you've got to be kidding?

    3). The Electoral College system gives too much say to underpopulated rural states, and in my opinion, should be scrapped.

    I'm not an expert in these matters, but I believe unless we do something, we are going to deteriorate very quickly.

    Best,

    Joseph,

    Brooklyn, NY

    February 22, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  127. Lynne in CA

    Government can be fixed starting with limiting congressional terms to four years and banning all lobbyists and special interests from influencing legislation. Limit congressional benefits packages to only years served and eliminate any lifetime benefits congress now receives to save money. Remove the two party system, a candidate would either register as Progressive, Moderate or Conservative. Majority rules.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  128. Connie Corine

    It's broken in that it will never be what it was in the past. We are going to have to use our initiative and creativity to reinvent ourselves. The industrial jobs that are gone, won't be back. Things look pretty bleak, but I still think there is hope. Blue Hill, NE.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  129. darklordofdebate

    I think the biggest problem with government right now is unaccountable incumbents that care more about campaign fund-raising than truly doing what is in the best interests of the country. Money clearly has a huge influence on politicians, who quickly become beholden to large corporations and labor unions, who they depend on to finance their campaigns. I studied political science in college, and in one of my classes I learned that the vast majority of incumbents are reelected. So you have career politicians dependent on special interests for financing who gradually grow more distant from the people they represent.

    I think the only real solution to this would be a combination of strict term limits for all members of Congress and publicly funded elections (both of which would probably require a constitutional amendment). Fixcongressfirst.org has a good proposal for publicly funded elections I think we should consider–especially in light of the Citizens United decision.

    Patrick McKay,
    Virginia Beach, Virginia

    February 22, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  130. Charley Najacht

    Jack,
    I think we, the people, lost control when our elected representatives and senators became our masters, rather than our servants, by voting themselves generous retirement and health care packages, along with automatic annual pay increases. Hence, they will fight tooth and nail to remain entrenched in their cushy government jobs with lavish side benefits. They live like kings and queens while we struggle to make a decent living and to pay our taxes. We were asleep at the switch, but things will change in November 2010. We have to, in the interest of national security, get our country back on the track of fiscal responsibility, and we will.
    Charley Najacht
    Custer, SD

    February 22, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  131. jorge

    And it's been broken jack . Thats way we the PEOPLE elected new president. Don't forget that the previous administration,manipulated what makes this country different from the rest of the world. THE US CONSTITUTION. THE PRIVIOUS ADMINISTRATION STILL HAVE A LOT OF QUESTIONS TO ANSWER.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  132. Jason Bogikes

    1) get rid of all the lobbyists.

    2) get rid of the two party system.

    Neither of these will happen as those involved, the ones who actually have the ability to change the system, profit too much with the current system.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  133. Jeff

    It will take the blood of patriots to reclaim our lost freedoms. The government has no fear of that happening. Every day we cling more tightly to oppression while crying that we're free.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  134. Ironhouse ND

    Broken, yes, beyond repair, no. Governments tend to fluctuate, sadly ours have been fluctuating from bad to worse to out of touch with reality. It's pathetic hat they are putting the political war ahead of the nations interests. The politicians are living like kings. The supreme court is in bed with corporations, even more than the politicians are. Wallstreet and the politicians are all getting richer while the mid class suffers. When you spend our tax money hiring aids to explain to politicians how to pretend they can relate to us common folk you know the rulers have no clue what it's like to be us, or what needs to be done to help us.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  135. Eric Sink

    It is not broken beyond repair, but it's not going to fixed without some sort of catalyzing crisis. Change happens when the status quo becomes intolerable.

    Politicians in Washington have no incentive to change the system. The status quo works for them.

    Things need to get a lot worse before they will get better.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  136. michael enoch

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security

    February 22, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  137. JJ Chamberlain

    Jack,

    Our government is broken. Our politicians are businessmen, not public servants. They make the government a way for businesses to funnel our tax money to themselves. The bailouts made this crystal clear for us. Government is losing the hearts of the people.

    Denver, CO

    February 22, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  138. dave

    no, its not beyond repair, just vote the party of no-republicans, then we can get back to business and this country.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  139. Adrian from Seattle

    No, Jack, it just needs a tune-up.

    When I was growing up, the ruling party passed their agenda and if the voters didn't like it, they voted them out. The way the senate is set up today, the obstructionists (from either party) can stop anything they want.

    It's time to change the filibuster rules!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  140. Sam Caple

    Jack

    This government is totally broken. It is broken because the participants are corrupt. If they are not corrupt when they get there they will be after participating in the system for very little time.
    Unfortunately, the very people who are attracted to the political life are the people who should never be allowed to run anything. They are personalities and the Dems and Repubs are totally out of touch with the American people.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  141. Antonio from Washington D.C.

    For centuries, we've been way beyond repair. We just need to stop spending foolish money on unimportant matters and spend wise money on things like education, (not large stadiums for sporting events), funding for health care, education, housing, and missionary work.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  142. Leonard Gray

    I think that all the idiots in Congress come from one ancestor – Nero, who was known to be playing his fiddle while Rome burned. Voting in the next election will be easy. I will not listen to any slick or frightening political ads. I will simply show up at the polls with a list of the incumbents and vote for the challenger.

    The election sales pitch about having experience in Congress is now a liability. I would rather have an inexperienced person running my government and let him/her learn on the job.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  143. Eric

    It's only broken beyond repair if the citizens of the nation let it be so. Time to rear up and tell those we elected what we expect of them .... reasonable efforts at problem solving, not simply saying "no" and playing to their base. Collectively this is a shameful abuse of democracy. But it's up to us, the people, to get it straightened out.

    I favor actually having filibusters til we all throw up!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  144. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    Yes what we have here is a government that systems do not function, few men have enough virtue to withstand the highest bidder; George Washington.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  145. Alex

    Jack government isn't entirely broken its just been taken hostage by Republicans. All the right does is say no to everything this administration does. Maybe they would have some credibility if they said no to George Bush like they do to Obama. How come they didn't call for an end to spending under Bush. Why did they allow president Bush to nationalize the banks if it goes against their belief of too much government. Where was the tea party movement then? Jack the sad reality is these people do not want Obama to suceed and they will take the country down with them in order to make political gain. We need real people with real solutions , and so far Republicans have offered nothing. The party of no is making Washington and this country into a joke.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  146. J

    Not beyond repair but it's going to take people with differing viewpoints willing to compromise in order to get things done for the good of the country – sort of like the Founding Fathers had to do in order to create this country in the first place. If you want to achieve greatness, you have to lead but you also have to be willing to bend a little now and then.

    I'd like to fire all the uncompromising, brick walls in Congress. Maybe that'd be a start toward fixing our dysfunctional government.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  147. Dan

    Yes the US gov't is broken. And while it can be fixed, it won't be simply because we elect politicians that know how to do nothing more than make empty promises. Until the US voter wises up, this will not change.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  148. ya

    the conservitives r crazy and the liberals r scared of the crazy people.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  149. Steve

    I don't like the casual linking of dissatisfaction with the government to the Tea Party movement. You can most certainly be disenfranchised and still think the conclusion drawn by the tea party movement are ridiculous. The problems with the government, and specifically with the legislature, are very real, and compounded by the fact that the people who are supposed to correct them are the people who benefit most from the status quo. But there's no obvious line between this view and the logically dubious aphorisms of the Tea Party movement (e.g. "we want smaller government but we don't want to lose our social programs" and "we want to curb the deficit but we don't want to raise taxes or sacrifice our entitlements")

    February 22, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  150. Pat Clark

    Not beyond repair but the House and Senate Republicans are so entrenched in themselves and the theory that the market will take care of everything that they are now simply the party of "NO". My kids went through that phase when they were two. The Democrats (and I am one) are overwhelmingly too strident and left. Tone it down. President Obama attempts to mediate. You can't mediate with two year olds. My theory is to tell them all to "do their d--d job and look out for the welfare of the country and not themselves.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  151. dave

    no its not beyond repair, just vote the party of no-republicans out, then we can get back to business and this country.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  152. Richard E. Cronin

    All incumbents need to go......no exceptions!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  153. tom

    Our government can only be fixed by a major overhaul of the structure of Congress and the manner in which districts for the House are drawn. The committee and seniority system of both houses of Congress are designed to assure the stature, power, and reelection of incumbents, esp. the majority party. Both must go, but won't since "leaders" like Horrible Harry (Reid) and Queen Nancy (Pelosi) are self-centeredand self-serving along with the leaders of both parties's caucuses and all committee chairmen and ranking members (including subcommittees). Eliminating the committee system as is and the reapportionment of districts by state legislatures are musts. Perhaps, drawing districts by NONPARTISAN, independent commissions would work. Worth a try.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  154. thomas schlanch

    As long as we have the Party system, nothing is going to work anymore. They can't agree. Funny thing is they are no different in that their just two different Mafia families; Like the Gambinos and bannonos. Their both ultimately being controlled by a very small group of super elite super evil super selfish people. All this confrontational hub bub and discussion in the news is the perfect distraction to keep them out of view. 200 cable channels and all the video and sports doesn't hurt them much either.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  155. JR. Sacramento

    Yes. Jack, when a political party's slogan is "I hope the president fails" then all is doomed.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  156. Dennis from Sycamore, Illinois

    Jack,
    I do believe our government can be repaired but we are in a real mess rignt now. If our politicians would stop thinking about what will get them elected and do what the people who voted them into power have asked them to do, we could see a real change in Washington for the better.

    God Bless America!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  157. jayjayaye

    There was a time when our government was truly broken, seemingly shattered beyond repair. That time was called the Civil War. Yet, even though it took decades to do, eventually the Union was restored to good health. I would think that we're in for something akin to this - a time when our government is hamstrung not by war but by politics, and does nothing to solve the very real and great problems we face. I don't think that this will lead to insurrection, but rather to some long and bitter years, during which many people will suffer, but that eventually there will be a reconstruction, as it were. How glad I am that I spent the bulk of my life in the 20th century and will have to witness only a small part of the 21st.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  158. Satya

    I thought the meaning of democracy is that the government with MAJORITY decides what laws to pass and what not.... So what is the issue. Why even this question. People eleted the members in GOVT, so lets suffer together.

    Satya,
    Columbus, OH

    February 22, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  159. John from Chicago

    Yes, it's broken, the lack of results should serve as sufficient proof. But that's only half the analysis. If I pour sugar into your gas tank, your car is broken. But are you to blame for it, even partially, or an I fully to blame? And either way, should I be allowed to benefit from my mischief? That's the problem right now; the guy who poured sugar into the gas tank is also trying to get the job as the auto mechanic to fix it, and at the same time is blaming the car owner for the trouble. Until we see that as a nation, and penalize this civic vandalism, the problem is unfixable.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
  160. Jason

    GOP congressional members make tirades about how Obama is failing, how Washington is screwing the little man in their districts, yet THEY ARE A PART OF WASHINGTON; they are a part of the problem the complain endlessly about. That double standard, which should be a smack in the face to any moderately aware American, is obvious when you look at the Recovery Act hypocrisy. Thank god my Governor, Gov. Shwarzenegger actually spoke up frankly about it. Minus him I'd say every GOP member appears more nationalist, than capitalist, more fascist than American, hell CPAC seemed like they were ready to christen Cheney their Fuhrer, because... they are completely insane and deny reality on a level akin to Salem witch hunters or McCarthyism which seems to be a hush hush word these days in the media.

    They don't believe scientists about science, Economists about the economy, military leaders about military stuff, so why in the world would they cooperate with Obama? They know everything and if not well we will all go to hell with 'em to prove it, either that or they lie on an epic, shakespearean level to preserve the separation that really matters to them. Not of State and Religion, but of the Upper class and the average American. Just look at the 400 richest IRS statistic, one hidden during the Bush years and you any tea partier, anybody who claims themselves to be conservative, anyone who is crazy or frustrated enough with to think Joe Stack is a hero, look at what the GOP really cares about, their core belief; making sure the 400 richest Americans earn what they'll have to pay in taxes in the first three minutes of the year.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
  161. Mason Arline

    The system can be repaired, but the answer is in the structure of our system. With the exception of the president, we allow elected officials to hold office indefinitely, which ensures that they will treat their positions as a career, rather than a public service. Combined with this is the extension of First Amendment protection to campaign contributions which keeps politicians employed. Single term limits and a ban on legal bribery are the solutions our woefully corrupt system needs.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
  162. M.Wagner

    Maybe Jack. Everyone has the answers and 90% ignorant of history and government. Quit the dam trash talking 24/7 and my party is right, such arrogance. Lot of trojan horses spouting patriotism. What a crock. It started with Bush telling the military how to fight a war.
    Pearl City, HI.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
  163. David

    It's the lobbyist Jack. Corporations and their shareholders now run the show. These people think they're special and deserve more, but they still put on a pair of pants the same way we do. It's in their nature to be greedy blood suckers and our politicians don't have the stones to stop them.

    David
    Orlando, FL

    February 22, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
  164. Charles Adams

    Of course our government is not broken beyond repair! It's working exactly how the Founding Fathers designed it to work. People need to get educated on civics.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
  165. Bill Sharpe

    The main problem with government is that too few people are involved on a daily basis. If more people paid attention to what is going on we would all be better off. Instead they dont show up until there is some singular motivating issue and then they dont understand the overall background affecting the issue.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
  166. OETKB, SATX

    The obstructionist GOP are a bunch of unhappy campers and will go to any length to make sure no one else is happy, even if it means being destructive, hateful and wasting time (which is $). Sadly, their supporters stand behind them and are willing to suffer the consequences in their effort to make this administration a failed effort. I say blow off the fools, their ignorant lemmings and let's get the job done. Cleaning up the mess left behind is needed desperately.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
  167. Seamus

    Flower Mound, TX
    Of course government is broken. The two parties have created the polarized government before us. No one will make the hard choices that need to be made to fix our country. Healthcare and the budget deficits will require painful choices for all Americans. It means less from your government in entitlement programs, cut backs on government spending, and increased taxes. These are things that no one wants to hear, but it has to be done. I want out politicians to stand up and admit there is a problem and get it fixed. But no one wants to do it and lose their job. Republicans won't do it now so they can regain power. At which point they won't fix the problems because they have no interest in cutting spending or raising taxes. Dems won't fix it because they don't have the clout and if they vote for anything now they will lose back home. Term limits would fix this. People need to cast the votes for what needs to be fixed and put that on the agenda. Unfortunately this won't get done by either party until 2014 when we are faxed with going bankrupt and other governments are no longer buying out debt. Then we will look like Greece does now. We can thank our last three Presidents and a go along congress for what we see now. Really, doesn't surprise me as we have created a society of people who don't want to take responsibility for anything. Pay later, get now has lead us to this point. Sadly both political party has lost the faith of the people, thus fringe elements like the Tea Party is allowed to take hold.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
  168. Kip Durocher

    The greater question is , Does anyone even care? It would appear that the average American would rather holler about wanting their personal plan installed even though they have no ability to articulate it.
    All the talking heads, professional and otherwise, prattle incessantly all the while never offering a word of any alternate plan. Americans seem now to belong to the same club as their federal governmant the "against everything." club. The only fix possible is a viable third and fourth party – this will force coalition governments and maybe end the two-party paralysis that infects our nation. But – does anyone at all. especially the major players even care. I think not – joe six pack is too busy debating the merits of sporting teams to be concerned with the fate of his country. Government officals would rather wallow in pork than govern. The easiest way for them to govern is the politics of fear, racism and hate. It gets out the voters. No concern about our military misadventures but they will line up to vote to stop money for planned parenthood and demand prayer in grade school. No concern for our poor, starving citizens, who live in the weeds. But we will show up to support Mr. Uber right or left no matter what his silliness is.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
  169. Jim in Oregon

    Yes .... it's like the birds.
    All that is in Washington is the Dodos on the right, Chicadees on the left. Stupid vs Cowards. And the Parrot at the top does not lead, just keeps asking for permission. And all they do is leave a mess for those of below.
    The Eagles flew away a long time ago.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  170. Semi-Retired in Illinois

    The people of the U.S. are spoiled. They don't vote, less than 20% in many races, then criticize elected officials. They won't research the facts, choosing instead to watch their favorite screamers tell them what they want to hear. They want lower taxes, but don't want their entitlements or subsidies curbed or home district earmark projects cut. They want politicians to work together then punish officials who actually do compromise and work together like the Governor in Florida working with the President to save jobs.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  171. Frank Vanis

    I've seen many a bad government. Ours is rapidly becoming a self-sustaining pit of self-centered, power hungry, power elites.

    We now resemble France before they cut the heads off their royalty. I think we should start sharpening the guillotines. Only then will we finally be able to replace them with a group who will be fair, balanced and in continual fear for their lives if they are not.

    I'm a Vietnam vet and quite frankly sick of our government. I sometimes get the feeling I fought the wrong enemies.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  172. Deb in Webster, NC

    Beyond repair? Of course not–next thing you will be talking about re-writing the Constitution to suit you/your party. Sometimes slow just means careful legislative action. Further, it's good to obstruct bad legislation, such as the budget-busting health care reform now being considered. And if you want to see bipartisanship, then how about stop with the relentless obstruction when YOUR party is out of power!

    suggestions on making government work:
    **Congress has way too much tax money at their discretion. Reduce our taxes and they have less money and power and corruption. This would cut the flow of federal monies to local projects, such as a Woodstock museum and the like, as such "earmarks" invite big rollers' campaign donations. Stop stuffing legislation with this pork and/or veto bills that contain it. Let New Yorkers pay for that museum, for example, if they wish, not the nation.

    * Stop trying to prevent failures in this country–savings and loan, airlines, banks, automakers,etc. This intervention enables poor management decisions. In America we allow great profits and success, but also failures. We don't promise comfort and equal outcomes, only equal opportunity.

    *Change the tax structure to a fair, across the board percentage–20% or whatever–as too many Americans don't pay any taxes, but only vote in those representatives who promise to increase entitlements and further burden thetax-paying producers in this country. This helps everyone realize the effects of ever-more government programs.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  173. George from Stockton

    When it comes to man made things, anything can be fixed or replaced. Somethings are very quick and easy to fix and some require long time and even going back to the drawing board to start from the scratch to fix. When it comes to our government, the issue at hand is ethics of the representatives. Dignity, responsibility and following ethics are gone. Current congress and majority of governing body are there for their own agendas and well-beings. So we have a couple generations of educated people where majority of them have lost their ways. We read more about scandals, scams, deals than good things being done. How do you fix a whole generation of corrupted government workers? It will take a new generation of awareness, selflessness, ethical people to start getting elected and correcting all the misbehavior of current and past. Can it be done? Sure. Can we be bothered? I don't know. But currently, its garbage in, garbage out. Unless we decide to do something about putting an end to this, we will be governed by few people, groups, corporations, special interests, who want us in this paralyzed state the public is currently in. We are being herded by big bad wolfs of these world but we are too sheepish to anything about it.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  174. rudy

    Yes, I see no hope. Obama was voted into office with over 8 million votes more than Mc Cain yet the republicans have opposed every proposal. What do you think....Could it be racism ?

    February 22, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  175. Tony in Idaho

    "Government" is not broken. Most governmental functions are being carried out as usual. What's "broken" is Congress, especially the Senate, where self-imposed rules allow 40 members to block anything under the threat of a filibuster. How to fix it: call their bluff and let them filibuster, and see how long they can last. Bullies remain bullies only as long as good people refuse to stand against them.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  176. C. M. Dozier

    Washington most feared the rise of political parties and the damage they would do to the Republic. His fears are justified. Even his day politicians put themselves and their ideologies before the Revolution and before the success of the war. Todays politicians; Reid, Pelosie and their ilk place their ego's and political games before the Republic and the CITIZENS. Congress is broken, the bueracracy that runs it are broken and like a cancer it is spreading to the social fabric of the country. No longer do we hear the words of John Kennedy, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do ofr your country." It's all about killing the "golden goose" and squeezing out the last egg (money) before the goose (Republic) is dead.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
  177. Scott

    No Jack, it's not broken beyond repair. But to fix government, we need to set a term limit that hits at the end of this year. All members of Congress should have their terms terminated, and they should not be allowed to run for re-election for now. Let's elect a whole new cast of characters, and see if THEY can become LEADERS. We can't do any worse!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  178. Thomas C. Taylor

    Our government, in it's current form, is irreparably broken. Special interests always trump public interests. We are a captive, aging populace: drug-addicted, medical procedure addicted, slaves to a broken economic, social, and now political system. I'm 62, a vet, WASP, and have only voted once in my life: for Obama. He's turned out to be an empty Trojan horse. I'm done voting and will now work to defeat all those politicians who vote to defeat us.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  179. Michael Musto

    Jack, Saying that our government is broken is putting it very mild. Not only is it broken but the wheels have come off.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  180. Tom, Granite City, Illinois

    Our govenment has been the same for a long time. It is all the rat faced politicians that have abused the system. When's the last time you heard a member of one party compliment a member of the other party. Not just words, but a sincere compliment. These 2 parties hate each other and they will use every dirty trick in the book to gain an edge. It's all about power and power corrupts.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  181. Nancy Harrison

    There are probably only two ways to solve the gridlock in Washington. First, throw all of them out of office. They spend too much time running for reelection and NO time listening to their constituients. Then outlaw the special interest groups that "bribe" our representatives and senators through the use of hired guns to spread the wealth. Gifts including trips, dinners, etc. do not serve us well. I say throw the bastards out with the dishwater and put new ones in. We should change the laws which allow fatcats to settle in so comfortably into positions of power. They don't serve us. They serve themselves. Rise up America and kick them all out and start from scratch. Of course, the political parties are at fault as well as they put pressure on our representatives and senators to "toe the party line." Enough is enough.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
  182. Gigi Oregon

    Our government is broken in some many fractions that it is next to impossible to fix. Neither party is a hero or has the answers. Neither party will let the other win. We are sitting in front of the TV daily watching a game of cut throat politics between the two parties. The media is divided into the two analytical teams cheering on to the death the defeat of our government and it's death. And we the people sit like pawns.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
  183. Jared

    Of course it is. What a ridiculous question. For those of us that are intelligent enough to know the truth, this is what happens when disaster capitalism and 2% of the wealthiest people in the world own 98% of the worlds wealth. Our Government is and will continue to be the problem, not the solution. The guise of comfort and safety is crumbling and some Americans are smart enough to see that soon, they may have to take their countries future into our their hands, and not doing so by voting in more criminals.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
  184. Frank

    Our government is too far gone to be fixed. With all that is going on with Repubs and Democrats both serving themselves and special intrests I can't understand why people are taking to one side or the other. They're BOTH at fault for our broken and corrupt government!

    No one in either House or Senate has the spine to be a leader anymore. They are far too concerned with keeping their jobs, towing the party line, etc.

    Charlotte, NC

    February 22, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
  185. Gary

    Jack,
    Many of us are old enough to remember growing up, and laughing about how corrupt the Mexican government was. How the tides have turned. Now, our Federal government takes its cues from the banking and insurance industry, no matter who is elected. We are now the embarrassment of the world when it comes to serving the "people". Each day we come that much closer to becoming a 3rd world country, two groups of "haves" and "have nots". The middle class no longer exists.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
  186. albert miller

    Govt is definitely working superbly for those who control it.....The billionaires. It is not working for the people who pay for it all.....the great unaware.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  187. Jay

    Yes if we worry about Americans first and stop letting foreign governments dictate our policies. Instead of spending on foreign aid why don't we give that aid to Americans who need the money. We should starting collecting back from countries we give our foreign aid too. Stop bailing out the banks and stop fighting endless and pointless wars because most people know these wars aren't to protect the US. They are to protect another country. Stop over taxing businesses forcing them to go over seas for cheap labor.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  188. Greg Hahn

    If the random selection process works well enough to create a jury of my peers. then it should work for selection of the members of congress. This would make the lobbyists impotent, and provide a congress who has lived and worked in the real world, and know what this country needs.
    End the corruption now!!!
    Our elected officials only care about getting through the next election. They don't have any motivation to plan long term strategies for health care, renewable energy, employment, etc.
    The people of this great nation banding together is the only way we can take back our government. Complacency is NOT an option.

    Thank you,

    Greg Hahn
    Tehachapi, CA

    February 22, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  189. Luis

    Government is beyond broken; we the people voice our opinions and concerns by voting for a candidate that can express our voice in Washington. Only for that candidate to go to Washington and do nothing for the people that voted them into office.

    I believe that us the people should have the power to impeach or dethrone a candidate that is not doing the job they were sent to do in Washington.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  190. J. Clark

    Our government is broken in the same way professional sports are. They all want more and more money from us, but don't match it with performance. Yet we are too weak to stand up and give a collective NO. So, we are doomed to poor government, along with our $50 baseball seats and $8 hotdogs.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  191. Jim Harte

    Hi Jack,

    One of the things that must be fixed is the system where government workers have better pay, better benefits, and the legendary gravy train pension programs while the rest of the nation's workers that are producing actual wealth and taxes to pay these bureaucrats who produce no wealth. The rest of us lost pensions long ago. I have family and friends that work as life time employed federal workers. They do little actual work, leave at 3:00 each day, almost have to commit a felony to get fired, and get paid way too much for creating
    roadblocks for the rest of us.

    Jim Harte

    February 22, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
  192. Jack Briggs

    I would suggest that the GOP is broken - almost to the point of being beyond repair. Once the GOP realizes that it must work in the sense of governance and not solely at the expense of the president, some progress will be made.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
  193. Frank

    Too much big money involved in american politics. It will never work until money taken out of politics.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
  194. Dan

    The only thing that needs to be fixed is the attitude of the republicans. All they are interested in is keeping the dems from doing anything. Since the repubs have no viable ideas, they can't actually do anything, so they decide to vote as an unthinking bloc , digrinate any real ideas and even chastise those amoung them who dare to break out. The repubs are on a long downward slide to oblivian with this approach. Once the American people really understand how devoid of ideas the repubs are, they will dump them faster than a hot you know what. good riddance.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
  195. Armand Haas

    Yes, of course it CAN be fixed, but it won't be fixed as long as the
    'Party of NO' continues its scorched earth policy. And that appears to be a long, long, time.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
  196. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    No, we just need to get rid of the "Super Majority" in the Senate, which gives far too much power to the party that just lost the election, this is what the Republicans have been doing all year long, making the American People fight each other so they can get back into office at any cost! This is why or country is so divided right now! A Super Majority is Unconstitutional and do right wrong for us as a people, it makes us hate on our own people!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
  197. Austin Texas Pioneer

    A year ago we had such hope and now the hope is gone.
    While the President kissed up to the GOP and tried to give them a voice. They socked him in the jaw and like a school yard bully took the toys and went home.
    He kept getting up and turning the other cheek. Is he stupid or what?
    The Democrats need to go after the agenda they were elected to do. If the party of no wants to sit in the corner and sulk--LET THEM.
    This country deserves better that a bunch of spinless Democrats and and bunch of spoiled rich kids that didn't get their way

    February 22, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
  198. victim of democrat hypocrisy

    You know what fixes broken government? TERM LIMITS!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
  199. Marc

    Jack,
    I would argue that the government is not broken beyond repair, however it would take a historic effort to fix it. The problem is simply this: the vast majority of Congress consider their positions to be careers, not opportunities to serve the country. As long as most representatives are more concerned with keeping their job, they will continue to play the game. And as you say, the game does not serve the country, it serves the parties. And let there be no question-this is true of both parties, regardless of who is in power.

    There are two ways I see to fix this, and both are historically hard.

    First, elect non-partisan representatives such as the recent democratic representative that chose to retire due to frustration with partisan politics. This is near impossible because to get elected, you need money, and to get money, you need one of the parties.

    The other option would be to pass a constitutional amendment which mandates reasonable term limits on both houses of Congress. The funny (read: depressing) thing about this option is that while you will never find a non-politician who thinks this is a bad idea, you will also never find a politician who will let this happen.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
  200. Jim

    It's been broken beyond repair for years. Congress has applied token bandages over the years but only for show. A totally corrupt body cannot fix itself.

    It's over. It will take a real revolution (hopefully not violent) to head what's left of this country in a new direction. We are a racist, entitled, arrogant and ignorant society. It will take profound change in many, many ways for this country to once again become a meaningful citizen of this great world.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
  201. mwrg

    Broken? No, I would say it's performing all too well. If "performing" implies it's becoming ever increasingly adept at it's own growth and influence. Real performance would be restraint.

    Polls and pieces such as this only encourage more of the same power grab on the part of elected officials and beauracrats. The less they do, the better off we all are. Stop looking to government to solve problems. Get them out of the way, and we'll solve them ourselves (the real problems that is).

    And the media loves this crap. They love to pile on, as politicians are the only group more maligned than themselves. Frankly, there's nothing to see here however.

    To sum it up. Please, more "gridlock", unless doing something means sweeping reforms that eliminate at least a 1/3 of federal, state, and local government employees over the next year.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
  202. Illinoistom

    The White House and Congress are modern day Neros. They strain at gnats while swallowing camels whole while given mountains of cash by lobbyists as our Republic strays ever further from it's founding principles and promise. Would our founders be ashamed at what our leaders are doing to us now? Would they drive the lobbyists from Washington like Jesus did the moneychangers from the Temple? Or would they approve of politicians hopping on the gravy train of millions in campaign contributions while the creators of jobs and wealth languish in the morass of taxes and regulation? I submit that the Patriots of the Revolution would be sickened at what passes for governance these days.
    Tom from South Beloit, IL

    February 22, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
  203. Norman Caple

    Whatever happened to "by the people and for the people". Nowadays all the representatives care about is bashing the "other" party to advance their own agendas.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  204. B. Waters

    I'm afraid it is. Our political process has developed into a monster that forces politicians to worry more about re-election than doing their job. Jefferson would be absolutely devastated – not just in the politicians, but in the people's inaction. We the people cannot sit by and be blameless.
    -Birmingham, AL-

    February 22, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  205. Joe RN

    I do not know, but I am leaning towards "yes". In this country we always wait until we are faced with a true disaster before we act. What I do know is our Government is loaded with individuals who are far more concerned about themselves and there party, then they are about helping the people who voted them in. Week after week all we here is, what we need to be afraid of and whose to blame for it. I am still trying to figure how we as a nation have NO problem spending trillions of dollars chasing a ghost thousands of miles away, but we can't for some reason spend a dime more to fix a terribly broken healthcare system. How can we keep a system in place that can save your life physically, but ruin your life financially. The current federal government does not represent everyday Americans, it represents and protects corporated America. Instead of real leaders, we get people like Sarah Palin who has to write her thoughts on her hand to answer a simple question. Frightening.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  206. Harry Caroll

    Not beyond repair. We are one election away from fixing it

    February 22, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  207. Chauncey J. Linn

    I certainly hope not! But I believe it can be saved if we do a few basic things right now. No more Republican and Democratic parties. Outlaw them today! They are the main problem as I see it. I believe George Washington wanted a congress made up of members who belonged to no party. They would be able to govern by consent! If that is true, then let's follow that. And if the Republicans and Democrtats go, they have to take their Conservative and Liberal buddies with them. We should all be true Independents anyway.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  208. steve Johnson

    Only when it ceases to to be a government of special interest, by special interest and for special interest and once again becomes a government of the people, by the people and for the people, will it once again operate as the founding fathers plans....

    the Fix is SO SIMPLE.....

    Limit campaign finance contributions so that a candidate may only accept contribution from indiviuals who live within or pay taxes within the district represented by the elected office in question.

    If as the RETARDED Supreme Court has decided that companies, coporations and Pac's have the same rights as people, then they should be restricted to the same contribution limits as individuals and they should have to a a business office located in the district represented by the elected office.

    This exaclty why the ,,,,, precinct, parish, county, state, legislative districts were established in the first place..... so everyone had a equal voice.....

    February 22, 2010 at 7:00 pm |
  209. Walt

    Yes, our government is fixable, but it will require elected officials listening to their constituents. I write my senator and the junior senator from my state all the time with concerns and suggestions for "fixes", but it falls on deaf ears, as exemplified by their public appearances and statements that are totally contrary to what I communicate–and other constituents tell me the same. Elected officials must realize we hired to them to do a job: To govern effectively and be the voice of "the people"–not lobbyists and special interests" when crafing legislation. On the positive, I can say that my memos to my Congressman are acknowledged and taken into consideration as are my constructive criticisms and suggested fixes to the White House. Walt in Phoenix, Arizona

    February 22, 2010 at 7:00 pm |
  210. Doug

    Government is not just broken, it is dam broken. Apparently politicians no longer feel accountable to the People. I plan to vote for ANY Independent politician who runs. No Dems, No Republicans. It is time to clean house and send Washington a wake up call.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:01 pm |
  211. Mark MacNamara

    Our government is not broken beyond repair. If it were, if we really believed that, we'd push our representatives to give up ideology and the pursuit of power, and really compromise. It's time to stop blaming politicians. What is broken — almost beyond repair — is our confidence as individuals. We've become overrun with pettiness and fear and so are easy marks for the Father Coughlins of the era.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:01 pm |
  212. Mark Godfrey

    81% of America demands Medical Cannabis.

    In America, you can get 100 years in prison for Medical Cannabis. A healing plant, 100 years.

    You figure it out if the government is "working".

    It is working to butcher and enslave hard-working American families.

    The Federal Government is the head that is so damn arrogant as to think it doesn't need the body.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:02 pm |
  213. John Gill

    Though our government is assuredly badly broken, it is a long way from being broken beyond repair. The founding fathers, in their wisdom, created a system that is imperfect but one that has stood the test of time despite repeated mishandling and ineptness by Congress over nearly the entire time our country has existed. The machine is not broken, merely the operators. Political turmoil and self-serving interests do not oil the wheels of government. Only a wholesale change in our leadership in Congress can accomplish a turnaround in our national direction. However I'm skeptical that we have the conviction and bravery to take this necessary step.

    John Gill
    Sioux Falls, South Dakota

    February 22, 2010 at 7:02 pm |
  214. Richard

    The only way to "CURE" Congress is to send them all home and start fresh -WITH TERM LIMITS.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:02 pm |
  215. Joseph

    It is time for congress to adopt term limits. If they will not then it is up to the people to pass a constitutional amendment so that term limits become a way of life for the legislative branch.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:02 pm |
  216. Eric Frankson

    Control an Industry whose largest players are considered 'too big to fail'? The ones that have bamboozled the American public out of BILLIONS of dollars? The one's against universal health care and any kind of control over Big Pharmaceuticals? The the same ones who granted themselves BILLIONS of dollars in bonus' and perks, and just recorded a record increase in profits, at a time when our country is in 2 foriegn wars?

    In short... Absolutely!

    February 22, 2010 at 7:02 pm |
  217. Jay Hawthorne

    No it’s not beyond repair, but unfortunately, it appears that it's going to take nothing less than a total collapse of the Federal government first before we get this whole mess straightened out.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:02 pm |
  218. Ron Brown

    In the past, I have voted for the best candidate in lieu of Democrat or Republican and this message is not intended to lean either way. I am absolutely appalled at how the Republicans in Congress, at a time of National crisis are voting No along party lines for everything regardless of merit. Even though they don"t like to be called the "Party of NO", that label is, unfortunately, totally accurate. Their blockage of all legislation along party lines is a profound disgrace and disservice to America in genereal, to each of their constiturents in particular and is malfeasance of the highest order. I urge all constituents to e-mail their Republican Senators and Representatives in the House of Representatives who follow this practice (that is virtually all of them), tell them of that if they cannot represent them in an objective manner, that they should submit their resignations effective immediately. They work for us, and we should have the right to ask for their resignation when their performance is gross malfaesance.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:03 pm |
  219. ed noe

    jack, every once in awhile, a great president comes along, and the congress actually does some good. god bless our country, and our
    elected leaders.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:03 pm |
  220. Kevin

    Jack – Our Government can be repaired if we look to the constitution. All of the problems you've listed are the direct result of the federal government intervening in foreign and domestic affairs in which they shouldn't have been.

    If we drastically scaled back our foreign empire and allowed states to decide how best to provide for its citizens, we'd start to get back on the right track.

    The Federal Government needs to only concern itself with the powers granted to it as noted in our Constitution.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:03 pm |
  221. Bev

    Part of it is broken, it is called the Republican party. Look at CPAC. Cheney spoke like he was still in office. He has drawn Tax payers money for many, many years and still wants to RULE. Beck acted like a complete idiot, Paulenty and Romney spouted their hate. All they lacked was Palin to help Bauchman out, not that she needs any help shouting lies. They actually don't care about the national debt, economy, deficit, or unemployed, as they and Bush caused this.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:03 pm |
  222. larry

    President Obama ran on transparency and no backroom deals. He then proceeded to meet with unions pharmaceutical companies, the AMA and AARP and cut special deals on healthcare. Harry Reed cut deals with Nelson in Nebraska, Nelson in Florida and Landrei from La. Right in front of American people. They are all a bunch of hypocrits and liars and need to be thrown out.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:03 pm |
  223. rtdean

    I dont know if the government is broken "beyond repair", I do know that its broken beyond most peoples ability to see a way to fix it. We have been divided and conquered. I am a fair minded libertarian (I became interested the libertarians before it became a conservative fall back position) and pride myself on thinking around each issue however it seems that I cant get access to the basic information I need to make logical decisions. Most people view the current political landscape of left and right as polar opposites on a linear plane. I view the landscape itself as a circle, thus the more extreme, radical, and distant from the center you get the more alike the people seem to get. I cant tell the difference between a tea bagger (obama is hitler) and the average peta member (anybody remember sea kittens). So we the people are the pawns while the government plays the royalty chess pieces, both sides identical in appearance. The board represents the media. Who are the actual players? Occam's razor suggests it is big business.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:03 pm |
  224. Doubting Thomas

    Both parties have figured out that if you are in the minority, simply oppose everything the majority party attempts to accomplish. Voters, only seeing that nothing is getting done, votes the other party back into power. The cycle continues, and already wealthy lawyers get big fat government pensions & GOVERNMENT health care. Yes, government is broken beyond repair. If you throw enough money into scare tactic television adverstisements, you can convince the voting public of anything. Only in America can a marginally intelligent, binge drinking pilot fighting the Vietnam war from somewhere in Alabama be hailed as a hero,while a very intelligent (and long-winded, by the way) guy who earned three Purple Hearts gets tagged as a gutless coward.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:03 pm |
  225. Pete - Augusta Ga

    Jack –

    Our government is not broken beyond repair, but those who govern us (the elite career politicians in Congress) are! They are supposed to be the people's representatives, according to the Constitution, but instead represent only themselves & care only about extending their political careers – public servants? Ha
    Solution: vote out every incumbant – when the career politicians fear the public perhaps then they will address the problems of the nation.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
  226. Don H, Gulfport, MS

    Any government can be fixed if the people have the will do do so. However, the fix requires that a majority of the people lay aside selfish pursuits and take up a cause greater than themselves. Doubtful this will happen in today's America. We have raised too many generations of spoiled, selfish, soft people who feel they are entitled to everything and have no shame in greedily grabbing whatever they can.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
  227. Jeff

    We can't even fix our roads,we lease toll roads to other countries.
    Why would you think we could fix this government?

    February 22, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
  228. bat masterson

    I don't think so Jack. It really disturbs me though to see the republicans doling everything they can to dismantle Obama. I really feel he has a strong concern about America and all the people in it. The Republicans, on the other hand, have a strong concern for the rich and will fight him at every turn. I feel, in time, the blood and guts of this country (middle class) will see what is happening and take on these right wingers and stand up for "the land of the free". Everything that has been achieved for the middle class, has been accomplished by the Democrats and hopefully, people will realize who really cares for them.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
  229. pat

    As long as corporations have equal citizenship with people, but not the civic responsibility or accountability, our government is lost. The most recent Supreme Court decison was disheartening. I thought that freedom of speech was granted to we, the people, not to legal entiities.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
  230. John Millman

    I believe that the United States government is not broken, but that in order for us to be able to progress as a nation, we cannot just go along with business as usual. Drastic changes must be made, in the attitudes of our lawmakers, in the direction of our spending, and in the way that we go about our lives. We are not broken, but cracks are forming, and we can't just keep patching them up. We need big changes, and we need them now.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
  231. John Millman

    I believe that the United States government is not broken, but that in order for us to be able to progress as a nation, we cannot just go along with business as usual. Drastic changes must be made, in the attitudes of our lawmakers, in the direction of our spending, and in the way that we go about our lives. We are not broken, but cracks are forming, and we can't just keep patching them up. We need big changes, and we need them now.

    John Millman
    Iron River
    Michigan

    February 22, 2010 at 7:05 pm |
  232. Adam Robinette

    We don't have the stomach, the intelligence, or the time to take away from ourselves to fix our Government. Many talk as if we didn't vote all of these idiots in, some over and over and over.....and over again. We do no research on candidates, vote strictly down party lines, and pick the name we recognize because our parents voted for the same guy most of their adult lives. We have turned congress into a cushy spot, where nothing is expected, nor asked of you, except to say what we want to hear when you're campaigning for your 10th term. You don't have to do anything actually contructive, except outspend your competition each campaign.

    As long as we have our Bachelor, For The Love Of Ray-J, Kanye, and Lady Gaga to amuse ourselves, and as long as congress doesn't outlaw them, we'll be compelled to do jack.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:05 pm |
  233. Seen BetterDays

    These polls are pointless. Yes, most Americans believe gov't is broken but have entirely different views on why and what it would take to fix it. Same goes for polls on "Congress' approval rating". They are too broad-stroked to have any meaning.

    Everyone agrees the system is broken but unless we can find common ground it can't be fixed. And you'll never get common ground because one party won't permit it. You might as well ask if a marriage can be fixed if one spouse refuses to stop fighting. I'm sick of this "fair & balanced", "two sides to every story" nonsense. Sometimes there is no parity as much as you'd like there to be.

    One party tries to build and the other just lights a match. No need to tell you who will always win that game.

    This country is finished. Let the teabaggers have their way. It won't matter but at least we won't have to listen to them blaming the Dems anymore.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:06 pm |
  234. John B.

    It would seem "Rigged" might be a better word for the state of our Government. Both parties continue to pander to their base knowing it means no actual improvements will be made and leaving the issue as fodder for their reelection bid.

    Maybe the parties are obsolete.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:06 pm |
  235. Victor Londono

    When the Chinese cash out your checks (bonds) the monetary crisis will be real. and as a society with tons of firearms in the hands of civilians the chaos will be unbelievable.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:06 pm |
  236. Stewart in OR

    Not until most of "We the People" do more than buy into sound bites from the egos trying to get votes, and start questioning authority, motives, and most importantly, is this decision good for most of us... Some notable sound bites in my lifetime that come to mind that we should have run the politician out on a rail:
    – "The Axis of Evil" what was that President thinking? seemed like he was trying to start a war or two.....One of the worst speeches in our history.......should have impeached him the following day.
    – "Contract with America" that Speaker of the House ran around touting that like he was inventing something new – he already had a contract with We the People, and he proved he was not good at honoring contracts anyway – just ask his ex-wife about that. Why he is still around, I don't know.
    However, there is sound bite our current President should be revising, and paying great attention to: "IT'S THE ECONOMY, STUPID!"
    So, Jack, no, I don't have great hopes for a major repair and turnaround. Just a bunch of sound bites.........

    February 22, 2010 at 7:06 pm |
  237. Michael Schlagle -Horseheads, NY

    When a building is weathered and fallen into disrepair the best thing to do is to level it and build from the foundation up. The foundation for our government is the Constitution and We the People. Maybe it's time to roll up our sleeves and start building for a better tomorrow.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:06 pm |
  238. Trent

    It's not the legislators' fault. The structure of our congressional system has led to a stale mate in the two party system. Campaign finance reform is the first step to fix the problem. Motivate politicians to work for their constituents...not re-election, big business, special interests, or their political party.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:06 pm |
  239. rod

    It can be fixed.........the politicians are broken and corrupt.....we are tired of having things "rammed down our throats" such as Pelosi, Ried and the the Chicago thugs have been trying to do......when the politicians ignore the will of the people, this is what it comes to.....Obama and his crew from Chi-town must GO..........

    February 22, 2010 at 7:07 pm |
  240. PG

    Time for an independent party, Jack. The one party with two wings scenario is not working. While we're at it, end Wall Street and large corporation's ability to influence the government. Time for government to once again be 'for the people' and 'of the people'.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:08 pm |
  241. Gary

    Get rid of the Senate. Why have an elite club of millionaires hold up the people's business that has already been decided in the House?

    February 22, 2010 at 7:08 pm |
  242. Art Lalumandier

    Yes it is broken, but not beyond repair. We have the best form of government in the world that has been so warped by partisan politics; the founder fathers would not recognize it. We must start by limiting the amounts that can be contributed to a candidate or campaign. Our legislative branch have becomes nothing but fundraisers under the thumb of special interest. Start with the election process, then the revenue process, then the expenditure process. The citizens must reclaim their government and the only way to do that is to vote for the right candidate. God Bless America

    February 22, 2010 at 7:08 pm |
  243. Dave

    Bush started the tear down of the US, he did not manage his cabinet or Congress. He spent money like water. He let Frannie and Freddie rip off every one, then allowed big banks and big pharma to rule his time in office.

    Obama came in under the banner of change.

    And, he delivered.

    His Democrat party made the Republican corruption look like angels at work. Pelosi and Reid are so corrupt they should be in jail. Obama makes Bush look good. Obama has spent so much money that is being borrowed that the USA will soon become a forth rate country. Our money is going down hill, our borders are wide open and Obama spends his time on TV telling lies out the yeng yang.

    Yup, Congress is broken and the Presidency is either incompetent or hell bent on taking the country down.

    Enjoy it while you can.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:08 pm |
  244. Zorlot the Great

    Broken beyond repair.

    The present democracy is not what the founders had in mind. No democracy has ever lasted. It is an unstable form of government.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:09 pm |
  245. Mike Price

    Is Government "broken"?!
    Please, the news day must be slow at the Situation Room!
    The current state of this country, the large debt, the fragile economy, health care, education and about anything else you wish to talk about is the result of the conflicting actions and desires of the American people themselves. When times are bad its easy to imagine that the government is not answerable to the people or composed of individuals just like us. But it is. None of the "problems" of our government are new or any more responsible for the current situation than we are. This charge of "government being broken" comes up at least once with every administration...Welcome to democracy!

    Mike Price
    Bloomington, Indiana

    February 22, 2010 at 7:09 pm |
  246. James

    It is time that we take a lesson from Iraq. As a very smart journalist pointed out, Iraq is finally settling down into something resembling civil order not because of anything the Americans have done, but because the three main groups (Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds) have finally ethnically cleansed their territories. They were smart enough to realize that living together and coexisting peacefully was not possible-separation and partition was the only solution to prevent that country from sliding into a three-way genocidal abyss.

    We are on the cusp of that point here in the US. With the Tea Party hailing the Texas airplane bombing of the IRS as an act of national heroism, we have reached the point where people with the backing of a major political party with real power (i.e. the Tea Party, which is supported by the GOP) have declared that they are no longer bound by the rules of peaceful change within the legal/electoral process. We are now peering over the edge of a cliff. The Tea Party thinks this is 1776 all over again, but it feels more like 1789 to me. We need to take a cue from the Iraqis and-no matter how costly up front it may seem-divide this country along Red/Blue lines to avoid crossing the line that leads to total annihilation. I know this sounds extreme on the surface, but we live in extreme times and the Texas incident is proof that we have left the path of non-violent conflict resolution and are careening towards civil war-more so that any time since 1860.

    James in Los Angeles

    February 22, 2010 at 7:10 pm |
  247. herb

    There are many things that any normal person can offer to fix our goverment. Throw out all the convicted felons in congress and senate.
    Stop giving our tax dollars to our enemies. We are at war, some civilians get killed in war. Just like the thousands killed on 9-11.
    Tratiors and terroists are shot not given prison terms. Stop spending money we do not have. We have plenty of laws,start enforcing them, just to name a few. Herb Bakersfield, CA.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:10 pm |
  248. calaurore9

    The government is broken crowd hates government running anything and voted for Ron Paul at CPAC. As pundits noted on Sunday shows, nothing major has gotten done historically with a bi-partisan compromise.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:10 pm |
  249. Rick

    Government is broken, and it can be fixed, but only in theory. It would take both the Legislative and Executive to act decisively, with the best interests of the People at heart, but to the future financial disadvantage of those holding office, so that is not gonna happen. Or it could be done by the people via Constitutional Convention, but that would require decisive action by state governments, and that is not gonna happen either. The status quo is too profitable to those in power for any reasonable "fix" for the state of affairs.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:10 pm |
  250. Ron Barksdale

    The problem lies in the fact that corporations are able to buy politicians. Money corrupts good public service.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:11 pm |
  251. jeane

    Some seem to have sold out to the highest bidder. Kick the bums out and end the lobbyist gravy train ....go to public financed elections. Elections for the people financed by the people.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:11 pm |
  252. John Ogden

    IMO, our system is BROKEN. But, as long as each of us is okay with major change as long as it does not impact us, then we will continue down the path we are/have been on. It is as simple as this, don't gore my ox, gore all those other oxes. This is the mantra by which many, many of us live by. Something has got to change and that means taking a hard look in the mirror multiple times per day!

    February 22, 2010 at 7:11 pm |
  253. Curtis in Kansas

    America has never prospered because of government.

    America and Americans will prosper again despite any and all efforts of any government, Democrat or Republican. We are Americans... it's what we do.

    Believe it.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:11 pm |
  254. Ziad Jawadi, Los Altos, CA

    I dunno Jack, you tell me? When was the last time Congress passed a decent piece of legislation?

    February 22, 2010 at 7:11 pm |
  255. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The Supreme Courts decision to allow foreign investors to contribute to campaign finance is a good sign of a broken government that is now a large corporation.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:12 pm |
  256. Birddog in mississippi

    No. Take a look at places where government really doesn't work. Afghanistan anybody? When government works, we don't really notice it because things go along as we think they should. When government doesn't work, as after Katrina - or in preventing wall street from turning in to a casino through a lack of regulations - what we should recognize is the importance of a functioning government.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:12 pm |
  257. Larry

    A start would be to undue the travesty of the supreme court decision from long ago that Corporations have the same rights as individuals. That set us down this path. The very nature of a corporation is to avoid individual accountability and risk. We gave them all of the rights of an individual but not really the responsibilities or obligations.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:13 pm |
  258. Scott F

    We have a Congress and also an electorate who are driven more by ideology than facts. They hear what they want to hear and disregard the rest- even the truth.They want a world as they want it to be not what it is. Complicate it further by the spin, lies, misrepresentation, and half truths from talk radio, TV commentators, and newspaper editorial pages and you add confusion and anger. We now have football stadiums, college stadiums, the US Congress, and now the Supreme Court influenced( bought off) by Corporate or Union interests. Then we bail them out for their mistakes and greed. Why should we be expecting anything different? Remember the definition of insanity-doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Public financing of elections and no campaign contributions are our only hope.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:13 pm |
  259. Annie, Atlanta

    The Senate certainly is. And now that the Supreme Court has given corporations personhood with unlimited spending on elections, we’re done. Our democracy will be a corporate free-for-all. We were very nearly there, already.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:13 pm |
  260. Betsy

    Is our government broken beyond repair? No, but the fix will be extremely difficult and ALL of us will pay and pay a lot. The elderly will have to take cuts in their social security and Medicare, the wealthy will have to pay more in taxes and EVERYONE will have to accpet drastic cuts in government programs. The idea that all we need to do is to fix the 'waste' in the government and we can then have all that we want with lower taxes is a pipe dream. Can we get serious, not the politicans, but the voters and vote for the candidate who doesn't tell you what you WANT to hear but what you NEED to hear.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:13 pm |
  261. Juanita

    jack,

    Of coursse it's broken, let's just call it like it is..as long as racism exist in this country much more than the government is going to be broken. . The Republicans aren't against the people (at least not the one's with money) but they are against Obama, and anything he stands for...they have the same slave mentallity that has blimished this country for years....because to the trained eye we can read between the lines...No other President in the history of this country has been so disrespected by his peers than President Obama, alot of people could not stand Bush but they didn't disrespect him.....so let me explain what you might not see coming across in their intentions.... Who does this ____ think he is, how dare this "Black" man try to tell us what to do, he isn't fit to run thsi counrty...so we'll fix him, we will go against any and everything he wants to do because no way is he going to succeed if we have anything to do with it. But beyond all that I think if it can be fixed Obama is the man to do it. Obama is annointed, and they can do what ever they want but this man will be, is a successful president. Go President Obama, you still have my support.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:13 pm |
  262. Greg

    Yes of course our government is broken and has been for quite a long time. Too much governement telling us how to live our lives and what we can and cannot do. Where is the freedom America has worked so hard for?

    I pay roughly 37% of my paycheck to taxes. 37%.. It's a hard pill to swallow when I know the very people ,called government, I am paying 37% of MY paycheck to make on average DOUBLE my own salary! They have pensions that will keep them fat and happy for the rest of their lives while I have to rely on my own 401K and my own retirement... Of course that will be taxed too and HEAVEN FORBID I try to take an early retirement for my own hard work and planning.. That will get a real nice PENALTY and taxed heavily to take care of these federal employees that can collect pension BEFORE they are 62 with no penalty at all...

    And we the people continue to just go on with our happy lives not thinking there is anything wrong with that picture.. I can only hope people wake up some day... I hope the tea party movement if nothing else will open up some eyes of the people in America and make them really stop and THINK for themselves a minute and not just blindly trust what they hear from politicians and media..

    I

    February 22, 2010 at 7:14 pm |
  263. Tom Smith

    Not broken, but in need of major overhaul. The problem is that government must fix itself–a nearly impossible situation. To work, changes need to be initiated by the members and supporter must support by their vote. Number one–vote down the Supreme Court decision on corporate support of campaigns.

    Tom
    Oak Ridge, TN

    February 22, 2010 at 7:14 pm |
  264. Nancy, Tennessee

    Yes, the American people believe government is broken, but most have to think that it can be fixed. They just don’t know where to start.
    We need to start working on the problems now instead of having knee-jerk reactions to the unemployment numbers and the failing banks. Our future needs to be planned out on how we are going to create jobs, improve our economy, and get on with making America strong again.
    We have a lot of challenges. Sure our population is larger now, but that should make us stronger. We have more technology to manage now, but it should help us work smarter. We have more global neighbors, and that should help us be more competitive. We have more enemies, but that should make us more alert. We need to look at all our challenges as ways to improve this nation.
    Congress needs to wake up before we reach the edge of the cliff.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:14 pm |
  265. Gene

    Well for one thing I think we need to look at what Congress makes. Between there Saleries and the money that they make on the side with big corporations, and then all the raises they give themselves and let's not forget the monies that they get after they retire. Better then our Social Security. I thisnk they should get the same Social Security we have to live on and maybe they would work harder on the Budget and keep these programs alive. If Congress took just a 25% cut in there retirement program that they have it would most likely fund the insurance peoblem. They make more arter they retire then most Americans do per Year. That is if all my facts are right.
    As for Iran we should have took care of that years ago. I were on a plane ready to go then the President decieded to give the Talaban the funds, Weapons ect. If we would have went over there in the 80's we wouldn't be having either problem (Iran or Talaban)

    February 22, 2010 at 7:14 pm |
  266. W.N. Sanabria

    The federal government is not broken; it's paralyzed, and we the people need to start looking in the mirror to find who is responsible. We tell the pollsters that we are dissatisfied with partisan politics, but fail to hold responsible those who are promoting it most aggressively. Obama has made a serious effort to reach out, and the GOP has responded with scorched earth tactics that have turned the Federal government into a larger version of the California legislature.

    And yet, it's working for them. If we believe the polls, the majority are not holding them accountable. All indications are that the GOP wil gain from this strategy, and that they will then be able to go back to the policies that got us where we are. We can't blame the politicians for doing what they know works. After all, their primary motivation is to gain power, not to make things better for the rest of us.

    Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice.....

    February 22, 2010 at 7:14 pm |
  267. Brian from Denver

    Jack,
    I think people are beginning to understand the limits of our Republican (not party) system of government during a TIME OF CRISIS. While our Founders were inspired by how well Ancient Rome's Republic worked when times were easy, its strength becomes its weakness when decisions must be executed IMMEDIATELY and DECISIVELY to avert disaster for the country. This became true in Ancient Rome, and it is becoming true for us now. If we don't find a way to solve this political problem, history will tell that Congress fiddled while America burned.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:14 pm |
  268. Bruce - Delaware

    Yes it is beyond repair. We must rescind and withdraw our CONSENT to their governance. I do. And then we can re-start with an emphasis on loving and helping others

    February 22, 2010 at 7:14 pm |
  269. Mark

    It wasn't until we elected a black Jimmy Carter that is busy destroying what's left of American's trust in our federal government!

    Mark
    Oklahoma City

    February 22, 2010 at 7:15 pm |
  270. Dorian

    It's not broken beyond repair, Jack. It just needs a seriously aggressive overhaul.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:15 pm |
  271. Jarryd

    The government is not broken beyond repair. As long as we have a constitution to refer to we will know what we can do to repair our government and return it to the state our founding fathers intended. As per the preamble, we need only to "form a more perfect union" between those of us who were elected to serve in order to move our country in a direction, any direction, that we can steer towards "securing the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity." We must "establish justice," especially among our own seemingly corrupt officials, allowing true Americans with no third party or selfish interests to begin to take hold of this great nation. We must "insure domestic tranquility" by appeasing and speaking for the people that elected the officials to office, by providing answers to the great questions that increasingly rock the foundations of our country. And above all, we must "provide for the common defense," at home and abroad, in order to promote the general welfare of the United States of America.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:15 pm |
  272. Michael n Seattle

    my government works the teachers are teaching the cops are stopping drunk drivers the firemen are putting pout fires the VA is still seeing vetrans the libraries are getting new books the pot holes are being filled

    February 22, 2010 at 7:15 pm |
  273. Patrick in Madison

    Gov't isn't broken, but there is almost total obstruction from the GOP who just CAN NOT allow a black president to succeed

    February 22, 2010 at 7:15 pm |
  274. Ed Yatkowsky

    Yes, unless all senators and representatives are limited to 1 term so they don't concentrate on re-election but rather passing laws that make sense; senators and representatives receive a stipend for housing and living expenses and are not allowed to profit off of their government positions; prohibit former Goldman Sachs executives from holding public office, especially in the treasury; eliminate lobbying (and if Congress needs education, let them receive it from unbiased college professors) and like EST, no body leaves the Capital until bills are passed and signed into law. Either that or take the snow that is immobilizing Washington and put it all in the Capital.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:16 pm |
  275. Joseph Kavanaugh

    Jack,
    The Government isnt broken. It is Joke. And the joke is on us!

    Postal Joe

    Rock Hill, NY

    February 22, 2010 at 7:16 pm |
  276. Ulises Gonzalez

    Our goverment has been the same since I can remember. There of course is more attention now a days, because the White House has a different look to it. There are those that feel that they are losing their image of America. People want to get rid of all the Congress memebers that are there now and replace them with what? The problem is when one party is in office the other one trys its best to make sure they dont succeed. How can the needs of the people be meet with his kind in fighting that goes on. I'm tired of all of this. I was proud when we elected President Obama, but it's that same old story.
    This country has not progessed at all..........

    February 22, 2010 at 7:16 pm |
  277. Jarrett Wold

    The government is not broken, I think it would be easy to say during the civil war the government had broken. However, is the government being run by poor stewards? Largely, yes.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:16 pm |
  278. Ed

    If the founding fathers could only see how what they envisioned has turned out, they would shed tears

    February 22, 2010 at 7:16 pm |
  279. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    I think it's on life support and if the financail ER team doesn't quickly step in it just may be curtains. People are worried about their health care,their pensions being paid as promised, the national debt,paying for these wars,where's the next job and paycheck coming from? Many concerns that did not exist fifteen years ago had been brought to the forefront and need to be dealt with immediately. DC politicans must do whatever has to be done to turn this situation around. Be honest with the people and stop doing what is profitable for themselves and expedient.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:16 pm |
  280. santa clause

    Good evening Jack I have to say no its not broken beyond repair I say it is stagnated like a pond or a toilet that has not been flushed for a month and we as americans need to flush the $h!T up out of the senate and congress that have became pond scum and are choking the life from us

    February 22, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  281. Michael, Springfield VA

    As far as Congress is concerned it's not the government that is broken. The two party system has failed. It is not longer what is best for the people but what is best for the party. What we need is a viable third party to break the stalemate with sensible and responsible ideals as a platform. I think the fact the Ron Paul won the CPAC straw poll is encouraging.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  282. George Cohen

    Jack,

    Our Government is broke and it's all Newt Gingrich's fault.

    It was his "Contract with America" that was the root cause of all this rancor.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  283. JerryMarsischky

    No – All we have to do is give the President's party a truly filibuster proof majority of 70 as FDR had in the last depression/recession. Jerry in Indiana

    February 22, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  284. Paul from Atlanta

    It is absolutely true that our government is broken beyond repair. That is why we must call a new Constitutional convention in order to update and streamline government back down to a manageable size.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  285. martin523@hotmail.com

    Well it might be the case but my question is why are so many politicians so much wiser now proclaiming that the bailout was wrong and the the stimulus money was wrong? A year ago nobody had a clue! What would have Ron Paul as a president, who preaches small government and deregulation? Would he have closed government departments and offices and fire people? Would he have tried to rid of social security or Medicare to make it private? Would he have tried to reduce the spending for the department of defense? Which of the programs would they have cut in order to make the government smaller remember this all in our current crisis? So how would have prevented job loses without injecting money into the market, just by hoping the economy will turn around without any interference ? Please Mr. Paul don’t give me this political answer: buy cutting waste full spending ?Finally I know he wants to get rid of the progressive tax scale so ask yourlelf who is going to pay the bill? So if we don't get broke now then will will go later. Oh well... people in the Ukrainian want to back to Russia and we back to some delusional rich Conservatives , as we didn't learn from the past years!

    February 22, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  286. Rosalind

    No Government is not broken. Congress is BROKEN! Government is "We the People". If the people keep sending those buffoons to do the people's business, then what can be expected: Nothing.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  287. David in Long Island, NY

    What even defines "broken government". We are the strongest nation in the world and despite the current recession we enjoy a historic level of prosperity. Sure things could be better, but all the partisan bickering you see, is a good thing. It means that legislation isn't passed easily, it requires a lot of time and effort to pass things, meaning that only the things that should be done get done.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  288. tony miraglia

    Yes it is broken and the fix comes in the form of 2 words, term limits. When our legislators spend 40% of their time raising money for the next election, there my friends is your problem. One term and go back home regardless of how good you are.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  289. Ray from Lodi, NJ

    Absolutely our government is broken. All politicians have an agenda and the public best interests are not a part of that agenda.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  290. Doug

    Yes it can be fixed. It is called TERM LIMITS. Not going to hold my breath for that to happen though.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  291. richard garceau

    Yes our government is broken!!! Unfortunately the only ones who are motivated to fix it are the common citizens who clearly have no power to do so as long as big business, professional politicians and paid lobbyists continue to hold the real power and benefit from the stautus quo. God help America and its citizens.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  292. BJ

    Jack,

    Our government is not yet beyond repair, but things are not going to change in Washington so it is just going to get worse. If something is not done soon the American way of life will slowly fade away.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  293. Bjoern Gotheim Norway

    You americans are funny! You cry for more than 60 days after Micael Jackon died, and now you are crying for Haiti.
    At the same time you won't help your fellow american to heltcare, – you must be really ceap.
    Bjoern

    February 22, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  294. norm

    Congress now resembles two rival families of gangsters. What ever happened to the RICO statute? Vote 'em all out folks. Not one of them is a regular working "ham & egger", so all that crap about saving the middle class is baloney!

    February 22, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  295. Jay Brandt

    No , it's not broken beyond repair or headed for catastrophy...we were headed there under the last administration, but thanks to quick work by Obama and his economic team economic disaster has been averted. He is, of course, paying a high price for doing the right thing...but the good thing about having a man of integrity in office is that the right action comes before the popular one!

    February 22, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  296. Susan Williams

    If "government" means "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," then our government is broken beyond repair. You can't have those basics without healthcare.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  297. kris

    Jack,
    I barely have the energy to respond to your question. Of course the governmentis broke. Can it be repaired? I sure hope so because if not what is our future to be ? We cannot lose hope–ever !!!!
    kris in ohio

    February 22, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  298. cathy

    Dan February 22nd, 2010 6:57 pm ET

    The only thing that needs to be fixed is the attitude of the republicans. All they are interested in is keeping the dems from doing anything. Since the repubs have no viable ideas, they can't actually do anything, so they decide to vote as an unthinking bloc , digrinate any real ideas and even chastise those amoung them who dare to break out. The repubs are on a long downward slide to oblivian with this approach. Once the American people really understand how devoid of ideas the repubs are, they will dump them faster than a hot you know what. good riddance.

    Thank Dan for his sense of humor and optimism. That’s what I am hoping for. That’s why the integrity of the news reporters is very important.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  299. Paul Leach

    Yes, its broken and the best fix is a simple one. No act of Congress shall apply to the people unless and until it also applies to all elected officials. That will solve Social Security, Medicare, Health care and almost any other Federal Program you can name. I don't think our government will adopt this simple rule but maybe it can be passed by the peoples initiative or constitutional amendment.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  300. David P Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – How about some basic civics, Jack. It is the Congress that is deadlocked, as it has often been before, because tactical partisanship is more important to the minority leadership than delivering the goods under their oaths of office. These clowns are now running on the issue that the system is broken. It ain't the system, it's them – the Republicans of No. We just need to not re-elect them. Those who have blocked up the process this past year and a quarter should be thrown clear out in the coming election. All it takes to make "Washington" work is a functional Senate majority caucus.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  301. Ken in NC

    No Jack it is not broken beyond repair. Only the politicians are broken beyond repair and fortunately for us they are not beyond “REPLACEMENT”.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  302. Jene Moseley in Silver City, NM

    The power to change a broken government is in our hands. We can vote out ALL incumbents, despite their empty promises and start over with fresh blood. If the newbies screw up, out they go as well. It's time for a thorough House cleaning. It's time for a Senate cleaning too

    February 22, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  303. ron - american living in Copenhagen

    Not beyond repair - but in deep trouble - I have said before that the parties need to work together - so they should get their asses into gear and stop all of the political power playing and try to earn their salaries - I bet that if their salaries were linked to accomplishments - things would change in one hell of a big hurry

    February 22, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  304. Seth Hill

    Politicians keep giving us what we want: limitless benefits (a strong national defense, Social Security, Medicare, etc.) we don't have to pay for. When the American people stop demanding a free lunch, government will get fixed.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  305. Kenny

    It's not the government that is broken beyond repair, it's the two party system full of career politicians that is broken beyond repair. We need people that will work for the people and not to get re-elected over and over to keep a job.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  306. Kerry Messerle

    Of course our government is broken. And of course it can be fixed. The fix starts and ends with voters having the guts to throw every incumbent self serving politician out of office.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  307. Gilbert

    I work for the Government and yes I believe it is broken. Broken because of politicians. Every time a new President is elected, it is out with the old and in with then new. All the top positions are given to Politicals that know nothing about the agencies they run. Government is too big yes, but not by the employees but politicals that given high level positions that were never there to begin with. Too many Congressmen and Congresswomen, staffers, etc. That is where the money and spending is going.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  308. P Miller

    Of course our government is broken. And it will continue to be broken as long as the rules remain the same.

    Isn't the definition of insanity electing different politicians over and over again to follow the same rules and expect different results.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  309. Alan

    We need a true revolution...enough talking, it's time to make things happen.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:45 pm |