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July 25th, 2011
04:56 PM ET

Are America's best days behind it?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

While lawmakers continue to play games with the debt ceiling deadline, millions of people's lives are being affected. The clock is ticking …

Republican congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul thinks time may have already run out. On the floor of the House last week, Paul said, "When a country is indebted to the degree that we're indebted, the country always defaults. We will default because the debt is unsustainable."

Meanwhile, we’ve got no deal as our politicians continue to appear they have lost sight of what they were elected to do in the first place. They argue. They grandstand. They posture. All with an eye on whether they will be re-elected. But nothing is decided. What they're really good at is what matters to them.

On Sunday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi left the debt ceiling negotiations in Washington to attend a fundraiser in Connecticut for a friend and fellow congresswoman who is up for re-election next fall. When asked about her decision to choose a fundraiser over the debt ceiling, Pelosi said, "Sunday morning is sort of a time out."

Really?

There is a general sense of pessimism in this country right now, and it's not just our nation's debt. We are in deep trouble. The economy is gasping for air, millions are out of work and the future of a once proud and thriving middle class is sinking into quicksand. While Washington may be out of touch, we are well aware how bad things are.

According to a new CNN/ORC poll, 84% of Americans say the economy is in poor shape and 59% believe the economy will still be in poor shape one year from now. This is the 14th year CNN has asked this question; this is the first time a majority has been pessimistic about the country's economic future.

Here’s my question to you: Are America's best days behind it?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 6pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.


Filed under: United States
soundoff (308 Responses)
  1. Larry Feierstein-Denver

    No such thing. Do you think " I wish we had the good old days?". THere will never be good old days and we can never say the best years are behind us. We can say, these are dark days caused by politicians and a bad economy. Our leaders dont lead and noone seems to know the meaning of compromise.

    July 25, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  2. rheapdx1

    Jack....regrettably, yes that is the case. In the past few years, we have devalued our education system, lost jobs for various and sundry reasons and due to the policies of those who have been elected, we have lost respect throughout the world. No matter what spin is being put on the troubles now, the fact is our status has been downgraded, which while it started during previous adminstrations, was and is being accelerated under Obama's tenancy in the White House.

    July 25, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  3. Al from Sandy Hook

    Hopelessly in debt amid a sea of self serving politicians does not bode well for any country. Want to see how bad it can get? Just look at Greece.

    July 25, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  4. Peg from NY

    It certainly seems that way.

    July 25, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
  5. Russ in PA

    Probably. The country has spent too much, has thrown away resources at empire building and wars, has promised too much in order to manipulate a population. The best days can only be ahead when Americans realize that government promises are as empty as the government wallet.

    Ron Paul in 2012...

    July 25, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  6. pat in michigan

    You have been around long enough to know Jack . Maybe we should review the policy changes brought about by which parties that have cost this country it's manufacturing base. Who allowed our corporations to go overseas without tax ramifications.? Which politicians allowed Japan to flood our shores with cheap cars and no import fees.yes our best days are behind us .Till the next revolution where we take back our country.

    July 25, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  7. Jayne

    It sure seems like it. Unless you're a wealthy person in this country, life is a constant struggle. If I was a young person I would seriously consider emigrating to a country that cared about all its people, not just the privileged.

    July 25, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  8. Dave

    America's best day's have long been swept under the bridge. Be prepared next year to have the dollar worth half of todays value

    July 25, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  9. CRAIG R. MCNEES

    tampa, fl was thinking the same thing at lunch, my $8.95 hamburger was .35, my $2.95 cola was .10. Didn't have to lock our homes or cars. There were lots of things wrong in the 50's & 60's, but we as a nation were united and happier. At least we can still see America's greatness in fond memories and reruns on tv.

    July 25, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  10. Annie, Trapper Creek, Alaska

    No, it will be differant than what we are used too.

    July 25, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  11. Frances

    They will be if we don't vote the tea party out. They are trying to ruin our Country. Enough! Let's get back normal people.

    July 25, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  12. Overby from Melbourne

    In July 1966 I went into the Army and served during the Viet Nam war, I paid into the Social Security system my whole adult life til I became 100% disabled at age 58, and now rely on those benefits. Now, here in July 2012, a whole bunch of buffoons come along and threaten not to pay me the benefits I paid for and deserve and told by my government I would receive. Looking back, instead of stopping at the induction center 45 years ago, I should have kept going til I got to Canada. Yup, America's best days are gone....

    July 25, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  13. Jenna Roseville CA

    Are America's best days behind it?

    Your always the optomist aren't you Jack..

    America's best days are AHEAD!

    Jenna
    Rsoeville CA

    July 25, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  14. John from Alabama

    Jack: I would have said, no, but with the debt ceiling problem, and two wars, and no compromise Republicans. I believe this nation must change to civility or perish from its own stupidity. The notion of common sense and statesmanship have all but died in this country. People are starting to laugh at the clowns known as the United States of Confusion. We should act like leaders of the free world, and not like chickens with our heads cut off.

    July 25, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  15. bob z fr ,pa.

    obama is the finishing touch of the usa . if he keeps spending we are done

    July 25, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
  16. Gary H. Boyd

    Unfortunately Jack, I am inclined to think so and the sad part is we did it to ourselves. Trying to be all things to all people, we are over extended financially, militarily, politically and philosophicaly. We clearly are not the nation we started out to be and our forefathers would not recognize what we have become. The Roman Empire lasted 677 years. It's pretty clear America, now 235 years old, won't make it half that long.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    July 25, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  17. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Unfortunately I believe they are at least in our life time. We are so divided as a nation today that the only thing we can agree on is to disagree. Unity is down the toilet.

    July 25, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
  18. barbara in nc

    Depends on whether you are an individual or whether you head up a Corporation (with all the loopholes to escape the laws).

    July 25, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  19. Rich McKinney, Texas

    I think they are Jack. We now have a global economy and America has out priced itself for labor costs. Our governmental regulations and taxes have crippled our businesses and it has become cheaper to produce things outside of America. That means no jobs here at home. America can no longer compete globally. America has become obsolete with the exception of it owning more then 50 percent of the Arms manufactured world wide. We have more then enough weapons but we can not afford to use them if we had to unless we first borrow the money from some other country. Basically we are screwed.

    July 25, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  20. Bernie

    Yes, the minute George W. Bush was selected.

    July 25, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  21. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    America's best days were behind it soon after NAFTA passed in the 1990's and accelerated when so called "American" multi-national corporations started shipping jobs to Communist China.

    everyone laughed at H Ross Perot and his "giant sucking sound" in 1992. he was absolutely CORRECT. short term corporate GREED has DESTROYED this country.

    July 25, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  22. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    America's best days are behind us as long as you have a houseful of idiots who act like spoiled children and signed stupid pledges. To get us out of this down spiral it will take leaders with courage that are not afraid to stand up and do what is right even if it means suffering politically. If we do elect the right people I just hope it will be in time to be able to turn things around.

    July 25, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  23. Annie, Atlanta

    Our government has been sold out, by our elected representatives, to the highest bidders for decades. If "we the people" don't figure out a way to put things to right, we may well be done. We could start with campaign finance reform, but the people who benefit from being bought are those who have to vote on it. That's spells conflict of interest to me, so give it to the voters to decide. It's a start. Don't know if it will help, since we may be beyond the point of no return. Can you spell Gilded Age.

    July 25, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  24. Dr. Michael D. Knox, Tampa

    Probably, unless we change our ways. Our government prioritizes funding for war over spending on education, medical research, alternative energy sources, healthcare, a balanced budget and almost everything else that can have a positive impact on our quality of life. Since the end of World War II, the U.S. has bombed more than 20 countries and no other nation has killed and injured more people living outside of its borders. We spend more on war, and have more soldiers in other countries, than any other nation. Without change, the empire will continue to crumble.

    July 25, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  25. Ron

    That is for sure Jack.

    July 25, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  26. virginia - Atlanta, GA

    No, this new group of Republicans will be gone after the next election, we just need to hold them off until then. We have had nine years of experience proving that tax cuts do not work, the "average" person is who keeps businesses in business and if they don't have any money, businesses will continue to fail. Americans are recognizing that now and will oust this new group of obstinate and mislead Republicans.

    July 25, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  27. bud rupert, reston, va

    Who the heck knows Jack. But if you base an answer on world history then maybe we have seen our best days. It's only been 250 years or so for this grand experiment in a setting up a democratic republic and most great nation-states lasted quite a bit longer. But modrnity has grown so repaidly linking the world that it could be happening right before our eyes.

    July 25, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  28. Simon/Orlando

    No way. With the out of control government spending and the rise of the crushing national debt, it's all down hill from here. I think people have no idea how bad it will get. It will be a government takeover of everything including their money through oppressive income and excise taxes.

    July 25, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  29. riley oday

    Yes the best days are behind us. A different country is ahead.

    One with lower pay and less benefits and no pension.

    Dow chemical is building with Saudi. 20 billion. That used to be us.
    MFG is gone.

    July 25, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  30. Karl in Flint

    I’m afraid they are. The Republican/Tea Party is leading too many uninformed down a road that leads to disaster. The wealthy have moved the jobs overseas and when we fall into complete financial decay they will move themselves there, too. Who needs the Hamptons anyway? George W. Bush dug us into this hole and those that reaped the enormous tax profits from it won’t buy the backfill needed to get us back on a level field again. The wealthy have bought off these newly elected ultra-conservatives that are no smarter than their constituents. Next question: where will the Republican/Tea Party go when their lobbyist leave them behind?

    July 25, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  31. Conor, Chicago

    Yes. I feel that became quite clear once Fox news convinced half of America that Saddam Hussien had something to do with 9/11 after George W Bush was awarded the Presidency via a Conservative Supreme Court and somehow it was all legal.

    July 25, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  32. Kathie

    given the worship of their money gods by the GOP, corporate America and the rich at the peril of every other citizen our best days are behind us. We, the citizens, need to reclaim our country if there is any chance of saving the USA.

    July 25, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  33. dennis hunter

    the best days could be gone if the party of no and the tea party of no have their way. the party of no wants to enslave the middle class for their own benefit. the roman empire fell because of the enemy within and so the American way of life may fall the same way from the enemy within

    July 25, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  34. Tom in Desoto, TX

    Perhaps. As soon as republicans get their way and reduce all taxation to zero the sooner all citizens who voted for them will realize how foolish they've been when roads and schools aren't built, air, water and the power systems become barely usable. Under George W Bush the amount the country owed almost doubled, and what was gained? 2 wars in countries that were not a threat and neither really had an overall plan that went beyond talk.. All this at our own counties expense. Yes Jack, I can hear use getting sucked down to toilet at an increasing rate. Now lets all go out and admire the new armament.

    July 25, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  35. Larry from Kansas

    Jack,

    Everyday we wake up and expect this political nightmare to end. How can we go on when these Politicians can't even agree on the smallest issues? Today's Politicians believe that if they disagree and cause a Big Stink, they will win the people's vote in the next election.

    American's are looking for a calm, common sense solution to these major problems. Until these Politicians realize this our best days are behind us. You better pinch yourself if there is a compromis reached in a calm civilized manner, because this nightmare doesn't look like it is going to end.

    Larry from Kansas

    July 25, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  36. Paul, New Port Richey, Fl

    America's best days are ahead. The giant in the room is waking up and is getting angrier by the day. Woe be to those who betrayed us. The sweet scent of revenge is in the air.

    July 25, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  37. Jane (Minnesota)

    Sad to say it looks that way – I don't see much investing in the Country's future.

    Congress appears to be operating in the past already.

    July 25, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  38. jack lancaster pa

    Yes, they are. Unless we bring manufactering back to this
    country, a service based economy will not grow us as a nation
    economically. The up & coming generation do not have the drive
    for hard work that propeled this country ahead during the last century.

    July 25, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  39. Nurse Lisa in Shelton CT

    In the 1800's Alexis de Tocqueville said it best: "America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America ceases to be great."

    – – -Jack – here is the whole quote – – –
    "I sought for the key to the greatness of America in her harbors; in her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public school system and institutions of learning. I sought for it in her democratic Congress and in her matchless Constitution. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America ceases to be great." ~ Alexis de Tocqueville

    July 25, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  40. victor

    as a young (25) small business owner and history major, i know that much harder day are on the horizon thanks to the leadership (or lack their of) of the older generation currently in power, but from what i see and hear on the ground... i have full faith my generation will answer the call.
    it will seemingly come out of nowhere to the media, who only report the bad about us.. without looking at the facts that our generations rates of volunteerism is at levels not seen since the "greatest generation", crime is down to 1950's levels, hard drug use, teen pregnancy rates are at lows not seen in decades...
    remember...there was an america before "boomers" and they'll be one after their gone, it may not look like and we may not be after the same goals (keeping up with the jones) as our parents but we'll be ok.. we'll adapt and in turn the nation..

    July 25, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  41. John .......... Marlton NJ

    For some they are !! There is no free lunch ..

    July 25, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  42. John .......... Marlton NJ

    For some there best days are behind them.!! .

    July 25, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  43. Carl Ball

    Jack,

    It has always been “The Best of Times and The Worst of Times”, and always will be. However, I see that we have made improvements over time, and there still remains the possibility of more improvements to come. As long as there are possibilities there is Hope for a better country and world. As long as there is Hope, America’s best days are still ahead of us.

    Carl from Pahrump, Nv

    July 25, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  44. Pete in Georgia

    Not if you consider what we now lead the world in :
    Cell Phones permanently attached to most people still breathing.
    Twitter.
    Facebook.
    And a dozen other useless, time wasting social media addictions designed to create what all Americans seek and live for :

    To feel good............................24 / 7.

    July 25, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  45. 2011eyes (Rube)

    Not if we get rid of the corrupted idiots in office and elect someone with a brain and conscience that knows right from wrong!!!!

    July 25, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  46. sheila

    They just might be, unfortunately. Glad I'm as old as I am. I feel bad for those that are young.

    July 25, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  47. Bill in New Mexico

    No–there is a surprise ending:

    The Republicans will take their big win in 2012 as a MANDATE:

    A mandate to cut taxes more.

    A mandate to finish cutting entitlements.

    A mandate to put troops in Syria, Yemen, and re-surge in Afghanistan as well as destroy the Iraanian Nuclear Threat.

    The total national debt will be $ 20 trillion.

    But, inflation will have made the dollar only worth one-tenth of what it was in 2012.

    Therefore the total national debt will only be $ 2 trillion in a sea of inflation.

    The US will pay the debt off in worthless paper.

    And, we'll all ride off as Republicans into the glorious sunset!

    :

    July 25, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  48. Jim, Denver CO

    Jack,

    I hope not, but if things keep going the way they are now then yeah... the best days are behind us.

    The division of american society has to stop. There are so many things that are killing this country; the have's vs. the have not's, the greed of MNC's, the buying of politicians, the decimation of our workforce via Guest Worker programs like H1-b (its purpose is to lower wages), and the fanaticism/zealotry of certain special interest groups to name a few.

    It has to be "We the People" first and foremost.

    July 25, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  49. Richard35 Canfield, Ohio

    I Never thought I would see the day when we have so little regard for our fellow citizens. But sadly that day has arrived and with it America has seen its best days pass by us.God help America to right itself morally.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  50. Paul, Parry Sound, Ontario

    The seeds of America's self-destruction were planted in the 18th century by the founding fathers because they based the country on the rights of the individual, not the collective. Canada has fared better in these hard times because our constitution aims at "peace, order, and good government", which has, so far, saved us in this selfish world.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  51. Kevin in New Mexico

    Nope, positively thinking, I think the best days are yet to come, just keep the faith. :)

    July 25, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  52. curtis in philadelphia

    All I have to say about America is what I say when I see a beautiful model: you've got a great future behind you. Lucky for me, America doesn't slap back.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  53. Joe

    Jack,

    I hate to say it, but we now have a political structure which benefits only the wealthy; therefore, we can now compare the US to 3rd world countries with the filthy rich and the poor. Too bad the Republicans have sold their souls for money, power, and influence while average and poor Americans are dying on the streets. Nice country we have here Jack.
    Joe, Binghamton, NY

    July 25, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  54. Dave, Orlando, FL

    This question answers itself. The fact that it is even being raised shows that the answer is yes.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  55. Mark from Voorhees, NJ

    Despite the fact that we are involved in two senseless wars, have fouled our own nest by destroying the environment and the middle class, ceded public policy to banks who have looted the population and corporations who have outsourced everything, and have representatives who think they are leaders rather than public servants, I was going to say we still had a chance to correct our course. Then I saw Boehner and his gang of thieving hypocritical mental midgets on TV. So yes Jack. Sadly, America's best days are behind us.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  56. Lou Mullin

    It looks that way. We can't elect people who can work together even though they have different opinions. They can't seem to compromise in order to accomplish something. I am glad I lived when the USA was something people wanted to be a part of and were glad to get there in the correct way. Drugs, greed, stupidity have taken us over and we have to hit bottom before we can get better. We had golden years. I don't see how we can again. Wish I were an optimist about this thing.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  57. Jerry Driskell

    Not if we take action NOW to stop the hemorage in Washington ! People just have to wake up to the fact that the "credit cards" are maxed out !
    Jerry
    Blairsville, GA

    July 25, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  58. Bob, St. Thomas PA

    Long behind it, Jack. The best days were in the 1960's. It's been downhill ever since, and the hill got steeper on Jan 20, 2001. It shows no sign of leveling off. There is only one presidential candidate who can reverse the course, and I think both you and I know who it is.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  59. Ted from Hershey, PA

    No Jack, but the worst days are ahead of it if we don't solve the debt, deficit, spending, and tax problems!!

    July 25, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  60. calaurore9

    When were America's best days? I'll take back the Clinton years, those were the greatest in my lifetime. From what I see from the top of the cliff today. Yup, 'fraid so.

    Carol in Northampton, Ma

    July 25, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  61. Steve, Clifton, VA

    Jack

    Some of the most beautiful characteristics about America is that when America decides that it will focus on a common objective or a common goal, America has the incredible ability to rally all of it's resources and focus to accomplish that objective or goal with tremendous tenacity. If Americans want our best days ahead of us, we merely have to commit to "better days ahead" as a common goal for the common good of the Country.It's our choice!

    July 25, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  62. Kenny in California

    It sure looks like it. That fourteen trillion dollar dept from borrowing gave us the best days for a few decades. The government, our government is broke, and can't provide the funds for programs that flowed to businesses big and small.
    Business sent millions of jobs out of the country with wild abandon, and will continue to profit until they run out of American consumers, and that is coming sooner than later. Business supposed to be the job creators, now go create, but let us not hold our breath.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  63. lou

    I think the idea of America being the center of the universe is behind us. We've been programmed to believe america is the greatest country on earth all our lives. But with increased information at our fingertips, we've become more analytical and aware about our place on this planet full of other people. We're pretty great, but we aren't perfect.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  64. Phil in Port St Lucie, Fl

    "We The People" have lost control of the Constitution. Unless "We The People" get rid "lobbiest" and jail any politician or government employee who accepts ANYTHING from "commercial entities", we're long past out "best".
    Can anyone think of a Supreme Court that is in the "corporate pocket"?

    July 25, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  65. Valerie in Raleigh

    America is still a vital, vibrant county with a bright future. However, 'till the far-right wing of the once-proud Republican party along with their Tea Party crazies are no longer a threatening force, our country will continue to drift backwards.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  66. Conor, Chicago

    Thanks to corporate propoganda this country can't even decide what cognitive reality is anymore. I think that is enough evidence to conclude that dark days lay ahead.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  67. Alex in Wisconsin

    Jack, this has to be the fifth time this year you have asked a question like this. No, our best days aren't behind us. No, the American Dream isn't dead...yet. Yes, America will recover. I believe that the feeling of hitting rock bottom will propel the US back to the top in the next hundred years.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  68. D.Wilson

    America started down hill in the 70's when manufacturing started to move overseas, and Wal-Mart started it rise. Until the goverment stops making one sided trade agreements and giving tax breaks to corparations that move jobs oversea's, we are lost. Banks where to big to fail, but toss aside your citizens. Untill this country gets back to a more balanced wealth structure, larger middle class, we will not come back. It seems that corpartions move jobs oversea's, saying labor is cheaper, and yet CEO bonuses are larger tha ever in a bad economy.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  69. Sandstone.

    "Who knows this one either? You had it good when the majority of Europe were just getting over two major wars. You had it good when China, and the far east were still under threat from those playing still playing King. Now you're on Par with most powers around the world except Iran and North Africa who have still unknown resources?"

    July 25, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  70. Layne Alleman

    Jack, Hard to say, Jack, seeing as this country and it's history have always been a work in progress. I'm 60, and have seen some pretty happy moments in our country in that time. Having said that, I'm just as sure that there were people hurting and struggling during that same period, I just didn't see them. Maybe the reason a lot of us seem more aware of the scope of our current troubles,are; the 24/7 news cycles, the Internet, Twitter, Facebook, U-tube, well, you get the picture. Tough times?, you bet and they're probably going to get worse. Me, I'm not quite ready to throw in the towel just yet on this great nation. Who knows, maybe, just maybe, someone with brains and determination enough will rise up and help to lead us down a better road. It's up to ALL of the rest of us to do the muscle-work. Layne A. Antioch,Il.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  71. steve

    Of course our best days are behide us,and we are getting just what we desserve.Our goverment is orgnised crime ,run by big business,and they are nothing but a bunch of self serving sob,s that have nothing but there own well being at heart,if they even have one.All the money problems are to be solved buy taking money from ss ,schools,medicare medicad,the military personal and any one else that can not afford it. One thing that you never will hear from one of the mob is they will cut there salaries or benefits or there health care.It seems that there is only enough money to pay for theirs,and the tax payers that paying for their luxury way of life are unimportant,and can do with out.This is what our goverment does takecareof its own, because we let them. Make no mistake about it our goverment is not what has made this country great it is the people it always has been.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  72. Pete

    Pete, in Milton Florida.
    Yes, it's becoming obvious that our best days are behind us; the wealthy and the politicians are destroying the country. Corporations and the wealthiest 10% are moving money, businesses and jobs overseas as quickly as they can in order to avoid our coming economic collapse, while the rest of us stay hypnotized by tv, sports, scandals and recreation. Buy lots of guns, folks – it's gonna get VERY ugly around here, VERY soon.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  73. Glenton from Los Angeles

    Unfortunately due to the lack of compromise between our politicians today, here is the short answer: Yes. Next question.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  74. Paul From Austin Texas

    No America will always have better days to look forward to in the future. It has been proven in the past bad times will not keep America down long. We will bonce back as soon as things level off it just may be much longer than any of us want it to be. But we will have good and even better times than we had in the past.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  75. Mark, Oklahoma City

    America buried it's best days along with JFK on November 25, 1963. He brought a youth and vigor to the American spirit which I have yet to see in any other American leader since. Technology will not save this country, only leaders with great vision and a society motivated beyond the "me" idolization movement will keep us from falling into the abyss of lost civilizations.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  76. marybeth, massachusetts

    Jack,

    I fear that America's best days are behind it. Like other empires (Britain, Rome) whose power, influence, and economic might waned, it seems that this is where America is now. We have an economic crisis (what recovery, with over 9% of Americans still out of work) despite corporations making record-breaking profits. We are involved in 2 wars that we haven't paid for (to fund wars in the past, war bonds were sold, food and other supplies were rationed, and the whole country was involved in some way), and we've been seeing a record shift of wealth to the upper 1-2% of the population. The middle class has been destroyed; we are fighting eachother from within, government squabbles like 2 year olds, with the goal of distracting the people from the more serious issues. Millions of people have lost their jobs and homes, and still we can only talk about cutting services that would help these people thru the tough times. We're going back to a feudal society–a small percentage of very wealthy owning all the wealth and land and controlling the other 98-99% of the population.

    But remember history–when people have nothing to lose, they revolt.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  77. Anthony J. Frascino from Swedesboro, NJ

    I think China, which has sardonically embezzled trillion of dollars from us by using unfair trading practices, taking advantage of our greedy businesses, and counterfeiting our products will suck us dry and they will obtain the prominence we once enjoyed. That our children aren't properly educated and businesses will never concede their bottom line to patriotism will make this a fait accompli.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  78. Reggie

    Until Obama leaves the arena, our best days are definitely behind us. If the democrats had chosen the right person, which should have been Hillary Clinton, we would not be having this mess that we are in now. Obama is not a good leader and will never be so its time for him to rest his case and call it quits. Thanks Obama but no thanks. America does not want or need your incompetence any more. Try your motivational speaking job again....you will fit right back in.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  79. Alex in Bremerton, WA

    Yes, Jack, because millions of jobs vaporized during the Bush recession. Many of the newly unemployed have family or spouses who can support them but every American family with less income has a lower standard of living. The older unemployed will limp to whatever is left of Social Security while recent graduates may never find a good paying job to pay off their student loans. While I continue to look for work, I hope the rich choke on their private jets!

    July 25, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  80. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    I hate to think that they are, but it sure isn't looking too much like things are coming up roses right now. It seems that every day the country is further divided politically and philosophically. As long as this divide exists and continues to grow, this once great nation will slowly sink into oblivion.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  81. Dee in New Paris Ohio

    Will I be called a traitor if i sat tes? Or wuill I be hailed as one who sees and tells the truth?

    You said something to that effect yesterday and lookee, you are still there and have a job! And I guess Homeland Security did not show up at your house last night!

    In reality I do NOT think our best days are behind us. I believe that the POTENTIAL for great days is still in our grasp. But to achieve those great days ALL of us will have to stand up and demand huge changes in how our country is run and those who run it.

    In fact, perhaps we need a little of the same rebellion that is happening in the MidEast. If the people in those coutries, where the consequences for disagreement with the status quo can be deadly, are willing to stand up for change, perhaps we should take a page from their book!

    July 25, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  82. Ralph Nelson

    The best years were Kennedy and Clinton years. They both gave us more than hope with measurable achievement. Both practiced wise and proper Keysian economics, not the phoney Republican kind that transfers wealth to the rich and big business and bankrupts the country.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  83. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    Hardly, Jack. The ideals of American democracy are ascendant across the globe. Whether our economic interests are protected is irrelevant to this.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  84. Dave - Phx, Az

    No. People will eventually wake up and revolt. The rich can't hide behind Fox and the Tea Party forever,

    July 25, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  85. clint in GA

    It saddens me to say it but I believe America's best days are behind us. To see America's biggest problem all you have to do is sit on a bench in any shopping mall and watch who goes by. Within a short time at any hour of the day you'll see that the majority of the people there are young mothers of all races pushing strollers with 2 or 3 toddlers tagging along. Most of the adults and children are over weight or obese and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Uncle Sam is paying their bills. The Democrats have created this environment and Obama's policies enhance and encourage it.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  86. Roger from Phoenix

    Amen Jack , can you send me information on where I could sign up for food stamps here in Phoenix please ?

    July 25, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  87. Chuck Wright, Georgia

    The loss has already happened. America has taken their selfish and greedy motives into the face of the world. That is good because it will not get fixed until serious hurt has become the way of live for those earning less than $200K per year.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  88. Tony from Southport

    Are America's best days behind it? Yes Jack, if this man in the White House wins reelection, you better believe it. However, if the American people are dumb enough to reelect in spite of the economic and social disaster he has caused, then the American people will get what they deserve, and the United States of America will no longer be the great nation that was handed to this generation by the last great generation.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  89. John Elefante

    The Republicans do not care if the markets tumble and all Americans with investments take another significant financial hit.

    We should reduce spending by cutting their pensions. 22% of the 2011 budget is for pensions. Change their pensions to a 401k. Let their future be tied to the markets like every other American who lost a pension. If their financial future were tied to the market, this would have been solved by now.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  90. Jennifer Atlanta

    Yes Jack they are. The reason? Backward thinking is keeping us from moving into the 21st century. This era will be known as the resurgence of the "Know Nothings." People have to believe in climate change to do something about it; people have to believe in reality to know how to fix it. The teavangelists have taken over and will keep us back with their return to relitigating the Scopes trial; support of poll taxes/literacy tests to vote; discrimination against minorities, religions other than Christianity and homosexuality; and votes in opposition to their economic interests. Progress is contingent upon intellectuals making decisions, not neanderthals.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  91. Brian

    Cafferty,

    If it is, it's because past generations squandered it. Allowing Reagan to gut the tax brackets while maintaining spending and a deficits don't matter mentality that was subsequently repeated by other Republican Presidents. A balanced approach is the only way to solve our debt crisis and the American People agree including this one!

    July 25, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  92. DON IN WESTPORT, MASS.

    With out a doubt the best days are behind us. We are just survivors now of a Gov't that has lost it's way.
    The American dream has escaped most of the middle class. Try to by a home today if your middle class. I fear for my childrens children.
    I think if there were ever another civil war in this country it would be between the rich and the poor, plain and simple, and I would be in the middle of it.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  93. sixbluntsdeep

    Jack,

    I can't help but think you may be right. Long ago are the days my parents talk about: Two parent families living within their means. Buying a "starter house" because they weren't able to get a $250k loan for a suburban mansion,working hard, working overtime, working to give their kids a better future. Unfortunately all their hard work instilled a generation of LAZINESS.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  94. Curtis, Woodstock GA

    It pains me to say it, but yes. I remember hearing from my grandparents and parents about how the world is my oyster and I can do anything I want. It is much different than the reality I face now. I'm one of the lucky ones who has a good job and I would do anything to hold onto it. The downside is that it looks like I will hold onto it until the day I die instead of ever trying something new. I'm only 30.

    Curtis – Woodstock, GA

    July 25, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  95. Qu Walton

    Only being 23 I am optimistic that there are better days ahead for my country. The tyranny that exists within the elite minority has discredited the vast majority of Americans. A shift in power back to the majority will lead to the best days in U.S. history.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  96. Olga Moreno

    Hey Jack, You ask if our best days are behind us. What does it matter? We will soon be North Mexico anyway! Maybe Nancy Pelosi would like that her Sunday to be siesta time!!!

    July 25, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  97. Larry Hass

    I hope not – we are still the best inventors in the world. If our politicians don't start behaving like Americans first and politicians second we have another revolution in our future. This time it will be rich vs the poor and all the politicians are rich.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  98. Dick Dover

    As long as we continue down the current path..

    July 25, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  99. Brian

    New breakthroughs in medicine, technology, and environmental protection are ahead, but if you mean hope and compassion, America's best days may be in the past.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  100. OttoV

    Americans will never know the earlier, carefree days long gone by. It started with Pearl Harbor and continued with 9/11. The worst thing is the sellout and giveaway of America by our presidents and Congress.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  101. Brian

    Barack Obama would have a better chance at Braze Welding the Soviet Union beck together, so everybody can be united and free for ever. Common Wealth could possibly fix the problem, But I do think Americas best days are left behined. Heading to a posible futuer of Common Wealth of Independent States.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  102. David in Pittsburgh

    Americas best days are still ahead..if we can have to courage to put this current crop of politial leaders in congress in its past! We have infrastructure, energy and education bills in congress that could put Americans back to work yesterday if only lawmakers would do their jobs! what do they do for 24 hrs in DC anyways??? This country has seen worse and we will rise again.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  103. Zach (Colorado)

    Possibly and why not? We have all these ideals, almost cliches we use to explain why America is so great. Could it be simply that when settling the new world we hit the jackpot, a land lotto. Isn't it possible we've been living lavishly off the wealth our new world gave us. The ideal space in the ideal time. Just a few 100 years ago our government was giving land away. We had what seemed to be unlimited growth potential at that time. Perhaps when we go to China and tell them to be more like us, more Democratic they should say, "Sure, when do we get our land with untapped resources and potential?". Better yet, should we be asking China on how best to do more with less? We may find we're no better off than them. No empire has ever lasted and is it possible ours will be shorter than most?

    July 25, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  104. 123doreme

    Yes the "best days" are over. It started right after the second world war and it's taken all these years to finally catch up to all of us. It will get worse... much worse unfortunately. More people should have been looking, but that's human nature for ya...

    July 25, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  105. Ray from TN

    Our best days have been gone for years. All these politicians, especially Repubicans have been bought out by big business. Until we can do away with all this greed, things will only get worse.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  106. Ralph Spyer

    From 1945 to 1955 were our best days , We lost in Vietnam, The CIA and the mobsters could not kill Castro, We started send jobs to China and becoming one counthy with Mexico. We in 3 wars we do not have the money to pay for. The S and L melt down. The dot com melt down ,The housing melt down, Our children are second rate in knowledge, Our health care mess, The Tea party on one side and the 47% of Americans that pay no taxes ,and the ones that live in section 8 housing and food stamps. It makes me sick

    July 25, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  107. Peter

    We PEAKED during the 1950's, second to none in the world. Unfortunately greed from too much of a good thing set in and everyone wanted the best, make the most and not willing to work hard for it – they believed the lie.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  108. Jan From DE

    I hate to say it but I think so. When the good jobs were sent overseas, it was the beginning. We are becoming an aristocracy and the poor will eventually be back to slavery if the "elephants in the room" have their way ! I try to be positive but I am one of the ones that hear the chains rattling and it scares the heck out of me !

    July 25, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  109. Mike Hagans from Mt. Juliet, TN

    Not yet, but I feel the door is closing fast on them. I see Aug 2 as the day we all lose those "best days" forever.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  110. Denny from Tacoma

    Actually, America's best days are ahead of it. Our interracial relatioships and understanding have greatly improved and I can foresee the day when we can burn the bridges of predjudice and live with one another peacefully.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  111. Sandstone.

    "My own best are behind me! I have now won 299 games of Freecell, with a loss! You need so much better power like this, if you want to succeed in your little game; which is as easy as snakes and ladders!!!!"

    July 25, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  112. Jeff from Brightwood Oregon

    Jack – There is no question that America is in decline and has been for quite some time. We simply don't want to pay our bills. We want to spend money, but we don't want to pay our bills. That alone is a sign of decline. Instead, lets create a crisis so we can move forward in a partisan manner. We got ours, screw them. A country moving forward has goals, has their future clearly in sight and is all about moving aggressively toward their goals. What are America's future goals? America is not moving forward, it is falling back on just about every level or measure. So sad to watch day after day, month after month, year after year.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  113. Kim Smith

    Most defintely, Jack. Without the hope of open rebellion in the streets, this country will never regain it's former glory and respect in the world.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  114. Ray in Knoxville

    Jack, this crisis has been in the works for 30 years, ever since America bought into Reagan's theory that policies that enabled the rich to get richer would "trickle down" to the middle and working classes. That theory has proven a failure and have undermined the ability of the largest segment of the population to support the economy. Unless we reverse these policies, America's best days are behind us.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  115. Jim in Dallas

    Jack, the party of NO has brought on this crisis and it is backed by talk radio and the Tea Party. The objective here is to get rid of Pres Obama, protect the super wealthy, and stop them and the oil companies from paying their fair share. They would rather see the country in ruins than see Global Climate Change as a real thing. Would rather see us bankrupt than let Pres Obama stabilize the economy and be re-elected. This is a measure of how low a political party can go.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  116. Tayo Akamo

    I hope the American electorates will do what was done few months ago in Quebec Canada. Kick all the career politician out of office.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  117. David

    Yes, Jack, I think America's best days are behind us. That doesn't
    mean our nation will cease to exist – it's just that like the British, French,
    and Spanish empires of the past, we are no longer number one.
    And in light of all the money we've thrown away trying to effect "regime
    change", buying off criminal foreign leaders, and being the world's policeman, maybe that's a good thing.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  118. Samuel Markes

    I think that unless there are sweeping, radical changes that require truthful, dedicated, intelligent legislators to be brought into Congress, our nation is doomed. As a whole, there seems to be a corruption of ethics that offends the heart of this once noble republic.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  119. AB

    Honestly, Jack, America is in decline and our standard of living is also declining. The unemployment statistics are higher than the government reported; more people have lost their homes as a result of losing their jobs; prices for gas, food and other neccesities have constantly risen and are still rising. The country's debt ratio has risen as we continue to invade and occupy countries for protracted time periods. People can no longer afford a home, send their children to college and take vacations. The times that they could are fast coming to an end. The politicians continue to fight over the debt crisis while the nation drifts to its common doom.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  120. David from Boston

    As long as America has the kind of ingenuity and creativity that has revolutionized the world time and time again, it's best days will never be behind it.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  121. Andrew from Pinehurst, NC

    No, Jack, the best is yet to come. We just have to figure where it's going to come from.....and go there!!!

    July 25, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  122. Kelly

    Kelly in Reston here... All great empires eventually decline, are surpassed and eventually end. Older, more entrenched societies give way to younger, more nimble ones. Whether we are in the midst of a temporary blip, or the long term decline has begun, remains to be seen, but It's naive of anyone to believe that America will cheat history and avoid downfall forever....

    July 25, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  123. Tom Beach

    The political posturing from both sides of the isle is nothing short of a lot of hot air. All politicians are good for is getting themselves elected by whatever chikanery they can muster up and then spend the rest of their career working at keeping their job. The only thing they ever seem to be able to agree on is a pay raise for themselves. Here's a thought, make a 20% reduction in congressional, senatorial and presidential pay a part of the spending cuts that everyone agrees needs to be done. If you think they'll go for that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell to you.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  124. David P. Kronmiller

    No Jack – America's best days can not be behind her unless her best days were when people had less equality and the world was a big scary place where mutually assured destruction was the only way to be safe.

    We are hitting a wall world wide now – a wall that shows the limits of our financial system – a system that does not fully meet the needs of the human of the 21st century.

    Will we recover? Yes. How? That's a mystery.

    – David
    Burbank, CA

    July 25, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  125. joel

    Yes I believe Americas best days are behind it. The Border still not secure, America in trillions of dollars of debt, economy recovering extremely slow, Americas school system failing, obesity on the rise, along with many other problems facing the nation. Politicians are to incompetent and I don't see them getting America out of the mess it is in. Ontario, Canada.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  126. Jessica, Sparta, NJ

    If these Republicans and a few Dems don't start to agree to raise the taxes on the filthy rich a bit then America's days are truly behind her.

    When only the rich benefit and the working class foots the bill the imbalance of fairness crumbles and it will lead the country into another civil war.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  127. jean2009

    Heaven's no! In our history we have seen the economy worse. What we basically have is a bunch of young people who have never lived hard times, and most of their parents have never lived hard times, and they just plain don't know how to deal with it.

    They don't have a clue of about how their great-grandparents lived through the depression and WWII.

    Even in the depths of this moment I still see great promise...No, chicken little the sky is not falling.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  128. Frank Winter

    Sadly, America reached its zenith in the 1950s. From the 1960s on it started spending beyond its means and morally declining. The 2008 recession accelerated its downward course. The future belongs to China, who will end up buying all important US business with your own money.

    Toronto

    July 25, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  129. Gigi Oregon

    They will be, if we let the Republican religious right have their way. And take away the gifts our founding fathers gave us. The freedom to worship, equality for all, and a nation built on immigrants. A country that even the poor could become president.

    Instead of burning books in America, we are not teaching America History. The out come is the same. Our political characters are rewriting history and many who listen don't know any better...

    And I'm no longer attending anymore "Tea Parties" they seem to leave a bitter taste in my mouth.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  130. d

    Are America's best days behind it?

    YES

    July 25, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  131. CareFree

    Yes, unfortunately. Bush/Cheney (2 oil men in the White House?) drove this country straight into the toilet, all the while helping their wealthy friends. Friends, who upon being given large tax breaks, proceeded to move more jobs overseas, and did not create jobs, as expected. Cheney with his secret energy meetings right off the bat, and his secret no-bid contracts in Iraq for Halliburton buddies; and their attempt to dismantle Social Security, which, thank goodness, did not get privately invested (yet)............Also, Bush's imperialistic foreign policies greatly alienated other countries that used to love us. Let's face it, Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize for NOT BEING BUSH!

    July 25, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  132. John in Calabasas, CA

    Ya think?

    July 25, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  133. Nick

    I hope not, but fear we are becoming a 2nd rate nation. We have become lazy, bitter, and used to living the "high" life. As a college educated 31 year old who has been with 3 companies since 2007, my wife and I wonder how we will raise a family in this environment. I have always worked hard and was told that would take me far in life. Now, we are living in a condo that is so far underwater we don't know when we'll be able to get out and I'm making much less than I did 5 years ago. In conversations with my mother we often commiserate and she steps up to admit her generation (the Baby-Boomers) are partially if not completely responsible for this downfall. Where has that left their kids and grand kids? In deep trouble.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  134. Brian in IL

    Sadly I believe you are right. Don't like being a declinist but it does look more and more as though we may never recover what we had when the country was strong and almost every able-bodied individual could land a job. They want to raise the Social Security eligigility age to 70, but yet those over 50 are very heavily discriminated in the job market. And in this heavily automated economy it's hard for me to imagine a return to the days when anyone who wants a job can find one to match his or her talents. I hope I'm wrong about this but have a foreboding feeling about this. And for all the talk of a national malaise during the Carter years, it seems quite obvious we are in a worse one today. At that time there still was the feeling that things could turn around; we just aren't sensing that kind of optimism today. We are on one hand told that we should be realistic about our life expectations, and yet there are so many who equate being realistic with being pessimistic.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  135. Steve

    NO. If we find our way back to what made us great. Its not I but WE the People. We need a strong Gov. for the people, by the people. NOT for the Corporate Lobbyist. and Special Int. groups. Some Were we lost our way to Fox News and the Propaganda they spill out.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  136. Bill - Dallas,TX

    No, our best days can actually be ahead of us.....IF we use our vast energy, resourcefulness and resolve to dig out of this mess and once again be a model the rest of the world loves to hate. We did it in WW2 after being deep in a depression and the outlook for the average guy in America was pretty bleak. We can do it again...we just need to require our leaders to lead, not clean out the cash registers.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  137. Nick

    I hope not, but fear we are becoming a 2nd rate nation. We have become lazy, bitter, and used to living the "high" life. As a college educated 31 year old who has been with 3 companies since 2007, my wife and I wonder how we will raise a family in this environment. I have always worked hard and was told that would take me far in life. Now, we are living in a condo that is so far underwater we don't know when we'll be able to get out and I'm making much less than I did 5 years ago. In conversations with my mother we often commiserate and she steps up to admit her generation (the Baby-Boomers) are partially if not completely responsible for this downfall. Where has that left their kids and grand kids? In deep trouble.

    Jacksonville, FL

    July 25, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  138. Nick@Mammoth Lakes, CA

    I cant believe that our best days are behind us.

    Ron Paul is full of it.... and himself. We are not going to default. We dug ourselves into this hole and we can dig ourselves out. All it requires is sacrifice and Americans know how to do that, or we used to.

    Stop looking for a magic bullet. Its not there. The bill is due. Pay the bill. Everyone should ask themselves what they are willing to sacrifice to get us back on track.

    Raise taxes back to where they were in 2000. Delay medicare and social security one month for every year between now and when you are eligible until they are solvent. Use the new health insurance exchanges to bridge the gap. We are a nation of 300 million consumers, you'd think we could leverage our numbers to get lower prices for critical drugs than other countries. Big business can take care of itself, foster new businesses to compete with established ones. Our infrastructure is crumbling and construction labor costs are low... Nows the time to buy!

    And stop making war. I cant think of a war we waged in the last 50 years that was worth the cost.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  139. Ralph A. Santillo

    PS Yes the best days were our generation and we will never see them again. I am 71. God Bless America.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  140. Robert

    Yes, we have become lazy, ignorant and avaricious. We have elected politicians who promise to do for us what we should be doing for ourselves. We have raised a whole generation that believes that the world owes them a living just because they exist, that it has a right to everything and a responsibility for nothing, that we CAN have our cake and eat it too. We are getting exactly what we deserve.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  141. Paul, Staten Island, NY

    Indeed they are Jack. Our politicians lost sight of what's really important, the american people! We are facing dark times, and congress is either too concerned about there support base (tea party), or their ego's (republicans), rather than do what's best for the country. It's an embarrassment to this nations great legacy what we've become and where we are headed.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  142. Kade Ferris

    What does one consider America's "best days"?? Is it an America where colored people sat quietly on the back of the bus? When Latin Americans hoed beets for pennies an hour??? When women were domestics who paraded around with a fake smile and a pot of coffee??? When cocaine and money were pouring into Wall Street during the rapacious 80's??? Or when America was built on stolen lands and natural resources of the American Indians??? Americas best days are behind it for some...

    July 25, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  143. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    When have we had it better? Life has never been fair. Thanks to all of our fancy communication devices we have never been more aware of how things run in Washington. It's a blessing and a curse. But, the best is yet to come.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  144. Tony Fortino

    Definitely not – our best days are still ahead. We just have to rid ourselves of the non-leader elite class that we have elected to be our leaders. Real leaders put their people first. Just look at our military and you will see that played out on a daily basis. Term limits needs to get some traction.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  145. tonie from OK

    They are if we don't start investing in education instead of cutting, investing in our failing infrastructure and start having a more balanced approach for everyone. When the top 400 people making more than 90% of the country, we have a problem, it is called greed. Trickle Down economy has never worked.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  146. Mike Ochs

    Let's see – We survived the attack on our capitol by the British (War of 1812), we survived the Civil War, we survived the Great Depression, we survived the attack on democracies worldwide by Germany and Japan and prevailed in the Cold War. I think if we fail to survive the current problems, if we fail to revive our national vigor and strength it would only be because we have lost our will as a nation to do so and I, for one, refuse to accept that possibility. No I do not think America's best days are behind us. Mike Ochs

    July 25, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  147. Ted

    Jack,

    YES. We are now in the fall cycle that all nations go into when greed is the controlling factor of the decision makers. We are heading in a direction that we will not recover from. I didn't think I would live to see it, but it looks like I will.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  148. john

    cafferty's best days ended over twenty years ago. too bad his crummy "reporting" hasn't ended yet.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  149. Michael Gale (E-mail)

    I am a naturalized American and came here because of what the country stands for; democracy, opportunities for personal growth and a chance to be successful. In eighteen years I have had access to all of these opportunities. It takes hard work and it has not changed. What has changed is that other countries in the world now can offer part of that promise to its citizens. What we seem to have strangely lost is our sense of boundless optimism that we can achieve these opportunities. We need to re energize ourselves and rejoice in the great upside this country offers with a bit of luck and focused work on the stuff that matters (technology, green energy and new innovations).

    July 25, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  150. Kevin in CA

    Sadly, yes. The defining confirmation is that America has resorted to paying the Russians to put a man in space. It also tells you we are no longer a super power.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  151. Evil Hollywood Liberal

    Yea, pretty much. China and India will be calling the shots, from here on out.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  152. Ted

    Jack,

    YES. We are now in the fall cycle that all nations go into when greed is the controlling factor of the decision makers. We are heading in a direction that we will not recover from. I didn't think I would live to see it, but it looks like I will. Boerne, TX

    July 25, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  153. Cory

    I truly hope not. I'm young American with a family and I hope better things are to come. However I do know there is no "time out" for politicians. I do not get a "time out" when it comes to providing for my family, going to work or paying my bills. Both parties need to do what they were put in office to do. Get with it or get out of office!

    July 25, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  154. Donald in New Mexico

    Our best days are behind us only in civility. We are being held hostage by the domestic terrorists named Congress. When they work for special interests and against the people, we don't progress as a society. As nasty as Congress is, would you let your children listen to them? There is no decorum in Congress. They need to grow up an get to work on getting our country out of recession. All they do is fight each other. Until they decide the U.S. is more important than their own egos, our best days will be gone. It's not too late for Congress to do the right thing for our country. But it might be too late for this dysfunctional Congress. After the mess they have made,It may take the next Congress to learn from this sessions mistakes, and get back to work for the U.S.,and not themselves.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  155. Judie Wm's

    Sad, but all too true that our best days are gone, and in all probability will never return. We ... the people and the government have failed to "bind up our nations wounds", and we are paying the price, as our chidren and grandchildren will. Where did common decency go....consideration and honesty with our fellow man, respect for parents, law enforcement, and other authorative figures. Where did the respect for ourselves disappear to ?
    I see the "ME", "I", generation in full force with no consideration of what so many worked so hard to provide.
    There is very much a sense of sadness for what I experienced, yet it is to be no more.........doesn't anyone hear the WAKE UP CALL ?

    July 25, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  156. grassy knoll

    Jack, thats an easily answered question. This country is on a downward spiral that cannot be stopped. The people that actually could slow down this certain fate only care about themselves and being re-elected. The debt ceiling catastrophe is only the latest example of this country and its people being put last.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  157. Michel masionneuve

    Not till they stop his defult

    July 25, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  158. karl larson

    about 200 years behind us

    July 25, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  159. Bill Ingham

    What will it take for the politicians to realize Americans are fed up. Riots in the streets? Another revolution? Americans should not SCREAM for the unseating of every politician now in office in 2012 and DEMAND TERM LIMITS. It's these very career politicians who worry more about their next term than the starving, unemployed American people who should be sent packing and forced to feed themselves on something besides career opprotunism.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  160. Dion from Atlanta

    If you believe the bible, things will get worse before they get much better! But that's okay... I'm on the winning team!

    July 25, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  161. Anibal Buch

    Due to the unregulated, tax incentive and foreign policy of the last decade it might be the case...

    July 25, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  162. Joe McKeefry

    With Federal employees virtually unable to lose their jobsCongress lets the FAA expire which may cost 4000 their jobs because congress didn't do their s. I want to do all I can to see tthat congress loses their jobs for putting politics ahead of our country. Please let me know how I can achieve this goal.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  163. Zeddrick F. White

    Jack,
    Only if we 'Americans' continue to allow our government responsibilities to be taken over by the elite Oligarch agenda that has raped our government with the help of our representatives. Economic thieves and cash-mongers are worse recidivists than even the most despicable criminal. They both take advantage of those most vulnerable, especially the youngest & oldest, sociopathic bullies leveraging their strengths against everyone else weaknesses.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  164. freeway fatcat

    The major skill set required for any politician appears to be posturing, and as is currently evidenced in America. The "silent majority" should recruit some third graders and pay them the salaries the politicians are "earning". Or take away their politically motivated pork barrel toys and send them home to live as we do.... Repblican/democrat/orange flavored or lemonade; it makes no difference. What would Harry Truman do?

    July 25, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  165. David from Herndon, VA

    Unfortunately, yeah. Our entire Congress is bought and paid for by big business, which at this point is just extracting whatever capital it can before the rest of us go under.

    Even with all the hype of Obama winning the election, and having both houses of Congress, we couldn't dent the plutocrats' hold on power.

    History is going to look back on non-wealthy conservatives from this era and wonder what the hell was going through their heads (if anything). It's the new Know-Nothing party - always looking for ways to enable their own financial destruction.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  166. Ron in NC

    America was at its zenith in July of 1969, when US astronauts set foot on the moon. Since then we have been coming downhill and presently at warp speed. Just where this roller coaster ride will end is anyone's guess, but it is certain that better days are long gone for this country. I am saddened by it, but we do reep what we sow. There have been innovations since 1969, however many of them are not positive ones and those borne out of the space race such as the Internet and cellphones are debatable as to their positive longterm affects! What a glorious for the most part 235 years it has been on anyone's watch!

    July 25, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  167. Ted San Diego CA

    Jack –

    Not at all. Americans are gifted, versatile, and very competitive. The US has immense physical and human resources, and has always attracted the best talent from all over the world. This sort of pessimistic observation has been made before, and the country has always rebounded impressively, usually following the election of a new President. Examples are Regan and Clinton. There is now a crisis of confidence, and so a great deal of liquidity and energy is pent up on the sidelines. Unfortunately it will probably take electing a new President to restore confidence that Washington is once again supportive of the business of America, which is business.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  168. nytw

    By the year 2100 America will be a third world country. Glad that I will no doubt be gone by the time it happens

    July 25, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  169. ryan

    Our best days are clearly over. The big government that has been built up over the past 100 years cannot be simply changed overnight. This will require a revolution of sorts, a serious and credible outcry by the citizens that really show our desires for drastic and immediate change. We never once listened to the warnings of our founding fathers and great presidents. We will get what we deserve, even though this is not the fault of WE, the people, but the fault of few who control many.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  170. Jim Matkaitis

    Center Right Small Business owner from Chicago.

    I'm worried that better days aren't in the near future unless Congress learns to meet in the middle. I was initially happy to have the Republicans take back Congress to balance the far left move from Reid and Pelosi.

    Thought we'd have a rerun of the Gingrich – Clinton deal which resulted in the best economy I've seen in my 35 years in business, and balanced the budget to boot !

    But now they have been hijacked by the Radical Right who seem to think they can dictate the policies of loud mouthed Conservative talk show hosts.They want to sell their party out to them, go for it. But don't expect Centrists back at the polls for you next year.

    2/3 of the voters want a compromise deal. Republicans blah- blah about the Will of the People yet here they are totally ignoring it !!

    July 25, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  171. Harold, Phoenix,AZ.

    No! We are a vibrant and more than capable nation with endless talent.
    Let us hope that our elected leaders will get around to fostering our success over politics. The future is in front of us, WE WILL NOT FAIL!!

    July 25, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  172. Stuart

    Americas best days will be behind us if we don't make major changes in our political system. Todays hyperpartisan environment makes it impossible for politicians to solve our problems. What we need is to go to open primaries and independent non political redistricting as California has just done. This will eliminate the current situation where only candidates at the far right or far left can get elected. We also should look at what Germany did in the recession and what it is doing to train workers and encourage its domestic industries. While our jobs are going to China and we have not recovered from the recession unemployment in Germany is at a 20 year low. They almost completely avoided the recession and are stronger now then before, The policy steps that they took were never considered here and they should have been. Instead of companies laying off workers in Germany they reduce their hours and the government makes up part of the difference in income. Certainly much better then removing people from the workforce. Germany also makes an effort to encourage domestic employment while US companies are rewarded for firing workers. The lack of a value added tax or national sales tax here, unlike every other industralised county discourages domestic workers and encourages sending jobs overseas.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  173. Mike Bertrand

    Carlsbad, CA

    I think this is true for those of us alive today...not necessarily forever. My 'American Dream' is gone, and at 60 years old, I don't see myself getting it back in my lifetime. What appears to be gone is our representative form of government. The only interests being addressed are those of the wealthy and of corporations. All of these surveys and polls are numbing everyone to "Facts and Figures"...there's nothing left to believe in anymore.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  174. craig stangohr

    Jack, you can bet we are in a downward spiral from which there is no escape. Jobs? Think so? We had better invent calorie-free cheese fries or something of similar ilk. All those jobs we shipped away to China, Taiwan, India, Mexicao, et al., are NOT coming back. It's common sense Jack–all "great" societies have had their chance at the top– going back thousands of years. The usual "reign at the summit" has been about 200 years. I think we have been living on borrowed time for several decades already.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  175. Michael in Citrus Heights

    Absolutely. For all but a very select few, America and the American dream is dead.
    Corporatiions and their wealthy owners have discovered that they don't need or want American labor, so they send the jobs oveseas.
    They essentially refuse to pay taxes under the threat of taking the few jobs that we have left overseas.
    Although both sides of the aisle in Congress have been bought and paid for–for years, the basic principle that sunk the country is trickle down economics. We have weathered 30 years of corporate degregulation and reduced fiscal responsibliity for the wealthy, and people are just now realizing there is no "trickle down." It's too late.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  176. LesterL

    Are America's best days behind it?
    That depends on what we do with today. If we continue just trying to point fingers of blame and say that this guy spent too much or that guy is spending too much now, then yes. If we analyze what we have done in the past to find what works and does not work, and rationally approach a solution in the near and long term future, then no.

    Unfortunately, the politicians who are there to represent us and more concerned with some ideaology that is obviously driving this country into the ground. Collectively, they are drunk on power and some sort of belief system. The addiction will drag us all down. Maybe being dragged to the bottom will be the wake up call to allow the system to change for the better and to let common sense and wise decisions for the future rule instead of some particular political party ideaology. I will try to be optimistic.

    New Orleans, LA

    July 25, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  177. Peggy

    The world is a stage and every one of the current politicians sees themselves as the star of their own production!!
    This America is something that I do not even recognize in comparison to the country I was raised in.
    I am 64 years old, and I told my daughter the other night I feel like I have fallen into the Twighlight zone. This is a strange and frightening place right now and I do not know if there is a way back....
    Toto we are not in Kansas anymore!!!

    July 25, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  178. Michael Rae

    Jack, I never want to believe that. As someone who worked in public schools and look around at society in general i would have to say yes. Folks now days are so inthralled in their phones to even have a converstion. In school the focus is on the test rather than teaching fundmentals. Our congress would rather look at their own micro economics rather than the country's macro economics. For the last 10 years we have been told that tax cuts would create jobs and the evidence is clear and convincing that has not been the case. yet we hear the same drum line. Finally with bullet proof congressinal districts and some states I dont see our country on an upward trajectory anytime soon.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  179. Nicole

    When I was in college, about 7 years ago, my business teacher told us of something an economist friend of his had said. Basically, that within 15 years America's manufacturing and tech industries would be bust. We would be relying on service jobs. In 15 to 20 years, America would become a third-world country. When I heard this prediction I didn't believe it. Now I'm not so sure.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  180. daveindenver

    Unfortunately, yes. We were once a nation of doers and have turned into a nation of takers. One in seven people are on food stamps and yet most of those have cable, TV's and cell phones. People now feel they have a right to everything they have rather than a right to earn everything they have.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  181. BlackDynamite

    Yes. Next question.
    BD

    July 25, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  182. Blaine

    Yes, America's best days are behind us. No longer is there civility or politicians who are actually for the people. They are all corrupt, our school system is failing, and we are in tremendous debt. The future does indeed look bleak, thanks to the rising number of uneducated people that this country let slip through the cracks. As people keep riding the system and settling for just good enough, the slide will continue.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  183. Josh D.

    It was during the 2008 presidential election that Michelle Obama said that for the first time she was truly proud to be an American. While I am certainly not blaming it on her husband, as the days pass I only become more ashamed and embarrassed to be associated with our government and our politics. Our politicians are disgusting, do not come close to representing the American people, and it is a dangerous path that they are choosing to lead this country down. My biggest concerns regard the kind of society that my family will have to live in once our days have passed.

    Bethel, VT

    July 25, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  184. xnay

    In some ways no doubt. The housing market and the debt issue are clear signs.

    But you can't solve a problem until you admit you have one and we are finally doing that.

    People and not just the government are learning the live simpler more frugal lives and enjoy what you can afford.

    In that way of thinking our best days may be ahead

    July 25, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  185. Brad

    I predict things will look a lot better in 20 years or so.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  186. andyz Lynn, MA

    As long as, "We the people," do not get involved; yes we are a has been nation. As soon as we take back control of our country, we can save America from the train wreck on the horizon. We need to have our representatives pay attention to the citizenry and not the special interests and BIG MONEY. By the way, why does big business have the right to donate money to politicians? Big business can't vote!

    July 25, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  187. Fred In LA

    The best times could still be ahead of us. But first the arrogant Democrats must be ousted from office. After all, it seems their elected jobs interfere with their social time. When they're all kicked to the curb, then we can get this country back on track and become the manufacturing and technology leader we once were.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  188. Jim

    Sadly yes, our best days are behind us. We don't want to admit it but our politics are riddled with corruption both overt and subtle. When defeating the President in the next election and protecting big money interest as if they are new born babies is more important than doing what is necessary to ensure the financial liquidity of the nation, providing jobs, educating our citizens and repairing our crumbling infrastructure then we have made the decision to be a second rate nation with a third rate future.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  189. rami

    Good days? I never knew we had any good days in America Jack we have been involved in one war after the next since world war 2 with no end in sight or should I call them foreign interventions to stay politically correct. The United States was finished once we got tangled up in the Korean conflict, Veitnam, Desert Storm, Kosovo, The Afghan and Iraq wars, and the list goes on and on.

    God only knows how prosperous the United States could have been if we had never fought in these good for nothing conflicts. Good days you ask the sun set on america over 61 years ago and it has been dark here ever since we are going to go down hard Jack welcome to replay of the collapse of the Roman Empire.

    Battle Ground, Washington

    July 25, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  190. EJ in Metro Houston

    Jack I have to admit that in my 50plus years of life here in the USA, I have never seen the country so politcally divided. The income split from rich to poor is the widest I have ever seen. Nobody wants to help their fellow man, yet many still want to claim this is a Christian nation. And then I look at some of the people in politics that are popular and many don't seem to have the sense God gave a centipede. Sarah Palin, Michelle Backmann, Rick Santorum, even Rick Perry back in the 60's and 70's would have been laughed off the stage at even a hint of running for POTUS. Now it appears the brighter you AREN'T the more popular you are. Did all this come from electing the first bi-racial president in our history?

    July 25, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  191. John

    America is a great country, but we've had a gridlocked Congress that is spending us into oblivion and it is clear that our elected officials are not paying attention to the wishes of the voters. That's like a trial lawyer not paying attention to a jury. WIth massive debt to places like the Peoples' Republic of China and with our shores overrun by hordes of illegal criminal aliens that the Federal government refuses to remove, the answer is yes, our best days are behind us.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  192. jimbo

    I hope there are better days ahead but I don't see them happening in the next 10 years. At 51 years old I am looking at retiring in maybe 20 years. All those political turds in Washington bickering over how to handle the national debt will get good pensions and health care from my taxes. So I sleep well knowing I am doing some good while they can't seem to figure it out.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  193. Ryan

    Yes america's best days are behind us. The gap between the super rich and the rest of us is the largest its every been and they still complain about tax cuts. The reason the GOP wont raise taxes is they are millionaires themselves. Yes we also spend a lot but that is alos becuase all of the moeny has been stolen through pensions and bankers. Its sicking and selfish and it is the reason for the downfall of America. At least i am young enough to not have to worry about medicare and social security even though i pay for them with my taxes....by that time who knows what the U.S. will look like

    July 25, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  194. Adam Regele

    Jack,

    I think the one thing you failed to mention was the destructive nature the media has been on politics. I would like to ask if the media is out of touch with Americans, because it has been them who has fueld the fire, put every sound bite in the national spotlight and continually spreads doom & gloom. I agree that politicians are out for one thing though: re-election. But to answer your question, America's best days are still ahead of us if we don't mess things up any worse.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  195. Rose TN

    Well, considering that the new GOP runs on the platform of big tax breaks and no regulations for the wealthy and corporations, and screw the elderly, poor, disabled and middle class, and their sheeple keep voting against their own best interests, then, YES, America's best days are behind it.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  196. Damon Z

    Regarding Ron Paul's comment, he is correct. The U.S. will eventually default. But I believe a deal will pass to raise the debt ceiling, pushing default into the future (presumably, so those in office today do not jeopardize their jobs).

    For anyone reading this, realize that raising the debt essentially causes the dollar to deteriorate. I won't bore you with the details, but encourage you to learn about it. That means prices will rise.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  197. Sue (Delray Beach FL) Texas Ex here

    No, I do not believe our best days are behind us. I look at the three wonderful young adults I reared. They give me all kinds of hope.

    It is what I see of the adults in the room that scares me. Maybe they should take a lesson from their children. I learn something everyday.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  198. Bob

    Yes, given the absolutely useless self serving ( by serving their funding masters be it corporate or whatever, or some juvenile pledge they signed ) governmental nuts we currently have. This is a crew who will not do what is right for the country as they merely try to ensure they will be re-elected – in fact they will bring it down, and thus they may ( if unlucky ) be re-elected. I wonder if they have any comprehension of the wrath they are in danger of unleashing as a result of the consequences of their current actions.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  199. cal

    YES. to many democrats and replublican in office. The rich want to get richer and keep the poor poorer.

    the bigest reason is Democrats. They tell you they are there to help the poor and keep the rich in check. Now we have to many people living off the goverment checks they get and will not try to help them self.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  200. Karl in Silverton ID

    Jack not really, the best day will be when all these T-baggers and the GOP get sent down the sewer where they belong!

    July 25, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  201. PKFOPS

    Nope.

    Once the revenue rolls in this will all be water under the bridge.

    It always works that way.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  202. Weep4America

    Yes, America's best days past a few decades ago. There's no chance of those days being recaptured. It may sound pessimistic, but it's just the truth. America has been on a fast track downhill with no signs of stopping.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  203. Crystal Ball

    No one knows the answer to your question. There are no indications that things will be better a year from now. In five years, ten – who can say?

    However, I think its safe to say that when we started sending all our jobs overseas it help China and India prosper. In time their standard of living will go up like it did in Japan and then crash.

    The world has become a village and our superpower status is fading.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  204. Mike Dowell

    The only way America sees better days ahead is if this finally breaks the back of the two party system. I don't see any value in parties but right wing Republicans and left wing Democrats should be left on their own to survive and two more parties created for the moderate Republicans and moderate Democrats. Our system is not broken but has been badly beaten by the party system we have now.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  205. Renee Peoria,Ill

    That's a great big YUP! When we elect politicians on the promise of change and we get the same old, same old arguing, bickering and partisan crap it is not only an indication that our best days are behind us but we need some serious govt reform if we want to see anything good in our future. The big business takeover of our political system is going to turn America into a 3rd world country within a generation or two, and for some inexplicable reason the tea party types are doing everything they can to help push that agenda along.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  206. James Green

    Yes, America's best days are behind it. Our height was the 1950's, and we've been steadily declining ever since. The 1960's brought the drug culture from which we will never recover. Entitlement programs are out of control. If our tax dollars were used more wisely, we would have no debt. We have 5 levels of assistance for poor people: Federal, state, county, city, and faith based. That's 5 levels, yet you still have lazy people living off the system.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  207. Ted, Chicago IL

    For people who are older than 35, yes. In our reality-show lives things usually jump the shark around season 30 and just sit around getting stangant until the producers finally pull the plug. Meanwhile, the spinoff has a fresh story, new writers, and at least the perception of creative control.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  208. darshan Chhabra

    Jack,
    is there any thing left in this country which is sacred,I am sure the fathers of this nation were to come back,they will die of the shock they would get,seeing how we have distorted their nobel ideas to suit our
    selfish agendas.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  209. BRETT MULLINS

    Jack,
    The best are long gone,America has been sold out by politicians.Wall Street owns America.
    BRETT MULLINS
    PHOENIX,az

    July 25, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  210. Frank Kroboth

    Really? Is this even a question worth asking? Everyone knows our best days are behind us. Do you think companies like GM, Coke, Boeing, Microsoft, Apple, etc... would ever start up in this country? We are no longer about "building" business. We are about wall street. Does it matter to wall street if they make money on US business? Of course not. Politics is the new big business in the US. not the decisions they make but the office they hold. Do people really believe that whats right or wrong for the country happens to fall along party lines? come on that's just a joke. They don't care about what's good or bad for the USA they care about what's good for them. They can't think we are that stupid.. But then again they get re-elected so.......

    July 25, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  211. Alex in Canada

    It's best days will be behind it as long as people keep asking that question.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  212. Steve

    It doesn't necessarily have to be Jack. However, it seems the parties are more intent on seeing the other fail then stepping up and making difficult decisions to will benefit the people. They have, in fact, become irrelevant. I wish they would understand that there is no point in posturing for control if there is nothing left but a pile of ashes.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  213. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York

    Jack,

    Our best days are behind us is we persist in our " We're number #1' delusional cheerleading.
    In world rankings, the USA is currently 14th in university education, 35th in life expectancy, and 37th in health care. Continued ignorance of our need to improve will ensure a further slide to oblivion.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  214. Becker

    Rome and Babylon lasted about 200 years and crumbled from within. It sure feels like we are there but if we had a real leader like Clinton, Kennedy or Reagan we could turn things around. The lack of hope and absolute desperation is flowing from the ineptitude of our current leader.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  215. Harry Tucker

    Jack,

    VERY valid musings. I believe America's best days are still before us IF we learn to put the needs of the country before the needs of individual politicians or parties. Unfortunately, the current leadership doesn't appear to have this skill. It had better find it ... while things are still salvageable.

    Harry Tucker
    New York, NY

    July 25, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  216. Marcus Trumble

    America is only as good as its people, and right now those people are in large part selfish, divided, and lacking a sense of right and wrong.

    -Oceanside, CA

    July 25, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  217. david massey

    A dynasty or democracy generally lasts 200-300 years. We are just fizzing out at 235.
    We had it all, got spoiled, didnt care, or even care who we voted for. We are too dumbed down to survive too long now. China is now our landlord and we are mexico's doormat. Its all our doing too.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  218. Michael Schlagle

    I wonder how many people asked this same question after the Roaring Twenties was supplanted by the Great Depression. 80 years ago? They, like us lived in fear. Fear of change, real change, societal evolution. FDR put it best when he said "We have nothing to fear, but fear itself". The last decade of fear and terrorism have us all looking in the shadows for the boogieman without a face, pointing fingers and bickering amongst ourselves like petulant school children. We can rise above, we have risen before in our darkest hours. I'm damn proud to be an American even when the chips are down. I think our finest moments await us!!!

    July 25, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  219. Todd

    No manufacturing. No mining. We make nothing anymore (easier to have someone else do it). Look at the Roman Empire. Similar, yes?

    July 25, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  220. Kevin

    Absolutely not Jack. Five years from now the economy will be humming along again and these last few years will all be but a memory.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  221. Jimmy Cracks Capricorns

    Jack, the day Reagan was elected was the beginning of the end of rational politics and prudent government spending. We are a nation run by a war machine that will not stop until we march by the millions across the land to put a stop to the madness that is.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  222. Colin

    The greatest generation was born out of the worst economic crisis in US history. We may be in for a rough ride, but greatness is born out of hardship.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  223. Mike Mc from Middlesex, NJ

    Yes, for sure America's best days are behind us.
    I wish it were not the case, but unfortunately it is.
    There are many contributors to this.

    Some of them that come to mind are:

    Corporate offshoring (losing manufacturing base) – Unfortunately, this is a necessary evil to remain competitive. Manufacturing will not return to the US until labor costs are cheaper than they are elsewhere. For this to happen, we will have to live with a standard that is not known to us in America.

    Corporate greed – Oil companies making record profits comes to mind. CEO's earning more now than before recession is another example.

    Educational system failure -Improper training due to government nearsightedness

    Real estate bust -Although I don't believe in Government regulation, our government created the real estate boondoggle by not raising interest rates to keep the unrealistic growth in check.

    Bi-partisan politics
    Lobbying for special interests

    July 25, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  224. Charlotte

    It depends. Over the last decade the working middle class has been sinking into poverty. If we elect leaders with the progressive mindset to reverse this trend, we can recover and boom again. If we elect leaders like who think the answer is to cut education spending and privatize Medicare at a huge cost to the elderly and who wrongly think deregulation and taxcuts will do the trick, we'll just continue to decline.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  225. Gerald Therien

    Yes.Americas best days are behind us.Until we have jobs which enable families to have a decent standard of living things will only get worse.We need people in congress that will do the right thing for the people,not cater to self interest groups.We need people in congress that don't look at the job as a power play ,but to serve the people.The government has failed the people with no energy policy,no immigration policy,and by spending our country into a debt that will lead to inflation and a lower standard of living for most.The people i talk to don,t have any confidence in our government.I love my country,but dislike the government.For me at age 64 i can't believe the mess we are in.It is truly sad.Columbia Missouri

    July 25, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  226. Darryl Schmitz

    Yes. The authoritarian ruling Party – Republican/Democrat – has made it so.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  227. Bob DeLeys

    I am an American and I truly feel bad for all my fellow citizens who are currently suffering and who are likely to suffer even more in the future. But let's face it. Americans will get the sort of country they deserve. They have chosen for a country in which life for the vast majority is often hard and unfair, where basic human dignity means little. It's a country that has opted for ruthless, exploitative social Darwinism, and where having a conscience is considered a mental illness. It's a country in which educated people are denigrated and treated with suspicion, yet purveyors of the most outrageous nonsense are believed without question.

    To be honest, I'm glad I'm an old man. I believe I have experienced America's best years, but I am utterly pessimistic about the future. I'm happy I won't live to see it.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  228. don scott

    Yes, best days are behind us because so much substance is lost from politics, education, and business. These are the building blocks that in the past have delivered.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  229. sean

    most definitely, our best days are well behind. Our politicians are rotten with corruption (yes corruption), irresponsibility, lack of maturity, and lack of care for the well-being of the average citizen.
    I would have never imagined our country to be in this situation

    July 25, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  230. Mike

    All empires end, Its a tough pill to swallow but years (insert name here) (ROME< ENGLAND< SPAIN< ITALY< AMERICA) of playing the worlds police force, donating billions in foreign aide, operating thousands of military bases, building the worlds strongest military, having a me me me attitude and if it feels good do it view coupled with bloated and wasteful spending have sunk us.

    You could probably play out this scenario on Sid Meyers Civilization game and the outcome is the same. The king is dead long live the ehe next king (China)

    July 25, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  231. George Owrey

    As log as some members of congress feel the next election is more important than looking out for the good of the country and their pledge to Grover Norquist supercedes their oath of office we are headed down the road to ruin. We need to focus on getting our workforce back on real jobs and paying taxes. When all the stores are filled with goods from China, Thialand and the like, where are the jobs to come from. We can't compete with labor that gets paid at our 1930's depression wages. Add to these woes we are supporting at least two wars. Congress needs to get the debt limit increased now and then get us all back to work. When I was a kid we had an expression, "wise up".

    July 25, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  232. Patrick

    Jack there is no question that our best days are behind us. We were the brightest star, the country that other nations looked to for leadership and help in times of need. Today we have an ever widening chasm between those that are very rich and those that struggle to get by and feel more and more squeezed by both the government and the greed of Wall Street. We make nothing except weapons that fuel wars. We are a service nation. While we may have great schools, who can afford to send their kids there (except the aforementioned very rich) without condemning them to alife of debt?
    We hold all of our companies to Wall Street's ruthless demands for quarterly earning expectations which stiffles innovation and longterm growth. We are in debt to China who one day will call in the loans they have made, and to top it all off, we are led by the most ineffective, disingenuous, untrustworthy and unlikeable bunch of rogues in DC that I have ever seen.
    We're doomed.......wake me up when it's all over

    July 25, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  233. Paul

    I feel the USA still has a chance to 'right the ship' if we can do away with the 2 party system, it is broken and cannot be fixed. Our future elections should have no Republicans, Democrats or Tea Partyers...just people who want ot make the country better. Also....Term Limits would make a big difference too.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  234. Will S

    America's best days have been in the rear-view mirror since the first baby-boomer turned 18.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  235. Steve

    Without a doubt, the good times are gone. With veteran status and a BSME but no job, I am beginning to see that my most valuable skill is my language- But for my love of my country and my family, I would pack up and teach the Chinese to speak English, so they could better sell cheaply made goods back to my homeland.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  236. Sal

    It sure is! 

    July 25, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  237. Paul LaClair

    Our forfathers would never expect what is going on in this country today, The price we pay for fat cats in our government has gone wild, I have a suggestion that we put in a vote on a ballot decreasing the number in congress to one half. Two factors save money and maybe wake up those that are left to do their job which they obviously are not doing today. The rest of the country is suffering and they sit on their secure duffs. Show what security of the Americans is.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  238. Cat in MI

    Sadly yes. I wish I was more positive, but it really seems that this country's century was the 20th. We're on the downhill slide.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  239. Ben

    I hope not

    July 25, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  240. NoGr8rH8r

    It breaks my heart but the good old days are long gone!

    July 25, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  241. Donna Horne

    Yes, because our government has been taken over by extremist. It is NO LONGER the government of the people. So very sad.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  242. Jacob

    yep, our best days are over. The industrial revolution, the space age, leadership in air and space technology and we're taking second place as wanting in relation to personal freedoms...

    July 25, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  243. Engyo

    I'm very afraid that most Americans aren't willing to do what it takes to make sure America's best days are NOT behind us.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  244. jerry jackson

    Jack, what jobs have Americans gained since "tax cuts for the wealthy" were past by GW Bush and Republicans over ten years ago?
    All I have seen in fact is wealthy companies sending jobs over seas.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  245. Colin

    The great-est generation was born out of the worst economic crisis in US history. We may be in for a rough ride, but greatness is born out of hardship.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  246. Ernie

    Yep... Uncle Sam is the guy in the Bruce Springsteen song GLORY DAYS.... Sittin around talking about the ole times...

    We long ago jumped the shark.....

    July 25, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  247. ron in kentucky

    Jack , our best days are not behind us , but it seems maybe our best leaders are . After all where are all the political , and business leaders that used to put the good of the country above the good of the party or the bottom line?

    July 25, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  248. Martin

    The country has fallen into a black hole.

    Barring some innovative ideas that can create millions of real jobs here in America, and recognizing that current American industry has figured out how to make things with less and less people, our wonderful workforce is doomed to piddling jobs that will deprive them of the bounty their forebears attained.

    Offshore jobs have effectively turned off the lights in America.And so far, nobody has shown they know how to get them back on.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  249. Nathan

    No. While the do-nothing GOP currently values ideological purity more than it values Americans, these dark days (and they will become darker, indeed) are numbered. Ultra-conservatism is the dying gasp of an aging minority.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  250. ken

    Of course but it really is a function of the world changing. Resources are swindling and we cannot exploit others as empires have done in the past. The world is becoming more connected markets are open everywhere making a more level playing field. The bigger reality is and I hate to sound Star Trekkie but we are for better or worse evolving into a one world situation

    July 25, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  251. dave in nashville

    Mine are for sure, unless you consider having the time to waste answering your questions Jack, now give me a laugh out loud.

    But on a serious note, this democracy is what, 235 years old and has yet to learn from its mistakkes or that history does repeat itself? Time to go back to basics and re-read a few key constitutional amendments, specifically about states rights and the limiting of power by the federal government. It is killing this "young" nation.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  252. RayFromDallas

    The best days are long over for the working class. However, the corporate elite will continue to forsake the American worker while exploiting cheap indentured foreign labor. It's new era slavery cloaked in the term "globalism". They will be fat dumb and happy in their gated communities (aka castles).

    July 25, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  253. Paul

    It's not at all. America has the best political and economic system in the world. Yes, America has it's up's and downs but overtime it will always bounce back. China is too corrupt and only shows such strength today because it was so far behind. Once China catches up to where it should have been the last century, the cracks will show and it will fall. America's system of true democratic capitalism will always rise to the top. I'm a non-biased neutral Canadain who has travelled to China over 80 times.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  254. James

    America's best days are not behind at all. Politics, however, is headed that way. I miss the days of politicians arguing their viewpoints, understanding their differences, then giving up things that arn't as important to their platform in order to get bills passed. Now days, it seems that it is a contest of winner take all, and all they care about is winning. America deserves better from our politicians then the partisan rhetoric that we have seen get worse over the last few years.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  255. rob carey

    America started its long descent in March 2000, when the internet bubble started losing its air and a recession began. Then came Sept. 11, 2001, and we have not been close to our former self since then. The federal deficit is many times larger than it was even just ten years ago, and the landscape for creating jobs is not nearly what it was, given globalization. The hole is just too big now, so there is probably no coming back from this. Expect a slow but steady decline, like ancient Athens, like ancient Rome, like the Ottoman Empire, and like Great Britain. That"s the tide of history.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  256. Luis Orozco

    They are not over, but we all need to change our behavior and get back to work.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  257. Fred Moore

    Well, it certainly appears that the best days of America's governing bodies are in the past. And because of that very fact, America's future as the most powerful nation on earth is likely in doubt. This country is sorely in need of leadership, not showmanship and brinksmanship. Where are the leaders?

    July 25, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  258. Mark from Baltimore, Md

    I believe America's best days as far as the family unit, respect for fellow man, and the ability of elected politicians from left and right working together for the common good of our country are behind us. Technology and medical advances are the only things that have made our country greater, and will continue. As a nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all??? The USA has jumped the shark.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  259. JD in KC

    Jack,

    I'm afraid the party is over. Whose fault is it? Everybody's. Best way I can put in today's terms, there is no app to solve this one. I am sad.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  260. David H. Piller

    Jack, if you've lived until your 70, as I have, it is clear that we are in deep trouble, and, yes, our best days are behind us UNLESS we return to the ethical and moral underpinnings that sustained our nation for so long. Unfortunately, too many for too long have been at the teat of federal largess. Free lunch? Yes, there is such a thing, unfortunately.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  261. Dan in Seattle

    I am deeply concerned for America. Having said that, America is in its worst days still one of the most desirable countries of the world to be a citizen of. We have the capacity to rise above our challenges. It is a question of will- are we willing to make the sacrafices needed to get out of debt, to find answers to our ecomonic woes. Will we do more than spout rehtoric and do the hard work required to restore our nation? It is times like these that test our national character and I can only hope that we the people will lead us to better times. It is obvious that our politicians will not.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  262. Ben Miller, Bloomington, IN

    In the global paradigm, we are young country with political and economic systems that are novel and untested. As a nation we are constantly learning the pro's and con's of our modern institutions. This is what America does best, to take what we learn and apply it to our daily lives, our economic situation and our political constitutions.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  263. Shari from Madison WI

    Jack, I am afraid the best days are behind us. We have become so polarized that nothing can get done. Our politicians don't compromise because they think one party has all the answers and the other party should just die a quick death. It makes me very sad.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  264. MateoinCA

    America's greatest days have yet to come. The United States has endured hundreds of years of political, social, and economic challenges. To think, following the great depression, that we were heading in the wrong direction was probably a common mistake that graced the minds of many. What makes America great is that, unlike any other country in the world, we have the right to disagree and to have our voices heard. We have had to fight to build this nation as it is today, free from slavery, persecution, women's sufferage, civil rights, and now gay rights. America belongs to Americans, old and young alike, man and woman together, black and white, straight or gay, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Republican, Democratic or Independent. I find it ludicrous to think that our nation's best days are behind it because of economic technicalities, to ask the question is nothing other than absurd!!!

    July 25, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  265. Rick D.

    The success of any goal is dependent upon the wisdom and choice of it's leaders and those that select and support it's leaders. America is still full of talented, intelligent wise people fully capable of leading this great nation and continuing it's great legacy. The pesent political selection process, the rapidly failing two party system and the current unchecked unrelenting amount of money needed to ultimately select unworthy politicians I would say America's best years of selecting great leaders is already over. Good honest hard working leaders with American's and America as his or her priority cannot even be seen or heard let alone do what is right for America because the jack-ass politicians have taken our government hostage and they are not letting go without a fight to the end. How do you get a donkey to stop being a donkey?.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  266. Amy K.

    The corporations and banks took control away from the people a long time ago, and as long as they are in control we are doomed.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  267. Weldon from Fredericton NB Canada

    America's best days have been over since the Clinton era. There hasn't been a true politician that knows how to govern a country.

    Maybe having a female lead the country for a change could bring back some common sense. I think that Palin could be a possibility at this point.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  268. James Edwin Whedbee (Kansas City, MO)

    Our best days will be behind us if this debt ceiling/deficit fiasco leads to the US Dollar losing its global reserve currency standing.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  269. Linda in Arizona

    Absolutely. All empires come to an end eventually, ours included. Maybe if we could get rid of the regressive republicans we might have a chance to recover, but with the level of ignorance in this country, I wouldn't bet on that happening. It's looking like Doomsville to me.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  270. Jim in Landenberg

    Congress (Republicans, Democrats, House and Senate) is the problem – not the president..... They need to go home and make a living for a while – have to face reality like the rest of us. We can argue about financial problems – but it just does not matter. 'Term Limits' is the long term solution. Get people there that are trying to do the right thing – not the self serving clowns we have now.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  271. Kanobi

    No way... for two main reasons. 1. We have the most powerful military in the world that 2. can continue to open up new markets in the world so that we can pour in all the extra money we print for cheap goods and resources. That's why Ron Paul is dead wrong... we are not just "a" country... we are "The" country that prints the world's money. The Federal Reserve has mathematic and economic geniuses who have mapped out exactly what all needs to be done to keep the dollar alive and thriving. They also have thugs that can and will persuade the legislature to come to a deal. Be on the look out for broken kneecaps.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  272. Amy Crittenden

    I agree with almost nothing Ron Paul says. He is a devotee of voodoo economics.

    However, he is right that it is too late to avoid a default. Even if Congressional leaders came to agreement today, it is too late to get everything through the process of legislating. We will hit the deadline without a deal in place, and go into default.

    And I agree with the dire predictions of those predicting calamity.

    I am quite frightened by it.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  273. Chris

    Yes, Jack. Why bother to work and save anymore?

    July 25, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  274. DDS/Iowa

    Our Government due to our greedy and no Common Sense Politicians have run this Once Great Nation into a downword spiral that is going
    to be mass distruction and most likly a revolt by the TAX PAYING
    People of America. Yes with the lack of Leadership we now have, we
    are on a collision course with failure of the ut most.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  275. Doug Kellner

    America's best days are not behind it IF your politicians compromise with each other. Too much talking and too little doing for the good of your country. From Langley(suburb of Vancouver), British Columbia, Canada

    July 25, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  276. Mike- Denver

    Unless we can radically change the nature of our "representative" government I would say our future is bleak. I see a combination of very vocal right wing, albeit minority, extremist fear in conjunction with government leaders extremely out of touch with what most Americans want. Our representatives pander to those that are able to get their attention while the vast majority of Americans and their opinions are totally ignored. You would think that in is this age of instantaneous information availability our leaders would be well informed as to how we feel but it seems that the complete opposite has occurred. Frankly I would welcome a second revolution of some sort because I can't picture any of our politicians responding to us otherwise!

    July 25, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  277. R.P. in Las Vegas

    Famous photo from the Great Depression of people selling apples on the New York City street corner.

    Plant your apple tree now.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  278. Inga

    Yes, Jack our best days are long gone. Instead of saying God Bless America, we must now say God Bless Thrid World America.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  279. Chris H. from St Petersburg

    I can't wait for our grand kids to look into future US History books and say, no wonder there's no more middle class and why we have a robin hood who is stealing the CEO's rich and giving it to Medicare and Medicaid.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  280. Johnnie

    Yes Jack, I'm moving to Mexico!

    July 25, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  281. Roberto

    I have belived our best days are behind us for years. I say it at every funeral I go to!

    July 25, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  282. Ron Smith

    Americas future is bright, after 2012 when the Republican party is sent packing and the job creating bills, that they are holding up l can get passed.

    Ron in FDlorida

    July 25, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  283. Hollywood Classic

    Sadly, America's best days are behind it if we continue to empower leaders who invest more in political future than the common good. I wish Congress had a large dunk tank underneath it so we could give all these politicians a cold bath!

    July 25, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  284. Merv

    If we're thinking long-term, the answer is "no". We're likely going to have some rough times over the next few years or even the next decade, but the general trend over time will be an increase in productivity. People have a terrible habit of assuming that the future will be pretty similar to the present, and we seriously need to get a grip.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  285. Greg Cantrell

    Yes! If you disagree, I dare you to prove me wrong.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  286. Gene

    Yes our best days are behind us but better days could be ahead if the clowns in Washington default and 29 million seniors do not get their social security checks and welfare and food stamps stop. Maybe this group will wake up to what is happening in Washigton and throw the whole bunch out. That is the only way things will improve.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  287. David Nova Scotia

    Hello? Yes and they have been for some time, the new world order 40-20-20-20 plan is almost in full swing.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  288. Jim Flynn

    Our best days are definitely behind us right now. It's been a three decade ride down hill for the middle class while the rich get filthy rich. The Tea Party bots are doing their best to finish us off. Hell, they're even scaring Grover Norquist.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  289. Amie from Florida

    While the older generations believe the USA's best days are behind us, the youth (including myself) refuse to believe this. We may have not created the mess, but we sure has heck aren't going to let it fester. The problem, of course, is that we're still not the ones in charge. The same people who are saying our best days are over are the same ones who are making the decisions. Unfortunately though, we can't make changes because, well, we're not getting hired.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  290. CDBernier

    When the best you have to look forward to is a long session of reminiscing about good times long ago, ya, the best is behind us.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  291. Patrick

    No, unless republicans retain control of congress.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  292. Jeffery Lundblad

    Every great power overextends itself. The United States is not immune to the same factors that brought down the Roman Empire or the British Empire. In short, our best days are behind us, but that is to be expected. We, as Americans, need to accept that.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  293. Jeff

    Without a doubt and I suspect a majority agree. Our debt and spending are unsustainable

    July 25, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  294. jdog

    long LONG past prime

    July 25, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  295. Bill Chaffin

    No one can truly say if our best days are behind us but many signs look that way. Many say we are finished. Most all of earth's previous nations have lost there power and control after 200-250 years. We are there.

    However, if we take an introspective hold on ourselves and realign our government and reset our elected officials as servants of the people and not assume to be defacto controllers and upper class our nation can, and will, rise again like the phoenix.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  296. Jeremy

    Jack, questions like this ask us to waste our time reminiscing about the past instead of focusing on how we can make America's future better. This is the same game that both parties are currently playing. They waste our time blaming each other for the current situation and refuse to compromise for the sake of America's future.

    -Jeremy from Bayside, NY

    July 25, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  297. Glenda Collins

    I certinally hope not..I am an Africian American, I have worked hard and have been able to achive my dream..to be able to teach and help others...I can from a very disfunctional family however all my brothers and sisters have been prositive products of the American dream. So it is my hope that the best days are yet to come

    Glenda
    from Philadelphia

    July 25, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  298. Rob

    Yeah Jack,

    As sad as it seems we definitely have seen our best days. Gobs of debt, no real employment recovery, oh and one more thing...We don't produce anything anymore but financial lies! The fundamental element of any economy...GDP

    July 25, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  299. B Sas

    The best times have always been a just a few years away from fading,, over and over and over…and it is still true today but there has been a huge loss, of unemployed people. The DOW says everything is okay but the government had to catch all the fallen, another huge gamble on the people. Now it’s time’s up! As many people as I know continue their work, but yes, the best times are gone. Oil/Gasoline is the one and only culprit. You will have to triple the US employee’s pay check to keep pace with this commodity as it affects ALL products and services. Now the budget has been spent to save the banks and businesses, prolong wars yet still cover the average person. This is a period of austerity, more sacrifice for the middle class and our growing children. If this sounds familiar, then expect it to continue, welcome to America.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  300. Bobby Reilly - Breezy Point, NY

    Jack,
    I don't think the best days are behind us. We have a unique government which is structured specifically for times like these and when 'we the people' are unhappy, we have the ability to change our destiny. What we really need today are news corporations who understand their obligation to Americans by giving us the true facts in an unbiased way, so that the informed majority can make the right decisions. Keep it up, Jack.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  301. Tarun

    Jack, this question reminds me of an old saying, You are you're own worst enemy. It's amazing to see how politicians are pushing America over the cliff when the country is working harder than ever before. Preventing your country from default would have been a no-brainer and here we have people not picking up their phones when the President calls. But we are to blame because we are the ones who send these politicians to "rule".

    July 25, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  302. Steve

    Unfortunately I do feel our best is behind us and that is unfortunate for my kids and everyone elses. Somewhere in the past few years we lost ourselves and I fear it is too late to recover. Maybe it is time for the Red states and the Blue states to go their own ways. Red states can cut taxes and let their people survive on their own. Blue states can tax their people and pay for all their needs. Whatever happens it is quite clear that the chasm between the differing ideological groups is far too deep to be mended.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  303. Thomas Reynolds

    Depends on how you define "best". Our days as the world's most powerful country are coming to an end. Hopefully, this will also be the end of our arrogance and self-centeredness and we can become a nation that contributes to the well-being of mankind instead of to the wealth of the business class.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  304. Oscar

    Jack, the only way we are going to move ahead in this country is if we as americans kick the republicans and the tea party to the curb because all of them care about is taking from the poor & middle class and giving to the rich, the republicans are the biggest BULLY in this country, cause they are holding our well being and our country hostage to further their political plan to help the rich to get richer. During the Bush era they (the republican party/Bush) gave the richest of rich and the top 500 companies large tax breaks so they can create jobs so my question to the republicans is this; Where are the jobs then? Since the rich and top 500 companies arent creating jobs like they should take their tax breaks away from them and use that money to help pay down the deficit and stop holding down the poor and the middle class. I say to the poor and the Middle class americans lets tell the republican party either leave us alone or we all will go on strike then you cant tax us again.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  305. Sunfighter

    America will become nice again once people worry about their own lives and stop acting like greedy victims.....the class warfare in this country is disgusting. Stop hating on successful people, they didnt ruin your life and make you poor...YOU ruined your life and made you poor.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  306. Jonathan

    You want to know why America's best days are behind, just look at the commentators in this forum. Republicans will blame democrats and democrats will blame republicans. With this kind of political climate in US, there will not be any hope for US.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  307. kim

    America IS the greatest country on earth. However; unless we have a drastic change, we will lose it. The TEA Party was born out of the frustration of citizens over the track politicians were taking us down. Electing those that agree with the TEA Party philosophy to control Congress, we have had what is tantamount to a revolution.

    Should Washington not change, there may come a time for a real revolution! The government cannot continue taking money from hard working citizens, and redistributing it to those politicians deem worthy. It's not the poor we are supporting, its the overburdensome bureauacracy, the public employee unions, the agencies that regulate us to death, and break the backs of business.

    How long does Washington think we should continue working to support all this ridiculous stuff, when most of us don't have a retirement plan or any benefits ourselves?

    July 25, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  308. Jackie, Madison WI

    I think so, Jack. Empires come and go, but they usually last longer than this one has. I guess everything moves at a faster pace these days.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:21 pm |