.
August 8th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

What will it take to change things in Washington?

ALT TEXT

(PHOTO CREDIT: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

I guess we should all send Congress thank-you notes. Don't know where to send them, though. They're on vacation ... for five weeks.

Before they rushed through that phony bill on deficit reduction and the debt ceiling, they were told by the ratings agencies that a minimum of $4 trillion in cuts would be necessary to preserve this country's AAA credit rating.

They passed, and the president signed, less than $1 trillion in cuts. We may or may not get an additional trillion or so in cuts from the "special commission"; that remains to be seen. Whichever happens, it's not nearly enough.

In the meantime, while President Obama is celebrating his birthday and Congress is partying it up on vacation, the country has lost its triple-A credit rating for the first time in our history.

Standard and Poor's, one of the ratings agencies, says there's a one-in-three chance the United States’ credit will be downgraded again in the next six months to two years if the government doesn't come up with the cuts necessary to satisfy the current AA+ rating.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world is in shock. Markets around the world are selling off as trillions of dollars in valuation are being wiped out. Our stock market is headed straight south, and our citizens are watching as their savings and retirement plans are becoming worth less and less by the hour; a lifetime of hard work and sacrifice disappearing before their eyes. And the president parties and Congress is on vacation.

No one deserves a government that treats its people this way. And none of these people who voted for this deserves to be re-elected. None of them. But sadly, a lot of them will be. The Reids and Pelosis will still be there after the 2012 election, along with many of the rest of the incumbents.

And that's the real problem. The country is being destroyed, and we continue to send the destroyers back to Washington.

I guess in the end, we get what we deserve.

Here’s my question to you: What will it take to change things in Washington?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Brian:
Change Washington? Sorry Jack, but barring divine intervention, I'm not optimistic at all. We want it all, but we want the other guy to pay for it. In addition to good old fashioned greed, "What we've got is failure to communicate".

Tommy:
The root of the problem is gerrymandered congressional districts. Too many congressmen live in districts where their biggest worry isn't from the other party's candidate, but instead getting 'primaried' by someone from their own party. Districts are drawn to protect the incumbent. Thus congressmen have no incentive to move to the center and compromise. They instead move the left/right extreme to protect themselves from a primary candidate from their own party.

Jim:
With a broken government, Obama needs to abandon compromise and override the inept Congress. If Harry Truman could obliterate 100,000 innocent civilians with nuclear weapons, surely Obama could ruffle some conservative feathers. Game on!

Minesh in Troy, Michigan:
Jack, The only change agent in Washington is Tea Party. As long as we keep voting for big government spendaholics like George W. Bush, Obama, Pelosi, Reid and Boehner, we will keep getting a disastrous rating!

Zev:
My solution: "Operation Clean Slate." Let's replace every member in Congress. Use the primaries to oust the incumbent. Then vote Democrat or Republican, but at least the incumbent won't win.

Christi:
Revolution.

Sterling:
The "Mother of All Enemas." The far right and the far left need to move to the far side of the planet so those of us in the middle WHO WORK FOR A LIVING can make a permanent fix of this mess.


Filed under: Government • Washington
soundoff (415 Responses)
  1. MNResident

    In a word-Humility. Washington DC has to humble themselves enough to realize that government is NOT the answer to EVERY problem, despite their inbred belief that they are...

    August 8, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
  2. Dan in Aluququerque

    The only thing that can save the economy is a sensible, long-term deal with both serious cuts and serious tax revenue by this new committee. Polls indicate 6 out of 10 Americans want that. If they don't do that, the built-in subsequent cuts in this bogus "compromise" will devastate our economy more than it has already been hurt, thanks to the Tea Party. We are our own enemy and from the blogs I have read, we will continue shooting ourselves in the foot until we run out of ammunition. This is like WWII, when people put aside their differences to save our country. Where are the patriots??

    August 8, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  3. JJ

    It will take an informed public that exercises their power to hold elected officials accountable. Without continued attention and perseverance by the public there will continue to exist an incentive for politicians to act in ways that don't support their constituency. THE PUBLIC MUST BE INFORMED AND EDUCATED...

    August 8, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  4. Pete from Georgia

    It'll take a clean sweep of ANY politician who is a pure Socialist, starting with the so called president.
    America was never intended to be a socialist country with government taking care of an entire class of parasites from cradle to grave. The loony left will NEVER move away from this mantra. The ONLY remedy is a total return to a sane conservative government where people are accountable for their life style and actions. It's called being an adult and responsible.
    What a concept !!

    August 8, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  5. gary

    I have been waitng for you and Wolf to run for congress.man that would realy shake things up. or maybe we shoud all just march on Washington,no that won't work because they would just be on another vacation.

    Clearwater,Fl

    August 8, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  6. Valtom

    Elect all Republicans. Get the BIG government, tax and spend Democrats out!!!! Oh, by the way, King Obama IS a Socialist.

    August 8, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  7. Barbara Leavitt

    All parties need to put their heads together, work together and figure out a plan. End the blaming of each other as that gets none of us anywhere.
    That is why people voted for the Tea Party, not to protect the rich but to bring new ideas to the table. What a joke that has turned out to be. We, the people were sick of the blaming and name calling and now it has just gotten worse and still no plan to save our country. They ALL should be ashamed.

    Henderson Nevada

    August 8, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
  8. Gabe Ryan

    Hey Jack,
    I just watched Wolf do a telephone interview with Donald Trump and it dawned on me that I just bet those of his ilk have sold off tons of shares in the last few weeks, knowing full well that stocks would tumble. That's what the super rich do and they do much of it after hours when others cannot do the same. Of course, once everything hits rock bottom, they buy right back in and make millions doing so. Obama tried to make changes to protect basic human dignity and the right wing, with an agenda to protect the super rich, have undermined his every move. And Wolf interviews Trump searching for wisdom. Laughable and disgusting.

    Gabe Ryan, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

    August 8, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
  9. Judy Human

    For our elected officials to stand up for what they have been elected to do by the people for the people, the right thing, and to stop worrying about how they can be relected to keep their own personal status, and to stop bending the way a tree bends each time the winds blow.
    This country is getting a rude awakening and before we (if we haven't already) become a third world country. It's time to make our companies bring home their businesses and manufacturing back to the United States. When the US allowed our industries to move overseas that's when are unemplpoyement started to rise. Wake up America and force the people you have elected to represent you represent you and not themselves for their own well being. You don't have to be a scientist or have an MBA to figure out what has happend and who is making all the money. It isn't the middle class that is evaporating each and every day. Trump makes a lot of sense.

    August 8, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  10. Judy Human Thiells, NY

    Here's my city and state, sorry I forgot, I'm just fed up with all the BS that the politicians have and still are giving the public. It's time to wake up.

    August 8, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  11. Ian Wilson

    I really do not think anything will force a change in your two-party
    system unless people realize the mess that your country is in and act
    to change it. You now have the highest debt and the lowest life expectancy in the G8. S&P downrated your credit and now the
    pundits want to shoot the messenger. When will your nation realize
    that you cannot fight 2 wars,cut tax to the wealthy and print money
    like it is confetti. Your nation is becoming the laughing stock of
    the world and no one seems to care.

    Just a thought

    Thanks

    Ian Wilson
    Cobourg,Canada

    August 8, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  12. Barbara Leavitt

    A new way of thinking. They've got to drop the party line mentality. Quit selling the American people out to the wealthy and big business. So far they are the only ones being protected. This is not what America is about. Wouldn't it be great if we actually became the "United" States of
    America.

    Henderson Nevada

    August 8, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  13. DantheMan

    Jack,

    The situation in Washington is dire. The little people are represented by the elite who are so far out of touch with reality they have no clue what it is like to live paycheck to paycheck. All they care about is where their next donation is gonna come from. Everyone in Washington is owned by lobyists and banksters. The little people don't stand a chance. One way to end this debacle in Washington is TERM LIMITS. And make them short terms. No more career politicians.

    August 8, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  14. Charles, Lansing, Michigan

    They should start by bringing the troops home from the near east and retiring at least half the generals and admirals in the Pentagon and overseas. Obama permanently damaged himself by bending over for he Republicans in 2009 so the Democrats in the Senate must take the lead insisting on taxing the rich and steering any stimulus available away from armaments and into infrastructure.

    August 8, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  15. Joe R - Houston

    Five hundred and thirty five New legislators and one new administrator.

    August 8, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
  16. johhny

    take toothpicks and krazy glue and lock down every lobbyist office door in d.c. and keep them from wasting our elected leaders time buying them meals and alcohol ,while paying them off to do bad favors that have already derailed our way of life.

    August 8, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  17. Vel

    It is hard to believe that a former Fed Chairman Greenspan can have a statement as he did yesterday on Meet the Press. "US will never default on its debt as we can print as much money as we need to pay our debt", Last time I saw something like this, must have been about some kind of banana republic. What does that tell us the world about the value of dollar? Collect US cent coins, the copper that they are made of is worth much more.
    Velimir
    Ft. Myers, FL

    August 8, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
  18. Jk from Minnesota

    4 words - Term Limits – Campaign Reform!!!!!!

    August 8, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  19. Alton Bledsoe, Dallas TX

    A massive revolt.

    August 8, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  20. Peter

    I was reading about the American civil war and some of the causes. The similarities to the current situation is troubling. I compare to the plantation owners wanting to keep their high profits by way of slavery to the people not wanting tax increases that cut into their profits at the expense of the lower and middle classes.
    Peter
    Vancouver B.C.

    August 8, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  21. Aurelia Austin, Texas

    Require everyone in the House and Senate to have to run for re-election for their seat regardless of their present term status.

    August 8, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
  22. Ron Barner

    Clearly, this Congress, regardless of party affiliation, has completely failed the American people. Things would only change if we could get rid of every last one of them. Since voting them all out would take some time, I suggest that every single Congressman submit his resignation now. Of course this would require men of integrity who can "man up" to their failure. We know that's not going to happen.
    Owego, NY

    August 8, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
  23. Robert - Leesburg

    Jack

    Term limits followed by several years in general population, its sickening how the right led by Cantor is on a hell bent path to destroy any and everything that looks like they don't. They have gotten what they deserve

    August 8, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  24. Jim

    It is ironic that the moment the republicans took over the house the economy and jobs begin trending negative...they want a negative outlook to bring down this president and get back in the White House, change the tea party republicans.

    August 8, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  25. Gerry

    Term limits for elected officials and a mental enema for all those currently in power.

    Gerry
    Ash Fork, Az.

    August 8, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  26. Carl

    Jack,

    Can you or anyone else believe that the idiots that have just about destroyed our country, are now on a 1 month paid vacation, un-believable.

    August 8, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  27. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    first, term limits for Congress people and Senators. no more than 5 terms (10 years) for Congress and 2 terms (12 years) for Senators

    second, make it easier to recall politicians that do NOT do what voters elected them to do. too bad we don't have a Parliamentary government.

    third, make so called "lobbying" the crime that it really is. right now it's nothing but legalized bribery. a sub-set to that is campaign finance reform.

    just those three would make a major change in Washington, Jack.

    August 8, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  28. Jim

    Jack,

    I think the only thing that will get our form of Government working again is the elimination of second terms for Presidents and Congress persons. A president should get a single 8-year term, Senators should get a single 6-year term, and members of the House of Representatives should get a single 2-year term. Elections should be held every two years to replace the entire House of Representatives and 1/3 of the Senate. Without facing the specter of trying to get RE-elected, may our elected representatives would use their time to focus on what's actually good for the country for a change.

    Jim
    Reno, Nevada

    August 8, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  29. Harrison

    It's funny to see the President and rest of gov't to react to the market as if they don't have a clue as what to do to help improving the unemployment and economy overall. I'm sick and tired of seeing the President coming up to the podium to comment about every little things: from small change in unemployment rate to stock market up and down. Obama and the rest, I mean everyone, left and right and in the middle, don't have a plan and don't know what to do. All they can think of is to be in REACTIVE MODE"! Sad, Very SAD! It is even sadder to think that Newt can "easily fixed" or Tea Party-ers think they can fix it right away. It is time to move to Canada.

    August 8, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  30. Tom in Desoto, TX

    So be so cynical Jack. You know big changes will happen in the next election, as usual.

    August 8, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  31. Yves Ledoux

    First, honesty and then, a willingness to admit the mess that G. Bush left behind after 8 years.
    After that, maybe we can start working TOGETHER.

    Yves Ledoux

    Rooseveltown, NY

    August 8, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  32. dave in nashville

    Change their address. Let them drive past their statues and monuments to our heritage and boast about the good old days, then put the capital city in the heartland where people still have true values. They've had 200 plus years of free rein, time for a change.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  33. Bill in PA

    Jack,

    You ask: "What will it take to change things in Washington?"

    Campaign finance reform that bars any purchasing of candidates.

    What we have now is what was bought by those able to afford legislators and rule makers, they are prospering, and making lots of money too.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  34. Russ in PA

    Hard question with a simple answer: Ron Paul in 2012...

    August 8, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  35. calaurore9

    Changing things. Like not taking vacation just because it's August. Wind surfing while Rome burns?! Just a start.

    Carol in Ma.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  36. pad

    Jack this is very simple, term limits for all elected positions that way when you buy a congressman or president you know how many payments you have to make. This will reduce the unemployment rate and create jobs!!!
    Paul
    Ames, Ia

    August 8, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  37. Dave

    I think eliminating the filibuster rule in the Senate would make a huge difference. Republicans have filibustered 80% of the bills. Its hard to change things when a minority is allowed to assert its will over the majority.
    As the last election attested, a "throw the bums out" mentality can result in worse bums being voted in.
    Dave
    Seattle

    August 8, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  38. Dacia Shillingford-Compas

    "Let the people express themselves, rather than, the rich exploring the media!" Remind the Country that, the same folks who opposed the presidency of Obama from the beginning are those same people who has caused the nation's credibilty to decrease. We need to unify ourselves as one nation; not as, the Tea-partiers, and the Republicans want us to be. Enough said and done, let the president protect the american people. The arrival of Obama raised the country's credibility. Many countries had nothing to do with the bush administration, we were than less credible. The downgrade makers should be listed as follows: Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, John Limbaugh, Eric Cantor, Mr. Boehner, and the list goes on. Thank you Mr Cafferty

    August 8, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  39. David in Tampa

    Besides rewriting the Constitution, fat chance of that happening or passing, probably nothing Jack. We might require that the witness oath and something like the Hippocratic Oath, you know the part about do no harm, be added to the official oath of office. The only other things I can think of are a big jug of oxymoron cleaner, a large broom and and even bigger toilet bowl cleaner.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  40. Mr. Bowman Pine Hill TX

    Can you see Uncle Sams shadow standing over you, a empty money bag in one hand and a shovel in the other. He's coming to collect.

    We should know that as long as that same shadow looms over foreign lands where we wish to control their lives, they will try to kill us.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  41. Mike S., New Orleans

    To change Washington politics, voters would have to become smarter. That means voting on real issues affecting our economy and our society.
    As long as voters base their choice being pro or con on prayers, abortion, flags, gays, and other gimmicks used by politicians to gain votes, we'll have the same bunch of Charlatans getting into public service for the purpose of self service.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  42. Floyd - Crescent City,CA

    Good Luck!

    August 8, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  43. Ed Hoffman

    Start it all again with a general election.
    Change to only government paid for fixed election funding, no personal, union or corporate funding.
    Candidates need 100,000 signatures before they can stand.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  44. Tom (Atlanta)

    Jack I set on a Board of Directors, and it the country were a company, I'd first fire the CEO who poisoned the well. I once talked with a Chairman of a Swedish corporation who was having problem with the Presidents of companies they had bought working together. He said they solved it easily. I ask how, and he said they driest the first two and it was interesting how quickly the rest began working together. It's time to begin clearing house, and the 2012 election will not come any too soon.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  45. pat in michigan

    Reelect not one person who is in now. either party.go independent if you can.
    Sure it is scary but look what we have now!

    August 8, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  46. Jim, Denver CO

    Jack,

    First, get the Tea Bagger (Tea Party) idiots out of office. Second, close Tax Loop Holes and get the ultra-rich and corporations to pay their fair share. Third, get the U.S. out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Both of these wars are eating our lunch financially. Fourth, close programs like H1-b and give priority to U.S. STEM workers for jobs. There is no shortage of U.S. STEM workers, there are a lot of people who have been displaced because of wage suppression via H1-b. Get these people working again and it will fuel an economic boom. Fifth, both parties need to come up with a viable Jobs program and then get it in place and not play partisan politics with it.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  47. Lori - PA

    Jack,

    For things to change, we need more people willing to run for office. We also need for more people to get out and vote. Lastly, we need to say goodbye to lobbyists, and hello to term limits for members of Congress and Senate (they can’t be voted for more than twice).

    August 8, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  48. bfloyd

    We need everyday people to run Washington! The ones that really know what is going on in this (ONCE) great nation! Say good bye to the self righteous, fat cat lawyers that run it now. All they know to do is write more laws to get loophole in the tax codes for the rich, that not even they can understand, seems how most of them forget to pay their share! Out Out Out, they need to go!!!!

    August 8, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  49. Madge from Saratoga Springs, NY

    A miracle.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  50. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Jack I think the way for things to change in Washington if for the American people to demand change in Washington. Things like term limits. Line item politics where each issue is voted on independently instead of being piled into a group with one good idea and 50 bad ones. We need to have a team of top notch economists working on the budget instead of politicians and lawyers. Then once that budget is decided have those politicians responsible adhere to what the economist dictate. We need to eliminate lobbyists in Washington and let issues stand on their own merit and not allow an issue to become law simply because a particular lobbyists or group donated enough money to a politicians campaign to garner their vote and support. No presidential campaign budget should be measured in billions of dollars. A limit should be placed on total contributions and once the maximum is reached no more funds allowed.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  51. samuel roth

    Jack-the house and senate are not doing their job–there should be a national referendum on term limits-There should be no pensions and they should all be required the buy their own health care--
    –They don't deserve a vacation or paycheck and should be called back to work------–sam,

    August 8, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  52. Carla Martin-Wood, Birmingham

    If the republicans and tea partiers would leave, that would be a start in the right direction.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  53. Ed in Harrisburg

    The only think that will change things in Washington is if all the current incumbents who are up for election in 2011 are defeated and replaces with individuals running on an agenda of working together for America and not the parties. Partisanship is out. Americans want Americans for America working together.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  54. Phil, georgia

    Ironically, since Republicans claim to be the Christian party, it will take Repentance from Republicans to put ordinary people first instead of power and corporations. Besides that Democrats and the people must stay on a constant Crusade to overcome alot of the rich and powerful evil special interests.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  55. Nate NC

    CHANGE? WASHINGTON? Let's see the last time Washington seemed to change during an economic downturn was in 1941. Don't get me wrong, no one wishes for another Pearl Harbor and with 9-11 fresh on people's minds it would be a terrible thing to have not learned from history.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  56. Kenneth Keith

    We are witnessing what it will take. Economy in shambles, lack of leadership, divisive comments, loss of international respect, anti-business rhetoric, and damaging policies. Next time-–Be careful what you vote for.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  57. Michael

    Non-violent revolution.

    CA

    August 8, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  58. Bit

    Pour hot water on the Tea "Bag"gers and put President Obama on the path of the Yellow Brick Road in search of a spine.

    Bit/Prattville, AL

    August 8, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  59. LM

    It will take people to get out and start voting in elections. Many are complaining about how the Tea Party has contributed to the gridlock and problems in Washington, but how many of those complaining actually bothered to vote in the 2010 mid-term elections?

    We got the government because we voted for it, or in many cases because we didn't vote at all.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  60. Clayton Stover

    I think it will take a major economic catastrophe that's much more destructive than a credit downgrade or double dip recession. It's sad the Republicans can't admit that raising taxes on the rich and tax code reform is just plain necessary at this point. They need a serious wake up call. Also, I wouldn't argue against major defense spending cuts.

    Charleston, WV

    August 8, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  61. Brian Colorado

    What I think would change things in Washington would be, "Take the fortess guns, and turn them back out ward again." Right now it looks like Washington steered into thair own torpedo like on Hunt For the Red October. You gust killed us!

    August 8, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  62. Derek

    nothing jack, absolutely nothing.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  63. Dee, New York

    For starters, we need to find a new Commander in Chief, not someone who is an incompetent clown. We need someone who can actually lead this great country rather than badmouthing it and running it into the ground. We need someone who can speak from his heart and not read from a teleprompter when expressing condolences for our greatest loss yet in Afghanistan. We need someone who, rather than being a partisan politician, will pull people together. Our hope has turned to despair and our change has been for the worse.

    I will be reading responses to your question, as we cut back and got rid of our cable package.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  64. Patsy, Texas

    "The Reids and the Pelosis will still be there after the 2012 election

    August 8, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  65. dale

    All it takes is getting BIG money out of the political election process. Dare I suggest public funded election campaigns, but special interest Tea Parties don't stand the test of time w/o all that anonymous corporate cash. The credit downgrade was planned and executed by the big banks, follow the money as to who benefits from high interest rates. The stock market crash only hurts the small investor since all the big, powerful fund guys have already sold out and hidden the cash overseas.
    Chelmsford MA

    August 8, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  66. James

    There are many things Jack. Term limits for Congress. No lifetime healthcare and retirement for them after any term. A line item veto for the president to cut out wasteful spending such as earmarks. Serious enforcement of immigration laws and welfare reform so no one cannot abuse the system. and my personal favorite things to get rid of are foreign aid and not starting worthless wars that are not paid for and tax breaks for the wealthy. And that is the tip of the iceberg......

    August 8, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  67. Larry Feierstein-Denver

    Easy, we have to start all over again. Throw out the current politicians, either and both party (tea party too). No, incumbents. Only one term. Do not re-elect anyone from 2008/2010. Keep trying until we get it right.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  68. nana2cbsm

    First get them all back to Washington! Get big business to stop making our products over seas and making a way too high profit. We need jobs here make them hire here or get taxed to the hilt. Wake up both Democrats and Republicans YOU work for us not who you owe favors too. Maybe 4 year term limits would help. Right now I am disgusted with all in Washington. Will remember this when election time rolls around.There is no more *for the people*. It's sad to say and disgusting.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
  69. Ed from California

    Besides Campaign Finance reform. Or, ending the corruption,aka..Lobbying. So, as you can see nothing will change D.C. But, I have an idea....why don't we all agree to outsource all of Washington D.C's "employees" to communist China. And pay our employee's communist China's prevailing wage. Think of the cost savings. After-all they own most of our debt. They have most if not all of our jobs. And they do have money...they're willing to pay Kobe 2 mil a month to play some B-ball. Dirk may make that too. I'm so happy C-China has extra benji's to burn!! What will it take to change D.C? Educated Voters.......... we're all doomed.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  70. Loren

    Strong leadership combined with pragmatic resolve is the only thing that can get things on track in Washington. Too few people have the breadth of knowledge and the persuasive ability to manage the morass that is Washington. For too long, charisma has been the key to the White House, and we've seen how hollow charisma is. Perhaps someday the American people will realize that we are not in a class was and that the needs of rich and poor are not so far apart that we don't need a Congress that continually panders to the extremes.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  71. bonnie from NJ

    I think if any of us out here knew that answer things would be different. How about limiting the number of lawyers that can be elected, how about some doctors, scientist, engineers, secretaries, toll collectors etc. run. A lawyers job is to win, not compromise, not to listen to the other side, it is always one wins, one loses. That is not how the government will succeed, obviously. Otherwise, perhaps a nuclear bomb might do the trick.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  72. John Mddleton

    President Obama was quick to condemn S&P's downgrading of US debt today and placing the blame on political wrangling. Not once does the President step up and take any responsibility... for anything. If he is searching for blame I am sure he can find at least one mirror in the White House and when he looks he will see it is devoid of any real leadership.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  73. Bruce

    Jack, Why wouldn,t Obama call the congress back from vacation, and get something done now?

    August 8, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  74. Gary in CA

    It will take a crisis of epic proportions. There is no doubt in my mind that the buffoons in Washington kick this down the road until they get kicked in the balls themselves. Our ancestors made all those sacrifices for this?

    August 8, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  75. Kevin in CA

    Getting rid of the Tea Party and the religious radicals. Neither group is willing to compromise.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  76. pat, Idaho

    Congress has got to go, regardless their political standing. They have to quit acting like children and quit fighting over everything. Put some people in Washington that are substantial, and Honest, fire everybody taking or acussed of taking bribes, deny all future benifits and make them live on Social Security–If they're old enough–What do we have the Constitution Of The United States for anyway if congress and the president can't follow and go by what it says? Right now I think our Founding Fathers are rolling over in thier graves.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  77. Rusty S.

    Throw out everyone who's currently serving in Congress and bring in new political parties that aren't historically and obsessively at each other's throats to the total detriment of the American people. Also add term limits (max of 2 terms for all offices) and there might be hope.

    Rusty S.
    Raleigh, NC

    August 8, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  78. Dennis in Florida

    Jack,

    My comment from last week still applies.

    As Thomas Jefferson said, ‘About every 20 years the citizens should have a revolution and form a new government.’

    We are still at least 10 revolutions behind schedule.

    **********************************************

    August 8, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  79. tony sciden

    Washington only defines failure, with regulation and success with hyperbole. What about stimulating the economy with jobs instead of the printing presses. One simple long term solution 1) prioritize the adoption of a natural gas infrastructure. 2) Mandate that 50% of all domestic production of vehicles be natural gas. Collect a dollar per equivalent per gallon tax and watch our deficit drain away. Just like Brazil for validity of this idea. This one dumb joe suggestion has more solution in it than all the pundits and politicians can muster. We are in big trouble right now.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  80. Carlsbad

    Term limits for Congress and Senate to terms this will solve a lot of problems.

    New Mexico

    August 8, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  81. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua

    States like Wisconsin are recalling Tea party fanatics in their state governments. Wisconsin and the following states also have the ability to recall their US Congressmen, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington. We don't have to wait for the next election. If we simply recalled Bachmann and Ryan, the rest might sober up.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  82. Tony St. Amant

    Washington will change substanially only with public funding of political campaigns and with all private and PAC donations illegal. Washington won't change until the electeds in Washington are beholden only to the people who elect them. Tony, Chico, CA

    August 8, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  83. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York

    Jack,

    Two words: legislative recusal. Why is it that Judges remove themselves from presiding in cases in which there is a perceived conflict of interest, yet Congress is allowed to vote on issues while accepting contributions from special interest groups ? Congresspersons should not be allowed to vote on any bill if they have accepted money from any group benefitting by the legislatuion. A majority of individuals and not the interests of a few is what once made this country great and could again.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  84. B. J., Quincy, Il

    To clean house.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
  85. Jeff S

    Term Limits now! The President has term limits & members of Congress should too. It was never mean't to be a lifetime job. 2 terms max for members of House and Senate!

    August 8, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  86. sam delray beach fl

    Unless they put away their immovable ideology and work together for the economic benefit of this country, at this time, the answer is not a thing.

    August 8, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  87. Dan

    Jack, I think it's high time for middle class American's to take what belong's to us. That is the monicer "TEA Party." Taken; Eviscerated and Abandoned. The wealthy don't like "Obama Care because they'd have to pay their fair share rather than have poor people clog the emergency rooms, after which taxpayers pick up the tab. Middle class America would then pick up the bulk of the expense while the wealthy would pay the abbreviated amount afforded them through loopholes. Maybe a general strike or better yet, votes against all incumbents could change things. We all think the officials we elect in our States and Districts are the best. (Otherwise we'd have to admit to our mistakes.) I say give them all the old Heave Ho and get some people without big bucks, some common sense and the will to perform for the good of "We the people" in Washington.

    Stewartstown, PA

    August 8, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  88. Gary H. Boyd

    Any politician holding elected office, from the very top to the very bottom, with the label INCUMBENT after their name needs to be voted out regardless of race, gender, political affiliation or the color of their hair. America is damn mad and we're not going to take it anymore.
    It's time for a complete and total house cleaning otherwise known as a revolution. We, the people, need to speak at the ballot box with a single and unified voice that says "INCUMBENTS ARE OUT".

    Gary H. Boyd in Scottsdale, Arizona

    August 8, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  89. Elizabeth From Toronto

    Americans need to extend the term of Congress Members to 5 years instead of 3 years. The timeframe of 3 years worked when the country had a smaller population and communication was not so immediate. These days communication is immediate and Americans are always in election mode! so a long term agenda is never "in play", it's always "well this is why I was elected, and so this is how I need to vote", BUT WHAT ABOUT THE USA which is increasingly facing competition from countries around the world, who is dealing with the long term issues of debt, GDP, the future? Where has the American Vision gone?

    August 8, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  90. John - Houston - Texas

    Jack, I'm originally from Brazil and I never thought I could ever find a government more corrupt than the one we have in Brazil. I guess I was wrong...

    August 8, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  91. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    If we want to improve, we must change everything. This entire situation is beyond pathetic and these people that call themselves leaders should be made to walk the plank off the bridge to nowhere. I have no faith that they'll do the necessary things and now they want to wait 4 more months. What a travesty.

    August 8, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
  92. lou

    It is going to take the media reporting on actual issues rather than letting politicians ramble on with grand standing and talking points. Those things only deepen the divide for everyone. How many times did we hear junk like, 'the tea party is taking us hostage' and 'they're just being economic terrorists?' If you made those guys stick to what they're going to do to fix things, rather than letting them tear down the other side, they may actually attempt to get along. Then you could report on some accomplishments for a change.

    August 8, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  93. Dave, Orlando, FL

    Nothing. We are past the point of no return. We will eventually crash and burn and this once great nation will lie in ruins. And yes, you are right, we deserve it for electing this pack of morons, fools and crooks. Sadly, all the while those brave, committed, and courageous people, our fathers and forefathers, who risked and gave their lives to create, build and preserve this once grand country now weep in their graves.

    August 8, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  94. ken, atlantic city, nj

    It will take a revolution or a civil war to change things. This country is a plutocracy. Obama and congress work for the plutocrats not main street. More tax cuts for the people who create jobs in mexico and china, more wars, more 0% loans to banks, more trade deals, more job training, more education spending, and more defense spending will not save main street.

    August 8, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  95. Paul P.

    The political system is ripe with lobbyists, large corporations and special interests hitching on to the system weighing it down, tying its hands and compromising the goals of its members. Shortening term lengths won't help until you clean up the process right from the start by instilling publicly funded election campaigns. Getting elected shouldn't mean selling your soul, it should mean selling your ideas.

    August 8, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  96. Jerry Johns Creek, GA

    There are two items that are on my wanna see list. One is term limits for the House of Representatives – a maximum of six years service; the Senate – a maximum of 8 years of service and the Supreme Court – a maximum of term years service. Second on my want list is a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. Congress and the President must be limited in spending to the annual anticipated revenue, this would include pet wars that a President may start – like Iraq and Libya. If you want to go to war get the money first and maybe, just maybe the support of the American people. An independent agency would have to do the revenue projections as anyone with ties to politicians could not and should not be trusted.

    August 8, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  97. Jake from Chicago

    It takes the voice of all the American people. Jack if enough people round up at Capitol Hill and scream for change then they will listen. People need to stand up for them selfs.

    August 8, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  98. Wayne of Arvada Colorado

    Jack, the teaparty needs to think about America, not just what they perceive to be their jobs. The Republicans seem to be afraid of the Teaparty and are unwilling to stand up to them. The Democrats seem afraid to stand up to the Teaparty either. So, what will it take to change things in Washington DC? Fire every one of them and start over!! P.S. I am a democrat and am not happy with them.

    August 8, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  99. Dan E. Campbell Hall NY

    Here is a radical concept.....

    Why doesnt the Commander in Chief declare a national emergency and take executive control over the economic mess....

    There must be a provision in the Constitution for this???

    Take command – do WHATEVER is needed – however politically damaging this may be – then let the chips fall – most likely in the Supreme Court.

    1) cut spending
    2) raise revenues

    We ALL know what has to be done – S&P had the balls to say it

    If the legislative branch fails to do their part – the Executive MUST lead

    August 8, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  100. Tony Brooks from Topeka

    I'm afraid it will take something like an "American Spring" where the gap between rich and poor is so great riots will break out and near revolution will take place. Otherwise, I don't see any movement on either side – they are both committed to their economic philosophies and are more than prepared to kill the country for their beliefs – truly sad.

    August 8, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  101. Steven Lucisano

    Hi Jack, is the S&P and wall street , a danger to the USA,national security. The down grade was a Knife in the back, to the American taxpayer's, and The president, after we bailed them out. p.s Jack no good deed goes unpunished. thank's Jack. Steve L.

    August 8, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  102. Shane in Boston

    A non-violent revolution of some sort that distributes power evenly between the states and the Federal government, while Congress is restructured and Section 1 is completely amended. Anything less is just another Washington joke...

    August 8, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
  103. AF, New York

    Throw the bums out! Tea party and Mr. Cantor has done an unpatriotic duty in causing an event (downgrading of US rating) which wiped off trillions of dollars from stock market and a big chunk of my 401K. What do they care, they will have a fat pension to live on for ever and a cushy Washington job after their career in Congress. I am a republican but I will remember these bums when voting next time. The president had no choice but to sign the bill to keep money flowing. To answer your question, it is the word compromise which we do everyday in life, democrats or republicans or the bums.

    August 8, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
  104. Ron WPAFB

    Jack, the real story is that if they had raised the Debt Ceiling without any arguments, we would still have our Triple Star Rating, which in all honesty sounds childish! But The Republicans held negotiations hostage and ruined our rating!

    It is obvious that giving the Republicans control of the house has backfired and may very well be the split of the party! And the Tea party, it's like family, Jack. You know on Thanksgiving when your weird uncle or cousins come over and you have to hide the liquor and keep certain members apart. When Michelle Bachman said she would have let the Debt Ceiling default, push her away from the Liquor, she's done!

    Honestly Jack, if anyone votes for a Republican or to re-elect a Republican in 2012, The United States is done, frankly I think we're there now! I really believe that if Barak Obama had been President over Democratic House and Senate, we would be reducing debt, Taxes on the Rich and eliminating loopholes, on and on. And we would be back to the World Leader we once were!

    August 8, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  105. Johnny C (from Los Angeles)

    Hi Jack –

    We just received our second wake-up call and both involve the same stakeholders at the top (Rating Agencies & Government).

    First wake up call happened a few years back when Americans lost what ever extra value they had in housing.

    Second wake up call ... the aftermath of the Government deciding to play "poker" with the Ratings agency ... once again, Americans are losing their economic shorts.

    I agree with you ... our Government is in over their heads and they are taking us all down with them.

    By the way ... if the Rating Agencies told us we needed 4 thrillion in cuts, and the Government was only holding two pair, how did they ever conceivably think that they were doing the right thing?

    August 8, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  106. Karl in Flint

    Washington will only change when we the voters look at who we are electing and endlessly re-electing and who finances their campaigns. We need moderate people with common sense on both sides that know how to govern and compromise and will work together for the common good not just the corporate good. America, we get what we vote for. If this hasn’t taught us something, we are doomed.

    August 8, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  107. Ed from Md

    Take away their money machine and make them work for tips.

    August 8, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  108. Dan from Long Island

    Jack,
    The American people must unite because Washington won't. If we unite and tell our representatives that they can no longer blame each other and that we are judging them collectively, then we will get the kind of action we need. Let's stop calling them (and ourselves), Democrats, Republicans, liberals or conservatives... and let's just call ourselves Americans. Because neither a Democrat or a Republican is going to solve these problems. It's going to take Americans.

    Dan in New York

    August 8, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  109. Ken from Pinon Hills, California

    Change can come when Congressional members are are no longer separated by ideology, split by Blue states and Red states.
    There is intolerance of others race, religion, language,culture, and gender in our Congress. It seems to have manifested itself in Obama's Presidency. Those intolerance's permeate our legislative houses, and transcends the importance of the social and economic lives of the American people.

    August 8, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  110. Frank from Connellsville, PA

    Jack,

    A couple things can help. First, if the candidate/current office holder's only "job" has been getting elected should be "fired" by the voters. We need people who know how to run businesses and create jobs.

    Second, all elected officials must wear a uniform that is much like a NASCAR driver's suit. Her/his "sponsors" must appear on the suit in proportion to their "percentage of ownership." This uniform must be worn when Congress is in session, when they appear on television, or in making any offical appearance.

    Third, limit the number of staff and "advsiors" that each person may have. There are way too many cooks in the kitchen.

    Putting our current elected officials on the unemployment line will be the best thing the rest of us could hope for.

    August 8, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  111. Dr. R. B. Trombley

    Hi Jack !

    Really enjoy your program – great job !

    To answer your question, "What will it take to change things in Washington ?", my answer is (and I have said this many times before). Everybody OUT ! Given the Congress has acted like little children, they can not get any thisn done, and then go on vacation leaving the FAA hanging (with many thousands of even more job losses), I say again, Everybody OUT ! Said differently, if your an incumbent you are gone !

    Dr. R. B. Trombley
    Wixom, Michigan

    August 8, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  112. Don McPhail

    The tea party is right you need to cut spending. Why not start with a 50 percent cut to the pay for all in congress. I mean isn't that is still more than they are worth?

    August 8, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  113. cal

    All new people. New congress and white house people. New supreme court and no lobbiests. two term limited.

    August 8, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  114. Pete in Florida

    Republicans have publicly stated that their #1 goal is to make Obama a one-term President, and their actions over the past 2-1/2 years have shown their full commitment to that goal, even if it takes economic destruction of our nation to achieve it. Maybe when Obama's gone in January 2013, Republicans will FINALLY be willing to start working for the good of the country...but I somehow doubt it. Once the Republicans regain full control of the government, I expect to see a repeat of the Bush years, and for most of us, things will get much, much worse.

    August 8, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  115. Gail,, Plano, TX

    Jack: Mamy things can be done. Limiting the terms of office in Congress is a good start. Reducing their salaries to show our dissatisfaction might help. Unfortunately, they are in control. We have no voice. My Congressman is 80 something and runs unopposed in Dallas. We have old men in Congress who need to retire. John Boehner has been in the House for 20 years! John McCain has been a senator since Jesus was a baby! We need some new blood, and I do not mean the crazy Tea Party!

    August 8, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  116. Nurse Lisa in Shelton CT

    Jack, unfortunately the only real change we'll ever see in Washington is the weather. Long-term wheeler dealers being replaced by the politically inexperienced may not improve things to the degree necessary, but the ongoing tax breaks for the rich which would have further reduced the deficit mean the war on the middle class is going well. When it rains it pours!

    August 8, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  117. ken mcconnell

    jack,
    I have sent letters to all of my D.C. representives telling them I would not be voting for any incumbent from now on.
    I also told them it was the voters in their districts that put them in office
    not the lobbyist who pay them to vote the way they want.
    We need to start putting bumper stickers on our cars telling everyone not to vote for the incumbent regardless of party.
    I have priced them it is $700.00 per 1000., but that may be a bargain if it works. Ken ,Tennessee.

    August 8, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  118. Tony from Southport, NC

    It will take a repeat of November 2010. Replace liberal Democrats with conservative Republicans. Get the House, the Senate and the White House controlled by those who will take steps to get our economy back to a AAA rating. George W. Bush with a Democrat controlled congress and Barack Obama with a Democrat controlled congress have spent us into an economic catastrophe. We need conservatives. Period.

    August 8, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  119. Jayne

    We need term limits, campaign finance reform and sanity tests for all candidates.

    August 8, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  120. Brian Gibbs

    Jack, Its unfortunate that we spend a majority of the time on the stock market situation. The only people this affects is the top 2%. CEO's, Board of Directors and day traders are immediately impact by this. The average American who is lucky enough to have a 401k is so locked in that they can't do anything except complain. If Congress really wanted to lead by example they could have stepped up and said we'll take a 4-6% pay cut. Or even better we will eliminate our health care and retirement benefits. But they didn't. The majority of these folks are millionaires and do not represent the other 98% percent of the population. Its the Golden Rule Jack, "He who has the gold makes the rules". I wish the American public would wake up and realize that!

    August 8, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  121. Sharon Wise

    AMEN ! I believe we need to wipe them all out and start over. I especially think that the leader of our country needs to GO NOW ! Impeach him and then get Timmie out, send him to Mexico.

    August 8, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  122. Dennis north carolina

    We need to change the faces in congress and have term limits like the president. we need to put laws in to effect to limit special interest groups effects on congress and elections. we the people must do our home work before voting. Jack, how many of the past three republican presidents balance the budgets or ran in the red? how many republican controlled congress actually balance the budgets in the past thirty years. we all need the truth told to us not lies or part lies. our founding fathers gave us the first amendment so the media could tell the truth without being threaten but that is not happening.

    August 8, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  123. Raj, Toronto

    ignoring Ron Paul insures Americas demise, Jack you know, first they ignore you, then they attack you, and then...

    August 8, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  124. Dave from Georgia

    Have all Congressmen cut 75% of their salaries and then sell their extra houses to help pay part of the federal deficit.

    August 8, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  125. Ray in Knoxville

    Jack, we're all stupid. We scream for spending cuts until someone takes aim at a program that we support. We're against raising taxes on the rich even though the great majority against the taxes won't see a tax increase. It will take a smarter voting public to bring about any meaningful change in Washington. I guess we're screwed.

    August 8, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  126. Liam - VA

    we got change that we can believe in.. The dow is down over 500 points and there is massive unemployment.. Sounds like the liberal policies are for sure working. And for all of those who collect the checks from the massive welfare state keep in mind the "rich" have lots less money to give you now.. Might be time to get a job because the socialist party will be out in Novemeber..sorry to bring you that news.. Everyone who voted for this liar who has zero business knowledge does this make you happy? We are in BIG BIG trouble.. And YOUR president is playing Chicago politics already and attacking Standard and Poor. Yes you heard right ..Attacking.. This time it won't work. Better off anyone?

    August 8, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  127. Tom from Nebr.

    This is an easy one Jack. The elections in 2012. Nothing else will do. The Tea Party has it's feet stuck in concrete and will not budge from their ideology. They have just enough votes to keep the stalemate in force. The Super Congress is a joke. Grover has selected the members, so nothing will happen. The triggers will go into effect. So, until the next election the nation will continue to be ungovernable. Woe unto our country.

    August 8, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  128. frank winkowski

    The only way to change things in Washington is for the American people to recognize campaign finance and lobbyist money for what it is.Campaign finance and lobbyist dollares is out and out bribery. then do something about it. Big business, special interest groups, wall street and the communisrt Chinese own the senators and congressmen in Washington.

    August 8, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  129. Scott in Ohio

    I wish we could have a prerequisite for elected officials. They need the ability to balance their own checkbooks and have an overall debt of their own less than 200K. This should include mortgages, car loans and student loans. We should also not allow them the ability to give themselves pay raises; instead let the public decide if they a pay raises or pay cuts based on performance.
    Side question how many in congress benefit from the Bush tax cuts and can that list be published along with how they voted on during the debt ceiling votes?

    August 8, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  130. aaa

    "These people who voted for this." Are you saying that the debt ceiling should not have been raised at all? If you think this is bad, where would the market be with a full default?

    August 8, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  131. bob z fr ,pa.

    impeach obama before it's to late

    August 8, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  132. Charles of Oregon

    Hello Jack! Thanks to you & CNN staff for this forum...
    Jack, polls are showing that over-60% of our fellow Americans are blaming the Republicans for the results and effects of their unwise Debt-Ceiling political stance, this includes an even higher percentage of Independents. Kathleen Parker, ace conservative columnist, just advocated for kicking the Tea Party OUT of the Republican Party. [Step One]
    Do you think money-bags Wall Street Republicans will be voting FOR Tea Party endorsed candidates? Now, true conservatives do have many good ideas, and WE certainly need them to step UP, with a willingness to compromise! AND, we need to greatly reduce the media-enhanced influence of the Tea Party [they only represent 15 – 20% of Americans]. This should also coincide with left-wingers becoming much more civil towards right-wigers. [Step Two]
    The majority of Americans believe in the Family of Americans concept, that we are all patriotic & that we certainly can, and most often DO, work together to solve problems. So, let's UP the Wattage of that Message– Our diverse American Family working together
    to solve problems, be it filling sandbags to stem a flood -to- volunteering to help in city schools -to- finding solutions to our larger political issues, together– this would be a big Stride!
    Thanks again!

    August 8, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  133. Donna from Wisconsin

    Sorry Jack, but you are wrong. If the Tea Party folks had not gotten in Obama and Boehner's way, we would have had 4 trillion in cuts and taxes. But they stymied everything to get 'their way'. And everyone fell over backward to appease them. They are to blame and this persistent denial of what the American people want: 82% want a balanced approach to this debt-cuts and taxes. Democrats need to step up and do something or this right wing extremism weill sink us.

    August 8, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  134. Robert, Welland, Ontario

    Two (2) good ideas to solve the US debt problem. Cut government spending by 1 trillion a year; and apply a 4% GST (goods and services tax) on all products and services. As a Canadian, I can not purchase vehicles, food, housing, tvs, etc. for anywhere close to the prices available to Americans. The GST is an equitable tax, as you pay based on what you consume.

    August 8, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  135. chris

    the only way to change things is have us the american people authority to set rules of their pay, benefits and vacation time and what they can spend our money and get a nrew group in to run washignton they don;'t give a dam about us unless we have millions to donate to their campaigns

    August 8, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  136. Al in Delaware

    Term limits and public financing of elections. Both would require amendments to the Constitution, but saving representative government is important enough to take these measures.

    August 8, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  137. Paul Zenz

    We the people should call for a special election and vote both houses of congress out. I think the havent the smarts of a ten year old. They have gotten rich on us for doing nothing.

    August 8, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  138. aelarsen

    president obama needs to grow a pair...he should be the cheerleader in chief doing everything possible to get the economy working again.
    trade partners...no more free lunch... fair trade means fair to both parties
    nato the un and everyone else that is making a living off of america's world presence...get lost...we need to take the fight to the american economy...there is no more important issue ....let me know if you idiots in washington ever decide to stop acting like spoiled children

    August 8, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  139. Tina Steele

    What will it take to change things in Washington?? The truth. The truth will set us free. Between the Tea Partiers and the greedy republicans and a President not willing to fight for the people who elected him, there was no way to avoid this debacle. The truth is we desperateley need to raise taxes on millionaires, but republicans keep throwing lies and hissyfits to avoid this measure. The tea partiers are like vultures waiting to seize the carcass of the dead and all Obama can do is try to referee the children and his methods are not working. It's a miserable situation and I miss Hillary!!!

    August 8, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  140. kate

    Perhaps President Obama should sign an executive order indefinitly suspending the pay of Congress until they get something done.

    August 8, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  141. Hans V

    Jack, only a multiple party system may change things. This two party system is ridiculous. Look what just happened and think of how many times before it's been us vs. them, Dem.'s v Rep.'s. Nothing much can be accomplished when we have this sort of gridlock.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  142. Jon P.

    As a friend of mine once told me, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results." Why do we keep complaining about the job our congressmen and senators are doing and yet still "re-hire" them again when their "performance review" is due? As an engineer, I doubt in the real-world I'd be able to maintain my job if I design something that ends up falling apart. Why should they?

    August 8, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  143. Kurt Chicago

    When I think those guys (Clowns) in Washington stooped as low as they can go, they really suprise me!

    August 8, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  144. John James

    The president needs to call Congress off their vacation and start on solving this mess. It needs to be done now not in 5 weeks. Stocks will be down another 1000 points by then, and this country will be in a major recession.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  145. Steve, Clifton, VA

    It will take a change in how media covers politics and it will take politicians changing from a selfish prospective to one of what is good for the masses. It's time for the country to come together and the median needs to stop feeding the divide and differences and the hate.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  146. Sylvia from San Diego, CA

    It will take a President who takes ownership and responsiblity for his policies and clearly, this president and not the one.... Time to get rid of Obama.....

    August 8, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  147. BobinLA

    The biggest change we could make is to stop voting in lawyers to decide financial issues. I don;t ask my accountant for legal advise and I don't expect my lawyer to know how to balance my budget.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  148. Mark in Hilo

    Unfortunately Jack, nothing. We can only hope that the American public will wake up and see that the Republican mantra of cutting everything and taxing nothing only hurts the economy, and has hurt the economy for the last decade. The American people need to get educated...Airline companies stopped paying taxes last week, and RAISED prices! that's the Republican mantra...and we are stupid for voting them in.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  149. Larry,Springfield,Ohio

    Well,Jack,changed has already started to happen,we have a few people in congress who would rather do the right thing for the country than get re-elected.The debate is going in the right the direction,we need more of these people in congress,and most of all,a leader that knows how to lead,instead of follow,we could use a Harry Truman or a Ronald Reagan to replace this Jimmy Carter replica!!!

    August 8, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  150. Sandra

    Simple, limit how much money politicians can spend on campaigns, fine every politician each time they tell a big fat lie about their opponent during their campaign (that alone would solve our debt problem), require that all campaign donations be public information, and ask that the people who vote take the time to learn the REAL differences between the candidates and not what some self-appointed experts tell them to believe.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  151. Ray E. (Georgia)

    A lot more pain. Pepole have not suffered nearly enough but we are getting there. Trying the get anyone's attention in this Adminstration is like throwing rocks at the moon. Everybody is going to have to get in the game.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  152. Andy

    "In the end I guess we get what we deserve."

    Are you saying that its our collective responsibility to use "any means necessary" as citizens of a nation based on civic virtue? I don't disagree. But our politicians would never let us use "any means necessary" to fix the government. If the world thinks Syria is turning into a humanitarian disaster I can only wonder what moniker oppression would assume here.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  153. Pat Howells

    Let's see who should we blame Bush, maybe the Tea Party? If the President is Democrat or Republican no one is to blame but him. He is the leader when does he stop blaming and start leading? In business its no one's fault but the owner. This man is pathetic. Your party is important, but when you are the leader you do what you have to do. In this case you save the country.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  154. Christine

    I also don't agree with your last statement "I guess in the end, we get what we deserve." I did not vote for this CEO or president. So, I don't deserve this downgrade of my stock portfolio.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  155. Renita M,S

    Hello jack,It will take a lot of Godly leaders. We have lost our Morals and Respect for a Country in which we say GOD is our leader I can't tell. I think we need to get peoples out of Congress that is not willing to get along with one another but willing to let our country fall into Default or put int in the shape we are in now.(what a mess)

    August 8, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  156. Jim

    Jack

    It reminds me of history-Nero fiddled while Rome burned.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  157. BradlyTX

    Answer, clean house and start from scratch in 2012. Vote out everybody who is in congress including the president. I have never seen a government run this way. Its like needing to go to the restroom, but treatining to never poop again. Never play politics with basic and important functions like "passing" the debt ceiling.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  158. Mike Murphy

    First, NO MORE INCUMBENTS. Second, the last we were in the black, the presidents name was Clinton. We need to get Hillary to run-even if as an independent. I always thought she was a better MAN than Bill. Third, no more party politics. I for one am registering as NO AFFILIATION. Time to throw the incumbents out. Someone new couldn't do worse. Mike from Pa.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  159. Mel

    Jack, First our leaders need to lead – they need to cut their wages and especially their benefits to show us, the people, that they are serious in making real cuts. Then they need to eliminate many of the various federal government departments – get rid of the huge federal bureaucracies – like the newest Department of Consumer Protection. What is that anyway – just another federal government expense that we cannot afford. Then maybe – just maybe – they can start to actually balance the budget., which means they cannot borrow anymore money and they must not spend any more than they take in in taxes.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  160. Dixie

    Jack, I think we need more Republican presidential candidates. Pretty soon, the whole GOP will be vying for president as individuals. Each one wackier than the one before. If Perry runs and makes it he can hold religious services at the white house each Sunday. Bachman can join in and prey away the gay. I would go on, but you get the idea.
    I want to be rid of the GOP "my way or the highway " mentality. And I want the Dems to get off their backsides.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  161. Brian G

    What's needed is a third political party that dominates the middle ground where most of actually live. Extremists have taken control of both the Republican and Democratic parties and they prevent any kind of compromise from ever seeing the light of day. Nixon was a crook but that doesn't mean his observation of the "silent majority" was wrong. We're even less well represented now.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  162. John From New Jersey

    What's surprising is what hasn't happened to changed things in Washington! Where's the public protest? Where's the activism from our youth who don't have jobs? Where's the baby boomer's, who protested in the 60's? They're losing they're pensions/retirement. It must be that we're too strapped for money to get to Washington and have no time because we are working harder than ever to get ourselves personally out of debt.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  163. Sherri

    I think we should require our canidates to be subjected to lie detector test while we ask them questions about what kind of a public servant they truly will be if they get elected.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  164. Michael from Seattle

    Jack –

    The only way I see any of this working out in the long run is if we not only stop sending incumbents back, as you have suggested, but we need to elect in their place representatives that are not tied to a party. Far too often I look up to see a vote that passed or failed "largely along party lines".

    I don't want to vote for a "Republican Senator" or a "Democrat Congressman" – I want to elect a rational, well-intentioned member of my community. The day that happens (i.e. never), maybe we can get things rolling on the right path again.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  165. George Estelle

    The time has come to clean Washington of its corrupt and old school politicians – we need true leadership from people who will now bow to the special interest groups and who will not look to point the finger of blame at others when they fail. These politicians today are to dang interested in making a mountain out of a molehill when in fact they just need to find a way to kill the mole. Atlanta, GA

    August 8, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  166. steve steadham

    If we can survive until the next landslide election your question will be answered.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  167. barry mathes

    We need to get back to where we, the people, are represented. We are not currently. Have a lottery for offices and everyone serves one four year term. No exceptions.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  168. Ed from Tucker, GA

    What is needed are TERM LIMITS. All these guys do after they are elected is start raising money for the next election. When all things are considered how many of them leave public office poorer than when they came in? I also strongly support publically funded elections and a shorter campaign cycle. Having to raise tens of millions of dollars in order to do the people's business" is ridiculous. With the advent of electronic communications it seems the necessity of 14 to 16 month campaigns and media ads only profit big donors and media organizations. Six month presidential campaigns and 2 to 3 month congressional races should be enough.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  169. Graham W.

    Outlaw lobbyists and all political party affiliations. Limit campaign contributions to $100 from any single entity. Term limits of four years total for all elected officials except the president; leave that as is. Keep God and Jesus out of the government. That should be a good start!

    August 8, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  170. Clay

    1. Campaign finance reform – no more private money in politics
    2. An end to gerrymandering – re-draw all congressional districts objectively based on population (i.e. unwind all the distortions)
    3. across the board term limits

    This is simple stuff. But the destroyers have control over all of this and will not change it until it's too late.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  171. James H

    Jack,

    Maybe it's about time we institute term limits for Congress. American 'sheople' may not have wherewithal to vote theses idiots out but maybe we can change the law and actually have politicians get something done in the time given to them.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  172. LKJ

    Get rid of the Tea Partiers. Impose term limits on members of Congress and put a 10-year freeze on congressional wages. Take away some of their generous benefits too, such as pensions and full health care, or else make them work for them. No more month-long vacations or overseas sight-seeing tours. They need to stay here and do the work of representing the American people.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  173. Larry of Boston

    Jack, it is simple - TERM LIMITS for Congress.

    Nobody should be surprised that we are in deep doo doo. We put a community organizer into the Oval office; and he put a guy in charge of the treasury who does not know how to do his taxes .....

    August 8, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  174. curtis in philadelphia

    Jack, there isn't a nozzle big enough to give Washington the enema it needs to be properly cleansed.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  175. Donaldo in ATL

    Jack: These are drastic times, requiring drastic measures. I have suggested an idea which on its face sounds crazy, but if implemented would eliminate the low quality individuals from seeking office, and hopefully restore those with courage and integrity. Any person running for elected office must anty up all of their assets, which can be seized, if they are convicted of any illegal activity during their time in office. Call it a bounty. Also, make it illegal for lobbyists and their counterparts to contact public officials, and if they are caught, just like the officials forfeit their assets. We need strict oversight and officials to police themselves. Finally, we need to send all of Congress to Summer Camp each year, it is called Camp Laguene for bonding time and a chance to actually do something constructive together, since they can not seem to manage their day job. Drastic times, call for drastic measures, and frankly I could care less if any of them like it or not.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  176. Jim Denny

    It will probably require a total collapse of the system before anything changes. Unless they get rid of the lobbyists and huge contributions the congressmen will always be serving them first and the American people second. The PAC and special interest groups have created the best government money can buy. The only difference between here and the Congo is the amount of violence the government is willing to use – the corruption runs just as deep.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  177. Maria

    When the children stop having temper tantrums and become adults then and only then will things change

    August 8, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  178. profm2

    Whatever you buy, you pay for it with cash, and you make sure you buy American. Start there.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  179. Post American

    If you want to cut spending – cut the empire. If you want to reduce the deficit, you have to cut spending, and raise revenues. These partisan loons on the left or right, who don't put country first, are a disgrace. The Tea Party could use a course in reasoning and critical thinking! Looks like its time to break out the tar and the feathers. regards

    August 8, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  180. Joseph

    Jack

    Unfortunately nothing will change until we the American people demand change. The same old incumbents will be returned to Washington in 2012 and beyond. Howelse do you explain a 14% approval rating for congress but a much higher approval rating for individaul members of congress. The bottom line is that We the American people are responsible for the mess our country is in right now. As long as we keep voting for the same senators and representatives, things will only get worse. For things to change, we must all be willing to look ourselves in the mirror and admit that we caused these problems because we voted for these idoits. As for me my part of changing our nations course starts in november of 2012.

    Joseph
    in NC

    August 8, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  181. Dan Middleman

    What will it take? A citizenry that is willing to sacrifice, delay gratification, live within our means (or below), and demand that our elected representatives be honest about our problems and how we got here. No, we didn't get here because of the policies of Obama or Bush. We got here because, for the past generation, we took American Exceptionalism to mean that the rules of nature and finance and common sense don't apply to us. We're Americans, after all. We can do whatever we want. The question that you should be asking is this: Is the next generation going to learn from our stupidity or are they doomed to repeat our mistakes?

    August 8, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  182. tjaman

    This Congress needs a serious attitude adjustment. Democrats need to re-examine assistance programs that are broken, stopgap and otherwise ineffectual. And Republicans need to realize they are there to serve the country, not just the richest 2 percent of it. Everyone needs to recommit to the greater glory of this nation, get on the same page, work with the same numbers and figure out solutions that work for everyone, not just whoever's in power at the moment. - Terry in North Dakota

    August 8, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  183. Matt C

    There's actually a very simple solution to what ails Washington. Vote all the bums out regardless of party. We need about 300-350 seats to change hands. And if that doesn't work, we do it again in two years, and every cycle after that until both parties come to the realization that we want solutions, not ideology and bickering out of our government.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  184. jerry hankins

    Impeach them all and start over

    August 8, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  185. Brian L. in San Diego

    To make a change in our government, voters need to stop with the party voting and elect SMART people who care about the country and not about staying in a seat for 20 years. Our current legislative branch is ineffective. Party feuds and political bickering have gotten us nowhere except in a worse spot that we were in. You need to replace them with new people that will work together. We need COMPROMISE, we need people willing to lead, not just people who want to get re-elected; they just vote to stay in power, not to fix our country.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  186. Brian Boeke

    I think two things should happen. First, there should be an amendment to the Constitution that limits the number of terms of both representatives and senators. They should not be able to make a career out of being a congressman because that was not the original intention. Second, I think a few seats should be added to the House and Senate that are "public" seats. the vote of these seats would be based on an internet vote available to the general public. While it won't play a major role in the outcome of the overall vote, it will show what the majority of Americans want.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  187. J. Nichols

    We don't need another cup of tea! (The End of America rump).

    August 8, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  188. Dexter, Houston

    We need to get rid of the bipartisan system. Our elected officials seem to be more concerned about serving their party, than serving the American people.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  189. Deb Parsons

    The problem with America is that DON'T go out and vote and thats just want congress wants. You have to remember what we have just went through and go vote everyone of them out and start over-fresh. To start the spending cuts let's start with congress and all their class A health care and benefits-Let them only have health care while they are in office and retirement comes straight from medicare just like everyone else. No Raises either, they don't deserve it. We have to have term limits to keep the life long congress men out with their buddies -the lobbyist. That would be a good start.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  190. Dennis

    Too late. We have allowed a group of political Kamikaze Congressmen set their sites on the Capital Building. they won't be satisfied until they have knocked it down to what they relive is an acceptable size. To hell with the pain and agony it causes to everyone else.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  191. beevee

    If american voters wake up and kick the teaparty wing of GOP out of office in the next election things will get better in Washington. They are the cause for the current meltdown of financial markets. I also wish president Obama becomes a more forceful voice and take a difinte leadership role. In america people don't take Mr. niceguys seriously no matter how good and smart they are. We need a leader that is ready to kick the elected reps as** and make them listen to him. That is the change we need in Washington to get out of this economic rut.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  192. Michael

    For starters, every single one of us who don't count themselves in either of the wacko extremist camps need to write our Congressional and Senate representatives and demand that they stop kowtowing to the extremists in their respective parties. Then demand that they adopt an atitude of spiritied discussion in a statesman-like manner but in the end come together in a compromise position that moves the country foward in a positive manner.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  193. Matthew

    Start by switching to a flat tax. There simply cannot be real problem solving in washington as long as half the country beleives they can simply raise taxes on the other half to cover whatever services they desire. When the standard of poverty in America now includes an Xbox, air conditioning, multiple color televisions with cable, and at least one vehicle, you cannot possibly argue that there is not room to cut welfare.

    Burden sharing cannot mean that 1% will pay 40% of all taxes while half pay nothing.

    Matthew
    Detroit, MI

    August 8, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  194. Ardyth

    Biased much Jack? You mention Reid and Pelosi but not once do you mention the incorrigible TEA party members. How does it happen that a small group of simpletons can destroy all the best that the U.S.A. used to stand for? Hate is obviously very powerful.

    Ardyth
    London, Canada

    August 8, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  195. Chris

    I will NOT vote for a single incumbent NOR will I vote for a member of either party. Did you sign a pledge of some kind? Done. The fringe of have taken over and the great silent apathetic, disgusted minority HAVE to rise up and sweep these lunatics aside. Enough is enough

    August 8, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  196. Angry Young & Poor

    Short Answer..... Peoples Revolution!!!!!

    August 8, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  197. Wally Walden

    Two simple words will change things for the better: TERM LIMITS!!!

    August 8, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  198. James Iverson

    Honestly, the way things work with those bums, it cannot change without a second 1776 and a new Constitution. But the pols will have totally destroyed us well before then. Sorry to be so negative. Maybe move to another country, I've got a few in mind. This is clearly no longer the best country in the world to live in...it's way down the list already and dropping fast.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  199. J. C.

    What will it take? Effort by the silent majority of voters. People have to get off the couch and actually vote in the primaries instead of allowing the foaming-at-the-mouth extremists to hijack the political parties. Those same people will have to make the effort to learn about the candidates rather than having little snippets of selected information and half-truths spoon fed to them.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  200. Chris

    Washington will never change... people are sheep. You need only look at North Korea, Venezuela, and every so many other countries to realize how much of a beating people will take and still not respond.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  201. Scott

    Jack - What it will take to change things in DC is the 2012 election. Just think, if not for the 2010 election the Dems would have continued their reckless spending and raised the debt ceiling without any expense cuts whatsoever. Now there is at least an opposing party to argue the other side. The next election will determine the fate of this country for the next 15 years. Will we grow up and face our problems or will we continue to pretend that there's no problem and/or blame the tea party?

    Cincinnati, OH

    August 8, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  202. Mike Poore

    When we take our government back from the corporations that currently own it then washington will be fixed. We need to stop payment on every check written to our elected officials until they represent the PEOPLE

    August 8, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  203. Bluestocking

    What will it take to change things in Washington?

    Among other things, elected officials who remember that they have a responsibility to represent and serve the needs of *all* the people - not just those who contribute substantial amounts to their campaign coffers and offer them sufficiently prestigious employment after they leave office. This is why we need public campaign finance reform so that our government is no longer dominated by lobbyists, corporate interests, political action committees, and the Military Industrial Complex. Either that or we need Congressional term limits (which, unfortunately, we will probably never get) - or at the very least, voters who only allow incumbents to remain in office as long as their interests are truly being served instead of just keeping people in office out of habit.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  204. Matthew

    This is one of the best opinion pieces I have ever seen on CNN.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  205. Tammy

    it would a revolution to change Washington, the middle class can not keep electing the same people the same political party with the hope something new will happen. It's time for the middle class and the poor to WAKE Up!!!

    August 8, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  206. JThomas2121

    Jack, It's going to take more than rhetoric and a few miserable people in the country. It's going to require people suffering, and not just the kind where they can't take the second cruise this year of buy the 98% 3-D TV. When people are directly affected by policy makers in D.C., THEN they'll demand change.

    Until then, it's just like them all complaining about the big, bad, mean, rich companies ... once they're done spouting off about it, they'll head on down to Wal-Mart (the biggest, baddest of them all) and buy their flat screen TVs and excess jewelry at rock bottom prices.

    People don't really care right now because they have it better than they'll admit. And they DON'T deserve it. You know that saying, 'You get what you deserve?' Well, America deserves what it's getting right now.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  207. alan

    Jack,

    Lets start with kicking out the extremes from both parties, including the TEA Party which is only for the Koch Brothers. We need to elect moderates who know what it takes to compromise. The extremist right and left want their cake and eat too, but then we the so called middle class are the ones to suffer. Remember what the French did to Marie Antoinette for telling the poor to eat cake. If she could lose her head then these congressman and congresswoman can lose their seats at this table.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  208. Irma Kopstein

    I have a lot to say. First,let me applaud your comments.A very large percentage of Americans do not have a lot of time to wait this out as many "experts" have inferred...or have many years left to work; not one of our so called selfish elected politicians deserve to ever recapture their seats in Washington. Unfortunately many folks will just vote them in again. I will not! Gee, I wonder how Washington and our government would feel, if the country stopped working, spending, and paying their taxes on April 15th. Would that send a louder message to them on how fed up we are? Obviously all of the emails and calls and letters to our officials did nothing. All I received was a prepared pre-written genereric letter thanking me and assuring me they were doing their best..RIGHT! Mission Viejo, California

    August 8, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  209. KMAC

    Jack,

    The whole debit debacle just sickens me. The clowns in congress everyone of them need to be voted OUT!! The writing was on the wall. As you plainly stated 4 trillion would have to be cut, that's 4 TRILLION!! What happened was we got clowns that were voted in just to cut the deficit (TEA PARTY) nothing more one termers who took an oath not just to satisfy their constituents but the good of the country. Not only that but will be elgible for a nice pension plan. Hmmm, lot a good they did me or should I say us. Thanks for the clowns that voted them in, I hope their satisfied, we are in a better place right? My A.....s..VOTE THEM ALL OUT!! Really, what do you have to loose...

    Ken

    August 8, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  210. Robbie

    Hey Jack,
    I agree with "most" of your article. However, I hope the American People vote out every single person in Washington. Our elected officials have truly let us down. The people in Washington are suppose to be serving the people that elected them. All I see is that they are only serving themselves. Shame on each and everyone of them. My question to you Jack is this, what do we do in the mean-time? The election is over a year away. We need help. Washington is destroying us!!

    August 8, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  211. brian

    Once again the Dems & Reps leave us holding the bag. They only care about those that give money to them (Corps and Unions).
    Anyone who blames only one side or the other is a fool.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  212. Bill Slugg

    I was a drunk and didn't sober up until I found myself passed out in a ditch. Congress is drunk on our money and they won't sober up until they find themselves out on the same highway.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  213. Bob Johnson

    To start term limits period! Thenonto balanced budget ammendment, cuts across the board everyone needs services but WE can't afford the current level. Taxation, simple codes for more of the public to pay clearer less complicated corporate taxes with writeoffs for REAL start up operations. Finallý a realization we will all need to do without in the next 15 years to clean this up!

    August 8, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  214. Dr. Michael Thille

    Congressional Reform Act of 2011

    1. Term Limits ~ 12 years max, some possible options are below.
    A. Two Six-year Senate terms
    B. Six Two-year House terms
    C. One Six-year Senate term and three Two-Year House terms
    2. No Tenure / No Pension Members of Congress receive a salary while in office. That salary ends when they leave office.

    3. Congress members (past, present & future) are to participate in Social Security.
    All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately.
    All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with all Americans.

    4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

    5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI (Consumer Price Index) or 3%.

    6. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

    7. Members of Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

    8. All contracts with past and present members of Congress are void effective 1/1/12.

    The American people did not make the contract members of Congress enjoy. Congress made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  215. Steve in Altamonte Springs, FL

    All individuals that post on these sites need to begin exhibiting civility, empathy and restraint. Focus on issues and solutions instead of bloodying each other with attack posts. It starts with us bloggers and more specifically, me.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  216. AB

    Oh Jack!! Please dispense with the melodrama!! The country is not going to hell in a hand basket nor is it the end of America as we know it. We will recover our AAA rating. It will take a marshall plan to put unemployed Americans back to work!! It will take a determined President Obama and Congress to work put aside politics and work together to really get the country's debt situation under control–to do this, revenue generating strategies has to be incorporated with a debt reduction strategies–wealthy individuals and corporations must pay their fair share of taxes; we must reduce our military presence overseas and occupation of foriegn countries. We must also cut out real wasteful spending.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  217. Bertina

    They say that every year and guess what, it never happens.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  218. Rahim

    I don't know at this time how to change Washinton especially now than ever before,one political party has no brain and the has no guts.God bless America

    August 8, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  219. Mike Hess

    It's not just the individuals, it's the parties. It's the whole boiling insane asylum. People should go to the polls and vote for whoever is in the third slot below the Republican and Democratic parties. Better yet, they should study up on all of the available third-party candidates and vote for the one they think best. The two party system is corrupt, incestuous, and deceptive. Neither party should get a vote next election cycle, and over the next 6 years, We should totally eliminate these parties and let in some fresh air.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  220. Shawn

    Term Limits would be a game changer

    August 8, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  221. PKFOPS

    Get ride of the Tea Party.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  222. Michael Middleton

    Jack,
    It would take statesmen to change Washington. Unfortunately, what we have is politicians, which is a poor second. It doesn't matter what their party affiliation or state view of America is, these people don't care about America. They don't care about Americans. All they care about are themselves and lining their pockets with the wealth, hopes and dreams of average America. We don't need these people, we need some George Washingtons, Thomas Jeffersons and Samuel Adams. Men with integrity and values. Men who serve the greater good rather than their own self interests. I don't think there are any folks like that within the nation's capital.

    Mike, Ohio

    August 8, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  223. chris in pensacola

    National petition for term limits. They aint gonna limit themselves. We need a legitimate way besides having the choise lesser of the two evils vote. More reelections for no one they don't deserve it and we r the ones who pay their salaries and we need another way to fire the idiots.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  224. Richie Caron

    What we need is NOT CUTS. We need REVENUES. The Republicans TOP PRIORITY is seeing Obama out. Obviously that is more important to them than our country's economy. What's a few more million Americans out of work...

    August 8, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  225. Randy

    How can poor and middle class Americans (rapidly becoming one and the same) have their centrist/moderate voices heard when corporations and billionaires have paid Congress and the Federal Courts to protect their interests? And when Tea Party idiots hold the country hostage?

    Do we need the British to sail over again and burn Washington DC as they did in 1812 just so we can start anew?

    What truly effective options does the middle class have? Elections? Ha! Bush v. Gore shows that doesn't work either.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  226. mike

    what will it take? another electoral tsunami in 2012, where every free spending official is given the boot...

    August 8, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  227. George

    Two simple words " Term Limits" and a majority of our ineffective and polarized government go away. The founding fathers never meant to give these "clowns" a lifetime job. If they only had to worry about the people's business and not re-election, perhaps some of these professional politicians would show courage and do the right thing for our country.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  228. Jorge A Mandler

    Shame on them. And shame in particular on those representing the "tea party", who cared for their own, political self-interest at the expense of the health of the country. This disaster could have been easily avoided.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  229. dom soprano

    well jack your right as usual, where can we find about 450+ of you and of course you as president. that would shake things up.
    i can dream can't i !!!!!!
    Dom from rochester ny

    August 8, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  230. Mbphoton

    Get rid of all the fanatics, mainly the tea party.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  231. Nuwan Sam

    We need a man with a hard and strong whip to decipline these children in Washington. May be we may need to find a way to ressurect leaders like President Washington or Lincon from the grave. In other words, I simply do not see how. People have tried all the combinations and all those have failed. Btw, I already sent thank you email to congress for ruining our country Jack. I do not know whether they are interested reading it though.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  232. Jim , Cranford, New Jersey

    Congress should be required to sit for some basic math lessons. Nobody on either side of the aisle seems to realize that their numbers simply don't add up. Term limits would be a great first lesson. Let them start counting the days they have left until they have to look for a new job in the economy they created. While we're at it lets cut Congressional pensions and healthcare benefits. After all, its about shared sacrifice isn't it?

    August 8, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  233. Jade

    Well put Mr. Cafferty. I'm sure the board will denigrate into arguments of Republican vs. Democrat and how the past president is to blame. As long as we argue over which party is doing the most damage, the damage will continue.

    As long as those in Washington are able to vote themselves out of the consequences of their actions, we will suffer. Take away their benefits and give them the ones the voters have to live with, and we may get somewhere.

    No one who pays taxes is getting what they paid for right now.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  234. Randall

    Jack it will take a better educated and savvy pool of voters than we currently have. Thus the same ole same ole will continue to replicate. The current politcal environment has evolved into a watered down sports mentality, the mantra of being for one's team no matter what the cost, right or wrong, smart or stupid, go team go !

    August 8, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  235. Nate - San Diego

    Vote all 535 people in the House and Senate out and abolish the two-party system.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  236. DON IN WESTPORT, MASS.

    It's too late. Our destroyers are too deeply rooted. The ship is sinking and only the rich have lifeboats. Does the Titanic ring a bell?

    August 8, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  237. Les Davidson

    Nothing will change until we start being civil to each other on cable tv, on talk radio, on blogs and in congress. Fat chance of that to maybe we make President's elected for one six year term, stops people trying to make him fail to get re-elected and add, no primaries or straw polls or anything until 6 months before general election.
    Lastly, no political adds on television until 10 weeks before elections.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  238. Jerry

    Well Jack. We should organize a march on Washington and call it the Level Headed Minded People March. We make the platform about working together, taking out the special interest in Congress, fair and balanced tax code and of course Country over party.

    Jerry
    Tallahassee, FL

    August 8, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  239. John Hendricks, Seattle,WA

    We've got to attack the roots:

    1. Single-term limits for all elected federal positions.
    2. Balanced budget amendment.
    3. Prohibition of lobbyists.

    ...then it's "back to the future":

    4. Increased taxes in the wealthiest 1%
    5. Federal hiring freeze
    6. Progressive reduction of Medicare benefits
    7. Progressive reduction to eventual elimination of Social Security
    8. Scaling back of all federal programs to 1980 level.

    ...and on the way, don't touch:
    – home mortgage deduction below $1M
    – domestic spending on schools
    -domestic spending on infrastructure – roads, energy
    -homeland security

    August 8, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  240. Corey-Frederick MD

    I tell you what needs to be done..make congress and the Senate take pay-cuts or no pay until this train wreck of an economy gets fixed. the average american is getting hurt more and more each day and these so called "Politicians" just dont get..maybe you should run for President MR. Cafferty, you have my vote

    August 8, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  241. MikeyTX

    Jack they will need to be called in by HR and reminded of their (congress mostly) descriptions. When they were elected to office they immediately became employees of you and I. They are not employees of any party, not just one outsider who has some amazing power over them (the republicans), not just their constituents. They work for us. We send them there to take the good ideas from the right along with those from the left and the independents and mix them together into laws that will work for all of us not just a few hundred in that big white building. Take away the extreme right that mostly got us into this day and the extreme left that had their doings as well and you have about 80% of folks who belong to both parties and are not that far off. Does that 80% number sound familiar Jack? That is the % in the past many weeks that have daily told Washington to compromise, to add revenue to the solution and to make sure it's big enough to do some good. They, the republicans and candidates, say that the President offered no plan yet in all three of the major negotiations that happened since the first of the year he, the VP, his staff and many others were involved until the Republicans walked away. They forgot beyond retraining who they work for and it will take us sending folks there that will remember that. It's been a decade since folks have joined together, in spite of their differences, to make the system work as designed.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  242. Peter

    Simple – vote them all out. Literally, vote for whoever is NOT currently in office. It obviously doesn't make any difference who's in office, the do NOT represent us, so send a clear message. If we do it just once, maybe they'll get the message. If no, we'll do it again. JUST VOTE THEM ALL OUT.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  243. Bryan

    I want a government that doesn't pander to the simple, one-phrase ideologies of the extreme reaches of the right and left parties, like "No new taxes" or "Cuts to Entitlement Programs." I want a government that considers long-term solutions to decade old problems, rather than small seemingly insignificant adjustments that simply kick the can down the road until the day the road runs out and we're standing at the edge of a cliff with no where to turn.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  244. jg181837

    there is one way to fix all of this legalize all drugs, gambling, and prostitution and tax it all

    August 8, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  245. Heather

    We need voters who realize that neither party is very different from the other. We need better long-term political memory. We need everyday Americans to understand that nothing in the budget is untouchable. Mostly, we need to realize the Washington can't solve our problems, so let's reduce their power to try. The power grab brings the wrong kind of people into politics. We need to start taking it away.

    I realized these things at 18, and they're still true five years later. I hope others catch on.

    Baltimore, Md.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  246. Phil

    The only thing that is going to change Washington is the next election. Until then, there will be politicians putting their election interest front and center, and the poor American public will continue to suffer.
    While everyone in the country knows that jobs are and should be the main focus, the Republicans have focused solely on beating Obama in the next election. We wont even mention the Tea Party.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  247. Tim in Castle Rock, CO

    I thought Change was what Obama promised. Oh ... you mean Change for the better. That will only come when low spending Republican control the House, the Senate, and the White House.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  248. Barbara Bakke

    America is looking like a third rate banana republic instead of the leader of the free world.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  249. Ron Dayton

    Division has a hold of this country and as long as the Republicans make demands like spoiled brat children, it won't change! Jack, the real story is that if they had raised the Debt Ceiling without any arguments, we would still have our Triple Star Rating, which in all honesty sounds childish! But The Republicans held negotiations hostage and ruined our rating!

    It is obvious that giving the Republicans control of the house has backfired and may very well be the split of the party! And the Tea party, it's like family, Jack. You know on Thanksgiving when your weird uncle or cousins come over and you have to hide the liquor and keep certain members apart. When Michelle Bachman said she would have let the Debt Ceiling default, push her away from the Liquor, she's done!

    Honestly Jack, if anyone votes for a Republican or to re-elect a Republican in 2012, The United States is done, frankly I think we're there now! I really believe that if Barak Obama had been President over Democratic House and Senate, we would be reducing debt, Taxes on the Rich and eliminating loopholes, on and on. And we would be back to the World Leader we once were!

    August 8, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  250. Shirley Skenfield Bakersfield CA

    Congress and the president should not receive a paycheck until they can come up with enough savings to change our credit rating. Sec of the Tres. needs to go and Pres Obama needs to admit his policies are wrong. How can there be two such different approaches to the economic problem? Let's give someone else a chance to try their plan – or does Washington really not give a darn about anything but politics.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  251. Bob

    Probably an Alian Invasion.......maybe the cowboys shouldn't have sent them packing..........or maybe congress should be rounded up and put in District 9 so they understand the grief they have just laid up the Country due to their arrogance and ego

    Houston, TX......

    August 8, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  252. TJM

    This country has lost its way because those in positions of leadership have abandoned the core principles and practices that made this country what it is. Many have rejected the wisdom and vision of our founders as well as the trials and tribulations they endured to win this country's freedom against tremendous odds at great costs. When you stop doing the things that made you great, you will cease to be great and that is what is happening to us right now.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  253. Josh

    Both parties have lost all legitimacy to govern. They have proceeded to run this country into the ground fr the past 10 years and, when given the chance, cannot even do one thing for the good of the country. It's time to do one of two things; vote them out or force them out.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  254. Robert W. North Carolina

    That is the 4 trillion dollar question Mr Cafferty. Washington doesn't seem to know what to do and neither do most of us common Americans. But common Americans DO know that we can NOT spend more than the amount of money coming in for very long without getting into serious trouble. Maybe our next president should have degrees in economics as well as law. I think what we need is to learn from history. Ronald Reagan helped the economy somehow but he had a lot of talented advisors as well as leadership that people understood. Whether we liked him or not we knew what he was about and we could plan accordingly. Solid, non waffling leadership and good plans that work is what it will take. Confidence is the key that will start the vehicle moving!

    August 8, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  255. Lawrence of America

    Jack, we pasas a constitutional amendment that prohibits politicians from placing blame for anything on anyone. They can only speak when that have solutions and answers.

    The realiy is that Bernie Madoff is an amateur when it comes to ponzi schemes. The United States has been plahing a ponzi scheme onthe world for the past 3 decade –or longer.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  256. Patrick

    Nothing will change until Americans take to the streets like they did in the sixties to stop the war and demand civil rights. Unfortunately Jack, this nation has become so apathetic, so lazy that no one cares quite enough to take serious action. With our satelite TV, IPods, smartphones, internet etc... we're all too busy numbing senses to take a stand. I'm glad I live in this country, but I am also ashamed.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  257. Kim Hewett

    It is not likely that things are going to change in Washington.While our elected officials are busy proving how self serving and incapable of governing they are(bet they all left for vacation with their paychecks...)-the rest of us are just trying to survive. Many of us have seen our pensions and life savings disappear overnight-no-one can tell us where it all went–but they can tell us we won't be getting it back -ever. One of the first things we can do is stop ALL foreign aid. Why are we making cuts in medicare and other social programs for Americans? Why are trillions of American dollars going to support the interests of other countries....none of whom actually care about us-Pakistan is one of the first places that comes to mind. Those funds should be used to feed and house Americans. No one in this country should be hungry or homeless .We need to focus on taking care of Americans-no other country in the world is going to offer to send us economic aid. Enough of caretaking the rest of the world, let Washington take care of it's citizens. We have all heard enough pep talks from the President about the strength of the American people–stop talking and actually Do something. We are all weary and broke.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  258. Bill Belinowicz

    What will it take? the American people have to rise up, write their elected officials even then I’m not confident that change, at least the change we need, will happen.

    Government does not need to eliminate programs but needs to provide services within those programs more economically but I don’t think they know how to do that either. For instance only .25 of ever $1 of Section Eight money goes to paying rent for the needy, the rest is for pushing paper and what ever else the government can waste money on.

    We can no longer be the policemen of the world, get out of Germany, Korea, and Japan, let those countries defend themselves. Get out of the middle east, put some of those troops on the Mexican border and save the rest of the money, but I have no confidence that our elected officials will do that either.

    It was 535 people in Washington who got us to where we are now, do we really think that they will be able to fix this problem?

    PS: I would exempt the few new members of the house and a few others like Ron Paul from my previous points since they were the ones who got us any kind of commitment to lower debt.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  259. gene wallace

    Until the special money is removed from the election process, the lobyist in three piece suits will continue the sweetheaart legislation that is contrary to the dream the founders had for our republic.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  260. DCHack

    3 ways to change Washington. First is to eliminate the primary election system. Second is to stop gerrymanding districts. These two things alone are polarizing the political spectrum. 3 get the 22-28 year old staffers and interns out of the staffs. As smart as they may be, they lack the life experience needed to understand issues affecting the country to inlude having a family, paying mortgages, and running a business.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  261. Gary

    Donald Trump and Sarah Palin! Two people that understand business and how to create jobs!

    August 8, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  262. Rafael

    How to change Washington? I thought I voted for that two and half years ago? I guess that didn't work either...

    August 8, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  263. Trixie in Phoenix

    How about the folks in DC get a pay cut, no bonus and no perks. Wouldn't that free up some $? And while we're at it – let's take a look at their healthcare and pension benefits.
    The rest of us (tax payers) have experienced those reductions in the past few years. So if we actually had government by the people – the DC folks need to feel what reality is like for the people.

    The irony is that the DC folks created this whole budget mess and now want to toot their own horn about how they've done a good job of fixing it. What a sad joke our government has become. I hope term limits are created by voting these fools out of office.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  264. Bill Gaston

    First, strip away all the 'special' perks for all politicians. No special pensions, health care, etc. Cover them as we are,Social Security, Medicare, and the rest. See how fast things get fixed. Second, term limits – 4 years for everybody. If you can't get it done in 4 years, you have no business being there. Third, public campaign financing. A set pool of money for each candidate, nothing more. No special interests, lobbyists, no nothing!

    August 8, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  265. EFromOdenton

    How about ethics and honesty?

    A disgusted taxpayer from Odenton, Md

    August 8, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  266. JB

    We have a fundamental problem in the US. We are all spoiled brats. Everyone lives beyond their means which includes the Goverment, corporations, small business owners, and the common consumer. We need to remember what are Grandparents who lived thru the depression told us. Your mortgage or rent should not exceed 1\3 of your take home and you need to save 20% of your profits and then feel free to spend the rest as you choose.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  267. Jim C.

    The problem with politicians is everyone agrees we need a change - but we disagree on who to change. Everyone thinks "their guy" is doing a great job, if we could only get rid of "those other guys" everything would be better.

    The trouble is not with Washington. The trouble is with us - the voters. We have the system we asked for.

    But it's not all doom and gloom. Our nation has always been a work-in-progress. And today we're involved in the latest evolution of democracy.

    I'm confident we'll learn from this experience - and come out stroner (if not wiser).

    August 8, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  268. Jim Collins

    I believe the answer is very simple: term limits in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Too many representatives and senators are "professional" politicians devoted primarily to their re-election,not for the good of the country.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  269. Renee

    Obama and Boehner had agreed to a plan to cut 4 trillion. The "tea party" members would not agree to anything that closed corporate tax loopholes. I hold the tea party responsible for this debacle. So much for Michele Bachmann and her statements that "Obama is just using scare tactics – nothing will happen if we don't raise the debt ceiling". Look at what happened just from the downgrade!!! Our government, as it stands now, is broken. It is dysfunctional because of a small number of intransigent people who are willing to plunge our country further into the economic abyss due to their ideology. Yes, we have to deal with the deficit. And Obama was willing to make big cuts. More than 60% of people polled wanted BOTH spending cuts and tax increases. Why wouldn't Congress listen!! I don't know what the answer is. The whole situation is very frustrating...

    August 8, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  270. John Pitzer

    Thats easy, first term limits, no more than 2 terms, no pension, no healthcare like the rest of us Americans, Second, if you are convicted of a crime , you will be tarred and feathered, and ran out of town on a rail.
    Second, we quit giving our Money and Jobs away, first a 40 Percent tariff on anything that comes into this country, if you make it here, you get a tax break, if you don't you get taxed twice as much as someone who makes their product here, And NO Foreign aid what so ever

    August 8, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  271. Kirby

    I agree with the comment about humility. Frankly put, I think that the lawmakers in Washington DC need to forget themselves and compromise. The best solution is one that is not popular with all citizens, whether that includes major reforms to entitlement programs or at least some tax increases (or removal of some tax cuts). I think that the most polarized sections of Congress (especially those of that carn sarned Tea Party movement) are the ones causing the largest problem. Why should the entire world suffer for their extremism?

    August 8, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  272. bunkai winnipeg

    campaign finance reform

    Canadian elections are only a couple of months at most and there are limits as to how much money you can spend on your campaign. It is very small amount but enough tio get the message across. it seems there is always an election in the US and the pols spend more time fund raising then working for the people. Get the money out of it and maybe people will actually serve. Service to the nation what a concept.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  273. Ann from Charleston SC

    To change things in Washington we need Congressmen who are not wearing blinders and do not view their job as pushing through their personal agenda. We need people in Washington who look at our country as a whole and who see our country within the context of the rest of the world. We need to get rid of not only the Reids and Pelosis, but also the Boehners and McConnells and most especially the Tea Party. None of them have the vision needed to govern this country.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  274. Jim

    Eliminate all donations from any sources over $50!

    98% of all problems with this government can be attributed to campaign money. Stop paying attention to big business, unions and other special interests, all elected officials are there to serve the people of the US no one else.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  275. AVoiceofReason

    It will take a pronounced move towards center. We need to focus on where we agree, and get something accomplished. Where we disagree, it won't be by much, and resolution will be compromise and give-and-take, not disarmament and dismemberment.

    Centrist politics enjoys simple physics. When you reach across the aisle, your arm has a shorter distance to travel.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  276. Greg Kansas City

    Congratulations congress! After 40 years of total incompetence you needlessly destroy the world economy once again. In 2012 vote every one of them out starting with the Tea Party lunatics. Vote for moderates that show they are capable of using at least a small degree of common sense.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  277. Patrick

    Jack, you hit the nail on the head. Obama, Pelosi, Reid held a super-majority in the house and senate in 2008 and not only did they not pass a budget amendment, they never even brought the issue to the floor, concentrating on an unwanted health care bill instead. And that very bill was the biggest catalyst S & P used to down-grade our US credit rating. I have watched my 401k and IRA shrink to nothing and will not have to return to work. Oh, I forgot, there are no jobs! Maybe one of the shovel ready jobs in the future will be to bull-doze all the homeless people off the streets. Obama and his cronies should be ashamed of themselves. Lavish vacations and parties while asking the rest of us to tighten our belts. I bet if all the politicians were participating in social security, and had the same healthcare options we had, things would be a little different. These clowns should only be able to serve one-term. In the next election, I will not vote for anyone who is a politician, or who has been a politician in the past. If folks are running for office and they are a business man, policeman, postal worker, nurse, doctor etc., then they get my vote. Otherwise as my brother-in-law says, "Get the hell out of here".

    August 8, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  278. Lois Vuoncino

    I just viewed "Inside Job" for the first time last evening. I truly believe that we need to replace every one of those greedy hogs in Washington with a few of us folks who actually WORK for a living. Forget about the middle class–it's disappearing. That documentary was quite the eye-opener. As long as our fearless leaders remain squarely in the pockets of investment bankers, nothing will change. Unless, of course, those of us making less than $300,000.00 a year revolt. Hmmm, there's a thought–anyone with me?
    LV from Albany, NY

    August 8, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  279. Kathleen, New Hampshire

    1. Get rid of the filibuster. Just the threat of one is paralyzying legislation.
    2. Change campaign funding laws. Yeah, right. What was I thinking?
    3. We need someone to explain the issues beyond partisan sound bites. Make sure our elected officials–and the electorate– are up to date on the history of the issues so that the same mistakes don't get repeated. That's a role true journalism needs to play.
    4. Stop giving so much press to extremists of any party. The media love a political fight. Well, that's not working for us is it? Let's talk about the reasonable moderate people, and the work they do to make things happen.
    5. The 24 hour media cycle, in which every single thing is analyzed, is exhausting. What do we do about that, hmmm?

    August 8, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  280. mark

    The cynic in me says nothing will happen until congress has absolutely no other choice.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  281. Aaron Jacobs

    It's going to take an interested and educated voting public. This means a lot more effort than going to the ballot box every 2 years and voting for the 2 or 3 people we're suddenly stuck with on the ballot. People need to take personal interest and stop looking for talk radio and TV to learn about our elected officials.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  282. anon

    scary...it's looking like we are positioning ourselves for a one world currency and government – all that's left after that is a one world leader, very scary!!!

    August 8, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  283. jim watson

    Our government is wrecked. Our leader is weak and our people can't speak english. Our so called leaders can't figure any of this out. I agree, we need to vote out most of these clowns but with misleading advertisements during election time, coupled with a semi retarded voting population, I don't see this happening. People are like sheep or Sheople, they follow what sounds cool or whats hot at the moment and they never see the truth. I'm in California where the situation is far worse and our voting population is about as ignorant as they come. Like many of my friends, I'm renting out my place and moving to another country. The amercian dream is crippled at the moment so I will go find it elsewhere. Wake Up America and pull your head out. Get these fools out of our government.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  284. Bob Stankovich

    To fix our problem we must reduce our elected officials from positioning to be reelected. We can do that with term limits. House of Rep: 6 years; Senate: 8 years; President 6 years. Along with time limits there must be no moving on to another chamber of Congress once one is elected to either a house or senate position. The limit should not prohibit a run for the Presidency once a Congressional term has been completed.

    The second fix needed is a tax overhaul. Everyone should be subject to something like a modest flat percentage without any deductions allowed. We should give businesses low tax rates as long as they employ Americans and do not import finished or partially finished products from overseas

    August 8, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  285. Sadah

    I live in FL not at all shocked by the results, Gov. Scott declined the high speed train. GOP declined to accept 4.3 trillion in cuts that Obama offered. I am 32 and expect nothing from congress for me or my child. I have a 401K that has gone down. Middle class family just SMH at how difficult life will be for us in the future.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  286. Tom - Crestview FL

    Jack, nothing has changed and will not change. The government, not the country is broken, and in its' current state, unfixable. Each election cycle, the same promise of change is made, with no results. The people do not get what we deserve, we get what the corrupt system offiers us and can not vote or choose from the garbage. Democrats, Republicians, Independents or whatever party all of the same wrapped a little differently. Its time to take out the trash, but it can't be done.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  287. Michelle Shiroma

    Prayer is the only thing that will work. Common sense and rational behavior does not seem to play into the politician's choices. Most of the these politicians are in the upper income brackets and are not personally feeling the pain in their own bank accounts. It is the lower to middle class folks that have felt the greatest pain.
    I'm wondering if making lobbying an illegal practice would bring back more well-rounded politics to this country. The corporations (which pay little to no income tax) can afford lobbyists. Who's lobbying for the interests of the lower or middle class income groups? No one. It's lobbyists who have the ear of your local representative. Without lobbyists, we might be able to close some of these corporate loopholes and generate some much-needed revenue. It is unconscionable to have so many US citizens suffering while the oil companies (amongst others) get tax breaks and reap soaring profits. Make lobbying illegal and you take the incentive out of corruption. Your representatives are not voting their conscience – they've voting their pocketbook. I'm longing for lobbying & ethics reform. But in the meantime, I'll just keep praying! It's the only hope I have left.
    Michelle Shiroma
    Isle of Palms, South Carolina

    August 8, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  288. Stephanie, Chicago, IL

    My History teacher in high school told me that all empires fail when they get fat, happy, and stupid... and I agree. Washington won't be fixed because the people are too fat, happy, and stupid to care enough to change things. And Washington is just doing what people in power do, which is do anything and everything in order to hold on to that power. Its the natural order of things. America is bound to have a collapse in order to be able to rebuild anything new. Until then the people will remain as they do, and Washington stay the same.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  289. Eric R.

    It's time for us to reconsider term limits for Congress. It's the good ol boy network that got us in this trouble.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  290. Michael in MA

    All the political bickering aside (both parties have good things and bad things about them), I think a lot of the problem is the media. Since the election terms are so short, and there is constant media scrutiny from the media, it forces the politicians into a need to be in campaign mode all the time. This means they can't, or are at least reluctant to, compromise in fear that it will upset their party base and put future terms in jeopardy. With such a system/mentality, there will be nothing but arguing and politcal stand stills, and things will continue as they are now: nothing, no matter how important, gets done.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  291. Chris Morrissette

    Jack,

    Whatever you do to change Washington, please don't move them up to Canada.... we actually have our AAA house in order after 9 years of being downgraded by those same S&P buggers. Been there and done that, I'm surprised know one is telling my American friends that it will actually take you about 9 years on average to regain back your AAA status. I believe the S&P "deciders" should now declare their political affiliation, since they have wade in and curtailed the direction on American policy... this is a shame and a crime... I truly feel for you my friends... chin up

    Chris
    Paris Ontario

    August 8, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  292. Jason B.

    First off, the president is allowed to have some fun and Congress is allowed breaks.

    Now...how to fix Washington? Duct tape each member of Congress to a chair and slap the poo out of them until they understand who they are supposed to represent: we, the American people. Not those with the most money. Not those with the loudest voices. Not those that make you sign meaningless pledges.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  293. Melissa

    Getting rid of all of them. Every Senator, every Congressman, and even the President. Hire new ones. Remove ANY power that lobbyists have. Make it illegal for anyone but individual people to donate to any administration and more than $2000 a year.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  294. John Mateja

    Not sure at this point, but the media has not helped one i-ota with any of this mess. the mis-information and lies and half truths are overwhelming in politics and no one gets at the truth to hold someone accountable and on the record, Why not? all news casts have a different spin to put on it in their favor. Why is it that when a Senator or a Congressmen shows up on a show, why are not the hard questions asked and hold him accountable for them, instead the easy path is always taken not to shake him up so he and his fellow Senators and Congressmen are able to come back another day for more passive questions or no real answers and business goes on as usual!

    John from NJ

    August 8, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  295. Mahmoud El-Darwish

    "What will it take to change things in Washington?"
    one word.... DeBushification
    – the entire debt ceiling and subsequent credit rating downgrade of the US was orchestrated by the so-called Tea Party movement.
    So eliminate this nuisance fake patriotism and we can begin to repair Washington.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  296. Bill in New Mexico

    A new constitution that would retain the good of the old constitution, but add control of lobbies, control of pork barrel, line item veto, swift control of wrong doing and unethical behavior, term limits, etc.

    Even if this were possible, there is no time!

    The federal debt is going to reach a tipping point–beyond which there is no recovery.

    If only there was time to change Washington.

    It is time to change ourselves: be brave and share support. Do what we can do to improve.

    We must be calm and survive.

    Make do on what we have.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  297. Jo from PA

    What will it take to change Washington? Change, like charity, begins at home, Jack. If you'll forgive Pogo's "swamp-speak" the answer is clear: "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

    The politically self-serving behavior of Congress merely mirrors the behavior of those who abuse the the earth's resources, recycle nothing, and toss out their trash and beer cans along our roads for "someone else" to pick up. My kids knew better before they could talk.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  298. joe richards

    It's over for this country. Sadly the idiots like Palin , Bachman, Limbaugh, and the tea party et al have taken control of the Political process and there is no one that can change that. My thought is that the dumbing down of America along with the incessant media fawning has given this ilk plauseability. Most people can't discern how these peole would have been viewed even 20- 25 years ago. The other major problem is lack of financial and economic education without which people will believe most anything. We can no longer defend ourselves against the onslaught of mediocracy.

    S&P could actually be our salvation,if it's not too late. Every one knows that this new Committee won't work and S&P has warned that if nothing significant is achieved we will have another downgrade. Going fromAA+ to AA should get someones' attention. The tea party may ruin the economy but they may immolate themselves in the process.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  299. Jim from San Mateo, California

    Generally speaking, we all tend to despise the people in Congress, except our own representatives. All of them deserve to get thrown out because they are forsaking the Country to pander to their respective fringes. There are no leaders any more. The children of the legislature are behaving like spoiled brats with their my way or the highway attitude.

    Right now the US is leaderless, I supported Obama and will continue, but the sooner the Democrats get a spine and take over the middle of the political spectrum, the better I'll feel.

    BTW, Jack, why did you mention Democratic leaders by name, but didn't mention any GOPers in the derogatory sentence?

    If this country support it's educational systems like it supported it's wars, we'd have the know how to out design and engineer the Chinese and get ourselves weened off the oil that keeps this country supporting the people who hate us.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  300. Evik James

    How about not voting for people based on their flavor of belief in God? It should be fairly obvious by now that God has no interest in propping up our nation any longer. How about we vote for smart people instead of divisive bigmouths?

    August 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  301. John Moore - New Britain, PA

    Only the voters can change Washington. We all need to start paying more attention to what our elected reps do (or don't do) and vote` accordingly. Stop voting for Party and vote for people who will put country first. A big change but we have to do it. Current mainstream pols need to get guts and vote for what they know is right, no more fear of compromise and common sense. Everyone must feel some pain, even the rich who have been hurt the least in this past decade or two.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  302. Todd

    I think you need to break the current system. Politicians are in it for one reason, a nice fat pay check and retirement plan that most do not have a chance to get in the "real world." Second, we need to have a budget just like business' and personal lives. Third, we need jobs!!! Finally, the word entitlement needs to go away. If you are receiving assistance and are able bodied, the government should put you to work on any of the many projects that need man/woman power. Why write a check and not get anything in return?

    August 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  303. John White

    When the Democrats create their own version of the Tea Party, then we will have the force behind the Democratic party to create a change. The Tea Party may or may not be on the right track, but the politicians connected to that status are at least listening to their constituents.

    We need the liberal citizens to start speaking out against the Democratic politicians as the Tea Party citizens did against the Republican party. Then we'll see real change.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  304. Gigi Oregon

    Jack, Good News, the President is back to work I just saw him on CNN this morning "Looking Good" Sorry you missed that, sleeping late I guess...Now to your Question. Actually he doesn't need to do much just show up for work. His approval rating may be low but it is higher than anyone else in Washington DC. What does the whole of Congress need to do to change things. Freeze their pay might be a good start. If that makes them yawn take away their retirement. Still yawning, put them on Obama care. Oh! can't do that...O' they did do some business on us before they went on a 5 week vacation.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  305. Unhappy (with my Rep) Fisherville, KY

    We need the American people to take to the streets to protest this tea party downgrade. They have caused huge losses from our retirement accounts, and on top of that they will want to cut social security and medicare. It is time to raise taxes on the top 2% and get rid of tax loopholes that benefit the wealthy.

    I used to think we needed to raise everyone's taxes, but it is clear now that we the middle-class can't afford it with the damage the tea party has done to us.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  306. Mark S

    How about we stop electing lawyers with no business sense or economics experience to make these decisions for us?!

    Will Farrell, as Robert Goulet once said, "you wouldn't hire a clown to fix a leak in the john?! so why are you going to let these guys tear down the biz?"

    August 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  307. Steve Lewis

    It will take real leadership to correct this mess and there is no one in Congress or the White House that has shown any hint of leadership. I personally would love to see the whole Congress recalled because it is obvious they have failed at their job and should be fired immediately. At a minimum, the US electorate needs to invoke its own form of term limits during the next election and vote for the party of "None of the Above". There isn't one incumbent who should re-elected, except maybe for Ms. Giffords. Now she at least shows personal strength and commitment.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  308. Ron Kennedy

    Unfortunately, because we live in a "me" society (thanks to social media like facebook, youtube, etc.) the age of bipartisanship in D.C. is over. the last election cycle of 2010 proved that; with the election of "tea party' candidates that personify the very meaning of what "me" is all about. No one cares about each other, it's all about what is best for "me" and the people in those tight inner circle (donors, PAC's, and the like).

    August 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  309. Mike Gallagher

    Jack, you are incredible you intimate that we need to get red of Reid and Pelosi but they are that responsible ones out the that will compromise if it moves out country forward. I say it;s the party of JUST SAY NO that needs a good looking over. Remember this is the REpublican REcession.I say to heck with Grover Norquist, Mitch MeConnell as well the Tea Party, Sorry to say I drink Coffee.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  310. Andrew Griffith

    Get rid of the two party system, we have outgrown it and communication is such that now we can elect people based solely on their own ideas. Secondly, get rid of ALL career politicians regardless of party or anything else, then set strict term limits on total time in government work, not just as an elected official in one place or another. Problem solvers come from the real world of business and not the theoretical and fantasy world of politics.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  311. Michael

    Everyone in Washington must go in the next elections. The House of Representatives and Senate have NOT done the job they were elected to do. The raising of the Debt Ceiling should have been done last October. Republicans created the debt in the first half of the last decade causing the Bush administration to preside over the worst crash of the stock market. Now, just a few years later the Republicans have come back and out did themselves. They ALL must go Dems and Republicans and we need people who understand the constitutional duties and will get the job done.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  312. viki ferguson

    The only way to change things in Washington is probably another civil war because everything is going to remain the same in the government unless we the people speak up and be heard. We have been taxed for everything and still we are broke. We have been invaded by foreigners who work here and send our money back to their countries to profit. We let them come and have children that we support while they work and get paid under the table so they don't pay taxes. I say we cut out taxing wages and just raise taxes on daily items. That way they are shore to have to pay for what they receive not live off of what the honest working people of America make. Also ship them off back to the countries they say they still love and make them return legally. If they are here to stay learn English like all other immigrants that have entered this nation wanting to prosper. We are suppose to be free Americans but how can we be free if we are held prisoners of debt.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  313. Norm Spivey

    Well finally, there's the rub! AAA+ to AA+ for going over the limit on the old AMERICAN EXPRESIDENT card. Did you REALLY think there was no limit? 4 Trillion was the amount due and you did not listen. I don't care if your friends said it would be okay to pay less. Reduce the debt or daddy's taking away your card and car keys.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  314. Doug Thomas

    Change Washington D.C? That's easy enough. Fire each and everyone of them. Republicians and Democrats alike! It's a no-brainer.

    They have already proven that they won't work together. What else do you need to know?

    Las Cruces NM

    August 8, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  315. Steve

    Your line
    "And that's the real problem. The country is being destroyed, and we continue to send the destroyers back to Washington."

    A quick check of the web shows that in the 2010 election there was a change, 13% or the Senate and 21% of the House were Freshman. That's a LOT of change. And it could be argued that the Senate was a close to a 40% change since only a third of the Senate is up for election at one time.

    I think we had change and the change has caused a lot of the problem.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  316. Jim

    A modern day Doctor Joseph-Ignace Guillotin? Perhaps the politicians in DC should read a little history, Louis XVI and Archduchess Maria Antonia (aka Marie Antoinette)?

    August 8, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  317. Frances

    Vote out the right wing Republican radical tea party. They are basically ignorant about how government works. They won't have sensible debates, and will not compromise. They hurt our economy by not simply raising the debt ceiling, as it always has been raised on its own, and bringing our country to the brink.

    Frances
    Escondido

    August 8, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  318. Robin

    The only way Washington will change is if it abolishes the 2 party system and allows other opinions besides extreme left and extreme right. They just argue over everything because their views are so different.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  319. Zev Brooks

    My solution: "Operation Clean Slate.". Let's replace every member on Congress. Use the primaries to oust the incumbant. Then vote Democrat or Republican, but at least the incumbant won't win. Then if the former incumbant has some valuable experience, let's offer them a staff job in the district or State they just lost.

    Fountain Valley, CA

    August 8, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  320. John Schultz

    If you think that this problem is caused by only Republicans OR only Democrats then you are an idiot. It doesn't matter who has control...they both spend, spend, spend....just on different things.

    Get rid of the money in Washington and you solve 1/2 the problem.
    Get rid of automatic pay increases for congress.
    Get rid of lobbyists!!

    We need to make ALL POLITICIANS ACCOUNTABLE...not just Democrats or Republicans.

    Peterborough, NH

    August 8, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  321. mnscot

    Listen to all the people blogging about how their view – liberal or conservative - is best. Obviously this partisan bickering is what's causing the gridlock that is holding us all hostage today. The only way out is for moderate thinking and compromise – with a combination of spending cuts and revenue increases – to get back to a balanced budget. We have to live within our means. And that includes government too. How about no pay increases for federal employees for a year? And how about a "freeze" on federal spending – where we actually hold total costs flat for one year? Instead of these "cutbacks" where spending doesn't actually decrease, but only increases at a lower rate? That's what real businesses do in dire circumstances like we face today.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  322. Dave Fireng

    Add two amendments to the constitution; congressional term-limits and balance budget. This will keep 'We the People' not 'We the Government know the best' in Washington.

    Dave
    Gilbert, AZ

    August 8, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  323. Tim from Oregon

    We all need to stop being Republicans and Democrats and start being Americans! Also, after years of tax cuts for the wealthy, I still see a huge lack of jobs. More jobs means more revenue with out raising taxes. Every one seems to be too willing to blame the right or the left, in my opinion, the answer is in the middle.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  324. David LaBossiere Marlborough, MA

    I'm not sure if it can be changed at this point Jack. I think the corruption is far to intrenched. May be time for another revolution, non violent of course. Time for major protests in the streets.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  325. Evelyn

    Jack, End all special interests, all corporate interests and all lobbyists .Make the leaders accountable to we the people. Our leaders no longer care about the little guy until they want your vote .In short out leaders from both parties are nothing more than whores at the corporate trough .In less it changes America is doomed.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  326. Everyman

    The solution is obvious;no voter should EVER vote for an elected representative who is/was a lawyer. It's all a game when you are a lawyer. It is not about truth, justice, right versus wrong, it is all a game about winning and the notoriety and wealth that comes with it. Politics is a game about winning and losing.
    It is not "the practice of philoosphy." It is not the "noble" pursuit of legislating the will of the people. iI is not majority rule while safeguarding minority rights. It is, quite clearly to any perceptive citizen, the equivalent of a courtroom farce where the attorneys argue in their own best interest and in that of the wealthy, privileged, entitled elite, while clients (The American People), are sinking into an economic morass without equal.
    There will be another revolution. The shape, character, and scope are slowly evolving. It is only a matter of time. The middle class and the disenfranchised poor will, sooner than most imagine, bang the gavel on the lawyers' posturing in Washington.
    Don't vote everyone out. Simply start with the lawyers. That would be one grand gesture that would have enormous impact. Rather than argue for the sake of winning, maybe congress would talk in order to reach consensus.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  327. Marie MD

    Simple, get rid of the domestic terrorists that lied about jobs and their "love of country" to have it flushed down the toilet – aka the tea party fools, including bachman who will not have a job come November 2008 anyway.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  328. Rosemary

    KICKING THE TEA PARTY TO THE CURB! the Hatred and disrespect for this President is so ingrained, by this Congress and Republicans that the Country is CAUGHT in the middle so we suffer. The TeaPublicans would rather take the Country down than to see this President get any type of credit for economic success.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  329. Mike

    Three things:
    Term Limits, Term Limits, and term limits.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  330. H2J4

    What it will take is simple. It will take the American people getting involved not just sitting back and hoping that our government to do what is Right. Politicians are more worried about getting re-elected than doing what is right for country.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  331. frank corrigan

    the problem can be fixed by instituting term limits on congress.

    Now they are continually running for reelection

    August 8, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  332. Carl S.

    Obama was supposed to change, and by looking at my portfolio he sure did.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  333. Raj

    Nothing Jack. My son who says Individually I mighty be doing bed by gettin C,s and D,s But my country is doing good collectively by getting not just A But DOuble AA and Plus too.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  334. Lih-Kuo Ho

    Let people vote the debt issue directly, back to the real "Repubic".

    August 8, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  335. david

    Jack,
    It may be too late. If President Obama decides to grow a pair and do what's in the best interest of the nation, there might be a chance. But the Supreme Court allowing unlimited campaign contributions by corporations has given the GOP the idea they can run the country in the ground, blame it on the President, and still receive corporate donations enough to get reelected. The GOP has whipped their base into a frenzy so now they have a splinter group (Tea Party) even more radical than their base. Their visceral contempt for the President exceeds the nations well being. Sure we have to have a better handle on the debt, but not until we get unemployment below 5%. Until then, spending will be necessary. The President needs to pull an FDR and Bonier needs to put the country ahead of his own political needs.

    David

    August 8, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  336. keskere,tx

    This was the result of the Tea party that hijack the country and wanted Obama to fail by all means regardless of the cost to the country and the people. We reasonable Americans need to wake up and read between the lines.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  337. ECB - New York

    Jack,

    Remind Washington that they work for us!
    Who speaks for us? – We do! How? VOTE, VOTE, VOTE

    August 8, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  338. Michael

    Jack
    Your right on the money. The president stated people should not tamper with rating agencies during the mortgage crisis. Now he complains that the rating agency was wrong about the government rating.
    Hard working people in America didn't need a rating agency to tell us that America is broken. Have a nice vacation Congress.

    Michael in New Hampshire

    August 8, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  339. Prithvi

    Simple Jack, fire everyone, and I mean EVERYONE! Then impose term limits. One six year term for the president and senators, and one three year term for Representitaves. Then no pension or benefits after they leave Washington. Then ban ALL lobbying. Then, allow anonymous voting, if no re-election, why do we need to know? Then the hyper-partisian gridlock will end and maybe something will be accomplished.

    Naperville, IL

    August 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  340. Mary Walters

    Our Government needs to be fired! When would any working class boss leave when the company is falling apart? Every time I turn around the Government is screwing the public (i.e. social security) but congress and the president sure seem to be getting their pay checks! Our Government is not for the people anymore, they are out to get what the want ($$$)! Our Govenment is destroying America and soon we are going to be facing another civil war becasue no one can agree!!!
    Yeah go Democrats!!! (said sarcastically)

    August 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  341. Jim

    Not a thing. Americans refuse to sacrifice and no matter want Washington does it won't be good enough. From our volunteer Military, because people didn't want to serve to the TSA and all the complaints but nary a person willing to fork out a cent from their own pockets for a private security. Would America accept a rationing of gasoline. The answer is no they would rather complain about the cost. Whinny little children and no one in Washington has the guts or the ability to change things.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  342. James

    An Independent moderate and fiscally responsible (balanced budget with taxes and cuts; war taxes for wars) Tea Party like movement that cares about a level playing field (no bailouts) and concentrates on fiscal issues (no time wasted on gays, flag, or abortion). And it will reform the corrupt committee system in Congress. Where in the Constitution does it say someone who has been there longer gets more power through committee chairmanships and such? They should be rotating. It is an abomination of representative democracy. Lets send Pelosi, Boehner, McConnel, Reid, Cantor, Bachman, Dodd, and the like home. Bring back Bowles and Simpson.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  343. LeRoy

    Don't let them come back from vacation. Lock the doors to the Capitol Building.
    LeRoy
    Edgefield, SC

    August 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  344. Pam

    We the People must stop tolerating abrasive, partisan politicians who engage in blaming, sniping and just plain meaness. The sound bite rules, not common sense. Until we do, we can't count on responsible governance.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  345. Denny Gieck

    Here is an idea (I'll keep this as concise as possible): Abolish the terms Democrat, Republican and Independent (including the RNC and DNC); then, call every member of both halves of Congress "Constitutionalists"–everyone is interested in preserving or amending the Constitution for the better. Assign every member of the House and Senate a seat randomly–allow the mix of conservatives and liberals. Last but not least, give each Constitutionalist a maximum of 2 terms so new energy and activism can help steer our country in the right direction. We need to eliminate the disease of obstructionism and get to a point where conservatives and liberals can work together without pressure from party affiliation.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  346. Del Jones

    The solution Jack, is to rid Washington of GOP members of Congress, including the lunatic fringe.

    The U.S. has a great President, but he is not a magician. He needs some help, and cooperation to get things on track.

    If Americans are foolish enough to vote President Obama out of office in 2012, I hope he moves to Canada. He would be elected Prime Minister running for any of our political parties ... and we couldn't care less where he was born!

    August 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  347. RLG

    The quick answer is there should be no such thing as a lifer in Congress. It is not the president that is holding the country hostage, it is those people that have been in Congress 20+ years. When I hear a person in Congress stating they have been trying 13 years to get something done then maybe he/she is not the best person for us. The Congress is a place to serve the people not make a career. When I hear people saying that they are investing millions of dollars of their own money to get elected, I always ask myself how is he/she going to make that money back. I am sure it will be at the cost of the common man.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  348. BRD

    Wrong question. We had change two years ago, and look what that got us. A better question might be: what will it take to implement rational, thoughtful, intelligent change in Washington that doesn't make us look like a nation of idiots. And the answer, I think, is a managed, national dialogue on priorities. Until we, as a nation, find a reasonable, balanced way to identify and declare what the majority of us are for, what we're prepared to pay for, and what we think is silly, wasteful and/or unfair, we'll keep getting lots of change.

    We just won't have any progress. Or self-respect.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  349. Kathy Milich

    An informed electorate will bring about change. It is time for news reporters to go back to reporting the news without fear of being labeled liberal or conservative. Only facts should be presented to the public. News should not consist primarily of the opposing opinions of the political parties. People can only make informed decisions when they have all the facts. Facts, not opinions, should dominate the news.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  350. patrick

    Jack stop the complaining. They were voted in by us, and bet my last
    dallor we will put them back in.Just do like I do take it with a smile,then
    get my book for love sake so that I too can be rich and lose my sencess.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  351. Peter Waterman

    Jack – TERM LIMITS: that might stop the reelection campaigning from starting the second week they are in office. Maybe they could get something done.
    Peter in VT

    August 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  352. Louisa Lutes

    Jack –

    I think we should all suspend their pay until they get down to business, do their job and earn their living like the rest of us!!!

    za

    August 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  353. Michael Sherwood, ME

    Our country needs a leader who can demonstrate the ability to bring together all parties, whatever their political affiliation, and coordinate a sensible way out of the economic turmoil we are in.
    In return, we need elected officials who will put their partisan politics on the back burner and work together, now. This may be a cliche, but united we stand, divided we fall.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  354. CRB

    Agree with this earlier posting. "First, strip away all the 'special' perks for all politicians. No special pensions, health care, etc. Cover them as we are,Social Security, Medicare, and the rest. See how fast things get fixed. Second, term limits – 4 (I would change to 8) years for everybody. If you can't get it done in 4 (8) years, you have no business being there. Third, public campaign financing. A set pool of money for each candidate, nothing more. No special interests, lobbyists, no nothing!" ...and bare bones budgets for their offices (see Fox DC report on leased cars – a disgrace).

    WE NEED BALANCE: raise taxes (take the cap of Social Security, get rid of the tax breaks for the wealthy and make sure all corporations pay MINIMUM taxes). Quit threatening us with unemployment; we already have it.

    Like leaders in business, congressional leaders and the President need to make unpopular decisions to keep the finances they are entrusted with in good stead.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  355. Ken Russell

    It will take a major grassroots revolution to get the idiots' attention in Washington. We can start by every tax payer upping their deductions on their W2 as far as possible, and then when April 2012 comes refuse to file or pay their taxes. Maybe then the "elected officials" will realize where the money they so easily squander comes from, and remind them who put them in office and who they work for. Short of a major uprising from the citizens of this country, I am afraid nothing will change, except our quality of life, reputation of the US, and continual eroding of our 401 and future.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  356. Fred Schwacke

    Informed voters. The media is doing a horrible job of covering the whole story and are contributing to the campaign of disinformation. It is almost impossible to have an intelligent & constructive conversation at the donut shop because it almost instantly reverts to misinformation and badly understood dogma.
    The politicians totally ignore the voters unless they get a windfall of power (ie the Tea Party). If voters stand up, narrow their focus at let the politicians know they are in jeopardy, we will have change.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  357. Angie

    It has been 10 years since we have been able to afford a family vacation. I am happy Congress is having a wonderful vacation on our money and we look forward to the thoughtful thank you note from them all.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  358. chris

    Send in the Marines, clear out the capitol, round up the whole bunch., Incarcerate everyone until all bribes & pay-offs are returned (this should pay off the debt !). Strip them of their voting right, never to hold a government job ever again. Confiscate their passport (no exotic retirement community for those guys !). Have new elections within 3 months with fresh blood, term limits & immediate prison sentence for accepting kickbacks, golf junkets in Scotland or rattlesnake barbeques in Texas !!!!!!

    Chris, Fresno, Ca

    August 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  359. Mike Melville

    Lets go to political basics first. What do we have to do to stop lobbyists from buying our politicians? Why do corporations and banks own our politicians? We can't make congress pass laws that will limit their access to corporate cash. How can we stop foreign countries from owning our politicians. There is nowhere to turn. When will the headache from divisiveness end? When will our politicians work to help our country? When will politicians stop trying to take each other down by being obstructionists, preferring to cause their opponents Waterloo? These guys make me sick. Are there no mirrors in their homes? do they know what they have done to our nation. Shame on all of them. It is time for moderate party of sensible people running the country that care about their country. And perhaps it is time to take back our airwaves from the hate speech!

    August 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  360. david carter

    jack if we could grt rid of the lobbist that would be over half of the problem. well at least tax their money left on the steps of the capital at a 75% rate and that would cut the defict. with out that money most of the members of congress could not get re-elected. dave fort smith ar.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  361. biorsel

    The only way to clean up Washington and get our country back on its feet is for every politician who wants to run for an office, he or she needs to pass a three questions with a lie detector hookup. Whatever that might be during a debate...on national TV. I've forfeited my vote long ago...I don't know who to trust!!!

    August 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  362. Michael

    What was the cause of the French revolution and what again happened to the rich?

    August 8, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  363. Eric

    We need to reform the redistricting process. Gerrymandering allows Congressmen to pick the people they want to vote for them and further creates a system that isn't true representative democracy. It may only be a start, but it's a change that has been necessary for decades.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  364. Ann Donaldson

    Whatever cuts and concessions are made on behalf of our illustrious
    congress needs to include congress. All of their unlimited perks need to come to an end. They need to have the same medical care and medicare as us minons they represent.
    Only when they are held by the same policies they pass, will what they pass, become something we are better able to swallow.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  365. Rome, Green Bay, WI

    After reading that Barney Frank is making the military his number 1 target, all I can say is "we're in trouble"!

    I agree, get our troops home but don't start picking on their pay and benefits! Start taking away the special benefits of our Congressman and Senators! That would be a place to start!

    August 8, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  366. Nancy

    Whose pocket did that over 2 trillion dollars go into the past week? It wasn't ours. What little investments we have, have still not come back to what they were in 2000. We've been sitting on them. This was the rich selling off and making trillions, AGAIN! Let me see, first it's the housing bubble, then the loss of jobs, now everyones 401K's are tanking. They won't quit until the middle class is gone. If you ask me it's another thing put in place so the one world government can take over the world. I hate to see what is in store for us next. I fear for the ordinary people in this country and around the world. Our government is a joke. Why should they get 5 weeks vacation while our country is being destroyed? UNREAL!

    August 8, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  367. Betty Bledsoe

    A 'kept' promise; 1. Not to speak about their pointing finger.
    2. Speak only about the 4 fingers pointing back.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  368. Linden Bates

    Far as I'm concerned, there's only one REAL MAN in Washington, and that's Nancy Pelosi. Barack was "hired" to take on the stingies and awaken the indifferents (aka "independents), but he doesn't even TALK a mean fight. What a sissy.

    The rhetoric has been all wrong, from the top down. Paying taxes, making a fair contribution to the best of one's ability, should be presented as heroic, fair, an example of integrity. People who whine about leaving a debt to their children should advocate stepping up and paying for their own lunch. The chest beaters who love to celebrate America's exceptionalism shoud be called on their unwillingness to pay for it. When people have no beds, no homes, that the wealthy defend Bloomie's sheets on all the beds at all their houses and there's a group in Washington who supports that, we need pink slips for everybody.

    The rhetoric of Barack has been a total flaccid failure.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  369. Matt

    Jack, it is going to take education. We get into messes like this because people are uninformed. They hear what they want to hear from party hacks on one side of the aisle or the other, and never bother to get the truth for themselves. When they are looking to place blame for this sort of mess, they should be taking a long hard look in the mirror. The media does not help much, frankly. I think Churchill put it nicely: "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."

    August 8, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  370. Jean Sutherland

    The Canadian politicians !! Just don't send yours to us. We've been there and done that.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  371. jim mckinley

    congree weighs everything they do and say on the impact that it will have on re-election not on the impact on the nation, elect senators and congresspersons for a six year term with no second terms permitted. and perhaps then they will consider the people instead of themselves

    August 8, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  372. Danny

    Don't look now but we are being taken on a path we do not or will not wish to go. We must stand up for our rights and we must make it very well known that this is not what we want nor is it how we will tolerate being represented.

    We must take all manner of legal actions available to us. We must make it clear how we feel and what we want. This is a country made up of citizens and we have a constitution that says we are to be a government of the people by the people and for the people and if we are not getting that and if we do not have that it is upon us to ensure that our representatives on every level understand this clearly. If they do not then we must do whatever legally available to us to remove them.

    This includes voting of course but if we can prove that they acted for unknown entities for monetary gain or favors exchanged or those types of things we can make sure that they are removed in those ways as well.

    If we do not have honesty in representation then we no longer have representation and they have therefore violated their duties according to the constitution of the United States of America. If not now when?

    August 8, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  373. Luther51

    No corrupt institution ever reforms itself.

    We must vote OUT all incumbents, then elect only those replacements who pledge to pass term limits of two terms for every Senator and Congressman.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  374. astro24102

    I have never seen such a lack of leadership from both parties. Its amazing that they would let this happen. Both Repugs and the liberal dems need to be booted out of office. The leaders of both of these parties should resign in shame, be lucky they are not in japan and are not asked to fall on the sword.

    Great Job Conservatives and Liberals for destroying this country. I guess we have to keep voting you guys out before you get the picture. In the mean-time all of american suffers.
    Great job leading Mr. President.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  375. Lyman Baier

    Jack, the answer is simple. Hit 'em where it hurts, in the wallet! 18% reduction in salary. 18% reduction in expenses. 18% surchage in fuel cost for their luxury airtravel, lemo's, health insurance, and an 18% tax on their alledged Million dollar retirement funds. Sock it to 'em, as we used to say! Let's see how they take a loss!

    Buzz and Sharon Baier

    August 8, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  376. Dan

    Undortunately Jack The problem is built into the Constitution.

    The USA is in a perpetural elaction cycle. The votes in one election aren't counted before the next one begins.

    The party who is out of power is rooting for the one in power to fail otherwise they will not be elected.

    The don't give a damn about their Country,only their own self interests,
    while they place their hands over their hearts and sing God Bless America.

    It will take honest politians with an honest desire to help the Country
    in spite of their own re-election chances.

    I'm not optomistic.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  377. Gary Brown

    Why are we pretending as if we don't know what's behind this craziness? Rush Limbaugh said he wants the President to fail; and then we see the republicans doing all to make it happen. Guess what guys, if he fails we all fail. Guess they didn't get the memo; County before politics guys.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  378. Rob

    What we need is a credible third party, whose platform is simply the logical running of the country, completely centrist, no right or left-wing pandering. A party for the undecided/independents, who are the ones who ultimately decide whether republicans or democrats win. That would force democrats and republicans to the center (resulting in less far-right/left influence), or would result in a block of legislators who represent a swing vote, forcing logical decision making in the country.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  379. JP

    Although I am not an American I, like so many others, pay attention to what is happening in the USA. Personally, I think the leaders of the United States need to step back and realize that they are fighting the wrong battle. They need to listen to their constituents and each other instead of bickering amongst themselves. You were elected to lead the people and that means doing what is right for everyone – not just a few. Unfortunately that means sacrifce for everyone.
    From the Friendly North.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  380. Mary Brown

    Debt limit, S&P rating, mortages, 401k's yada, yada. If you quiet the noise everyone will see the driving factor for all of what is happening. Its about the money baby boomers monies saved for retirement. The rich have used our funds for decades and "do not" want to give it back. We should be outraged at this legal theft system that steal's from us while telling us not to panic; leave your money in place and "keep investing each time you are paid. When will we the people get angry – that's what.s going on. The end result for each issue is "we lose our investments." Come on, open your eyes.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  381. Sky-Eagle

    Stop letting a handful of people blackmail this country. Congress works for about 2 % of the people and everyday people are held hostage because of this. We should have term limits. No more career politicians. Maybe then they will actually work for the people who elected them instead of special interests.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  382. Ann

    They need to fire everyone back in Wa.D.C. and send some women who can blance a budget on very little.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  383. Ryan L

    "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable." JFK. The people in power are so far removed from the reality of America, that going on vacation in the middle of a econmic meltdown seems like a good idea. A revolution in the political machine in America is the only thing that will change Washington.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  384. Darryl

    At this point, I think we got to many of the wrong republicans in office. I wonder if Mr speaker still happy about getting 98 % of what he wanted. Regardless the American people are 100% screwed and we get to see what next for at least another year. If we live that long!

    August 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  385. Will Haynes

    I've always thought if our congress and senate were on term limits this would begin to solve many of our problems immediately. They would not receive any benefits after their one term and during their term they would pay into any health plan of their choosing. No breaks, just a two week leave each year. Lastly we need a top notch accounting firm to manage the governments finances, no more pork barrel policies. Of course they would also serve one term. I've got many more great ideas but the thieves and mongrels in Washington will still be there when the dust clears. By the way, they just started taking more out of my military retirement check, this was done without any prior notice So Mr. Cafferty why not do a special on the pros and cons of term limits and let me come on the show and tell my side of the story.

    Thank you,

    Will Haynes

    August 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  386. Nino Cervi

    There are many things that should and could be done, but nothing should be done that did not include TERM LIMITS. The days of career poiliticans needs to come to an end. If individales wish to serve their country...God Bless them!..serve.. and then go home and get a job.
    Also, all the exclusive perks need to come to an end.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  387. MB

    Coral Springs, FL.
    Jack, your statement "No one deserves a government that treats its people this way" is absolutely correct. We as a people have to get involve...... in some way or some how period. NOW. It is sad to see our great country losing "heart". .... Great hearts send forth steadily the secret forces that incessantly draw great events(Ralph Waldo Emerson).......

    August 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  388. VAresident

    Find and vote for moderates. Get rid of the extremists on both sides. Simpson-Bowles gave congress a very good formula to save our economy but the left and right totally ignored it because it didn't meet their litmus test. We can't have everything, but we can do a whole lot better in electing people who want to do what is best for the country, not just their party and their relection chances. I am a firm advocate of term limits for congress memebers.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  389. Tom

    Day care for our Congress and Senate, and if they can't learn to "play nice" with one another after a week, grab your pitchforks and torches and march to D.C..

    I don't advocate violence, but what else can we do?? We keep hearing the talking heads say, "Let them know how you feel at the next election and vote them out!" Well, we've tried that, many times, and it doesn't work! With apologies to Pete Townsend and The Who, it's simply, "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss!" Requesting change, simply is not working!

    Enough already!!

    August 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  390. SIP

    The problem is that Simpson-Bowles provided a thorughtful path to fiscal change. HOw can a committee of persons who are most concerned about be re-elected be better than the report we had from a committee that yes, had ideology, but not a need to garner votes. Why did Obama basically blow off his committee's report?????

    I believe the solution to prior fiscal meltdowns (eg NEW YORK CITY) was a CZAR to oversee and impose solutions. I fear we need to get to that point before our political system is willing to work on a solution where we have shared sacrifice with the prospect of shared benefits.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  391. Erwin Ward

    Change will only come when the American people have the resolve and determination to facilitate change. We hold the POWER to make change happen – at the ballot box.

    We have given our politicians their jobs. They have failed us, and their jobs should be taken away. We should hold them accountable for their failures to the American people and send then HOME!

    Every American's blood should be boiling right now. Our politicians have forgotten that they are statesmen/women elected to serve the best interests of their constituents, and NOT the political parties, lobbyists, and special interest groups.

    There should be the greatest anti-incumbent vote in American history when we vote in future elections. We can no longer afford the status quo. It is bankrupting America.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  392. Sherry Cooper

    JACK....We need a third party...urgently....the independents will flock to a new party with their interests in mind....sherry

    August 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  393. Andres

    How do we fix it? We change the fundamental makeup of the congress! Until we regain control of our government we cannot make any fundamental changes. How about voting for anyone but an incumbent for the next 3 election cycles? While this would lead to some temporary paralysis, it would clean out the incumbents whose primary concern is reelection. Hopefully once politicians realize that incumbency is a millstone they will start doing the business of the people. Simple things like balancing budgets, suffering pain by paying off our massive debt, and responding to the needs of America.

    Radical, to be certain, but repeating the same actions (reelecting incumbents) and expecting different results is insanity.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  394. Billy In AK

    Pay for performance plan for all politicians. It works for private business. Tie their pay to their an index of performance.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  395. Geminga Stevens

    The answer to your question is simpler than you think. Term limits and public funding of all congressional elections. The hardest thing to do in Washington would be term limits and public funding of congressional elections. Our public servants have been turned into public self-servants.......bah humbug

    August 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  396. Eric in Colorado

    3.56 Billion dollars was spent by lobbyists on Congress last year. Was this for the will of the people or was it spent against the will of the people and for the benefit of the congressperson. It is time for our congressional leaders to quit listening and allowing Wall Street to run our country and start taking care of Americans! Quit signing pledges by lobbyist and just sign their dedication to the American People!

    August 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  397. Robert Skeffington

    The only way that we will find a path out of desperate downward spiral, is to remove the politicians from their lofty perch and return the government to the people. They are so removed from reality and the people they are supposed to represent; are only concerned with their reelection, survival and welfare. Their single minded self-serving attitude will do nothing but ruin us all. I for one will be using the only weapon the people have to combat such arrogance………….. my vote. I intend to vote every incumbent out, but it won’t be soon enough!!

    August 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  398. Hope

    what would change the things in Washington is getting the Tea Party out of Washington. Where did they come from anyway? oh yeah, the depths of Hell. Also, what is wrong with Obama celebrating his 50th birthday, it's a milestone and at least he didn't go away for 5 weeks like Congress. I'm sure you had a 50th birthday . It was only one day, give him a break!

    August 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  399. Joe

    Both Parties are to be balmed.. ofcourse they may not worry much since they are rich. This is unacceptable to this country. People should really think twice and above politics while voting next time.

    This is insane.... where are we heading....... My head is spinning when thinking about my kids future...

    August 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  400. Sienna

    Sienna, Lexington, KY

    To keep congress/senators from turning rotten, enact term limits. Perhaps then politicians will focus on the issues rather than their re-election campaign. If we want change put it on the 2012 ballot.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  401. Rick Bennett

    Clean House!...Get rid of the "Good Ol' Boys Club" in Washington. Then new law: no one can hold office if they have an income over $150,000; two term limit with no lifetime benefits or pension. People in DC have lost touch with the people who are trying to make ends meet.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  402. Maryanne Santa Monica, CA

    Jack, You advocate kicking out all the current lawmakers for new ones ....
    isn't that how we got the Tea Party? The Tea Party is a big reason why we are in the situation we are in. I don't believe in lifelong political positions, but there is something to be said for having some experience & knowing what to expect while serving in Congress & knowing how to do it.
    As far as making changes in Washington, term limits would be a start. Knowing more about who we elect would be good also. Too many voters are making voting decisions based on "sound bites"... but that is on the voters.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  403. John M

    Hey Jack:

    Redistricting is the key. When we eliminate "gerrymandered" districts that protect idealogical incumbents, politicians will be forced to appeal to common sense and the idealogy of the whole, not just their well defined constituents.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  404. Tammy

    NO PAY CHECK (especially for the Tea party Congress People)- until they are able to work together for the common good. But most congress people are rich anyway, so they probably wouldn't miss it.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  405. Linda

    A peaceful, united march in DC composed of (at least) 1.5 million Democrats, Republicans, and Independents to protest 'Our Govt' lack of bipartisanship, representation, civility, and just good, old common-sense.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  406. Iraida

    First we need to Impeach Obama,then we have to find,if we ever do,good,honest America loving people that will be able to govern for the good of the U.S. and the good of their citizens.
    We'll have to lower taxes,that will bring more opportunity of jobs for the unemployed ,instead of giving them hand outs;another thing will be to cut entitlements,that are doing nothing for anybody,but only for the organization that's taking advantage of it;another thing that will be very good is to bring back the factories that are overseas,and if they don't want to bring back the jobs to the U.S,hit them with very high taxes,if they want to sell us their products.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  407. steven anber .montreal quebec

    A nation that removes GOD from government is a nation thats gone under . president abraham lincoln. there is only one solution . we must get on our knee s and repent from our selfage ways and turn back to GOD in the name of JESUS . the bible says they are blided by there sins . there is no other way .

    August 8, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  408. Michael Monahan

    We can start by putting them on the average American salary of $47,000 a year, and then for good measure send them all a message by voting every last one of them out of office.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  409. J.D. Rogers

    Jack,

    The Republicans need to quit using the filibuster as a weapon to get their own way. They've used it more in the last two years than they have in any other time period. They also wanted Obama to fail, even if it takes down the country. Looks like they are getting their wish.

    J.D.

    Peru, IN

    August 8, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  410. Joseph McKeown

    Next election, vote against every standing incumbent: Democrat, Repulican, Independent, Tea Party or Tree Party. The other two thirds will get the message. Act or you're out!

    Joseph McKeown

    August 8, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  411. Mike

    Definately term limits. I don't want career politicians. They don't care about the American people. They only care about getting relected. That means pandering to special interests to get the big donations. We have the best government money can buy!

    Slidell, Louisiana

    August 8, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  412. SEDRICK

    jack i dont understand why washington dont get that the needs of the many out weigh the needs of the few . instead it the needs the few is all about the me myself and the slice of my pIe.......
    you know we all need to march on washington like the rest of the world
    if they dont agree with the government its war nothing moves until its change we talk about we are the greatest country in the world but we let our government treat us like a third world government.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  413. Tom in Texas

    It is increasingly clear that the Congress does not know what it is doing.
    The old Vietnam War quote "We had to destroy the village in order to save it" comes to mind. I'm ready to change out the entire Congress. If we get some new people in there, they can't possibly be any worse than the current set of nincompoops. I wish there were a way to get the lobbyists to go home, too.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  414. David Adkinson

    As long as there is an entrenched two-party system in Washington that makes for an open competition to gain a political majority, the interest of the political party will always be paramount to the interests of the people, and cross-party antagonism will be the zeitgeist and stagnation and ineffectiveness its result. Instigating change in Washington isn't just a matter of voting out incumbents, but voting out political parties. If the country can make a serious effort to elect independents and third-party candidates to Congress, it will leave no political party in power and force true collaboration and compromise.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  415. atomixcrysix

    A reset to zero. Put into place a generic budget that covers basic needs. have our house n senate filled 2 months at a time just like we do with jury duty. the job will get done. there will be no special interests, or media filled with scandals. but the bloated fat monkeys we have now on a 5 week vacation!!! I don't even get a day.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:35 pm |